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Puerto Rico fears post-Maria murder surge: 11 days, 32 slain

Puerto Rico fears post-Maria murder surge: 11 days, 32 slain

World
Before the sun rose on the first day of 2018, someone called 911 to report the charred, bullet-riddled body of a man with a snake-like tattoo on his left hand, lying beside a road in the Puerto Rican town of Vega Baja. The next day, two men were found dead with their feet and hands bound in Bayamon, a working-class city southwest of the capital. Another man was shot to death before dawn in nearby Vega Baja while trying to stop thieves from stealing his generator. Thirty-two people have been slain in Puerto Rico in the first 11 days of the year, double the number killed over the same period in 2017. If the surge proves to be more than just a temporary blip, January could be the most homicidal month on the island in at least two years, adding a dangerous new element to the island's recovery...
In Florida, all eyes on Puerto Rican voters after Maria

In Florida, all eyes on Puerto Rican voters after Maria

World
Javier Gonzalez has joined a human tide of more than 130,000 U.S. citizens arriving in Florida since Hurricane Maria wrecked Puerto Rico, grateful for a place to start over but resenting how their island has been treated since the disaster. More than a million Puerto Ricans — about 5 percent of Florida's population — already call the state home, and given the outrage many feel over President Donald Trump's handling of the storm, political observers say this voting bloc could loosen the Republican Party's hold on this battleground state. Gonzalez, 38, saw the storm destroy the restaurant he opened with his father five years ago. Without power or reliable water, he became violently ill from food poisoning for three weeks. Finally, he packed his bags, determined to make his future in Miami i
Google parent turns on internet balloons in Puerto Rico

Google parent turns on internet balloons in Puerto Rico

Technology
Google's parent Alphabet Inc. said Friday that its stratospheric balloons are now delivering the internet to remote areas of Puerto Rico where cellphone towers were knocked out by Hurricane Maria. Two of the search giant's "Project Loon" balloons are already over the country enabling texts, emails and basic web access to AT&T customers with handsets that use its 4G LTE network. The balloons — called HBAL199 and HBAL237 — are more than 60,000 feet (18,000 meters) above land, according to FlightRadar24.com . They navigate using an algorithm that puts them in the best position to deliver signal by rising and falling to ride wind currents. They are also solar-powered and only provide signal during the day Several more balloons are on their way from Nevada, and Alphabet has been authorized
Big Tech has big plans to help reconnect Puerto Rico

Big Tech has big plans to help reconnect Puerto Rico

Technology
Facebook and Google once aimed to connect the world. Now they would be happy just to reconnect part of it. In the wake of Hurricane Maria, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg pledged to send a "connectivity team" to help restore communications in ravaged Puerto Rico. Google parent company Alphabet offered to send its Wi-Fi balloons. They were among several tech companies proposing disaster response ideas, most aimed at getting phone and internet service up and running. Some of these plans, of course, are more aspirational than others. BATTERY POWER Tesla CEO Elon Musk often takes to Twitter to mull over ideas, but on Friday his musings about sending his company's solar-powered batteries to help restore Puerto Rico's power attracted the attention of the island's governor. "Let's talk," said Gov. ...
Musk in talks to restore power to Puerto Rico

Musk in talks to restore power to Puerto Rico

Technology
Puerto Rico's governor says he is "exploring opportunities" with billionaire Elon Musk to restore the island's shattered electrical infrastructure using solar energy technology.Less than 10% of Puerto Ricans have power, weeks after the US territory was hit by Hurricane Maria.Responding to a message on Twitter, Mr Musk, the Tesla co-founder, said his Powerwall renewable energy technology, which powers several smaller islands, could be scaled up to work for Puerto Rico.Ricardo Rossello, the island's governor, revealed he'd had a "great initial conversation" with Mr Musk and that their teams "are now talking, exploring opportunities".Image:The category five storm destroyed power lines and communications infrastructureMeanwhile, Mr Musk said he was sending "experienced installers from continen...