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A War Of Words… Use Island In A Sentence… Greece 85, Puerto Rico 75…PROELA: Bar Candidates Must Declare Status Positions… Acevedo: Use Of Patriot Act vs. UIA Isn’t Justified… Gov’t Got Vectron Stock After Jobs Weren’t Created… Most Crimes Are Committed With Illegal Weapons… Prisoners Are "Disinterested" In Elections… White House Status Group Meets With Mayors

A War Of Words


August 30, 2004
Copyright © 2004 THE MIAMI HERALD. All rights reserved. 

Felix Trinidad shrugs off Ricardo Mayorga's brash comments as both fighters prepare for their Oct. 2 bout in New York.

For Trinidad, it will be his first fight after a two-year retirement, and Mayorga has been predicting he will send Trinidad to permanent retirement.

''Mayorga has said so many little things, but that's his gimmick and has been since I can remember,'' Trinidad said in a statement after a workout last Thursday in his native Puerto Rico.

``He said he will knock me out, that he is strong and that he will retire me for good.

``I know he throws a lot of punches from all angles, but I'm going to step in the ring ready for whatever he's got. I don't mean any disrespect, but I think Mayorga will get knocked out.''

Use Island In A Sentence

August 29, 2004
Copyright © 2004 Manila Standard. All rights reserved. 

A MANILA STANDARD reader based in the Honduras is quick to remind us that Baloncesto is what basketball is called in Latin America. In Baloncesto, the hoop is the "puerto rico."

After La Salle gave Ateneo that bitter lesson in basic baloncesto last Sunday at the big dome, an Atenista who congratulated his La Sallista neighbor added the pahabol, "by the way, thanks for teaching us a good lesson." Amused, the La Sallista replied, " no sweat, that's what friends are for."

Greece Beats Puerto Rico For Fifth Place In Men's Basketball

August 28, 2004
Copyright © 2004 Associated Press Newswires. All rights reserved. 

ATHENS, Greece (AP) - Greece gave its basketball fans one last day of cheering, chanting and celebrating with an 85-75 victory over Puerto Rico on Saturday to finish fifth in the men's tournament.

Michail Kakiouzis scored 20 points for Greece (4-3), which surprised many by advancing to the quarterfinals and then matching its best Olympic finish. Greece was fifth in 1996. Its only other Olympic appearance was a 17th place in 1952.

For Puerto Rico (3-4), the tournament got off to an amazing start -- the 92-73 win over the United States, the first loss for a U.S. team since NBA players began participating in the Olympics in 1992. But it ended with the 20-point loss to Greece to cap the preliminary round, the 83-70 quarterfinal loss to Italy and sixth place.

Puerto Rico's only semifinal appearance in nine Olympics was a fourth-place finish in 1964.

Nikolaos Chatzivrettas had 17 points for Greece, which used a 13-2 run to take an 83-68 lead with 2:01 to play.

Elias Ayuso led Puerto Rico with 14 points.

The game marked the final Olympic appearance for Jose Ortiz. The 2.11-meter (6-foot-11) center competed in four Olympics for Puerto Rico starting in 1988. Ortiz, 40, was the Pac-10 player of the year at Oregon State in 1987 and was a first-round draft pick of the Utah Jazz. He played his professional career in Europe and Puerto Rico but was a member of his country's national team for 21 years.

He had 13 points and six rebounds in his final game.

PROELA Chief: Bar Candidates Must Declare Positions

August 27, 2004
Copyright © 2004 Associated Press Newswires. All rights reserved. 

SAN JUAN (AP) — The president of PROELA, Angel Ortiz Guzman, on Friday asked the candidates for president of the Bar Association to outline their positions on a possible Constitutional Status Assembly.

Ortiz Guzman had made a request that the Bar Association issue a paper to educate the public on the alternatives and processes available for maintaining political relations between Puerto Rico and the United States.

"I have called on the candidates for head of the Bar Association to publicly declare whether they support or not a convening of a Constitutional Status Assembly as is proposed by the Popular Democratic Party (PDP)," he said in a statement.

The autonomist leader also asked that lawyers throughout the island approve at the next Assembly of the Bar Association a resolution to support the possibility of holding a Constitutional Assembly.

Ortiz Guzman said that PROELA continues its campaign to ask professional organizations and society to support the Constitutional Assembly.

"There is nothing more important for our people than ending the issue of status. I believe there is a difference from the constituency in 1951; it should now be a representation that includes everyone from every area — even those that are not necessarily active in the political parties - and represent the feelings of our people. Only then will we have a truly democratic discussion and deal with the issue of status," he said.

Acevedo Vila Says Use Of Patriot Act Against UIA Is Not Justified

August 27, 2004
Copyright © 2004 Associated Press Newswires. All rights reserved. 

SAN JUAN (AP) - For the Popular candidate for governor Anibal Acevedo Vila, there does not exist justification for applying the Patriot Act to the Authentic Independent Union (UIA) for the statements made by its president Hector Rene Lugo, who said they would take the airport in case of a strike.

However, Acevedo Vila said that, despite criticism of the federal statute created after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, in New York, he knows that is still has legal grounds.

"I think that to apply a terrorism law to statements such as this should not be justified," Acevedo Vila said at a press conference in reference to Lugo’s statements, which had prompted intervention by the FBI.

"This is a law that has been harshly criticized but, regrettably, is a law," he added.

The FBI asked the directors of the UIA — a group of employees of the Aqueduct and Sewer Authority — about the comments by Lugo, who maintained that the syndicate would intervene in the operations of Luis Munoz Marin International Airport in case of a strike.

According to press reports, the information was confirmed by the executive secretary of the UIA, Elba Garcia, while the agent in charge of the FBI on the island, Luis Fraticelli, would not confirm the information.

"They want to know about the alleged comments made by Hector Rene Lugo about striking and seizing the airport. They brought nothing and took no documents, except three coffees that they asked for," said the executive secretary of the union.

On Aug. 17, Lugo said at a press conference that "the blood would run" in defense of the union’s health plan, and affirmed that they will be presenting at various strategic locations, among those the airport.

The FBI can intervene in this kind of situation using the Patriot Act as grounds for quelling possible terrorist acts.

Government Got Vectron Stock After Jobs Were Not Created

August 27, 2004
Copyright © 2004 Associated Press Newswires. All rights reserved. 

SAN JUAN (AP) — Businessman Joseph Vilella admitted that the technology firm Vectron did not comply with its agreement to create jobs after it was awarded money by the Puerto Rico Industrial Incentives Fund (PRIIF), but he said that the company gave the government shares worth $250,000 to compensate for the deficiency.

The award of shares to the Puerto Rico Industrial Development Co. (PRIDCO) on the part of Vectron was stipulated in the contract when they received the incentives, Vilella told the press.

The now-defunct Blue Ribbon Committee which was investigating the PRIIF funds had pointed out the the payment of shares by Vectron to PRIFF was irregular, but Vilella insists that is incorrect because it was stipulated in the contract.

The business was supposed to create 17 jobs with the funds received from PRIIF.

Most Crimes Are Committed With Illegal Weapons, Says Forensic Scientist

August 27, 2004
Copyright © 2004 Associated Press Newswires. All rights reserved. 

SAN JUAN (AP) — The executive director of the Institute of Forensic Science, Pio Rechani Lopez, said the majority of murders and crimes on the island are committed with illegal and stolen weapons.

Lopez made the statements on Thursday in public hearings of the House Committee of Public Integrity, that there are very few crimes committed with legal weapons.

"There are illegal weapons arriving from other countries or the United States that enter the island as contraband that are more used (for these types of crimes). The majority of the firearms used in murders and crimes are assault weapons, like the AR-15 or the AK-47," Rechani Lopez said, according to a statement from the House committee, headed by Jorge Colberg.

Rechani Lopez described these types of weapons as "extremely dangerous."

The director did not offer statistics about the specific number of murders with legal or illegal weapons.

According to Rechani Lopez, apart from the assault weapons like the AK-47 and the AR-15, "in the underworld, they use as a next resort semiautomatics and pistols."

The director said that the authorities’ efforts to monitor the flow of illegal weapons into Puerto Rico is complicated because some assault weapons illegally entering the island were acquired lawfully in states like Kentucky and Texas.

Prisoners Are "Disinterested" In Elections

August 27, 2004
Copyright © 2004 Associated Press Newswires. All rights reserved. 

SAN JUAN (AP) — The "laziness" and "disinterest" of the prisoners in the elections is reflected in the fact that only 54 percent of the 18,704 convicts asked for the right to vote for governor on Oct. 31, said the president of the Administrative Board of Advanced Voting of the State Elections Commission, Gilbert Bracero.

The figure represents a total of 10,100 incarcerated individuals filled out voting applications for the elections on Nov. 2, a newspaper reported.

Bracero said that the conduct of the prisoners is unpredictable and if their behavior is compared with the general primaries of 2003, it reflects a "laziness and a disinterest to participate in the elections… They change their minds enough, many times they do not show up the day of the enrollment, and on the day of voting they want to vote."

White House Group Meets With Local Mayors About Status

August 27, 2004
Copyright © 2004 Associated Press Newswires. All rights reserved. 

SAN JUAN (AP) — The interagency group designated by the White House to consider the issue of the political status of Puerto Rico, this week completed visits with the mayors of Bayamon, Caguas, Ponce and Mayaguez.

Four White House representatives met Wednesday with the mayors of Bayamon and Caguas, and on Thursday they met with the mayors of Ponce and Mayaguez, a newspaper reported.

"They came to hear out positions on the issue of the political status of Puerto Rico, said the mayor of Bayamon, Ramon Luis Rivera Jr.

The meetings took place without being announced publicly.

The delegation met with seven mayors total.

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