Democrats block disaster aid proposal

Senate Democrats on Monday blocked a Republican disaster aid bill, saying it doesn’t do enough to help hurricane-torn Puerto Rico.

Trump lashes out at Puerto Rico as U.S. House weighed aid package

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump lashed out at hurricane-devastated Puerto Rico on Thursday, insisting in tweets that the federal government can't keep sending help "forever" and suggesting the U.S. territory was to blame for its financial struggles.His broadsides triggered an outcry from Democrats in Washington and officials on the island, which has been reeling since Hurricane Maria struck three weeks ago, leaving death and destruction in an unparalleled humanitarian crisis.San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz, with whom Trump has had a running war of words, tweeted that the president's comments were "unbecoming" to a commander in chief and "seem more to come from a 'Hater in Chief.'""Mr.

Local man returns from hurricane-devastated Puerto Rico, calls it "a logistical nightmare'

GIG HARBOR, Wash. --  A Gig Harbor man returned from the Caribbean islands where he deployed on September 4 as part of FEMA’s national urban search and rescue team to help during and after hurricanes Irma and Maria.Thomas Miner says he’s been through a lot of hurricanes but the devastation in Puerto Rico from Hurricane Maria was unlike anything he’s seen before."This event is a logistical nightmare,” said Miner.

Trump praises federal help for Puerto Rico, mayor says it's 'killing us'

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump pledged to spare no effort to help Puerto Ricans recover from Maria's ruinous aftermath Friday even as San Juan's mayor, her voice breaking with rage, accused his administration of "killing us with the inefficiency."Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz implored Trump from afar to "make sure somebody is in charge that is up to the task of saving lives," while the president asserted that U.S. officials and emergency personnel are working all-out against daunting odds, with "incredible" results.Trump's acting homeland security secretary, Elaine Duke, visited the island Friday, surveying the ravaged landscape by helicopter in an hourlong tour, driving past still-flooded streets, twisted billboards and roofs with gaping holes, and offering encouragement to some of the 10,000 emergency personnel she says the U.S. government has on the ground.Duke tried, too, to move on from the remarks she made a day earlier in which she called the federal relief effort a "good-news story." But on that front, she ran into winds as fierce as Maria."We are dying, and you are killing us with the inefficiency," Cruz said in a news conference. "I am begging, begging anyone that can hear us, to save us from dying."Thousands more Puerto Ricans got water and rationed food Friday as an aid bottleneck began to ease.

Royal Caribbean sends cruise ship to help evacuate people from Puerto Rico

NEW YORK – Royal Caribbean is using a cruise ship to help evacuate people from Puerto Rico and deliver needed supplies to Caribbean islands.The cruise line announced on Tuesday that it is canceling its September 30 Adventure of the Seas trip so it can use the ship to help victims of Hurricane Maria.

Pitbull, Mark Cuban lend private planes to aid a devastated Puerto Rico

PUERTO RICO – American rapper Pitbull and billionaire Mark Cuban are lending private planes to the ongoing relief effort in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria ravaged the island.On Tuesday, Puerto Rico Congresswoman Jenniffer Gonzales tweeted, "Thank you Pitbull for lending your private plane to move cancer patients from PR to USA so that they can get chemo."

Maria destroys homes and triggers flooding in Puerto Rico, lashes Dominican Republic

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — The strongest hurricane to hit Puerto Rico in more than 80 years destroyed hundreds of homes, knocked out power across the entire island and turned some streets into raging rivers Wednesday in an onslaught that could plunge the U.S. territory deeper into financial crisis.Leaving at least nine people dead in its wake across the Caribbean, Hurricane Maria blew ashore in the morning near the southeast coastal town of Yabucoa as a Category 4 storm with winds of 155 mph.It punished the island of 3.4 million people with life-threatening winds for several hours, the second time in two weeks that Puerto Rico has felt the wrath of a hurricane."Once we're able to go outside, we're going to find our island destroyed," warned Abner Gomez, Puerto Rico's emergency management director. "The information we have received is not encouraging.

Maria intensifies into Category 5 hurricane, slams into Dominica and heads for Puerto Rico

MIAMI (AP) -- Hurricane Maria became a Category 5 storm with 160 mph winds as it slammed into the tiny island of Dominica and headed for Puerto Rico.A series of Facebook posts by Dominica Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit captured the power of Hurricane Maria as it roared past the island as a Category 5 storm.About 8:45 p.m. Skerrit writes: "The winds are merciless!

Powerful Hurricane Irma lashes Puerto Rico, leaves tiny Barbuda devastated

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Hurricane Irma lashed Puerto Rico with heavy rain and powerful winds Wednesday night, leaving nearly 900,000 people without power as authorities struggled to get aid to small Caribbean islands already devastated by the historic storm.Florida rushed to prepare for a possible direct hit on the Miami area by the Category 5 storm with potentially catastrophic 185 mph winds.Nearly every building on the island of Barbuda was damaged when the eye of the storm passed almost directly overhead early Wednesday and about 60 percent of the island’s roughly 1,400 people were left homeless, Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne told The Associated Press.“Either they were totally demolished or they would have lost their roof,” Browne said after returning to Antigua from a plane trip to the neighboring island. “It is just really a horrendous situation.”He said roads and telecommunications systems were destroyed and recovery will take months, if not years.

Puerto Rican voters back statehood in questioned referendum

Puerto Rico's governor announced that the U.S. territory overwhelmingly chose statehood on Sunday in a nonbinding referendum held amid a deep economic crisis that has sparked an exodus of islanders to the U.S. mainland.