US Territories’ October 7-13, 2019 news week in tweets

by | Oct 14, 2019 | News Week in Tweets | Comments

Supreme Court Has Opportunity to Undo a Century-Old Ruling of Inequality for US Territories

120 years ago the US Supreme Court ruled that Puerto Rico (and by extension other US territories) were not entitled to the constitution’s full protections. The series of verdicts that have upheld these ideas have become known as the Insular Cases, and have overtly racist undertones. The upcoming argument Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico v. Aurelius Investment LLC provides the Court the power to undo the Insular Cases.

Trump Administration Cannot Siphon Funds From Military Construction for Border Wall

A Federal Judge in Texas has ruled that the Trump administration cannot confiscate funds intended for military construction to be used in building the southern border wall. The administration had targeted military construction projects in Puerto Rico and Guam to quickly raise funds for the proposed southern border wall. Born in Puerto Rico, Rep. Nydia Velazquez of New York’s 7th district has expressed her happiness with the verdict.

AT&T Sells it Operations in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands

In an effort to cut down its debt, AT&T sells its operations in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands for $1.95 Billion dollars to Liberty Latin America. It is thought by analysts that AT&T felt climate change and the possible new normal of extreme weather in the territories made remaining in the territories not financially prudent in the face of $180 Billion of debt.

The Federal Government Defends Law that Would Ban Cockfighting in US Territories

The Farm Bill that Congress passed last year extended the ban on cockfighting to Puerto Rico, Guam and other US Territories. Cockfighters are seeking to overturn the ban in US territories, but the federal government does not intend to reverse course.

Guam Avoids Widespread Coral Bleaching in 2019

Guam was projected to have widespread and severe coral bleaching in 2019. Yet, as of October 2019, widespread bleaching has not been seen and new projections indicate that a mass-bleaching event is likely to be avoided this year. Scientists have suggested that extreme weather may have helped save the coral reef around Guam as the cloud cover cools the water temperature in the region preventing bleaching.

North Korean Ship Seized for Sanctions Violations Leaves American Samoa

The North Korean ship, the Wise Honest, that was seized for sanctions violations has left American Samoa. The ship had been in Pago Pago port since May and locals had feared a North Korean retaliation over the ship’s seizure.

US Declares Emergency as Typhoon Hagibis Threatens the Northern Mariana Islands

The US declared a state of emergency for the Northern Mariana Islands as Typhoon Hagibis rolled through the territory. The Northern Mariana Islands were spared significant damage before Hagibis set course for Japan where it has caused severe damage mere days later.