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A man in Yabucoa, Puerto Rico, surveys what's left of his home. Photo: Gerald Herbert / AP

Despite intense recovery efforts for the past week, upwards of one million Puerto Ricans remain without access to clean drinking water and 97% of the island is without power. There are 3.4 million American citizens living in Puerto Rico, and many are struggling for survival. Because communications have been cut off, and rescue workers still can't reach far flung areas, the full scale of the devastation is still not clear.

"This is like in war: You work with what you have," Carlos Gómez-Marcial, the emergency room director at Centro Medico in San Juan, the main hospital on the island, told the N.Y. Times.

The latest
  • President Trump told reporters he's considering waiving the Jones Act, which aims to protect the shipping industry by only allowing American ships to carry goods and passengers between U.S. ports, but is hesitating because "a lot of people that work in the shipping industry...don't want the Jones Act lifted." The act was waived for Texas and Florida after Harvey and Irma.
  • Sen. John McCain tweeted that the Trump administration's refusal to waive the act is "unacceptable."
  • While the Dept. of Homeland Security can only waive the act unless there's a threat to the nation, the Dept. of Defense has an easier way forward, per a WSJ editorial. Sec. James Mattis need only demonstrate that a waiver is "necessary in the interest of national defense."
  • About 2,200 federal employees are on the ground in San Juan, including 500 from FEMA, per officials. But communications have been difficult as power lines are down.
  • Still, FEMA said it has been in touch with all 78 mayors in Puerto Rico and distributed satellite phones to some.
  • The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is working to survey the damage to Puerto Rico's power grid and roadways and is expected to start installing equipment to bring power back on Wednesday, per FEMA.
  • The more remote areas of the island are in crisis as rescue crews cannot access them due to blocked roads and threats of landslides. Supplies have been airdropped to these areas. "If it's not safe, we cannot send our responders," a FEMA spokeswoman in San Juan told the LA Times.

Go deeper

Updated 3 hours ago - World

Up to 17 U.S. missionaries kidnapped in Haiti

Haitian soldiers guard the public prosecutor's office in Port-au-Prince this month. Photo: Richard Pierrin/AFP via Getty Images

Children were among up to 17 American Christian missionaries and their relatives kidnapped by a gang in Haiti on Saturday, the New York Times first reported.

The latest: Haitian police inspector Frantz Champagne identified the 400 Mawozo gang as the group responsible, in a statement to AP.

Hollywood union reaches deal with studios to avert strike

Photo: AaronP/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

A Hollywood workers' union reached a tentative deal with studios, networks and streamers that will guarantee better working conditions, meal breaks and increased wages for low-paid workers, the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) announced Saturday night.

Why it matters: The deal, which still needs to be ratified by IATSE members, will avert a nationwide strike by film and television workers that was set to start Monday. It would have been the first strike in the union's 128-year history.

Bill Clinton released from hospital following treatment for non-COVID infection

Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Former President Bill Clinton was discharged from the University of California, Irvine Medical Center on Sunday, nearly a week after he was admitted for a non-COVID-related infection, according to his spokesperson Angel Ureña.

What they're saying: "His fever and white blood cell count are normalized and he will return home to New York to finish his course of antibiotics," wrote Dr. Alpesh Amin, who has been overseeing the team of doctors treating Clinton. "On behalf of everyone at UC Irvine Medical Center, we were honored to have treated him and will continue to monitor his progress."

Worth noting: Clinton had a urinary tract infection that spread to his bloodstream, per CNN.

  • The California-based medical team had been administering IV antibiotics and fluids, and was in constant communication with Clinton's New York team, including his cardiologist, according to the former president's physicians.
  • President Biden spoke by phone with Clinton on Friday to see how he was doing, and the catch-up included a discussion of recent politics.