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Puerto Rican Governor Plans to Seek Reelection

Monday, April 28, 2008

Puerto Rican Governor Plans to Seek Reelection

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- Gov. Anibal Acevedo Vila of Puerto Rico announced Sunday that he will seek reelection despite his federal indictment on charges of illegally raising money to pay off campaign debts.

After a vigorous, hour-long speech to ruling Popular Democratic Party members, Acevedo was overwhelmingly approved as the party's gubernatorial candidate for November elections.

"Four more years," chanted supporters who packed a stadium in the U.S. territory's capital. More than 4,000 delegates had been expected to vote on Acevedo's candidacy, but the party decided a formal ballot was unnecessary, since strong support for him was so evident at the general assembly.

Acevedo was charged last month with 19 counts that carry a prison sentence of up to 20 years. He denies the allegations, and accuses U.S. authorities of persecuting him for his opposition to the death penalty and because he criticized an FBI raid in which a fugitive Puerto Rican independence militant was killed.

The November vote will pit Acevedo, who favors maintaining the territory's loose U.S. commonwealth status, against pro-statehood Republican Luis G. Fortuño, who has been Puerto Rico's nonvoting delegate in Congress since 2005.

Evacuations Ahead of Calif. Fire

SIERRA MADRE, Calif. -- An early-season wildfire broke out in a popular hiking area and blackened the steep slopes of foothills outside Los Angeles, forcing more than 1,000 people from their homes, authorities said. No homes were damaged, said Elisa Weaver of the Arcadia Fire Department. About 500 firefighters were attacking the 400-acre fire, aided by two helicopters with two water-dropping air tankers on the way. The fire was about 30 percent contained and was expected to burn for another four to seven days.

4 Dead After Truck Rolls Over

PHOENIX -- A truck jammed with as many as 60 illegal immigrants crashed and rolled in a remote part of central Arizona, killing four and injuring many. The truck was carrying possibly 50 to 60 people, many of whom ran into the desert, a police official said. The driver is believed to be among them. Investigators think the people on board were illegal immigrants, the official said. Four men were pronounced dead at the scene and 27 survivors were taken to hospitals.

Yahoo Ignores Offer Deadline

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Microsoft's deadline for Yahoo to respond to its $40 billion offer to buy the company passed without a word Saturday. Most analysts expect Microsoft to take its offer directly to shareholders at Yahoo's annual meeting by proposing its own slate of directors for Yahoo's board and letting stock owners decide whether they want to accept Microsoft's offer. Yahoo has not set a date for the annual meeting and has until mid-July to hold one.

All-Business-Class Airline Folds

ATLANTA -- Eos Airlines, a three-year-old carrier that charged business-class fares for transatlantic travel with premium frills, ceased operations after filing for bankruptcy protection. The airline was the latest casualty of a credit crunch and an industry that has been hit hard by high fuel prices. Eos reconfigured Boeing 757s meant for 220 passengers with 48 seats that could extend into fully flat beds, and flights between New York and London served wine, champagne, cocktails and gourmet foods. One of Eos' main rivals in the all-business-class niche, MAXjet Airways, headquartered in Loudoun County, stopped flying in December.

University Provost Resigns

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The provost of West Virginia University said he is resigning after 32 years with the school, after criticism of his handling of a degree that was improperly awarded to the governor's daughter. Provost Gerald Lang said an independent report on the controversy convinced him to step down, effective June 30. Heather Bresch, the daughter of Gov. Joe Manchin III (D), was awarded a degree as an executive master of business administration that she had not earned.

-- From News Services

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