The Simpsons' Season Premiere Ends With a Message
And more on the situation in Puerto Rico
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 2, 2017 7:32 AM CDT
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"Unido."   (Twitter/The Simpsons)

(Newser) – Pop culture is trying to do its part for Puerto Rico. EW reports The Simpsons closed its season premiere Sunday with a five-second call to help the island. The still image shows the people of Springfield, with Marge holding an "Unido" sign in one hand and a corner of the Puerto Rican flag in the other, assisted by Homer and Bart. Lisa sheds a tear, and a tweeted image of the scene is captioned "how you can help." More on the situation:

  • CNN's latest report is teeming with numbers: As of Sunday morning, some 12 days after Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico, 95% of the island remains without power. Students missed two weeks of school due to Hurricane Irma, and the current target has them missing at least two more, with a target return date of Oct. 16 now set. While landlines are now operational, only about 10% of cell towers are working. Nearly 65% of gas stations were up and running on Saturday, though lines remain long. Almost 60% of the island lacked potable water.
  • A second CNN piece describes a sea of lines amid the devastation: dozens waited in line on Sunday for two hours in order to draw the maximum the ATM would allow—$40. It's not uncommon for people to sleep in cars overnight in order to maintain their place in line at a gas station.
  • Lines are one big issue; roads are another. PBS NewsHour spoke with Lt. Gen. Jeffrey S. Buchanan, who serves as liaison between the Department of Defense and FEMA, after he completed a review of the island via helicopter on Saturday. Calling the damage "the worst I've ever seen," he noted the island's interior is suffering "because of roads." Many are either not clear or no longer exist, strangling efforts to get supplies into desperate interior areas.
  • The Washington Post looks at what it calls President Trump's "lukewarm" response to the tragedy there, and posits this theory: "Presidents tend to respond in proportion to an affected place’s partisan loyalty to the president’s party in previous elections and its political clout in the next presidential election." It explains in-depth here.
  • Meanwhile, Trump on Sunday dedicated the US win at a golf tournament to the hurricane victims.

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