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Trump's Approval Rating on Hurricane Response Sinks 20 Points After Puerto Rico

President Trump's approval rating for overseeing the federal government's response to hurricanes fell by 20 points after Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, a CNN poll conducted by SSRS revealed.

Trump's approval rating for responding to hurricanes Harvey and Irma stood at 64 percent in mid-September. Just a month later, the rating dropped to 44 percent.

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Desperate for water, Puerto Ricans are resorting to any available sources, such as this stream in Cayey. Angel Valentin / NPR

Desperate Puerto Ricans Are Drinking Water From Hazardous Waste Sites

The ranking Democrat on the House Homeland Security Committee called for an investigation into the availability of potable water in Puerto Rico following reports Friday that residents are scrounging for water from hazardous waste sites.

After the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) confirmed residents were trying to access water from three Superfund sites, and following a CNN story Friday featuring Puerto Ricans taking water from a fourth site, Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) wrote a letter to acting DHS Secretary Elaine Duke asking if she knew about the situation and calling the reports "beyond disturbing."

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Damage caused by Hurricane Maria in San Juan, Puerto Rico. EPA

House Passes $36.5 Billion Relief Package After Hurricane and Wildfire Disasters

The U.S. House of Representatives approved a $36.5 billion package for hurricane and wildfire relief funding, which included emergency food assistance for low-income Puerto Rico residents.

This aid comes on top of the $15.3 billion relief measure approved by Congress in September following Hurricane Harvey. The bill advances to the Senate, which will resume session next week, before heading to the desk of President Trump, who early Thursday suggested he may withdraw federal relief workers from Puerto Rico.

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Sgt. Jose Ahiram Diaz-Ramos/Flickr

FEMA Scrubs Data About Puerto Rico's Lack of Water and Electricity

On Wednesday, roughly two weeks after Hurricane Maria struck, just 50 percent of Puerto Rico had access to drinking water and only 5.4 percent had electricity. That information was clearly displayed on Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) website on disaster relief efforts in the U.S. territory.

But the next day, as first noticed by the Washington Post, those two critical pieces of information were removed from the website.

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The water utility at Ebeye, Marshall Islands, February 2012.. Erin Magee / DFAT / Flickr

While Puerto Rico Fights For Aid, This Long-Forgotten Island Remains 'Slum of the Pacific’

By Whitney Webb

Since Hurricane Maria devastated the island of Puerto Rico, the U.S. territory—which rarely garners much attention from the national media—has received widespread coverage which has focused on the Trump administration's slow response to the disaster.

The situation in Puerto Rico is undoubtedly dire, as many struggle without power and access to basic necessities for more than a week after the storm struck. In addition, the Trump administration's response has been notably lackluster in several regards, which has brought renewed scrutiny to its attitudes and performance.

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Texas Army National Guardsmen assist residents affected by flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey in Houston. Lt. Zachary West

Poll Shows Most Americans Want Government Action on Climate Change, but There’s a Catch

By Farron Cousins

New polling data provides some inspiring news about the prospects for climate change action in the U.S.

According to public policy polling conducted by AP-NORC and the Energy Policy Institute at The University of Chicago, 61 percent of American citizens believe that climate change is a threat that the federal government should actively work to prevent. The poll also reveals that majorities in both major political parties—Democrats and Republicans—accept the fact that climate change is actually happening and that human activity is making it worse.

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Cali Nurseries/Facebook

Puerto Rican Farm Powers On After Hurricane Thanks to Solar Energy

An ornamental plant farm in Barranquitas, Puerto Rico that was wrecked by Hurricane Maria is slowly rebuilding thanks to solar panels that power the 40-acre nursery.

Cali Nurseries grower Hector Santiago told Reuters that his $300,000 investment on 244 solar panels six years ago has allowed him to continue working.

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Research station staff return to Cayo Santiago after Hurricane Maria to start assessing conditions on the island. Angelina Ruiz

Scientists Join Forces to Save Puerto Rico’s ‘Monkey Island’

By Alexandra Rosati

"00O made it!" There was some news to celebrate on Sept. 28 in the email chain of scientists who work at the Cayo Santiago Field Station. Cayo Santiago is a 38-acre tropical island off the coast of Puerto Rico and home to approximately 1,500 rhesus monkeys, earning it the local nickname "Monkey Island."

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Damage caused by Hurricane Maria in San Juan, Puerto Rico. EPA-EFE / Jorge J. Muñiz

'Civil Society Is Pretty Much Gone' in Puerto Rico as White House Scrambles to Defend Slow Response

President Trump spent the weekend playing golf and attacking Puerto Rican leadership on Twitter while the island remains in a state of severe crisis and recovery moves at a "glacial pace."

While FEMA aid has begun reaching remote parts of the island, severe shortages of food, water and diesel are grinding on residents from rich and poor regions as 95 percent remain without electricity nearly two weeks after Hurricane Maria hit.

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