On the Radar: Obama in Puerto Rico, 'Spider-Man' opens, help for Japan kids
President Barack Obama speaks at a campaign event in Miami on Monday night.
June 14th, 2011
06:04 AM ET

On the Radar: Obama in Puerto Rico, 'Spider-Man' opens, help for Japan kids

Three things you need to know today.

President visits Puerto Rico: President Barack Obama makes a rare presidential visit to Puerto Rico on Tuesday, spending about five hours there on a trip aimed as much at Puerto Ricans on the mainland as those on the island.

The roughly 4 million residents of the U.S. Caribbean territory are American citizens but can't vote for president, while the almost 5 million Puerto Ricans living in the 50 U.S. states have full voting rights, and Obama needs strong support in 2012 from what traditionally has been a largely Democratic constituency.

In particular, an influx of Puerto Ricans has moved in recent years to central Florida, a key swing state in Obama's re-election campaign. Other states with large Puerto Rican communities include New York and Connecticut.

Obama's trip, the first official presidential visit to Puerto Rico in 50 years, shows "the importance the Hispanic vote has in his re-election campaign," said political analyst Angel Rosa.

Obama will make a brief speech on arrival at Muniz Air National Guard Base and then visit La Fortaleza, the oldest executive mansion in the Western Hemisphere, according to a White House document.

The president also will attend a Democratic National Committee event before returning to Washington on Tuesday night.

Spider-Man on Broadway: The retooled version of "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark" opens on Broadway on Tuesday after going through millions of dollars in development costs, six delayed openings and a record-setting 180 preview performances.

The original concept for "Spider-Man" was the vision of Julie Taymor, the Tony Award-winning director of the stage version of The Lion King.  She was pushed aside by producers in March, although she reportedly retains some involvement in the show.

Musical collaborators are U2 bandmates Bono and the Edge, who wrote the show's music and lyrics, stayed on and added several new songs while rewriting a few others. Also added to the revamped show are an additional five flying sequences and expanded roles for Aunt May, Uncle Ben and love-interest Mary Jane Watson.

Radiation detectors for Japanese kids: Officials of Japan's hard-hit Fukushima city will begin handing out radiation measuring devices to 34,000 children in a plan to help calm fears about radiation.

Fukushima city is about  60 kilometers (37 miles) from the Fukushima Daiichi Plant, which experienced full meltdowns at three reactors in the wake of the earthquake and tsunami on March 11.

The measuring devices, called dosimeters, will be given to the children for three months starting in September, officials said.

The devices wil be given to nursery schools, kindergartens, elementary schools and middle schools in the city.

soundoff (33 Responses)
  1. Steve Davis

    People of the island territory are American citizens, but can't vote for president in the elections!? Something is wrong here I think.

    June 14, 2011 at 9:38 am | Report abuse |
    • Jen in Boston

      Oh, CNN, PLEASE get your facts straight! This is middle school stuff! It is NOT CORRECT that Puerto Ricans cannot vote. It IS correct that people born in Puerto Rico are American citizens, just like people born within the 50 states. The FACT is that no voting in US national elections happens ON the island of Puerto Rico. That means that if you're a New York native OR a Puerto Rico native who CURRENTLY lives in Puerto Rico and you are IN Puerto Rico on election day, you won't be able to vote (because Puerto Rico's RESIDENTS don't vote in US national elections). HOWEVER, as mentioned, residents of Puerto Rico are American citizens. If a citizen resident of Puerto Rico, regardless of ethnic background, packs a bag and moves to Idaho, then he or she CAN vote in any local or national election that is happening there in Idaho. And again, if an Irish-American from Boston moves to Puerto Rico, then he or she cannot vote in US national elections as long as Puerto Rican residency is maintained.

      June 14, 2011 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
  2. margie215

    Here we go again....misinformation.....your Washington correspondent just made the comment that puertorricans will be looking forward to the presidents comments on imigration issues....why would that even matter to us????we have been american citizens for almost a hundred years......yes!!! but I bet you didnt know!!!!. NO BORDER CROSSING HERE!!!! VOTES,VOTES VOTES,that and the economy(of course)are the issues of interest,lets not mix what doesnt mix anyway.Pina Colada and Rum,yes!Margaritas and Tequila.no!Clear now????

    June 14, 2011 at 9:47 am | Report abuse |
  3. AJDR

    Definitely the ignorance of a person makes one laugh. Puerto Rico is one of the U.S. territories from the Spanish-Cuban-American war. We Puerto Ricans took part in the First World War, the Second, Korea war, Vietnam, or in all wars the U.S. was involved. We pay federal and state taxes. Puertoricans have U.S. citizenship, so We Are Considered Americans. Another thing, we are not criminals and do not have the high rate of people infected with HIV. Before speaking, please read the history of our country, if their schools require them to know the history of Puerto Rico. At least in Puerto Rico will require you to learn the historicity. Peace and long live the next state 51

    June 14, 2011 at 9:48 am | Report abuse |
  4. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    I'm trying to think of Puerto Ricans I know who do or don't work.
    I know, from islands, hard workers from Cuba, Jamaica, Barbados, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic.

    June 14, 2011 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
    • BRD812

      well with your knowledge you are probably confusing them with PRicans 😉

      June 14, 2011 at 9:54 am | Report abuse |
  5. Joe Moore

    Obama is looking for a retirement home in Puerto Rico, because he will be fired next year.

    June 14, 2011 at 10:01 am | Report abuse |
  6. banasy

    Well said.

    June 14, 2011 at 10:56 am | Report abuse |
  7. gung hoe

    I knew it i said it yesterday when i seen mrs obama in hollywood that he would be off on his own little vacation tomcattin around and sure enough read today off to puerta rico way to go barry

    June 14, 2011 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
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