Tropical Storm Gabrielle was downgraded to a tropical depression Thursday morning, but still was expected to drop a fair amount of rain on Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, forecasters said.
Gabrielle is expected to dump up to 4 inches of rain in parts of Puerto Rico and up to 8 inches in other places, the National Hurricane Center in Miami said.
"These rains could cause dangerous flash floods and mudslides over mountainous terrain," the center said.FULL STORY
Hundreds of federal and state agents were conducting sweeps of Puerto Rico's main airport Wednesday in an anti-drug trafficking operation, officials said.
In addition, there were raids in the commonwealth's capital, San Juan, said Laila Rico, a spokeswoman for the Drug Enforcement Administration.
Puerto Rico Gov. Luis Fortuno told CNN en EspaÃ±ol that 42 arrest warrants have been issued, not all of them in Puerto Rico. He said some arrests would be made in the mainland United States.
The raid was taking place at Luis Munoz Marin International Airport, just outside San Juan.
Related indictments, expected to be unsealed Wednesday, deal with the use of the main airport and other airports to traffic drugs, Fortuno said.FULL STORY
More than 600 officers from the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Administration and local police departments conducted a raid on the largest public housing complex in Puerto Rico Thursday in an operation against its biggest drug gang.
Arrest warrants were issued for 82 members of the Calle Cuatro, or Fourth Street, gang, who are blamed for 25 murders on the island.
According to officials, 43 alleged gang members had been arrested by Thursday afternoon.
A federal indictment says the 82 suspects are wanted on drug charges, weapon charges, or both.FULL STORY
Puerto Rico's police department has a long pattern of violating citizens' constitutional rights through excessive force and unwarranted searches, the Justice Department said in a report released Thursday.
The analysis by the department's civil rights division found that the U.S. territory's police force is "broken in a number of critical and fundamental respects."
Bucking the trend of decreasing crime in the United States, violent crime in Puerto Rico increased 17% between 2007 and 2009. The territory has also seen a number of large protests in past years over issues such as the cost of public education and job cuts.
Police confronted these challenges with too heavy a hand, the report states.FULL STORY
President Barack Obama made a rare presidential visit to Puerto Rico on Tuesday, greeting a cheering crowd to start a five-hour 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 come 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.
However, high unemployment and crime rates back in Puerto Rico, as well as the continuing debate over possible U.S. statehood or independence for the island, adds uncertainty to Puerto Rican political support.
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.
Rosa noted that in Florida, Puerto Ricans from the island have boosted the Hispanic population in Orlando and central regions.FULL STORY
Legal action -Â Friday will be a busy day for court proceedings.
AÂ jury will begin deliberations in the DUI manslaughter trial of former major-league baseball player Jim Leyritz in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
A former Georgia sheriff's deputy convicted of two murders will be sentenced.Â A jury this month found Derrick Yancey guilty of murdering his wife and a day laborer. Yancey was arrested last year in Belize, where he had fled after escaping house arrest.
Also in Georgia, Senior U.S. District Judge Jack Camp Jr., charged with purchasing illegal drugs and passing them on to a stripper, is expected to plead guilty Friday in federal court in Atlanta. Camp, 67, is accused of buying cocaine, marijuana and prescription painkillers and giving them to an exotic dancer he met last spring.