Impoverished Haitians have long cut down trees to turn into charcoal. It's a good way to make a few gourdes, but nearly 90% of the country has been deforested, and last week the consequences were measured in bodies. The floods that devastated Haiti and the Dominican Republic, and killed by some estimates 2,000, were made worse in Haiti by the lack of roots to soak up rain and hold back sliding soil. Mud rushed down denuded mountains and engulfed entire towns like Mapou, near the Dominican border, where rescue workers fear as many as 1,000 people may have drowned or been buried alive. In Jimani, residents had to
With hurricane season only a few months off, relief organizations rushed to assist the poorest country in the western hemisphere. "A few months ago we couldn't move because of security," said Guy Gavreau of the U.N. World Food Program. "Now we can't move because the roads are destroyed." A minor earthquake that struck late Saturday caused little additional damage.
A Silenced Voice
SERBIA AND MONTENEGRO Gunmen shot dead Dusko Jovanovic, the controversial editor of Montenegro 's conservative daily Dan newspaper. Dan was frequently critical of the coalition government of Montenegrin Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic.
SAUDI ARABIA Security forces stormed a housing complex for expatriate oil workers in the eastern city of al-Khobar, where suspected Islamic militants took an estimated 50 hostages after going on a shooting rampage that left up to 16 people dead. The al-Qaeda linked al-Quds Brigade are reported to have claimed responsibility.
SOUTH AFRICA The opposition Democratic Alliance accused police commissioner Jackie Selebi of "grandstanding" in asserting that local police had arrested and deported several people linked to al-Qaeda just days before the April 14 national elections. Terrorism experts were at a loss as to why al-Qaeda would want to strike South Africa, which has fiercely criticized U.S. policy and is a strong supporter of a Palestinian state.
MALAWI Opposition parties filed legal challenges to the presidential elections after United Democratic Front leader Bingu wa Mutharika was declared the winner.
A New Suspect
PAKISTAN Security officials said that an al-Qaeda-linked militant thought to have helped organize the kidnapping and murder of U.S. journalist Daniel Pearl masterminded two failed assassination attempts against President Pervez Musharraf in December. Musharraf earlier announced that junior military personnel were involved in the attacks on him.
MEANWHILE IN BRUSSELS ...
Lost in Translation
The European Commission instructed staff to write shorter documents, as the arrival of 10 new member states taking the number of official languages from 11 to 20 threatened to overwhelm the translation service. Texts are to be limited to 15 pages, against the current average of 32. A similar order in 2001 failed to stanch the flow of verbiage.