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Haiti Has Gone 20 Years Without an Army. No Longer

Critics are wary about soldiers, meant to respond to natural disasters, being politicized

(Newser) - After more than 20 years without an army, Haiti is recruiting for a new one. Disbanded in 1995 following a violent period of military rule, the army was afterward replaced by United Nations security forces. Those forces, however, are now preparing to leave Haiti in October. To fill the gap,... More »

White Sox Player Ate His Passport on a Plane

Jose Abreu testified he had to get rid of fake doc before landing in US

(Newser) - Some people snack on the peanuts offered on airline flights; Jose Abreu scarfs down beer and pieces of his passport. That's what the first baseman for the Chicago White Sox testified Wednesday in Miami at a trial for a baseball agent and a trainer accused of smuggling Cuban baseball... More »

Haiti After the Hurricane: Situation 'Catastrophic'

More than 100 are reported dead after Matthew barreled its way through

(Newser) - As Florida and the rest of the East Coast are bracing for Hurricane Matthew , Haiti is starting to dig out from the storm's devastation. Officials from the island nation reported Thursday that at least 108 are dead so far, with that number expected to rise and "catastrophic" damage... More »

Hurricane Matthew Is Even Scary by Satellite

Storm resembles skull in infrared satellite image

(Newser) - An ominous "face" spotted in an infrared satellite image of Hurricane Matthew isn't likely to calm fears as the storm heads toward the US . Noticed by a Weather Channel meteorologist, the gray shape, sort of like a skull—though others say it resembles the Grinch —appeared to... More »

Thousands of Haitians Are Dead; UN Admits It's Partly to Blame

A cholera outbreak has been ravaging the country since 2010

(Newser) - After six years, the UN has admitted it is at least partially responsible for the cholera outbreak ravaging Haiti, the New York Times reports. The epidemic started in 2010 near a base where UN peacekeepers from Nepal had just arrived. Nepal was experiencing an outbreak of cholera at the time,... More »

Meet the 'Repo Men' of the High Seas

They retrieve boats from around the world, often creatively

(Newser) - Around the world, thousands of boats and ships are stolen or improperly seized each year, and many become part of a "phantom fleet" of vessels used for illegal trafficking, piracy, and violating embargoes, reports the New York Times . Working at ports in places like Haiti, Trinidad, and Greece, Max... More »

Tennessee Missionary Murdered in Haiti

Unknown gunmen shot Roberta Edwards, kidnapped 4-year-old child with her

(Newser) - A Tennessee missionary known as "Mom" in the children's home she ran in Haiti was gunned down behind the wheel of her car Saturday night, and a child around the age of 4 with her was kidnapped, Haiti's National Police tell NBC News . Per witness and official... More »

The Head of Haiti's Voodoo Faith Is Dead

Max Beauvoir was known as the 'Supreme Servant'

(Newser) - The supreme leader of the National Confederation of Haitian Vodou—Haitians prefer "vodou" to "voodoo"—died on Saturday. Max-Gesner Beauvoir, 79, was a biochemical engineer educated in the US and France who became a vodou priest upon returning to his native country in the 1970s. Vodou expert... More »

Red Cross Built Just 6 Houses in Haiti After the Quake

New report reveals murky details of Red Cross projects

(Newser) - The American Red Cross raised nearly $500 million after Haiti's devastating 2010 earthquake, but what happened to the money? According to an NPR and Pro Publica report, the organization claims to have provided 130,000 people with homes but in fact built only six permanent homes. The Red Cross... More »

UN: Wreck Isn't Columbus Flagship

UNESCO wants to continue search for Santa Maria

(Newser) - The United Nations' cultural body is on the trail of Christopher Columbus' flagship—and it says the wreck that an expedition identified as the Santa Maria earlier this year is a different, much younger ship. As predicted by authorities in Haiti , UNESCO experts say there is "indisputable proof" that... More »

Mystery of Columbus Ship May Persist

Haiti officials don't think the Santa Maria has been found

(Newser) - An American explorer's claim to have found Christopher Columbus' flagship is just wishful thinking, says Haiti's culture minister. An initial analysis of the wreckage announced in May by Barry Clifford suggests that the ship he found off the coast is about 200 years younger than the Santa Maria,... More »

Historian Claims Santa Maria Never Shipwrecked

It was all part of a spy plot, says Manuel Rosa

(Newser) - Last month brought the news that the wreck of a ship that changed the course of history may have been found after more than 500 years: Barry Clifford announced that he believed he'd uncovered the wreck of Christopher Columbus' flagship, the Santa Maria, off Haiti. Now, a Portuguese-American historian... More »

Expedition: We've Found Columbus' Santa Maria

Flagship may be just off the coast of Haiti

(Newser) - Has the wreck of a ship that changed the course of history been found after more than 500 years? The leader of an expedition off the coast of Haiti believes he has uncovered the wreck of Christopher Columbus' flagship, the Santa Maria. "All the geographical, underwater topography, and archaeological... More »

Dozens Drown in Doomed Effort to Flee Haiti

Migrants' boat capsized in Bahamas

(Newser) - Up to 30 Haitian migrants died yesterday in a doomed attempt to get out of their desperately poor homeland. Coast Guard officials say a "grossly overloaded, unbalanced, unseaworthy" sailboat carrying around 150 migrants hit a reef and capsized near Staniel Cay in the Bahamas, the AP reports. The Bahamas... More »

Number of Slaves on the Planet: 30M

Victims in 162 countries; half are in India

(Newser) - Slavery continues to afflict almost 30 million people across the planet—in every one of 162 countries surveyed in a new report. India is home to 13.9 million slaves, by far the largest number; relative to population, however, Mauritania has the highest rate, with 4% of the population enslaved... More »

UN Sued Over Haiti Cholera Outbreak

Victims claim peacekeepers spread disease through bad sewerage system

(Newser) - It's cholera in the time of litigation: Haitian victims of the disease are filing a lawsuit against the UN, claiming peacekeepers are responsible for the outbreak that has killed more than 8,300 and sickened some 650,000 there since 2010. The Boston-based Institute for Justice and Democracy in... More »

21 Dead in Caribbean as Sandy Churns Toward US

East Coast braces for 'nor'easter on steroids'

(Newser) - Hurricane Sandy's death toll has reached 21 in the Caribbean as the storm hammered the Bahamas today, causing power outages and flooding. No deaths have been reported in the Bahamas, notes the AP . Last night, the storm weakened to category 1—where it should remain for a few days—... More »

Wyclef Jean's Charity Quietly Goes Bust

When last remaining employee quits

(Newser) - Wyclef Jean's ineffective and scandal-plagued charity Yéle quietly went belly up last month, after CEO Derek Johnson announced his resignation. "As the foundation's sole remaining employee, my decision implies the closure of the organization as a whole," he wrote. In its wake, the charity leaves... More »

World Habitat Day a Reminder of the Need for Shelter

Jimmy Carter urges everyone to take action

(Newser) - It's World Habitat Day, and in the Huffington Post Jimmy Carter urges you to take the time to "recognize the basic need for shelter" around the globe. In Haiti, for example, hundreds of thousands still live in tents and other makeshift shelters—almost three years after its 7.... More »

Isaac Could Become Hurricane Monday

Tampa still in the 'forecast cone'

(Newser) - Tropical Storm Isaac is on its way to Haiti and the Dominican Republic, but it's not as strong as expected —yet. By Monday, however, it could become a hurricane "somewhere over the Gulf of Mexico," a US forecaster tells the AP . Still, Republicans don't plan... More »

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