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$140K of Ebola Supplies Sit Unused in Sierra Leone

Party politics may be preventing access to shipment

(Newser) - A shipping container full of much-needed supplies to fight Ebola arrived in Sierra Leone almost two months ago—and it's still sitting on the docks, the New York Times reports. In a period that has seen hundreds die, some $140,000 worth of protective gear, mattresses, and stretchers has... More »

Gazans Blame Hamas for Economic Woes

Party shares blame with Israel for sky-high unemployment

(Newser) - As joblessness mounts in the beleaguered Gaza Strip, more and more residents are blaming the ruling Hamas party for their woes, GlobalPost reports. Although Gaza has one of the fastest population growth rates on earth, 45% of people have no job and 85% depend on aid to get by. And... More »

Thawing Relations: South Korea Sending Aid to North

5,000 tons of rice, cement to be shipped

(Newser) - South Korea will send $8.5 million in aid to flood-ravaged North Korea in a sign of warming relations, NPR reports. The 5,000-ton shipment of rice and cement represents the South’s first major aid shipment to its neighbor after an alleged torpedo attack from the North in March... More »

Officials May Have Smuggled US Aid Out of Afghanistan

More than $3 billion flown out of Kabul Airport

(Newser) - US investigators suspect that high-ranking Afghan officials are smuggling US aid money out of the country and putting it in financial safe havens abroad. More than $3 billion in cash has been flown out of Kabul International Airport in the past three years, the Wall Street Journal reports, and though... More »

New Game Lets You 'Hurl Berl' Into the Air

It's harder than it looks

(Newser) - From his dalliances with women to his "tan" Obama jokes , Silvio Berlusconi has done a lot of things that might make you want to throw him far, far away. But Bono (yep, that Bono) is most angry at Italy's poor record on delivering pledged aid to Africa—and he... More »

Haiti Aid Piles Up at Bottlenecks as Unrest Grows

Medicine, bandages, food stuck at port, airport, warehouses

(Newser) - Massive amounts of aid are arriving in Haiti only to hit bottlenecks at the Port-au-Prince airport, the port or warehouses, where medicine, bandages, and other desperately needed supplies are piling up. Clogged roads, a crippled government, and outbreaks of violence mean that the aid flowing into Haiti is reaching earthquake... More »

King Sends Wives on Spree While Africans Starve

(Newser) - Swaziland King Mswati III sent several of his 13 wives on a multi-million-dollar shopping spree in the Mideast and Europe while two-thirds of his subjects continue to suffer in abject poverty, reports the Times of London. The move has triggered sharp criticism in Britain, which provides the impoverished nation with... More »

US Aims to Help Zimbabwe, Not Mugabe

Obama set to meet with Tsvangirai today

(Newser) - With Zimbabwe’s prime minister visiting President Obama today, the key question is how the West can help Morgan Tsvangirai without boosting Robert Mugabe. Under the government's power-sharing agreement, the president retains control of the police, justice system, spy service, and media, writes Celia Dugger in the New York Times.... More »

New Reactors Could Boost Pakistan's Nuclear Arsenal

US hasn't fought massive project amid national turmoil

(Newser) - Pakistan is building two of the largest plutonium-producing reactors in the developing world—facilities that experts say could bolster the nuclear arsenal of a country fraught with turmoil. The US hasn’t publicly condemned the project, MSNBC reports, even though it makes Pakistan “the only country rapidly building up... More »

Bono: 'It's Not Charity, It's Justice'

Singer-turned-activists says Easter is time to reflect on priorities

(Newser) - Bono returns to his New York Times guest columnist spot a week after Easter with a spiritual meditation about the holiday and economics. The season of Lent is not just a time for individual reflection, opines the singer, but also for rethinking our social priorities. Of global projects like the... More »

UK Paid for Truck That Killed Tsvangirai's Wife

Party plans independent investigation into crash

(Newser) - The truck that killed the wife of Zimbabwe's prime minister was funded by Britain and registered with US officials in Harare, the Times of London reports. The driver, who said he had dozed off, was transporting anti-HIV drugs when he crashed into a vehicle carrying Morgan Tsvangirai and his wife.... More »

UN Asks Davos for $613M in Gaza Aid

Funds would provide immediate aid, more money needed for long-term

(Newser) - The UN asked attendees at the Davos economic forum for $613 million to address “massive and multi-faceted” needs resulting from recent violence in Gaza, the BBC reports. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon says the funds will provide medical care and clean water for 6-9 months. As fresh violence heightened the need... More »

Israel Grants 3-Hour Reprieve

Mulls international ceasefire

(Newser) - Israel's military paused its Gaza offensive for three hours today to allow food and fuel to reach besieged Palestinians, and the country's leaders debated whether to accept an international ceasefire plan or expand the assault against Hamas. More than 500 aid trucks have entered Gaza since operations began, but military... More »

India Struggles to Save Millions in Flood

Villagers turning desperate, living on uncooked rice and polluted water

(Newser) - Rescue helicopters are trying to save villagers in India after a dam flooded thousands of towns this month, killing 85, displacing 2 million, and wrecking a quarter-million acres of farmland, the Daily Telegraph reports. Torrential rain kept helicopters grounded for most of yesterday as one boat capsized, killing 20. “... More »

Casino Panel Snagged Aid Intended for Katrina Victims

FEMA sat on donated goods for 2 years, then gave them to state agencies

(Newser) - Household goods donated to help Hurricane Katrina victims instead ended up in the hands of 11 state agencies, including a gaming commission, CNN reports. FEMA stored 121 truckloads of items two years before handing them over to agencies like the Mississippi Gaming Commission. Leaders of groups helping Katrina victims were... More »

Burma Aid Delays Less Deadly Than Feared

Villagers tough it out through cyclone's aftermath

(Newser) - Delays in getting help to cyclone survivors in Burma's Irrawaddy Delta have not caused the catastrophe initially feared, according to aid workers. Hardy villagers have managed to survive on fish and coconuts, helped by aid from private Burmese citizens and monks, reports the New York Times. Expected massive outbreaks of... More »

Blocked US Ships Will Abandon Myanmar Aid

Junta refuses aid 15 times

(Newser) - US warships laden with aid for Burmese cyclone survivors will sail out of the region tomorrow still carrying their loads, Reuters reports. Burma's military junta has refused 15 requests to allow American forces to deliver aid supplies to the disaster zone, according to the admiral in charge of the operation. More »

Gates: Junta Aid Delays Killed Thousands

Defense Secretary slams 'deaf and dumb' Burmese rulers

(Newser) - Tens of thousands of Burmese have died because of their government's refusal to allow in foreign aid after Cyclone Nargis, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said yesterday. Gates accused the military leaders of being "deaf and dumb" to the plight of their people, Reuters reports. American ships in the region... More »

China-Taiwan Talks a Landmark

Summit, aimed to boost business, is highest-level contact since 1949

(Newser) - China's president met today with the leader of Taiwan's governing party, the BBC reports, in the highest-level talks between the two entities since the split in 1949. Wu Poh-hsiung is visiting China to discuss cooperation on transport and tourism, and pressed Hu Jintao for a greater global presence for the... More »

Thailand, UN Seek Aid Route as New Burma Storm Builds

Latest tropical storm likely to become a cylcone

(Newser) - Thailand and the United Nations are working to open a land route from northern Thailand into Burma to get desperately needed help to cyclone survivors, reports the Wall Street Journal. The frantic efforts to deliver aid quickly have been stepped up as the UN's weather center is warning that another... More »

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