No room in the cemetery for Haiti dead
Last home of country’s most famous families turns from place of respect and mourning into installation of horror
Ed Pilkington in Port-au-Prince
Even in death, there is no dignity for the abandoned people of Haiti. The Grand Cimetière, the last home of the country’s most famous families, has in five days turned from a place of respect and mourning into an installation of horror.
It begins just a few feet into the cemetery. Pass the elegant arched entrance and walk along the central path that snakes through the tombs lined on either side like miniature suburban houses. First you are assailed by the smell, an acrid odour of death that wrenches the stomach and sticks to you like glue.
The smell is bad, but the sights are worse. Far worse. Bodies are piled up along the path, dumped one upon the other. A couple of chickens are pecking at them like corn. One of them, a woman with braided hair perhaps in her 30s, has her hands in a rigor mortis embrace, as though she had been trying to cling on to life and never let it go.
Kraft takeover bid of Cadbury leaves bitter taste in Britain
Would the U.S. conglomerate turn the English treat into ‘revolting American chocolate’? ‘I would be devastated,’ one London resident says.
By Henry Chu
January 18, 2010
Reporting from Bournville, England – It’s not just chocolate but memories that are made in this genteel company town founded when Victoria reigned.
Take the Cadbury Flake, which for many Brits conjures up childhood images of an afternoon at the seaside, with a flaky spear of chocolate stuck into a dripping vanilla cone.
Or Cadbury Creme Eggs, so rich and gooey they make your teeth hurt, now as much an Easter tradition in Britain as bonnets, bunnies and ham.
Intended to Rein in Lobbyists, Law Sends Them Underground
By DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK
Published: January 17, 2010
WASHINGTON – Ellen Miller, co-founder of the Sunlight Foundation, has spent years arguing for rules to force more disclosure of how lobbyists and private interests shape public policy. Until recently, she herself registered as a lobbyist, too, publicly reporting her role in the group’s advocacy of even more reporting. Not anymore.
In light of strict new regulations imposed by Congress over the last two years, Ms. Miller joined a wave of policy advocates who are choosing not to declare themselves as lobbyists.
“I have never spent much time on Capitol Hill,” Ms. Miller said, explaining that she only supervises those who press lawmakers directly. “I am not lobbying, so why fill out the forms?
His health-care agenda at risk, Obama stumps in Massachusetts
By Paul Kane and Karl Vick
Monday, January 18, 2010
BOSTON — President Obama made a last-ditch effort Sunday to resurrect the candidacy of a struggling Democrat who could provide him a critical Senate vote, returning to the city that launched him onto the national stage in 2004, this time to preserve his ambitious agenda.
Obama urged Massachusetts voters to send state Attorney General Martha Coakley to the U.S. Senate to succeed the late Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) in a surprisingly close race that has taken on national implications both legislatively and politically. An upset victory on Tuesday by state Sen. Scott Brown (R), who was an afterthought a month ago in this Democratic-dominated state, would give Senate Republicans 41 votes, enough potentially to scuttle the sweeping health-care legislation that is the president’s top domestic agenda priority.
Yanukovich fails to knock out Tymoshenko, Ukraine polls show
Despite lagging behind her rival in the first round, the prime minister seems set to be the country’s first female president
Luke Harding in Kiev
guardian.co.uk, Monday 18 January 2010
Ukraine’s prime minister, Yulia Tymoshenko, last night appeared to have forced a runoff in the race to become the country’s new president, closing the gap on her chief rival, Viktor Yanukovich, enough to ensure that the pair will have to face each other again in a deciding vote next month.
Exit polls showed Yanukovich winning the most votes in yesterday’s presidential election, but analysts expect Tymoshenko to pick up a higher proportion of second round votes from defeated candidates. They say Yanukovich may struggle to extend his appeal beyond his support base in Russian-speaking eastern Ukraine.ne.
Can India find true liberation?
The economic miracle is transforming life on the subcontinent – and challenging established mores. Krishnan Guru-Murthy sees a nation searching for a new identity
Monday, 18 January 2010
In a city of 14 million people, it shouldn’t be hard to find a gay man in Delhi. Statistically there must be around a million of them, but they don’t exactly stand out.
A few websites list the “popular” cruising spots, but without the most culturally sensitive gaydar it is hard to tell who might be looking for fun and who most certainly isn’t. Ever the team player, I send a colleague and his Indian fixer to stroll around Nehru Park trying to look both furtive and appealing, but nobody seems to be biting. Three supposed cruising spots later, and everyone is a little bit grumpy. In an Indian Winter of the kind Channel 4 is exploring this month it is certainly pretty cold right now, so has this deterred the thrill-seekers, we wonder?
Wave of suicide bombers storms Kabul
From Times Online
January 18, 2010
A massive gun battle erupted in Kabul this morning as suicide squads stormed a series of government buildings close to the presidential palace.
The Taleban claimed 20 suicide bombers had infiltrated the city.
Afghan officials said at least three people were killed and dozens more injured as fighting raged through the morning.
Eyewitnesses reported at least three large explosions close to Afghanistan’s National Bank, which backs on to President.
Karzai’s heavily fortified compound, close the city’s five star Serena Hotel.
The Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of Justice and the Serena Hotel were also targets, onlookers said.
A Taleban spokesman said insurgents were also planning to attack the Ministry of Mines and the Ministry of Finance and the hotel, which are all situated in the same area of the city
Chemical Ali sentenced to hang for Halabja massacre
From The Times
January 18, 2010
Oliver August in Baghdad
It was his fourth death sentence but yesterday the man known as Chemical Ali was finally found guilty of the crime that gave him his nickname.
Ali Hassan al-Majid, a cousin of Saddam Hussein, was condemned to hang for ordering the poison gas attack on the Kurdish town of Halabja that killed more than 5,000 people, including many women and children. The attack is believed to be the single biggest deliberate gassing of civilians since the Second World War.
Al-Majid now has capital sentences for crimes committed as Saddam’s Defence Minister, Interior Minister, intelligence chief and governorof occupied Kuwait
Islamic games cancelled in Arab-Iran row over Persian Gulf name
The Islamic Solidarity Games, designed to strengthen ties among Muslim nations, have been cancelled after a dispute between Arab countries and Iran over the name of the waterway dividing them.
The Saudi-based Islamic Solidarity Games Federation says they cancelled the sporting event, which were meant to be held in Tehran in the spring, after Iran put “Persian Gulf” on the logo.
Arabs call the waterway the Arabian Gulf and many were offended by references to its other common name.
Chile, once Latin America’s economic model, now overtaken by Brazil
Conservative tycoon Sebastian Piñera won the second round of Chile’s presidential election on Sunday in part due to voter faith that he can revive the economy. Meanwhile, Brazil’s economy is booming.
By Sara Miller Llana Staff writer / January 17, 2010
Santiago, Chile; and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
For two decades, Chile was the “teacher’s pet” of Latin America, the student who always brought home straight A’s.
Economists gushed that the Andean country’s commitment to free-market policies and democratic reform made it a model for the developing world. And as Chileans enjoyed the trappings of a sustained average growth rate of more than 5 percent per year, poverty plummeted from 40 percent to 13.7 percent. But in the past year, Chile’s gold star has gone to its hulking neighbor to the east, Brazil.
The agricultural juggernaut just won its bid to host the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics; it discovered vast oil deposits that could turn it into a major oil exporter; it was one of the last countries to be pulled into the global economic crisis and one of the first to pull out.