SHANGHAI (Reuters) – A two-day strike over rising fuel prices turned violent in Shanghai on Thursday as thousands of truck drivers clashed with police, drivers said, in the latest example of simmering discontent over inflation.
About 2,000 truck drivers battled baton-wielding police at an intersection near Waigaoqiao port, Shanghai’s biggest, two drivers who were at the protest told Reuters.
A year ago, I was part of the Reuters team that covered Haiti’s massive earthquake, which claimed some 250,000 lives, and left a million people living in makeshift camps. This year, I was part of the team that covered another natural disaster– the March 11 earthquake and tsunami that devastated Japan’s northern coast and brought on a nuclear crisis.
The two events were very different. They occurred on opposite sides of the globe, in completely different countries, in different cultural contexts. Haiti is the poorest country in the western hemisphere, with a turbulent political history. On the other hand, Japan is one of the richest and most modern countries in the world– the third largest economy and, actually, one of the first to send help to Haiti.
VENICE, Louisiana (Reuters) – A massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico washed up to wildlife refuges and seafood grounds on the Louisiana coast on Friday, as authorities struggled to avert what could become one of the worst U.S. ecological disasters.
With leading edges of the huge slick lapping up to outlying marshes and waterways on the fringes of the Mississippi Delta, the U.S. Coast Guard prepared protective booms along the coast in Louisiana and other at-risk states in a desperate bid to prevent oil from soiling the shore.
In the weeks since I arrived in Port-au-Prince to cover the earthquake, the streets have been cleared of debris and thousands of bodies have been removed from the rubble. But in many ways, the changes seem incremental.
In Cite Soleil a small improvised camp looks a lot the same, only it’s grown in size. Thousands of families continue living under blue plastic tarps, and they receive food from aid groups fighting against time as the rainy season approaches. When I left, on March 1, the food distribution at least was much more organized, watched over by American soldiers. The food just goes to women now, in an attempt to get aid to nuclear families instead of those who shove the hardest.
PORT-AU-PRINCE (Reuters) – U.S. Black Hawk helicopters landed American paratroopers at the wrecked presidential palace in the heart of earthquake-shattered Port-au-Prince on Tuesday in a show of military force supporting a massive multinational relief operation.
It was one of the most visible and potentially sensitive deployments in Haiti so far by the U.S. military, which is spearheading international aid efforts to assist millions of Haitians left injured or homeless by the devastating earthquake a week ago.
, Jan 7 (Reuters) – An offline Florida
power plant is providing a warm-water refuge for several
hundred manatees who like the Sunshine State’s human residents
are shivering in record low cold temperatures.
Close to 400 of the bulky, wrinkly and endangered sea
mammals, including mothers and young, have congregated at an
outlet on Florida’s Intracoastal Waterway where heated water
flows from the Riviera Power Plant operated by the Florida
Power and Light Company, a unit of the FPL Group Inc <FPL.N>.
Click here or on any of the pictures below to launch an audio slideshow.******A Florida tent city for hundreds of homeless people lies at the end of a dead-end street, but residents say they have not given up hope of a better life despite the U.S. economic downturn.************The Pinellas Hope camp, 250 single-person tents in neat rows on land owned by the Catholic Diocese of St. Petersburg in a wooded area north of the city, has room for about 270 and has been filled to capacity since it opened two years ago.************”I could open the gates and have over 500 people,” said Sheila Lopez, the chief operating officer for Catholic Charities at the St. Petersburg diocese.******The camp has a food hall, bathrooms and showers, a laundry room and a few computers for residents to look for jobs and prepare resumes.************”This is a great place to be. It gives us a great opportunity,” said Alex, a resident who declined to give his last name. “We have a safe place to live. It sure beats sleeping on the street.”******The number of homeless people in the United States, one of the wealthiest countries in the world, is difficult to pin down, advocacy groups say, because most people are homeless for only a short period of time.************The National Alliance to End Homelessness estimates about 675,000 people are homeless on any given night during a one-month period. Between 2.5 million and 3.5 million Americans experience homelessness for at least one night in a year.******The alliance said it expects more than 1 million people to become homeless as a result of the current recession.