Global News Journal

from Tales from the Trail:

Where’s an embattled leader to go?

February 8, 2011

Spa treatment or desert retreat?

With so many possible locations from which to choose and no worries about stretching the 401K, where's an embattled leader to settle in retirement? GERMANY/

from Tales from the Trail:

Washington flatfooted by return of Haiti’s “Baby Doc”

January 18, 2011

He departed Haiti in 1986 aboard a U.S. Air Force plane, winging to stage-managed exile after weeks of pressure from the Reagan administration.

Can export bans be challenged at the WTO?

August 12, 2010



Russian grain harvest

Russia’s ban on grain exports as a heat wave parches crops in the world’s third biggest wheat exporter has raised questions whether such export curbs break World Trade Organization rules. Russia is not a member of the WTO, and it remains to be seen how its new grain policy will affect its 17-year-old bid to join. But other grain exporters, such as Ukraine, which is also considering export curbs, are part of the global trade referee.

Haiti: The journalists behind the story

January 27, 2010

The story:  When a massive earthquake hit Haiti on January 12, Reuters journalists raced to the devastated capital of Port-au-Prince. While Reuters has no bureau in Haiti, we have established long-time freelancers to help on our coverage and we go on assignment there regularly for major stories. Logistics post-earthquake became a challenge as commercial flights into the city were canceled and some of our journalists made their way into the Dominican Republic’s Santo Domingo airport and then journeyed several hours by car to cross the border into Haiti.

Fishing for chili and hamburgers

January 27, 2010

PORT-AU-PRINCE –  Two Haitian men and a boy rowing in a small boat in the Port-au-Prince bay had a lucky catch on Tuesday.
QUAKE-HAITI/A U.S. Coast Guard boat ferrying passengers out to the USNS Comfort hospital ship stopped briefly to toss them Meals Ready-to-Eat, a bottle of sunblock and assorted energy bars.
“I think you got the cheeseburger and chili mac and cheese. Let me know how you like it,” shouted the boat’s commander. The Haitians seemed to speak no English but smiled broadly and waved in return as they rowed around to fish out the food floating on the water.
The high calorie meals are designed for to provide nutrition for military men and women who burn a lot of calories. The meals should last them at least two days, the commander said.
Their small boat was dwarfed by everything else in the water, especially the 890-foot-long, 60,000-ton Comfort.

Europe draws inspiration from U.S. Peace Corps

January 26, 2010
Carla Bruni, wife of French President Nicolas Sarkozy, talks to a Haitian orphan

Carla Bruni, wife of French President Nicolas Sarkozy, talks to a Haitian orphan

‘my office is my laptop’

January 24, 2010

girlEdwin Paraison, Haiti’s new Minister for Haitians Living Abroad, was working in his office on Tuesday, Jan. 12, when the walls started shaking and the building fell down. The doors were blocked, but he and his assistants escaped through broken windows as Haiti’s capital was torn apart by an earthquake feared to have killed as many as 200,000 people.
They then spent four hours working to free two colleagues trapped inside the ruined building. “The four of us, we got a pickup truck, and tied a rope, and used it to pull off the rubble,” the minister said.
Since then, Paraison has been working non-stop. As the man responsible for relations with Haitians living outside their country, Paraison, who is also an Anglican priest, has served as an essential conduit for information about friends and relatives for thousands and thousands of expatriates frantic for information about loved ones.
“All I was doing was helping people, helping people,” he said. “As a priest that is what I should have done.”
But like the other government ministers, who have been reduced to holding meetings on sidewalk, Paraison has been working without an office or even a desk. But he said he felt lucky because the Minister of Finance lost his son, and the Minister of Tourism lost his mother and father.
“My office is my laptop,” he said ruefully on Saturday, during a stop at a partially collapsed hotel in the capital, Port-au-Prince. “I came here because I heard that there is Internet here and it is free.”
Paraison said he started his job two months –- to the day -– before the quake struck, after 26 years living in the Dominican Republic, first within the church, later as Haiti’s consul general and finally as a consultant.
“The prime minister, who is a good friend, called me, and asked me to please take the position,” he said, adding that he has no regrets about the timing.
“All of us who are here are writing a new history, and I feel, as a result of the tragedy, the chaos, will be a new life for those who were saved by God,” he said. “And I feel a commitment to the reconstruction.”
Photo Credit: A young Haitian girl waits at a makeshift refugee camp as her country struggles to rebuild for a powerful earthquake believed to have killed 100,000 to 200,000 people.  Reuters/Eliana Aponte

Haiti and “the bad dream of newspaper headlines”

January 23, 2010

By Tom Brown

MIAMI – Since my return from Haiti, many have asked me what it was like that first week after its devastating earthquake. Here are but a few impressions:

Will EU ever move on from “soft touch” diplomacy?

January 21, 2010
Miguel Angel Moratinos (centre)

Miguel Angel Moratinos (centre)

Spain’s Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos recalled this week that it had been said of the previous U.S. administration that what American diplomacy needed was “regime change”. Europeans, meanwhile, he said, simply needed “a regime”.

Haiti’s plea: “We need help”

January 20, 2010

-This is a guest post from Rigoberto Giron, who is heading up CARE’s emergency response efforts in Haiti from CARE HQ in Atlanta. Any opinions expressed are his own.-