PORT-AU-PRINCE (Reuters) – Angry crowds mobbed three food distribution sites in Haiti’s capital on Thursday, the latest handouts to turn chaotic as aid groups struggle to help the throngs left desperate and hungry by the catastrophic earthquake.
Several people fell and risked being trampled as a crowd rushed the grounds of the ruined Ministry of Culture, where Haitian police handed out bags of food from two trucks.
PORT-AU-PRINCE (Reuters) – Haiti appealed to foreign governments and charities on Wednesday to do more to help earthquake victims as rescuers pulled a teenage girl out of the rubble 15 days after her Port-au-Prince home collapsed around her.
The girl, named Darline and believed to be 16, was severely dehydrated and had a leg injury, French and Haitian rescuers said. “I don’t know how she happened to resist that long. It’s a miracle,” said rescue worker J.P. Malaganne.
PORT-AU-PRINCE (Reuters) – International charities pouring a jumble of aid into Haiti must work better together to reach and help survivors of the catastrophic earthquake, President Rene Preval said on Wednesday.
Preval also said Haiti would indefinitely postpone February 28 parliamentary elections and that he would not seek to stay in office after his term expires in February 2011.
PORT-AU-PRINCE (Reuters) – Doctors on the U.S. Navy’s hospital ship Comfort are fighting gangrenous infections in broken limbs as they try to save the lives, if not the arms and legs, of Haiti’s earthquake victims.
“Originally we were seeing primarily a lot of orthopedic injuries now we’re starting to see those injuries and wounds are infected,” Commander Mark Marino, head of nursing on the USNS Comfort, said on a tour of the ship as it was anchored off the coast of Port-au-Prince.
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.
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.
Photo Credit: Reuters/Eliana Aponte (Boaters near the USNS Comfort off the coast of Haiti)
PORT-AU-PRINCE (Reuters) – An international task force hoped to repair the main seaport in Haiti’s quake-stricken capital enough to handle 700 shipping containers a day by mid-February, the group’s leader said on Monday.
But meeting that target will depend on the delivery of equipment to supplement the damaged pier, U.S. Navy Admiral Sam Perez said in an interview at the port.
PORT-AU-PRINCE (Reuters) – “If you can’t fight you can’t get anything,” said a petite 19-year-old Haitian named Darling who missed the bags of rice and bottles of cooking oil handed out at a crowded earthquake survivors’ camp in Port-au-Prince.
She was one of some 15,000 survivors of the January 12 quake who lined up at a camp in the shattered Delmas neighborhood over the weekend to receive rice and cooking oil given by aid workers to every fourth person in the line.
PORT-AU-PRINCE (Reuters) – Haiti on Saturday mourned its earthquake dead and rescuers freed another survivor from the rubble, while victims struggled to find food and cash amid a slow-moving aid distribution operation.
Although the United Nations initially announced Haiti’s government had halted search and rescue operations, some rescue teams still combed rubble in the shattered capital, Port-au-Prince, 11 days after the catastrophic quake.
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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi hit back at protesters vocally disrupting healthcare reform meetings around the country, calling them “un-American” – and with that word ignited the ire of opposition Republicans.Pelosi and Democratic Majority Leader Steny Hoyer wrote in USA Today that there was an “ugly campaign” to misrepresent the healthcare overhaul legislation being written in Congress and stop public debate, which they said is “at the heart of our democracy.”Opponents have shouted down lawmakers at town meetings held to explain the healthcare ideas, calling the proposed government-run insurance program to compete with private insurers “socialism” – a fighting word in American politics. “Drowning out opposing views is simply un-American,” the Democrats wrote.The other side was quick to lob equally barbed words back. “Each public forum should give every participant the opportunity to express their views, but to label Americans who are expressing vocal opposition to the Democrats’ plan ‘un-American’ is outrageous and reprehensible,” said House Republican Leader John Boehner.Congress is on break for the month of August, during which time Democrats were to try to sell healthcare reform ideas to the public.In the first week of the summer recess, headlines have focused more on the raucous public meetings than on the healthcare legislation itself.Has the Democratic strategy to win public support for healthcare reform backfired?For more Reuters political news, click here.