MIAMI (Reuters) – Cuban-American pop star Gloria Estefan asked President Barack Obama to work for the freedom of jailed dissidents in Cuba during a political fundraising event that seemed certain to anger the island’s communist rulers.
Estefan and her musical entrepreneur husband Emilio Estefan hosted a cocktail reception at their Miami home for Obama on Thursday evening, the first of two Democratic Party fundraisers he attended during a visit to Florida.
MIAMI, April 7 (Reuters) – The 2010 Atlantic hurricane
season will produce an above-average eight hurricanes, four of
them major, posing a heightened threat to the U.S. coastline,
the Colorado State University hurricane forecasting team
predicted on Wednesday.
In its second forecast in four months for the 2010 season,
the leading storm research team founded by hurricane forecast
pioneer William Gray said the six-month season beginning on
June 1 would likely see 15 named tropical storms.
MIAMI (Reuters) – Five more states are joining a Florida-led group of states in a lawsuit challenging President Barack Obama’s overhaul of the U.S. healthcare system, Florida’s attorney general said on Wednesday.
The joint lawsuit led by Florida and now grouping 18 states was filed on March 23 by mostly Republican attorney generals.
PORT-AU-PRINCE, March 30 (Reuters) – Earthquake-stricken
Haiti’s telecoms market could double in size in five years if a
donor-backed reconstruction effort successfully multiplies jobs
and wealth, an executive of the nation’s largest mobile phone
operator said on Tuesday.
Maarten Boute, CEO of Digicel Haiti, part of the Digicel
Group, said overseas investors would be closely watching a
conference of donors in New York on Wednesday that will commit
funds to Haiti’s recovery after the devastating Jan. 12 quake.
Dressed in white, shaking decorated gourd rattles and singing praises to “Olorum Papa” (God the Father), several hundred practitioners of Haiti’s voodoo religion held a public ceremony on Sunday to honor those killed in the January 12 earthquake.
PORT-AU-PRINCE (Reuters) – “Retou ala Vi. Ayiti Pap Peri” (Back to life, Haiti will not die) reads the banner in Creole stretched up beside a crowded camp of earthquake survivors in the heart of the wrecked capital Port-au-Prince.
Life, in the form of bustling pedestrians, chaotic traffic and teeming street markets, has indeed bounced back in the city after the devastating January 12 quake that killed maybe more than 300,000 and turned streets into jumbles of rubble.
LEOGANE, Haiti, March 26 (Reuters) – Laborers at Haiti’s
only working sugar mill, the Jean Leopold Dominique de
Darbonne, chew on sugar cane stalks to sustain themselves as
they prepare the factory for another grinding season.
But it is foreign imported sugar and rice, besides
dirt-poor subsistence farming, that sustains Haiti’s nearly 10
million population — an underdevelopment dilemma that has been
highlighted as the Caribbean nation struggles to rebuild after
the devastating earthquake in January.
PORT-AU-PRINCE (Reuters) – At Haiti’s famous Barbancourt rum factory, patches of grass and shrubs around the warehouses are burned black from where the aging golden liquor spilled from oak casks split by the January 12 earthquake.
Hundreds of liters (gallons) of premier rum, some aged up to 15 years, seeped into the parched soil from the toppled casks, and hundreds of thousands of dollars of potential export revenue for the Caribbean country’s oldest manufacturer evaporated into the humid tropical air.
PORT-AU-PRINCE (Reuters) – Former U.S. Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush will seek improved U.S. trade preferences for textile and apparel imports from Haiti to assist its recovery from the catastrophic January earthquake, Clinton said on Monday.
Clinton, named by the United Nations as coordinator of relief efforts for the quake-stricken Caribbean state, made the promise during a visit with Bush to Haiti to check on its long-term rebuilding needs following the January 12 quake.
MIAMI (Reuters) – Wachovia Bank has agreed to pay $160 million to settle U.S. charges that it failed to stop more than $100 million of Colombian and Mexican drug traffickers’ money being laundered through accounts at the bank, U.S. authorities said on Wednesday.
The deferred prosecution agreement announced in Miami, which included a $50 million fine to be paid to the U.S. Treasury, was the largest penalty ever imposed for a violation of the U.S. Bank Secrecy Act, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida Jeffrey H. Sloman told reporters.