Bureau Chief, Southeastern U.S. and Caribbean
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Oct 2, 2010

Haiti taps Prince Charles charity for city makeover

PORT-AU-PRINCE (Reuters) – Haiti has asked an architectural planning charity founded by Britain’s Prince Charles to help guide the rebuilding and makeover of the earthquake-devastated historic center of Port-au-Prince.

The Center Ville area of the capital, the commercial and administrative heart of the Caribbean nation, was one of the worst hit by the catastrophic January 12 quake, which turned many of its shops and landmark buildings to rubble.

Oct 1, 2010

Post-quake Haiti needs ‘more, better’ funding – PM

PORT-AU-PRINCE (Reuters) – Haiti needs “more, better, different” assistance from the world, including significant private investment, if it is to have any hope of developing beyond the humanitarian crisis caused by the Jan. 12 earthquake, the country’s prime minister said on Thursday.

Jean-Max Bellerive told Reuters that aid pledged so far by foreign governments and institutions would not be enough to meet the enormous challenges facing the crippled Caribbean state after the catastrophic natural disaster that killed up to 300,000 people and made some 1.3 million more homeless.

Sep 30, 2010

Haiti must use election to lever out of aid trap – U.N.

PORT-AU-PRINCE (Reuters) – Haitians should seize U.N.-backed elections in November as an opportunity to build a better nation from the ruins of this year’s earthquake by taking charge of future development and shedding years of aid dependency, the top U.N. official in Haiti said.

Edmond Mulet said the Nov. 28 presidential and legislative polls to be held 10 months after the massive Jan. 12 earthquake would be a chance for Haiti to shake off its identity as a weak, unstable, poverty-ridden “Republic of NGOs” dominated by foreign aid organizations.

Sep 29, 2010

Haiti quake homeless at risk, shelter crisis drags

PORT-AU-PRINCE (Reuters) – Haitian mother Louise Estela Nacius and her five children have lost their home twice in less than a year.

The first time was in January when a devastating earthquake toppled their house along with those of at least 1.5 million others in the overcrowded capital Port-au-Prince.

Sep 21, 2010

Igor brushes Canada, hurricane season stays active

MIAMI, Sept 21 (Reuters) – Hurricane Igor battered Canada’s
easternmost province of Newfoundland on Tuesday as it raced
north and Tropical Storm Lisa idled in the far east Atlantic,
while forecasters focused on the chance of a dangerous new
storm brewing in the Caribbean.

Igor buffeted southeastern Newfoundland with wind, waves
and rain as it passed, turning into a post-tropical cyclone.

Sep 21, 2010

One more major 2010 Atlantic hurricane expected: WSI

MIAMI (Reuters) – The Atlantic region can expect one more major hurricane this autumn and the northeast U.S. coast still faces double the average risk of getting hit, Weather Services International (WSI) said on Tuesday.

The Massachusetts-based private forecaster predicted the six-month Atlantic-Caribbean storm season that ends November 30 would see a total of six “major” hurricanes with winds of at least 111 miles per hour — one more than it envisaged in its August forecast.

Sep 14, 2010

U.S. says contractor case hinders Cuba dialogue moves

MIAMI (Reuters) – Cuba’s continued detention of a U.S. contractor held since December on suspicion of espionage and subversion is impeding moves by Washington to improve ties with the communist-ruled island, a senior U.S. official said on Tuesday.

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for the Western Hemisphere Arturo Valenzuela repeated a call for Cuba to free Alan Gross, 60, who worked for a Washington-area company contracted under a U.S.-funded program to promote democracy in Cuba. He was arrested at Havana airport in early December.

Sep 14, 2010

Basel can help Latam avert boom-bust cycles – W.Bank

MIAMI (Reuters) – New bank capital rules agreed by global regulators are positive for Latin America, where governments like banks need to better prepare for future downturns that may follow the current commodities-led economic recovery, a senior World Bank economist said on Monday.

Augusto de la Torre, chief economist for Latin America and the Caribbean, said the Basel III requirements agreed on Sunday were “good for Latin America” because they sought the same kind of prudent long-term safety provisions for banks that could also be applied by governments in their economic policies.

Sep 9, 2010

Q&A: U.S. “tolerance for intolerance” protects Koran-burner

MIAMI (Reuters) – As international outrage, anger and protests grow over the planned burning of copies of the Koran by an obscure Florida pastor, an uncomprehending world may be asking why U.S. authorities do not halt the damaging event.

The answer lies in the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment, one of the sacrosanct tenets of America’s Bill of Rights, that jealously guards freedom of expression, assembly and religion. It is considered a bedrock of personal freedoms enshrined in the United States’ historic democracy.

Sep 7, 2010

Pressure mounts in U.S. against Koran-burning plan

MIAMI (Reuters) – Civil and military leaders stepped up calls on Tuesday for an obscure U.S. pastor to drop his plans to burn copies of the Koran on the anniversary of the September 11 attacks, as fears grew it would fan religious hatred.

Pastor Terry Jones of the small Gainesville, Florida-based Dove World Outreach Center church, which has announced the Koran-burning for Saturday, said he was praying about the event but showed no immediate signs of backing down from his plan.

    • About Pascal

      "I am based in Miami, heading the editorial reporting team covering the southeastern United States and the Caribbean. This includes Cuba and Haiti and we are also in charge of covering the annual Atlantic hurricane season and Space missions from Cape Canaveral. Previously, I was Chief Correspondent for West and Central Africa, and chief correspondent, Venezuela, following earlier postings in Cuba, Brazil, southern Africa, Portugal and Spain."
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