November 8, 2008

School Buliding Collapses in Haiti

A school building in Haiti killed 75 people Friday in Pétionville, the New York Times reported.
At least 17 students were found crushed as crews continued to search for victims, said Mayor Claire Lydie Parent.
The hill-side school, Collège La Promesse Evangelique, may have had hundreds of students inside when it collapsed, officials said.
Although rescue crews worked hard into the night pulling people from the rubble, the effort was chaotic and disorganized.
Groups of greiving and screaming onlookers made the it difficult for United Nations peacekeepers, Red Cross workers and Haitian authorities to bring trucks and heavy equipment, the New York Times reported.
There are buildings throughout the country that are at risk of similar collapse because of shoddy construction and lax oversight, President Rene Preval of Haiti said.
Voluteers arrived with shovels, axes and water to help with the rescue effort.
Francene Moreau, the area police commissioner, said the preacher who runs the school could face criminal charges.

Source: New York Times

October 17, 2008

New York Journalist Killed During Civil Protest

Bradley Will, a journalist from New York City, was shot and killed by an anti-government protester during civil unrest in the state of Oaxaca two years ago, the Mexican authorities said Friday.
The protester, Juan Manuel Martínez, was arrested in Oaxaca on Thursday and accused of homicide, the reported. Another man, who was accused of protecting him as he fled, was also arrested, said Víctor Emilio Corzo Cabañas, a deputy federal attorney general.
The two men were members of a coalition of left-wing organizations, the Oaxaca People’s Popular Assembly, that was seeking to overcome the governor of Oaxaca, officials said.
His death, and the killing of three other people that day, prompted the president at the time, Vicente Fox, to send in the federal police to clear the streets, the New York Times reported.
The left-wing coalition said in a statement that Martínez and Cabañas were innocent and that they had been mistreated.

Source: New York Times

October 8, 2008

U.S. Government Debate Cuban Embargo after Hurricanes

The U.S. government has offered direct aid to help Cuba after Hurricane Ike and Gustav destroyed lands and property, the Washington Post reported.
For the first time in the 47-year history of the U.S. trade embargo against Cuba, the Bush administration offered to send an assessment team to the island and $100,000 in emergency funding for humanitarian groups after Hurricane Gustav.
The Cuban government dismissed the offer as too paltry to be serious, the Washington Post reported.
After Hurricane Ike, the administration raised its offer to $5 million, which U.S. officials called an unprecedented proposal of direct aid to the Cuban government.
The U.S. government attempted to supply Cuba with building materials , which included zinc roof sheeting, lumber, tools and wire, but the Cuban government has not responded.
Former President of Cuba, Fidel Castro, who handed official power to his brother Raul but remains highly influential, signaled that Cuba should reject U.S. aid.
"Our country cannot accept a donation from the government that blockades us," Castro wrote in Granma, the Communist Party's daily newspaper.
Russia, Spain, and Brazil have contributed to the aid of Cuba by providing supplies and food.

Source: Washington Post

October 5, 2008

Boy Breaks into Zoo, Feeds Animals to Crocodile

SYDNEY, Australia- A 7-year-old boy broke into a popular Outback zoo Wednesday, fed several
animals to the resident crocodile and smashed several lizards to death with a rock, the zoo's director said.
The boy, whose name was not released because of his age, was caught on the zoo’s security camera jumping a security fence at the Alice Springs Reptile Center in central Australia, said zoo director Rex Neindorf.
The child bashed three lizards to death with a rock then fed them to ''Terry,'' an 11-foot, 440 pound saltwater crocodile, said Neindorf. He also fed several other animals by throwing them over the crocodile enclosure, the Chicago-SunTimes reported.
13 animals worth around $5,500 had been killed. “Although none were considered rare, some are difficult to
replace,? Neindorf said.
Alice Springs police said they are unable to press charges against the boy because of his age.
Children under age 10 can't be charged with criminal offenses in the Northern Territory.
Neindorf said he plans to sue the boy's parents.

Sources: Associated Press, Chicago Sun-Times

September 24, 2008

Escaped Elephant Hit by Bus in Mexico

A five-ton elephant that escaped from a circus Tuesday in Mexico City died when it was struck by a bus on a busy highway, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
Bus driver, Tomas Lopez, was killed and four passengers were hospitalized, state officials said.
Juan Sanchez, state police spokesman said, the elephant escaped from its cage at the Circo Union, but he declined further details.
“Officials are investigating,? Sanchez said.
News agency, Notimex, reported the elephant named Indra had escaped when the keeper arrived to feed it, the New York Times reported.
Indra knocked down a metal door and wandered through two neighborhoods before entering the highway.
The Sun-Times reported that last month a 500-pound lion escaped from a private zoo in southern Mexico, killing a few animals and attacking a woman and child before it was sedated and captured.

Sources: Chicago Sun-Times, New York Times, Associated Press

September 21, 2008

Sexually Rebellious Teens in Chile

Sexual rebellion is on the rise amongst teens 14-18 years old in Chile.
Although Chile is one of the most sexually conservative countries in South America teens are begining to strip off their shirts, reveal bras, tattoos and nipple rings at parties.
"Chile's youth are clearly having sex earlier and testing the borderlines with their sexual conduct," said Dr. Ramiro Molina, director of the University of Chile's Center for Adolescent Reproductive Medicine and Development, the Star Tribune reported.
The sexual experience is happening through 18-and-under discos, photo-sharing websites, and on-line social networks.
"There is much more of a rebellious spirit among the young people today," Michele Bravo, 17, at a recent afternoon party said." There is much more freedom to explore everything."

Sources: The Star Tribune

September 14, 2008

Explosions in India's Capital Kill Civilians

By Catherine Mayfield

Saturday a series of syncronized explosions hit five markets in India's capital New Delhi, the New York Times reported.
According to Indian officials, the bombings were the latest of a series of terrorist attacks in the cities across India.
"18 people had been killed. Scores were wounded — in one hospital alone, more than 50 casualties were wheeled in within two hours of the blasts," Shivraj Patil, India’s home minister, said.
Police and govenment officials said the attacks were an intent to cause panic, inflict civilians, and to inflame tensions between Hindus and Muslims.
The New York Times reported, in the past three years, mosques and temples have been attacked. The attacks on Saturday took place during Ramadan, the Muslim holy month.
Sunday, the Star Tribune reported that the casualties had risen to 21 deaths and 100 civilians wounded. Officials said that the group responsible for past attacks are responsible for the attack in the capital.
As in the previous attacks, the group sent a number of Indian media outlets an e-mail message just before the blasts Saturday evening warning that India was about to receive "the Message of Death," the Star Tribune reported.
City police spokesman Rajan Bhagat said, "We have collected vital clues and we hope to crack the case soon."

Sources: New York Times, Star Tribune