April 20, 2008

Palestinian militants attack Gaza crossing

The New York Times reported Sunday Palestinian suicide bombers drove three bomb-laden vehicles into the Kerem Shalom goods crossing on the border with Israel, detonating two cars, the Israeli military said.

Three bombers were killed in the blasts and 13 Israeli solders were wounded. Three soldiers are in moderate condition, while the others were injured lightly, the military said.

Hamas, who controls the Gaza Strip, claimed responsibility for the attack, which came on the eve of the weeklong Passover holiday in Israel. This was the fifth attack along the border in the past 10 days.

The attack on the Kerem Shalom terminal, where goods are transferred into the Gaza, appeared to be part of a campaign by Gaza militants against border crossings. Hamas officials have issued threats of explosions along Gaza’s borders with Israel and Egypt because Israel has limited the movement of people and goods out of Gaza, since Hamas took over power.

The Gaza’s border with Egypt is mostly closed, which means that the Gaza’s population of 1.5 million is reliant on goods allowed in from Israel. The military said about 200 trucks of essential food and medical supplies pass through Kerem Shalom each week.

Israel said that the border attack is Hamas’ plan on trying to create a humanitarian crisis in Gaza that would put international pressure on Israel.

In addition, former President Jimmy Carter was in Damascus with exiled Hamas leader to talk about a potential cease-fire and a prisoner exchange.

Hamas is holding an Isreali soldier, Cpl. Gilad Shalit, prisoner and wants the release of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners in Israel in exchange for the corporal. The United States and other international countries are angry with President Carter because they have marked Hamas as a terrorist organization.

The Los Angeles Times reported the attack occurred around 6 a.m. Saturday morning, an Israeli army spokeswoman said. Three vehicles approached the crossing, including two modified jeeps that looked like Israeli army vehicles and an armored personnel carrier, she added.

Mortar rounds came down and at least one jeep exploded near Israeli soldiers, the army spokeswoman said. Several men emerged from an armored vehicle and began to open fire, Maj. Avital Leibovich said.

“It could have been much worse,? Leibovich said. He went on to add that the soldiers’ rapid response and protection by Isreali armored vehicles helped prevent large numbers of casualties. (Los Angeles Times)

April 13, 2008

Nine die in Iran bombing

The New York Times reported Saturday a bomb went off in a mosque in the southern Iranian city of Shiraz, which killed nine people, according to Fars news agency.

Around 9 p.m. a bomb exploded at the Shohada mosque while the city’s Friday Prayer leader gave a talk about Wahhabi faith, a austere version of Sunni Islam and Bahaism. The religion is condemned by the Iranian government, the news agency reported.

Many were wounded and in critical condition after the bomb went off in the men’s section, the news agency added.

Bombings are rare in Iran because the government harshly punishes those involved in severe attacks. Iran is predominately a Shiite country and most bombings are done by Iranian Sunni militants.

The Los Angeles Times reported the blast damaged buildings a mile away and city hospitals were flooded with wounded civilians. No one had claimed responsibility for the attack, Iranian authorities said.

The area is known to have a mix of Sunni and Shiite Arabs and both have rebelled in the past. Between 2005 to 2006, Arab separatists set off about a dozen bombs, killing almost 26 people and injuring more than 200.

"There are numerous ethnic and/or religious minority groups within Iran and in neighboring countries with grievances against Iran's fundamentalist clergy," Karim Sadjadpour, an Iran expert at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington, said. "Whomever the true culprits, the authorities in Tehran will likely claim that they were acting in concert with the United States and Israel." (Los Angeles Times)

The blast is still under investigation, but authorities said the blast was not a bombing and did not give any other alternatives.

April 4, 2008

Iraqi Prime Minister suspends raids on militias

The Los Angeles Times reported Friday Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki said he would halt government raids on armed Shiite Muslim gangs in southern Iraq and Baghdad.

The announcement came a day after Maliki said he had intentions of carrying out operations in districts of Baghdad against Shiite cleric Muqtada Sadr’s Mahdi Army militia.

Last week, Maliki’s security forces fought against the Mahdi Army in the port city Basra, Iraq’s second-largest city. The fighting spread into Baghdad before Sadr told his fighters to cease the fighting.

As a result, at least 1,000 Iraqi soldiers deserted during the encounters, a senior U.S. military official said. In addition, more than half of the police force in Baghdad’s Sadr City and parts of Basra deserted their posts, a Western official said.

The senior U.S. military officer said he was relieved that Maliki decided to pause the fighting.

“Iraqis need to figure out a way to deal with it [the military problem], which means going in more slowly,? the senior U.S. military officer said. (Los Angeles Times)

The New York Times reported preachers loyal to Sadr urged their followers to march in Baghdad next week to protest the American presence in Iraq. Sadr called for a march on Wednesday, which is the fifth anniversary of the day American forces took the Iraqi capital.

“We want the occupier to leave our land; we should walk in crowds, and we must fill in the ground in order to show out refusal to everyone who tries to destroy our holy land,? Sattar al-Battat, a Sadrist preacher in eastern Baghdad, told worshippers. (New York Times)

Originally, the rally was planned to take place in Najaf, but was moved to Baghdad to allow for more people to take part in the protest, organizers said.

March 30, 2008

Rebel targets hit by Turkey in Iraq

Turkey’s military said Saturday that they killed 15 Kurdish rebel targets in northern Iraq in a two-day operation involving artillery and airstrikes, the Associated Press reported.

The military detected a group of Kurdish rebels were preparing for an attack against Turkish targets from their bases in Iraq, the military said.

Turkish airplanes hit their targets, but the casualty figures were unclear, a military statement said.

“Turkish jet fighters launched airstrikes against sites at the Zab border area with no casualties,? spokesman Haval Danas said. “The fighter jets have bombed old sites that witnessed fierce clashes before with Turkish army and nobody was there.? (AP)

The BBC reported the Turkish military attacked the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or the PKK, the party said. Up to 3,000 Kurdish rebels are believed to be in the PKK, the PKK said.

The Turkish military has been conducting airstrikes in northern Iraq, with the help of the U.S. intelligence, since December.

The PKK is recognized as a terrorist organization by the United States and the European Union, which Turkey is a part of.

March 29, 2008

Zimbabweans start to count votes

The BBC reported Saturday vote counting has begun in Zimbabwe after an election took place to see if President Robert Mugabe will win a sixth term in office.

Mugabe is going up against rivals Morgan Tsvangirai of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change Party and his former finance minister and independent Simba Makoni.

The MDC Party announced that early poll results showed that Tsvangirai had won, but did not give any figures.

“We have won this election,? Secretary General Tendai Biti said. “This trend is irreversible.? (BBC)

Full results, however, will not be announced for another day or two because the process was complicated this year, BBC Southern Africa correspondent Peter Biles said.

Across the country, voters were not allowed to cast votes because their names were not registered or they were trying to vote in the wrong ward.

In addition, some party leaders are afraid that the opposition will rig results or force illiterate voters to vote for a specific party.

The New York Times reported many Zimbabweans want to oust President Mugabe.

“People want him gone, finally gone, finally and forever gone,? Charles Musonza, an out-of-work tailor, said. “Zimbabwe has been ruined by Mugabe. There is no future if he wins.? (New York Times)

One problem facing Zimbabwe is an inflation rate of more than 100,000 percent, forcing people to carry heavy bricks of cash. A soft drink can cost around 30 million Zimbabwean dollars, a chicken $200 million and a tank of gas around $1.8 billion.

At a news conference Thursday, the two opposition candidates to Mugabe said they are concerned of what they call ghost voters. These are voters that they say vote for Mugabe even though they are deceased.

Mugabe, though, has denied the allegations and said he does not rig elections.

In order to win the presidency, a candidate must receive a majority vote. If that does not transpire, the top two vote-getters meet in a runoff three weeks from now.

March 16, 2008

New terminal opens at Heathrow

The New York Times reported Friday a new terminal opened at Heathrow Airport in London in order to help ease congestion at the airport.

The BAA, the airport operator, said the fifth terminal will have faster check-in and security will be more efficient. In addition, there will be 112 retail outlets in the terminal. All this, to help ease traffic in one of the worlds most congested airports.

A crowd of hundreds was present at the inauguration, including dignitaries and construction workers. Queen Elizabeth II announced the new terminal that has a 130-foot-high, 1,300-foot-long main building.

The terminal cost about $8.7 million and will be used mainly by British Airways. The airline is known for losing passengers’ luggage. British Airways loses an average of 26.5 bags per 1,000 passengers, while other airlines lose on average 16.6 bags.

The BBC reported the new terminal will help Heathrow compete with other large airports by allowing passengers more space to get around.

“Terminal 5 marks the start of a new beginning for Heathrow, for BAA and for our millions of passengers,? Sir Nigel Rudd, chairman of BAA, said. (BBC)

There will be 50 airport stands with an increase to 60 in 2010. In addition, there will be a new multi-story parking lot and two satellite buildings.

Terminal 5 will officially open to the public on March 27. The first terminal was opened in 1955 by the queen.

March 4, 2008

U.N. helicopter crash kills 12

The Associated Press reported Monday 12 people died in a United Nations helicopter crash in Nepal, officials said.

The helicopter crashed about 125 miles east of Katmandu after it had flown through some bad weather, U.N. officials said. The copter was returning to the capital from a Maoist cantonment site in Nepal’s eastern mountains.

The U.N. said there were only 10 people on board, but Modraj Dotel, an official with Nepal’s Home Ministry, said police rescuers found 12 charred bodies.

On board were four U.N. arms monitors from South Korea, Indonesia, Gambia and Sweden – three U.N. staff members from Nepal, and a three-member Russian crew.

The BBC reported it took police several hours to reach the crash-site on foot because it was inaccessible by road.

In addition, the bad weather cancelled other flights in the area.

The United Nations has been aiding Nepal’s peaces process since communists rebels joined mainstream politics in 2006. Since then, the communist combatants and weapons have been under the supervision of U.N. arms monitors.

March 2, 2008

Iranian leader visits Iraq

The Associated Press reported Sunday Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad visited Iraq to open friendly relations between the two countries.

Ahmadinejad became the first Iranian president to visit Iraq and wanted to improve the relations between the two countries after turbulent times they had with each other during the Saddam Hussein regime.

The Iranian leader met with Iraqi President Jalal Talabaniand discussed economic, political, security and oil issues, Talabani said. However, they did not dicuss border issues, including a dispute between the two nations about the Shatt al-Arab waterway.

“We had very good talks that were friendly and brotherly,? Ahmadinejad said in a news conference. “We have mutual understandings and views in all fields, and both sides plan to improve relations as much as possible.? (AP)

However, the U.S. has made accusations that Iran aids militants that contribute to Iraq’s instability. President Ahmadinejad denied these claims and said that he wants an independent and stable Iraq.

The New York Times reported during the news conference Ahmadinejad answered questions about U.S. President Bush’s statements on Iran.

“You can tell Mr. Bush that making accusations about other will increase the Americans’ problems in the region,? Ahmadinejad said. “They will have to accept the facts in the area. The Iraqi people do not like the Americans.? (New York Times)

Both countries are of Shiite majority and the two nations want to use this to begin a bond with one another. However, during the 1980s a bloody battle took place between Saddam’s Sunni regime and Shiite Iran that saw other a million lives lost.

Outside of Baghdad many angry Sunnis protested Ahmadinejad’s visit.

“I think Ahmadinejad is the most criminal and bloody person in the world,? Emad Abbas, a 21-year-old university student in Samarra, north of Baghdad, said. “This visit degrades Iraq’s dignity, and it proves that Iraq is occupied twice, once by the United States and once by Iran.? (New York Times)

Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari told the AP that Ahmadinejad plans to leave Iraq on Monday morning.

February 26, 2008

Earthquake hits England

The Associated Press reported Wednesday morning that an earthquake was felt throughout much of England.

The earthquake was of a magnitude of 4.7 and centered about 125 miles north of London, the U.S. Geological Survey said. No one was reported to be hurt during the quake.

The quake was felt by many people throughout southern, central and northern England. Many reported their homes to be shaking. Tremors are uncommon in England and a quake of this magnitude can cause minor home damage.

“It was a strange sensation as the room, ornaments and chest of drawers started wobbling and making a loud rumbling noise,? David Sommerset, a man 60 miles from the epicenter, told the AP.

The BBC reported that the earthquake was the biggest recorded quake since a 5.4-magintude quake occurred in Wales in 1984.

Dr. Brian Baptie of the British Geological Survey said that the largest earthquake to strike England occurred off the east coast of England in June of 1931. That quake was recorded as having a magnitude of 6.1.

February 24, 2008

Tottenham beats Chelsea to win the Carling Cup

The BBC reported Sunday that the Tottenham Hotspur came from behind to beat the Chelsea Blues 2-1 in overtime at Wembley Stadium in London.

The Spurs beat Chelsea in extra-time to win the Carling Cup, which was Tottenham’s first trophy in nine years. Consequently, the victory prevented Chelsea from earning their third Carling Cup trophy in four years.

It took only four minutes for the Spurs to score in extra-time as Chelsea’s goalkeeper Peter Cech knocked a Jermaine Jenas free-kick into Spur’s defender Jonathon Woodgate. Woodgate headed the ball into the empty net in front of a crowd of 87,660.

Chelsea tried to answer with attacks from Frank Lampard and Salomon Kalou, but both shots were saved by Spur’s goalkeeper Paul Robinson.

The scoring started in the first half when Chelsea’s forward Didier Drogba curled a free-kick into the bottom left of Robinson’s goal. Neither team could gather a goal and Chelsea went into halftime with a narrow lead.

Twenty minutes after the break the Spurs brought the game onto equal grounds. Chelsea’s defender Wayne Bridge was called for a handball in the penalty area, which gave the Spurs a penalty opportunity. Tottenham sent their Bulgarian forward Dimitar Berbatov, who promptly put the ball into the back of the net.

Both sides had several opportunities, but in the end, extra-time was imminent. It took only four minutes before the Spurs scored on Cech’s blunder.

Reuters reported that Tottenham’s Coach Juande Ramos won his first trophy with Tottenham, after taking over as coach midway through the season. Ramos is 100 percent in cup finals.

The victory gives the Spurs automatic entry into UEFA Cup football next season. Additionally, Spurs fans were happy to see the return of star defender Ledley King, who had been out for a month.

“This is a beautiful experience,? Ramos said. “It’s tremendously satisfying to get the title and the trophy for the fans and the club. It’s a long time since we achieved success and for such a big club like Spurs it seems even longer.? (Reuters)

February 23, 2008

South Korean president-elect cleared of fraud

South Korean’s president-elect Lee Myung-bak was cleared Thursday of fraud accusations, four days before his inauguration, the New York Times reported.

Mr. Lee became the first president-elect in South Korea to go through a criminal investigation. Lee was alleged to have been involved in stock price manipulation, according to special prosecutor Chung Ho Young. However, Lee’s former business partner Kim Kyung Joon is still on trial on the charges of stock manipulation, embezzlement and forgery.

After being cleared of the allegations, Lee said he wanted to continue with his puplan to improve South Korea’s slowing economy. He plans to ratify a free trade agreement with the United States and have corporate deregulation.

“I am relieved that my new government can now start without burdens,? Lee said. (New York Times)

Despite the allegations, Lee won a landslide victory in the South Korean elections on Dec. 19. Prosecutors were given 40 days to hold an investigation before Lee’s inauguration. After questioning Lee and others, nothing could be found to show Lee did any wrong doing.

The BBC reported that Lee was also cleared of charges that he purchased a plot of land under another name.

Lee’s inauguration is in four days with several international leaders attending the event. A couple of leaders include Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda and U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

February 17, 2008

Kosovo claims independence from Serbia

The BBC reported that Kosovo’s parliament unanimously voted on Sunday to declare independence from Serbia.

Prime Minister Hashim Thaci announced that Kosovo would be a democratic nation that does not discriminate against anyone.

The United States and other European Union nations are expected to recognize the new nation on Monday. However, the Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica has denounced the U.S. for helping Kosovo secede from Serbia

Protesters at the U.S. embassy in Belgrade pelted the building with stones and shouted remarks like “Kosovo is the heart of Serbia.? Elsewhere, in the town of Mitrovica in a Serbian area in Kosovo, hand grenades were thrown into international community buildings. One did not explode and the other went off in a United Nations court.

A different scene unfolded in Kosovo’s capital of Pristina. Tens of thousands of people went into the streets after Kosovo’s parliament announced independence. People lit off firecrackers and fired guns off to celebrate their new freedom.

Prime Minister Thaci claimed that Kosovo will use a U.N. plan that was drawn up by former Finnish President, Martti Ahtisaari. Some plans include an international presence and Kosovo cannot join another nation.

“We have waited for this day for a very long time,? Thaci said. “From today, Kosovo was proud, independent and free.? (BBC)

Kosovo has a population of about 2 million people, 90 percent of which are of Albanian ancestry, reported the Los Angeles Times. The main population follows the Muslim religion and is pro-western.

Russia called an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council on Sunday. Three European Union states have already announced that they will not recognize the new nation. They are Cyprus, Romania and Slovakia, a BBC correspondent said.

February 13, 2008

Hezbollah leader killed

The New York Times reported that Hezbollah’s leader was killed Tuesday night in Damascus, Syria from a car bombing, said Syrian officials.

Imad Mughniyeh, 45, was on the United States most wanted list for a history of terrorist acts. At one point, Mughniyeh had a bounty of $25 million. He was thought to have been involved in the 1983 bombings of the American Embassy in Beirut and hijacking a T.W.A. jetliner in 1985.

Hezbollah announced Tuesday night that a large explosive took place under a sport utility vehicle, killing the occupants of the car and damaging about 10 other vehicles. However, Hezbollah did not confirm who was killed in the explosion.

On Wednesday, the Syrian state news agency announced that Mughniyeh was killed in the blast. There is no news on who partook in the assassination, but the Syrian government is condemning the act.

“Syria, which condemns this cowardly terrorist act, expresses condolences to the martyr family and to the Lebanese people,? Interior Minister Bassam Abdul-Majeed said. (BBC)

Israel officially announced that they did not take part in the killing. In the past, Israel attacked a suspected nuclear site in the Syrian desert.

The BBC reported that the United States was happy over the death of Mughniyeh. In a statement, state department spokesman Sean McCormack said the United States does not know who is responsible for the attack, but applauds what they have done.

“The world is a better place without this man in it,? McCormack said. “He was a cold-blooded killer, a mass murderer and a terrorist responsible for countless innocent lives lost.? (BBC)

Hezbollah said a funeral service will be held in the southern suburbs of Beirut on Thursday.

February 9, 2008

Tottenham beats Derby 3-0

Juande Ramos continued his winning ways as the Tottenham Hotspur beat the Derby County Rams 3-0 Saturday at Pride Park, reported the AFP.

A strong second-half performance gave the Spurs the soccer game and continued them on their winning ways since Ramos took over the squad. The win was only the second away win for the Spurs, while leaving the Rams with only one win in 26 games.

Robbie Keane, Younes Kaboul and substitute Dimitar Berbatov produced the second-half goals for Tottenham.

The first half ended with the Rams and the Spurs looking about even. However, things changed as the visitors took the lead from a goal from striker Robbie Keane. In the 60th minute, teammate Steed Malbranque fired a shot towards goal, but Rams’ goalkeeper Roy Carroll was able to knock the ball away. Unfortunately, Carroll pushed the ball towards Keane who tapped it in for his 20th goal of the season.

Kaboul continued the scoring at the 81st mark when he slotted a shot past Carroll from 15 yards out.

In the final minute of play, Alan Stubbs of Derby was called for a hand ball in the goalie box, which resulted in a penalty kick. Berbatov made the penalty shot and sealed the victory for the Spurs.

The BBC reported that the Rams had a chance to score in the 25th minute when Emmanuel Villa’s shot forced Spurs’ goalkeeper Radek Cerny into a well time save.

Spurs’ saw an early injury to defender Michael Dawson in the 16th minute. Kaboul came on as a substitute for Dawson, which is not a good sign for the already thin Spurs’ defense.

“It was tricky, especially in the opening hour, but the players are learning what we want from them and in the last half an hour we were fresher and took control,? said Tottenham assistant manager Gus Poyet. “(BBC)

February 5, 2008

Thousands flee from Chad’s violence

Thousands of Chadian civilians fled the capital Monday, after fighting between rebels and government troops ceased, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Rebel leaders ended the two-day fighting to regroup and give civilians the chance to flee the capital of N’Djamena. Officials, however, claim that the fighting is not over and that rebels claim to attack again.

The United Nations granted France and other countries the ability to intervene in the violence on Monday. France vows to protect the Chadian government if called to do so. At the present time, France will work with the Chadian military in giving information on rebel forces.

Over 500 civilians were wounded in the past two days, according to humanitarian officials. More than 1,000 rebels entered the capital Saturday fighting government troops. This was the third coup attempt in Chad in the past three years.

The New York Times reported that a Sudanese rebel group joined French support to help aid the Chadian government. The group had been fighting the Sudanese government in Darfur for the past five years and left their bases in eastern Chad to fight the rebel opposition.

Four opposition leaders have been arrested in the past few days, said Reed Brody, an attorney at Human Rights Watch. At least three other opposition leaders have been arrested, but have not been heard from, according to the rights worker.

“These opposition leaders are at grave risk of being tortured or forcibly disappeared,? said Tawanda Hondora, director of the Africa program for Amnesty International. “The Chadian government seems to be using the current conflict with the armed opposition as a cover for arresting people peacefully opposed to government policy.? (New York Times)

The Chadian President Idriss Deby has been missing since the violence erupted during the weekend. He has not made a statement or made a public appearance.

In the past few years, Deby has increasingly lost popularity with the public. Deby altered the nation’s constitution in order to maintain his presidency, which he obtained in a 1990 coup of his own.

February 3, 2008

Ghana beats Nigeria 2-1 in the African Cup of Nations

On Sunday, Ghana beat Nigeria 2-1 in soccer to advance to the African Cup of Nations’ semifinals, the BBC reported.

Host-nation Ghana came from a goal down to beat rival Nigeria in their quarter-final match. Yakubu Ayegbeni gave Nigeria the lead in the 34th minute on a penalty, but failed to hold the lead when Michael Essien’s header put the score 1-1 at half-time.

Ghana played with 10 men for most of the second half when captain John Mensah was sent off for a challenge on Nigeria’s Osaze Odemwingie. In the 60th minute, Mensah took down Odemwingie as he ran towards the Ghanaian goal, which resulted in a red card.

“I don’t know whether John deserved a red card,? said Ghana coach Claude Le Roy. “The referee was very fast to send him off. This case was not clear cut.? (Yahoo Sports)

The winning goal came for Ghana at the 82nd mark, when Sulley Muntari produced a cross that teammate Junior Agogo put into the goal from four yards out.

Yahoo Sports reported that this was the first time Ghana had been behind during the Africa Cup. In the 2002 African Nations Cup, Nigeria knocked out Ghana in the quarterfinals in Egypt. The victory was only Ghana’s second win against Nigeria in the African Nations Cup.

Nigeria had the first chance at goal in the 11th minute when winger Ikechukwu Uche set up Yakubu, whose shot went wide.

Fourteen minutes later, Ghana striker Asamoah Gyan gave Ghana their first chance at goal when his left-footed shot hit the post.

After the intermission, Nigeria came close to going ahead after Uche produced a 40-yard lob that was pushed over the crossbar by Ghana goalkeeper Laryea Kingston

The last two African Nations Cups have been won by the host nation. Egypt won it in 2006 and Tunisia won it in 2004. Ghana looks to continue the trend as they face the winner of Monday’s quarter-final match between Tunisia and Cameroon.

January 29, 2008

Food Prices Force Haitians to Eat Dirt

The Associated Press reported that Haiti’s poorest citizens are forced to eat dirt because of increased food prices.
In the past year, food prices, throughout the world escalated, due to increased prices in the oil used for agricultural processes. In addition, the 2007 hurricane season flooded and damaged many of the Caribbean nations’ crops. As a result, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Agency called a state of emergency in Haiti and several other Caribbean nations. In December, Caribbean leaders met at a summit to discuss options such as cutting food taxes to help ease the burdens of the poor.
The U.N. News Center reported that some countries are giving farmers aid in order to stimulate crop production.
Jacques Diouf, the Director-General for the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, said, “Without support for the poor farmers and their families in the hardest-hit countries, they will not be able to cope.? (U.N. News Center)
In the past, pregnant Haitian women ate mud cookies as an antacid. However, as food prices increase, more people are forced to eat the cookies as a daily food source.
“When my mother does not cook anything, I have to eat them three times a day,? said Charlene Dumas, a 16-year-old Haitian mother, to the AP.
The health issues involved vary. Dirt can have toxins or parasites, but can also improve a pregnant woman’s immunity system. In either case, Haitian doctors are reluctant to encourage the eating of dirt.
“Trust me, if I see someone eating those cookies, I will discourage it,? said Dr. Gabriel Thimothee, executive director of Haiti’s health ministry. (Associated Press)