|Pakistan braces for
- Pakistan was on red alert Saturday as fresh floods
threatened hundreds of communities in its farming heartland,
with 12 million people already affected by the catastrophe.
Authorities were busy evacuating the densely populated
southern province of Sindh, warning that a major deluge in
the fertile basin along the swollen Indus river was expected
to exacerbate the worst floods in the country’s history.
Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani appealed for immediate
international help to cope with the disaster as authorities
evacuated half a million people from risk areas in the
“I would ask international community to support and help
Pakistan alleviate sufferings of flood-affected people,”
Gilani said in a televised address to the nation.
“Pakistan has been hit by worst floods of its history,” he
The nearly two-week-old disaster across the largely
impoverished country - hard hit by Taliban-linked violence -
has washed away entire villages and killed at least 1,600
people, according to UN estimates.
Bedraggled women, children and elderly men in shabby clothes
were deposited on the banks of the Indus by rescue boats
criss-crossing a giant lake dotted by tree tops in the
village of Durrani Mehar in northern Sindh.
The meteorological office issued a red alert overnight,
warning of an “imminent” and “extreme” flood threat to
Sindh, especially along the Indus, as flooding spread to
Indian-held Kashmir, where more than 110 people have now
Torrential rains were also forecast in the northwestern
province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, where the disaster
management authority warned people who have returned to
partially damaged homes or those living along rivers to be
Head of the flood relief operations in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa,
Major General Ghayoor Mehmood, told reporters in Peshawar
that the floods killed some 1,400 people in the province,
with 213 still missing.
“The scale of the needs is absolutely daunting,” said
Melissa Fleming, a spokeswoman for the office of the UN High
Commissioner for Refugees.
More than 252,000 homes are thought to have been damaged or
destroyed across Pakistan, and 1.38 million acres (558,000
hectares) of crop land flooded, and it could take weeks
before electricity is fully restored.
“Our cattle died and the cotton crop destroyed,” said
Mohammad Bakhsh, 50, a resident of Qasim Ghot village.
“I’ve got calls on my mobile saying 20 to 25 children from
our family are stranded in the village and are holding on to
“We are begging the authorities to rescue them. Two of my
children have drowned and we don’t know where they are,”
The flooding has threatened electricity generation plants,
forcing units to shut down in a country already suffering a
crippling energy crisis.
Survivors have lashed out at authorities for failing to come
to their rescue and provide better relief, piling pressure
on a cash-strapped administration straining to contain
Taliban violence and an economic crisis.
|Terror blast hit Japanese tanker
(AFP) An explosives-laden boat carried out a “terrorist
attack” that damaged a Japanese oil tanker in the Strait of
Hormuz last week, the United Arab Emirates said on Friday,
raising security fears for the vital waterway.
“The investigation and examination conducted by special
teams have shown the tanker was attacked with explosives,
prepared using traditional methods, which were loaded on a
boat that approached the ship,” a UAE coastguard spokesman
said on the official WAM news agency.
“UAE explosives experts... found a dent on the starboard
side above the water line and remains of home-made
explosives on the hull,” when they inspected the ship off
the UAE port of Fujairah, the official said.
“Probably the tanker had encountered a terrorist attack from
a boat loaded with explosives,” he was quoted as saying on
the agency’s English-language website.
In Tokyo, Japanese Transport Minister Seiji Maehara said he
had instructed ministry officials to ask the UAE authorities
for details of the investigation, as requested by the prime
“Without prejudgment, we will carry out our analysis on the
cause of the incident,” Maehara was quoted as saying by Jiji
Japan “should take a firm stance” in response to such
incidents because they threaten the country’s oil imports,
the minister added.
The world’s second largest economy sources some 90 percent
of its oil from the Middle East, much of it from the Gulf,
where the tanker was sailing from.
Jihadists on Tuesday claimed a suicide bomber had struck the
ship owned by Mitsui OSK Lines, which reported that tanker
the M Star appeared to have been hit by a blast on July 28
in international waters between Iran and Oman.
|Thai protesters gather in Bangkok
(AFP) Thai royalist “Yellow Shirts” rallied in Bangkok on
Saturday as the influential movement seeks to pressure the
government over a territorial row with Cambodia.
Thai police said around 1,200 people - many wearing yellow
and waving national flags - gathered at a sports stadium
after protesters shied away from confrontation with
authorities by abandoning plans to meet at Government House.
Political gatherings of more than five people are banned
under a state of emergency imposed in Bangkok in April
during mass anti-government protests.
The Yellows, known as the People’s Alliance for Democracy
(PAD), have previously allied themselves with the current
Thai political leadership but the protest is the latest sign
that the group is flexing its political muscle.
Last minute talks with Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva
secured the venue compromise, although around 300
demonstrators did turn up at the government compound, and
the Thai leader is now expected to speak at the rally.
Chamlong Srimuang, a senior PAD leader, told reporters that
demonstrators simply wanted to press the government for
information on its progress on the thorny Cambodian land
“Today is not a protest against government,” he said.
The PAD has criticised the governing Democrat party for
signing up to a deal with Thailand’s neighbour in 2000 that
the Yellows believe paved the way for recognition of a
Cambodian land claim.
The group has demanded that Thailand tear up the memorandum
of understanding, eject Cambodian citizens from the disputed
4.6 square kilometre (1.8 square mile) area, and try to
regain control of the Preah Vihear temple.
The Yellow Shirts, who are backed by the Bangkok-based
elite, are a force to be reckoned with in Thailand’s
colour-coded political landscape.
Rallies in 2006 helped trigger the coup that unseated
fugitive former PM Thaksin Shinawatra, hero of the mostly
poor, working class “Red Shirts”, whose mass protests in
Bangkok this year culminated in deadly clashes with troops.
Red Shirts have complained of double standards in the way
authorities treat their movement.
|Wildfires choke Moscow
(AFP) Russia struggled Saturday to battle wildfires which
have claimed 52 lives and choked Moscow, as the US, Germany
and France asked citizens avoid travel to the capital and
other stricken areas.
Moscow moved to protect military and nuclear sites from the
onslaught of its worst ever blazes in modern history and
launched an appeal for volunteers to help stem the
relentless march. The emergency situations ministry is
seeking the help “of all people who can pitch in”, a
spokesman told AFP. The defence ministry ordered the
evacuation of missiles from a depot outside the smothered
capital as authorities warned of the risk of fires
reactivating contamination in an area hit by the 1986
Chernobyl nuclear disaster.
Germany closed its embassy until further notice and advised
citizens against “non-essential” travel to the affected
regions while the US State Department asked nationals to
seriously review travel plans.
“Forest fires and extreme high temperatures in the Moscow
region and surrounding areas of central Russia have produced
hazardous levels of air pollution and caused numerous flight
delays and cancellations in Moscow,” the department said in
a warning set to expire September 5.
“The hazardous air quality means that persons with heart or
lung disease, older adults, and children should remain
indoors and keep activity levels low. Everyone should avoid
prolonged or heavy exertion outdoors,” it added.
The French foreign ministry also asked citizens to avoid
travel to nine affected regions and announced it was sending
experts to determine “the most adequate aid” it could offer.
Moscow’s iconic landmarks such as the spires of the Kremlin
towers or the onion domes of Orthodox churches were largely
invisible from a distance on Friday as a heavy smog hung
over the city after the worst heatwave in decades broke out
“I woke up this morning, looked out of the window and saw a
monstrous situation,” declared President Dmitry Medvedev.
“We all want this heatwave to pass but this is not in our
hands, it is decided above.”
He called on Moscovites to show patience, although he
acknowledged “we’re suffocating, you can’t breathe”.
The emergencies ministry said the total area ablaze was down
slightly at 179,600 hectares (444,000 acres) and for the
first time it was putting out more fires than were
|Atom bombs on Hiroshima, Nagasaki
Man’s inhumanity to man
It was over in half a heartbeat. There was a blinding
flash, a new molten sun in the sky, and death everywhere.
Steel warped. Concrete melted. People were vapourised,
leaving scorched outlines on stone walls and steps.
Suddenly, Hiroshima became a flattened, burning grave. And a
black rain fell. Days later, Nagasaki too lay in ruins.
Debate rages to this day about the legitimacy of the
American atomic attacks that ended the war with Japan that
raged from 1941 to 1945. But there is no debating the
appalling human cost: More than 200,000 people died, while
those who survived faced agonising radiation sickness,
crippling injuries, chronic disease. Never had so much
suffering been meted out in an instant.
About 140,000 people were killed or died within months when
the American B-29, Enola Gay, bombed Hiroshima. Three days
later about 80,000 people died after the US attacked
Nagasaki on August 9. Japan surrendered on August 15, ending
the Second World War.
As the world marks the 65th anniversary of Hiroshima’s
bombing today, the memory remains a powerful summons to
sanity, and an accelerated approach to the scrapping of
Representatives from 75 nations were among thousands of
spectators who gathered to remember the moment
For the first time, a representative of the United States,
which dropped the bomb on the city, is attending.
Washington’s decision to send its ambassador to Tokyo, John
Roos, is being seen by some in Japan as a sign that
President Barack Obama may decide to visit Hiroshima when he
comes to Japan.
If so, he would be the first sitting US president to visit
Speaking in Washington, US Secretary of State Hillary
Clinton said the US was committed to ridding the world of
“President Obama, is very committed to working toward a
world without nuclear weapons. He has said many times he
recognises this is a long-term goal.”
Britain and France, both nuclear powers, are also making
their first appearances at a Hiroshima commemoration.
Japan, the only country to have been attacked with nuclear
weapons, has been pushing for their abolition. Hiroshima was
obliterated by the bomb, and the centre of the city now
hosts the Peace Memorial Park where the anniversary
commemoration takes place.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is in the city and said on
arrival: “The only way to ensure that such weapons will
never again be used is to eliminate them all”.
“There must be no place in our world for such indiscriminate
Mr Ban, who presented flowers at the Eternal Flame in
Hiroshima’s Peace Memorial Park, said this year’s memorial
would send a strong signal to the world that nuclear weapons
must be destroyed.
“Life is short, but memory is long,” he said. “For many of
you, that day endures... as vivid as the white light that
seared the sky, as dark as the black rains that followed.”
Mr Ban said the time had come to move from “Ground Zero, to
Global Zero” - a world without any nuclear arms.
(Toronto Star/Press Association/BBC news)
|Plane disaster drill that fooled the
Journalists are long used to taking the
word of Zimbabwean authorities with more than a generous
pinch of salt. But, as black smoke billowed over Harare
airport yesterday and ambulances screeched towards it, the
worst was expected.
“A 767 plane from London has had an accident at Harare
airport,” the head of Zimbabwe’s Civil Aviation Authority
told the press. “I can confirm there has been an accident,
but I cannot give details right now.”
Soldiers, paramilitary police and security agents sealed off
all approaches to the airport and guarded the perimeter.
Military helicopters hovered above the smoke. At the
capital’s Parirenyatwa hospital, distressed relatives
gathered and extra medical staff were rushed in. All
nervously waited for the arrival of casualties from the
But, as news of the disaster spread on the internet, the
patients never appeared. As the smoke cleared, more details
emerged. The “distressed relatives” had been “actors”, and
the entire situation a drill.
“Telling the media was part of the exercise,” Civil Aviation
Authority chief, David Chawota told a press conference. “We
wanted to see how our media would react. All our systems
worked perfectly. Police, security and hospital staff
Chief of the national carrier Air Zimbabwe, Peter Chikumba
said, he had also been kept in the dark. He told the media
that an emergency helpdesk had been set up for victims and
Journalists who arrived at the scene saw smoke rising from a
runway, and were taken to a room where they were told to
wait. The “accident” comes just over a year since the ban on
foreign media was lifted.
|Pentagon pressures WikiLeaks for
US defence department warns it
will find ways to compel whistleblowers’ site to ‘do the
right thing’ over Afghan war logs
The Pentagon has demanded that WikiLeaks immediately erase
the huge cache of secret US military files about the Afghan
war it has posted online and hand over another 15,000
classified records in its possession.
Condemning the whistleblowers’ website for inciting the
leaking of military secrets, the Department of Defence
warned it would examine ways to compel WikiLeaks to “do the
right thing” if it did not do so voluntarily.
“The only acceptable course is for WikiLeaks to take steps
to immediately return all versions of all of those documents
to the US government, and permanently delete them from its
website, computers and records,” Pentagon spokesman Geoff
Morrell said yesterday.
“If doing the right thing is not good enough for them, then
we will figure out what alternatives we have to compel them
to do the right thing.”
Although the Defence Department has no independent power to
enforce its demands, its increasingly threatening language
is seen as a bid to deter WikiLeaks from releasing the
15,000 Afghan war records it has not published, as well as
an encrypted file recently added to the site entitled
The publication of the files, which were made available to
the Guardian, the New York Times and the German weekly Der
Spiegel, was one of the biggest leaks in US military
history. Morrell said, public disclosure of secret documents
had already threatened the safety of coalition troops and
Afghan informants, a charge which WikiLeaks’s founder,
Julian Assange, denies. Morrell said disclosure of any
further material would “only make the damage worse”.
He said a task force of about 80 government intelligence
experts was examining the files already published on
WikiLeaks, and were doing “proactive” work to assess the
risk posed by the other 15,000 records, which Assange has
said the site held back to protect innocent people from
underscores urgency for disarmament
It took the United States over six decades to bring itself
to the memorial of the bombing of Hiroshima. This year,
representatives from 75 nations - including the US, for the
first time - were among thousands of people who gathered to
remember the moment when an American bomber dropped the
world’s first atomic bomb on the Japanese city 65-years-ago
on the morning of August 6, 1945. An estimated 140,000
people were killed or died within months of the bomb being
dropped in the final days of World War II. Japan surrendered
after a second atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki three
days later on August 9.
Thankfully, the world has not seen the use of nuclear bombs
since the end of World War II, even though it has come very
close on several occasions. Yet, nuclear disarmament remains
one of the most desired, but illusive goals for humanity.
Many emerging and rogue nations alike have viewed the
acquisition of nuclear weapons as the ultimate status symbol
or insurance policy, depending on its own assessments.
After the initial race to develop these deadly weapons, soon
after Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the world came to its senses
that nuclear weapons were not for everyone. Since the
nuclear non proliferation agreement coming into force in
1970, the development of nuclear weapons has been brought
under stricter controls, while five nations, namely the US,
Soviet Union/Russia, UK, France and China had declared by
then to possess ‘the bomb’, were allowed to keep it.
Despite the many nuclear non proliferation treaties,
countries other than the official five, have tried and
succeeded in getting the most destructive of all weapons
developed by humans. Though countries such as South Africa,
that once possessed nuclear weapons, have voluntarily given
them up, and Libya and Iraq had been forced to do so, there
are many more who still aspire to become members of that
exclusive club of nuclear armed nations. Israel, for years,
is believed to possess nuclear weapons, though it has never
admitted to it. North Korea is now accepted as a nuclear
armed nation with up to maybe a dozen warheads, and a
delivery system which can, in theory, reach most of Asia and
even the western coast of the United States. India and
Pakistan developed their own bombs in the 1970’s, while
Syria and Iran are currently accused of carrying out
clandestine projects to do the same. The Iraqi ambition of
building nuclear weapons was shattered in 1981, when Israeli
planes bombed its research facilities. A suspected Syrian
nuclear facility was bombed by the Israelis in 2007, but no
one really knows whether that programme is actually delayed
or finished. Iran, of course, is the biggest headache for
the West, with many suspecting the Islamic Republic of
carrying out a weapons programme in guise of the civilian
nuclear programme it has professed to be working on.
Despite the dismal outlook on nuclear non proliferation, the
present maybe the best time in decades to seriously address
the issue. With the Cold War over for 20 years and the US,
for the first time in many years, having a US president
committed to reducing that country’s nuclear stockpile, the
globe may finally be due for some good news in nuclear non
proliferation. Despite threats of Iran developing a nuclear
weapon, and North Korea using the ones that it has, under
the presidency of Barack Obama, the larger nuclear nations
have indicated that they are willing to reduce their
stockpiles, providing incentive for others.
President Obama and his Russian counterpart Dmitri Medvedev
signed the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) in April
this year, which assured that both countries will reduce
their nuclear arsenals. The treaty is seen as the most
important non proliferation document in decades. However,
President Obama faces an uphill battle to get the treaty
ratified through his country’s Senate.
It is hoped that nuclear disarmament will work in the
reverse logic of the arms race to build the deadly weapons.
Once the US and Russia reduce their weapons, it is hoped
that China will consider disarming. With the Chinese
reduction, India will have less of an excuse to pile up
nuclear weapons. In theory, this would lead to Pakistan
being less agitated of a nuclear strike from its neighbour,
and would follow suite. With regard to Iran, Syria and
Israel, there is less of a chance of either of these
countries reducing their military capabilities, nuclear or
otherwise, until there is permanent peace in the region.
In 1945, US President Harry Truman gave the order to drop
the atomic bombs on Japan, and since then, US leaders have
not ruled out the use of nuclear weapons, but only as a last
resort. Yet, the allure of possessing nuclear weapons is not
something US leaders have been shy about. Even in the recent
US presidential election primary, then candidate Hilary
Clinton, when asked whether she would use a nuclear strike
against Iran to protect US ally Israel, answered in the
affirmative. However, now, in her capacity as Secretary of
State, Clinton said this week, that the US was committed to
ridding the world of nuclear weapons.
“This president, President Obama, is very committed to
working toward a world without nuclear weapons. He has said
many times he recognises this is a long-term goal” she said,
confirming that the US will, for the first time, participate
in the Hiroshima commemorations.
Nuclear non-proliferation has many hurdles to cross. The
world is far from becoming free of these deadly weapons.
There are many intellectuals across the globe who argue that
it was nuclear weapons that prevented World War III. The
Mutually Assured Destruction (with the appropriate
abbreviation MAD) is the governing concept of nuclear
deterrent. In theory, two nations would almost, never use
their nuclear weapons, since they will be assured of massive
retaliation. This deterrent is the driving force behind the
move to stall the US-Russian treaty to reduce nuclear
stockpiles, while countries such as North Korea and Iran
actively seek to arm themselves with nuclear weapons.
A world without nuclear weapons may still be a distant
dream, but at least, on the 65th anniversary of the bombing
of Hiroshima, there is hope that we may have come just a
little bit closer.
|Middle East on the
brink of war?
Tuesday’s cross-border fire-fight
between Israeli and Lebanese government forces may simply
have been a misunderstanding. And the rockets fired from
Gaza and the Israeli air-strikes on the besieged border
territory over the past week could be viewed as periodic
blips in business as usual on that front. By the same token,
last Friday’s unprecedented joint visit to Beirut by the
leaders of Saudi Arabia and Syria, could be viewed simply as
a move to stop the conflict between their Lebanese proxies
from turning nasty. And British Prime Minister David
Cameron’s pleas to Turkey to keep open its communication
channels with Israel’s leaders are quotidian diplomatic
common sense. Viewed in a wider context, however, each of
those events could be signs of why many in the Middle East
believe that, despite the outward calm, the region may be on
the brink of another catastrophic war.
A new report based on extensive conversations with regional
decision-makers, released Monday, August 2, by the
International Crisis Group, the respected mediation
organisation of former diplomats, warns of the possibility
of war. “The situation in the Levant is ... exceptionally
quiet and uniquely dangerous, both for the same reason,” the
Crisis Group warns. “The build-up in military forces and
threats of an all-out war that would spare neither civilians
nor civilian infrastructure, together with the worrisome
prospect of its regionalisation, are effectively deterring
all sides.” But, while Hezbollah and its regional backers,
Syria and Iran, believe that the build-up in the Shiite
militia’s arsenal and capabilities is deterring Israel from
launching attacks on any of them, Israel views the
acquisition by Hezbollah of a missile arsenal capable of
raining destruction on Israeli cities, as an intolerable
threat. “As Hezbollah’s firepower grows,” the Crisis Group
notes, “so too does Israel’s desire to tackle the problem
before it is too late ... What is holding the current
architecture in place is also what could rapidly bring it
Should a new war break out, Israel is determined to strike a
devastating blow more quickly than it did during the last
conflict, in which it failed in its objective of destroying
Hezbollah. It has publicly warned that it would destroy
Lebanese civilian infrastructure, and that Syria, as
Hezbollah’s armourer, would not be off-limits. But Hezbollah
believes its capacity to fire missiles into Tel Aviv is key
to restraining Israel from returning to finish off the
Shiite militia. And, of course, amid regional tensions over
Iran’s nuclear programme, members of the self-styled “axis
of resistance” — Iran, Syria, Hamas and Hezbollah — have
deepened their alliance, raising the possibility of any one
of those groups joining the fray, should any of the others
come under attack from Israel or the US.
Although, all of the main players have good reason to avoid
initiating another war right now, the Crisis Group warns
that “tensions are mounting with no obvious safety valve.”
At some point, Hezbollah’s growing deterrent could cross
Israel’s red line. And the Western diplomatic boycott of the
resistance camp is cause for alarm, because there are no
effective channels through which the various antagonists can
be made to understand how their actions could produce
unintended consequences — in the tragic tradition of Middle
Eastern wars that have erupted, in part, because the
adversaries failed to understand one another’s intentions.
Indeed, after proclaiming his movement’s “divine victory”,
in standing up to Israel’s 2006 offensive, a feat that made
him a hero on the streets of the Arab world, Hezbollah
leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah admitted that, had he known
Israel would respond with a full-blown invasion, he would
have avoided the provocation of snatching Israeli troops,
which started the showdown.
|Sierra Leone least interested in
Fourteen people were sitting
in court number two at the pristine UN-backed war crimes
court in Freetown, Sierra Leone. There was capacity for
scores more, but only nine diehards had come to watch the
live streaming of Naomi Campbell’s testimony in the trial of
former Liberian president, Charles Taylor. The other five
were security guards working at the court.
On the streets of Freetown, people were not sure who
Campbell was, let alone that she had come to testify at a
hearing relating to Sierra Leone’s diamond-fuelled civil war
in the 1990s.
Some said that they had grown weary of the trial anyway, and
wanted to move on. “The court and this trial have lasted for
too long,” said Aiah Ngaujah, a victim of the war, who had
both his arms hacked off by rebels allegedly backed by
Conteh, another amputee, was convinced that the former
Liberian president was guilty as charged. “He is living in
luxury in Europe, while we suffer here,” he said, dashing to
pick up 1,000 leones (about 16p) dropped for him from a
A journalist, Murtala Kamara said he was pleased to see
Campbell in the witness box. “It was good she came, you
know,” he said.
Spokesman for the court, Peter Andersen said the poor
attendance could be attributed to a lack of publicity,
uncertainty over when the model would appear, and the fact
that proceedings were shown on satellite news channels,
allowing people to watch from home – though very few homes
here have access to satellite television.
A lawyer, Leon Jenkins-Johnston, who was in court to watch
the online streaming of the event, was angry about the low
attendance. “It’s a shame! A big shame,” he said, looking
around the near empty courtroom. “We are pawns in this whole
|Wyclef Jean: From
to political one in Haiti
Hip-hop star Wyclef Jean for president of Haiti
For international music superstar Wyclef Jean, old habits
After registering to run for the presidency of this
earthquake-ravaged nation, he did what he has done
frequently on visits to Haiti -- climb atop a music truck
blaring Creole hip-hop.
‘’America, President Obama, Haiti has Wyclef!’’ Jean said
amid cheers from hundreds of supporters. ‘’He is not a
diaspora candidate. He speaks Creole!’’
Jean faces a battle of a lifetime in his bid to rule Haiti,
but his actions on Thursday indicate that this will be no
Though born in a Port-au-Prince suburb, Jean left Haiti when
he was 9, and must now prove to election officials that he
meets the qualifications to be president, including five
consecutive years of residency in the country.
He also must persuade voters to trust that he can govern a
nation known for widespread corruption and financial
mismanagement, despite problems handling his personal
finances and running his own charitable organisation.
Still, the 40-year-old is confident.
When he made his rock-star arrival at the national election
bureau, Jean finally put to rest months-long speculation
over his eagerness to occupy the National Palace.
Whoever wins the presidential vote scheduled for November 28
will inherit one of the toughest jobs in the Western
Hemisphere. As Haiti struggles to recover from January’s
massive earthquake, the winner will have to lead
reconstruction efforts, seek shelter for 1.6 million
homeless people still living in makeshift camps, and remedy
the country’s myriad woes.
Jean joins what’s expected to be a crowded field, including
his uncle, Raymond Joseph, Haiti’s former US ambassador;
Michel ``Sweet Micky’’ Martelly, a musician; and Wilson
Jeudy, the mayor of Delmas.
President René Préval, who is barred from seeking another
term, picked Jacques Edouard Alexis, a two-time prime
minister who was ousted in 2008, in the aftermath of food
riots. Alexis has become an immediate favourite for the job.
But Jean proved on Thursday that he could be a competent
campaigner. When he arrived at commission headquarters, an
entourage of bodyguards whisked him indoors to register.
After exiting the building, he hoisted his baby daughter,
wearing a white dress.Then Jean- who ditched his usual
T-shirt for a dark suit, began to crowd surf and climbed
atop the music truck to address the crowd.
‘’Haiti has Voudouisants, Catholics, Protestants,’’ he said.
‘’We should live together.’