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Daily Brief: 1.4 Million Haitians Need Assistance After Hurricane, UN Says

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October 11, 2016

Daily News Brief

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UN: 1.4 Million Haitians Need Assistance After Hurricane

The United Nations said that at least 1.4 million people in Haiti need emergency aid since Hurricane Michael hit the country last week. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appealed for $120 million to fund UN aid activities in the country (UN) as UNICEF said that the damage could raise the risk of transmitting water-borne illnesses. The Pan American Health Organization warned of a rise in cases of cholera, which broke out in 2010 (CBS) when Nepalese peacekeepers were stationed at a UN base. The U.S. military has sent a Navy ship, twelve helicopters, and 375 servicemen to assist with relief efforts (USA Today). Hundreds of people are reported to have been killed on the island and the death toll is expected to continue to rise (Al Jazeera) as rescue workers reach previously inaccessible areas. 


"Six days after Hurricane Matthew, the worst natural disaster to hit Haiti since the Jan. 12, 2010 earthquake, it is only now that local healthcare providers are beginning to get a full picture of the storm’s human toll. Blocked by fallen trees, rocks and rising rivers, the injured are finally making their way into public hospitals to treat fractures and other ailments," Jacqueline Charles writes for the Miami Herald.

"Hurricane Matthew’s toll in Haiti has been hard to measure: the deaths and injuries, the number of people still stranded, the cases of cholera contracted in the week since winds of 145 miles an hour blew the country back to a tragically familiar state of disaster. So, too, is the economic impact of the devastation on the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere," Azam Ahmed writes for the New York Times.

"The gap between the damage wrought by extreme weather events in wealthy countries and their underdeveloped counterparts will only grow in the coming years as climate change continues, climate policy experts say. Building new infrastructure to adapt—sea walls, elevated building and much more—can cost billions leaving the measures out of reach of poor countries that have emitted few of the greenhouse gases that cause climate change. Addressing that gap was a key sticking point in last year’s Paris Agreement with developing countries ultimately committing to mobilizing $100 billion in financing for the developing world to address climate change. But unfortunately even those funds will not be enough to stave off disaster in the short term in much of the developing world," Justin Worland writes for Time.


Dozens Believed Killed in Myanmar Attack

At least twenty-four people are believed to have died in Myanmar's Rakhine state near the Bangladesh border after assailants attacked a police post (NYT). Rohingya Muslim villagers were said to have been shot to death in an ensuing operation by security forces.

CFR's Joshua Kurlantzick writes about the stateless Rohingyas in the Washington Monthly.

AUSTRALIA: Opposition members of parliament vowed to block Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull from holding a nonbinding referendum on same-sex marriage (BBC).

This CFR Backgrounder looks at same-sex marriage laws around the world. 


Pakistani Journalist Barred from Leaving Country

Columnist Cyril Almeida said he has been barred from leaving the country (Guardian) since publishing a report claiming that government officials raised concerns with the military that inaction against militant groups with ties to the Pakistani spy agency (BBC) would cause the country to be isolated. The government has denied the report.

INDIA: Remittances sent by the Indian diaspora, which sends more money home than any other country's foreign workers, are predicted (WSJ) to drop 5 percent from last year to $65 billion.

CFR's Alyssa Ayres discusses U.S. economic relations with India in this congressional testimony.  


MSF: Syria Hospital Attacks Part of ‘Plan of Terror’

Mego Terzian, the president of Doctors Without Borders in France, said that the Syrian regime attacks hospitals as "part of the general plan of terror adopted by the regime since the beginning of the conflict" in an interview with Al Jazeera. Separately, Russian President Vladimir Putin canceled (Guardian) a trip to Paris after French President Francois Hollande said Russia could face war crimes charges over its bombardment of Aleppo.

JORDAN: Jordanian authorities said they will begin using a crane to drop aid to tens of thousands of Syrians stranded at the two countries’ shared border (Middle East Eye). Jordan closed the crossing in 2014 and stopped allowing humanitarian convoys to cross it after a car bombing killed soldiers this year.


Burundi Blocks UN Rights Team's Entry

Burundi barred three UN investigators (BBC) from entering the country after they published a report last month saying that thousands of people had been tortured, sexually abused, or disappeared during an outbreak of violence when President Pierre Nkurunzinza made a bid to run for a third term last year. Burundi has also announced plans to pull out of the International Criminal Court.

CRR's Global Conflict Tracker discusses the major events in Burundi's political crisis.

ETHIOPIA: A government spokesman blamed Egypt for causing unrest in the country (VOA), saying that Egypt supports rebels in the country. The neighbors are in a dispute over water resources on the Nile.


Russia, Turkey Sign Pipeline Deal

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russia President Vladimir Putin signed an agreement to move forward on the TurkStream natural-gas pipeline (WSJ), which will offer Russia new access to the European market. Also in Turkey, an official from Erdogan's ruling party was killed by gunmen in the southeastern city of Diyarbakir (Al Jazeera).

GERMANY: Chancellor Angela Merkel announced that Germany will spend ten million euros to support Niger's army and set up a military base in the country, a transit point for migrants heading to Europe (EU Observer). Also on her Africa tour, Merkel arrives in Ethiopia on Tuesday (DW) following the  government’s declaration of a state of emergency over violence in antigovernment protests.   

This CFR Backgrounder discusses Europe's migration crisis.


Brazil's Former President Faces New Corruption Charges

Prosecutors announced a new round (NYT) of corruption charges for former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva over allegations that he helped the Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht receive lucrative contracts in Angola to benefit a relative. Prosecutors say some of the bribes were disguised as speaking fees to Lula (LAHT).


Samsung Scraps Galaxy Note 7

Shares of Samsung fell 8 percent (Bloomberg) on Tuesday after the company announced it was scrapping the Galaxy Note 7 (Forbes) amid reports of batteries in the $880 phone catching fire. The company earlier said it would adjust the model.

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