At least 42 people were killed as rebels in nearly a dozen towns rampaged, prompting fears of a plot to oust embattled President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. \nAfter sporadic gunbattles on Monday, police regained control of the important port city of St. Marc, 72km west of Port-au-Prince. At least two men were shot and another was allegedly shot and killed by Aristide supporters. His body was left on a roadside. \n"The national police force alone cannot re-establish order," Prime Minister Yvon Neptune told reporters in St. Marc on the first visit to any of the affected towns by a senior government official. \n"The violence is tied to a coup d'etat," he said the day before. \nIn Port-au-Prince, the capital, a coalition of opposition political parties met to discuss whether they should join the rebels. By late Monday, they had distanced themselves from the uprising. \n"We do not recognize ourselves in the armed insurrection but in the peaceful struggle of the people for democracy," said Mischa Gaillard, an opposition politician who met with the Democratic Platform Monday. "We deplore violence." \nThe uprising began on Thursday in Haiti's fourth-largest city of Gonaives and signals a dangerous turning point in Haiti's three-year political crisis. A similar revolt in 1985 also began in Gonaives and led to the ouster of the 29-year Duvalier family dictatorship. \n"We are in a situation of armed popular insurrection," said opposition politician Himler Rebu, who led a failed coup against Lieutenant-General Prosper Avril in 1989. \nTension has mounted since Aristide's party won flawed legislative elections in 2000 and international donors blocked millions of dollars in aid. \nMisery has also deepened with most of the nation's 8 million people living without jobs and on less than US$1 day despite election promises from Aristide, a former priest who had vowed to bring dignity to the poor. \nWith no army and fewer than 5,000 poorly armed police, the government is ill-equipped to halt the revolt. \nPolice stations have been a major target because they symbolize Aristide's authority and officers are accused of siding with government supporters. \nSince capturing Gonaives, a city of 200,000 people, the rebels have spread to towns to the west and north, including the Artibonite valley that is the breadbasket of Haiti. \nSome residents fled western Grand-Goave with belongings perched on their heads on Monday, the day after rebels torched the police station. Insurgents also set ablaze stations in the northern towns of St. Raphael and Dondon, where police launched counterattacks and wounded two rebels, according to Radio Vision 2000. \nIt reported that police in Dondon repulsed the rebels, and that afterward government supporters torched houses of nine anti-Aristide leaders. On the highway near Grand-Goave, police fired into the air to disperse a large crowd of clashing protesters who were for and against the government. One man, identified as an Aristide partisan, was shot and killed but it was not clear by whom. \nUN Secretary-General Kofi Annan said the UN "will be stepping up our own involvement fairly soon" but did not elaborate.
FRENCH AID: Paris has sent a navy ship and aircraft from Reunion Island with some pollution control equipment, but rough seas are spreading the oil spill The operator of a Japanese bulk carrier which ran aground off Mauritius in the Indian Ocean yesterday apologized for a major oil spill, which officials and environmentalists say is creating an ecological disaster, as police prepared to board the ship. The MV Wakashio, operated by Mitsui OSK Lines, struck the reef on Mauritius’ southeast coast on July 25. “We apologize profusely and deeply for the great trouble we have caused,” Mitsui OSK Lines executive vice president Akihiko Ono said at a news conference in Tokyo. The company would “do everything in their power to resolve the issue,” he said. At least 1,000 tonnes of
They stand as eyesores to most passers-by and potential public health risks to authorities, decaying buildings wrapped in tangles of exposed wire, studded with protruding leaky plastic pipes, vegetation billowing from cracks and terraces where particulates from polluted air have accumulated over time. With skyscrapers and ultramodern developments on every side, some of these “nail houses” are also sitting on land worth millions of dollars in Shenzhen’s inferno of a property market, where new-unit and second-hand home prices rival London. In battles over land and development, the nail house phenomenon has become widespread throughout China over the past two decades, with owners
An Italian alpine resort on Friday remained on high alert over fears that a vast chunk of a glacier on the slopes of the Mont Blanc massif could plummet in high temperatures. “No one gets through! No cars, bikes or pedestrians,” was the message at a checkpoint where an automatic barrier and two guards blocked the small road snaking up into a lush valley below the Planpincieux glacier, near the town of Courmayeur and the Italian-French border. The blockade has largely been greeted with contempt by the locals, one of whom said: “It’s a joke.” The huge ice block measuring around 500,000 cubic
SHOW OF SOLIDARITY: The publisher’s ‘Apple Daily’ newspaper has had to raise the number of copies printed from 70,000 to 550,000 to meet a huge surge in demand They have occupied Hong Kong’s central business district, marched by the hundreds of thousands through the territory’s streets and endured tear gas and pepper spray in pitched battles with riot police. Hong Kong’s pro-democracy supporters are now wielding a new protest weapon: their stock-market trading accounts. To show support for Jimmy Lai (黎智英), the publisher and outspoken government critic who was on Monday arrested under the territory’s new national security legislation, Hong Kongers have been piling into shares of his media company Next Digital. The result: a more than 1,100 percent surge in two days that propelled the stock to a seven-year