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Generational Dynamics Web Log for 11-Dec-2010
11-Dec-10 News -- Violence continues for fourth day in Haiti

Web Log - December, 2010

11-Dec-10 News -- Violence continues for fourth day in Haiti

Al-Qaeda changes strategy in Yemen

Violence continues for fourth day in Haiti

Violence in Haiti continued for a fourth day, fueled by extreme poverty, racial divisions, devastation from January's earthquake, and spreading cholera.

The violence was triggered on Tuesday by the announcement of election results that eliminated Michel Martelly, a popular carnival artist, from the runoff election to be held in January, according to the Guardian.

It's widely believed that vote-rigging was used to eliminate the popular Martelly, in favor of two other candidates who are considered to be closer to the establishment.

Haiti's population consists of two major groups -- the dark-skinned "noirs" or blacks, the descendants of slaves imported from Africa by the French colonizers in the 1700s, and the light-skinned "mulattoes," resulting from intermixing of French and slave bloods. The mulattoes are a market-dominant minority: under 5% of the population, but controlling over 50% of the nation's wealth. The two winning candidates are perceived to favor the mulatto Úlites, while Martelly is thought to favor the noirs.

With Haiti deep into a generational Crisis era, it's quite possible that the current violence will spiral into full scale civil war. That has been prevented so far, however, by the presence of U.N. peacekeeping forces and by massive international food aid.

The spread of cholera appears to have leveled off on Friday, but experts are saying that an intensive vaccination program must be instituted to control the deadly disease, according to Reuters.

A lot of popular anger has been leveled at the U.N. peacekeeping forces for apparently introducing the cholera into Haiti for the first time in decades. A new report, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, seems to confirm those accusations, according to the LA Times. According to the report, the cholera strain in Haiti is one which has previously been seen only in Asia, where it's a particularly virulent strain that has displaced the milder forms of cholera in that region. It's now believed likely that the cholera strain was introduced into Haiti by peacekeeping forces from Nepal or another Asian country.

Haiti is expected to dominate a meeting to be held on Monday of North American foreign ministers, according to the Toronto Star.

Of particular concern is that fact that billions of dollars in aid money has been contributed to Haiti, but people are still living in tent cities, indicating that the money is being wasted on corruption, and is not reaching the people who need it. Senator Patrick Leahy, who chairs the senate committee responsible for funding foreign aid, is calling for a freeze on US aid to Haiti's government, according to AFP. Leahy also wants to deny travel visas to government officials, until a fair election outcome has been shown.

Meanwhile, with the violence increasing, the U.S. has reissued a travel warning recommending all U.S. citizens reconsider nonessential trips to Haiti, according to AP. Canada has closed its embassy until further notice.

Additional links

Al-Qaeda has failed for years in its objective to drive the United States forces out of the Middle East, but now al-Qaeda on the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), headquartered in Yemen, is trying the reverse. In the new strategy, AQAP will "harness America's manic need to act" by continuously provoking America to meddle into Yemen's domestic affairs. They expect that this will alienate Yemen's government from its people, thus setting the stage for a domestic al-Qaeda coup. International Relations and Security Network (ISN)

New poll shows that Afghanistan public opinion is turning sharply against US forces. Global Post

On Thursday, Pakistani newspapers carried stories about Wikileaks revelations that American officials were accusing India of genocide in Kashmir and of supporting Islamist terrorists. However, an investigation shows that the Pakistani newspapers were duped, as the leaked cables were faked. Guardian

France's president Nicolas Sarkozy and Germany's chancellor Angela Merkel joined forces on Friday to oppose the "euro bond" proposal that we reported on yesterday. However, both leaders said that they were committed to "do everything to guarantee financial stability in the euro zone." NY Times

China's policy of "neutrality" in the armed confrontations between North and South Korea has resulted in damage to China's strategic interests: both Koreas have put their armed forces under top-level alert, the US 7th Fleet has been mobilized just outside of China's territorial waters, Japan's government is on alert, and everyone perceives China as favoring North Korea. However, China is afraid of confronting North Korea, for fear of destabilizing the country. S.Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS)

Taiwan has begun mass production of a long-range cruise missile that could reach mainland Chinese cities. WSJ (Access)

China's inflation surged to a 20 month high of 5.1% in Novemeber, thanks to massive amounts of stimulus money pushing up food prices. Associated Press

China plans to shift its monetary policy stance from relatively loose to 'prudent' next year. China Securities Journal

This week's debates between the administration and congress over taxes makes is clear that the US deficit is going to continue to skyrocket, no matter which side "wins," increasing the likelihood that the US will default at some point. This is causing a selloff of US Treasury bonds, causing yields (interest rates) to rise. This will make it even harder to get credit, and more expensive to get a home mortgage. WSJ (Access)

Pretty women are far less likely than plain women to get a job interview, according to a study. The reason, according to the study, is jealousy, since most most candidate screeners are women. Executive Health

(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 11-Dec-10 News -- Violence continues for fourth day in Haiti thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (11-Dec-2010) Permanent Link
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