Editor’s note: Click here to watch a related video report from Carmen Gentile in Haiti. PORT SALUT, Haiti — Dardy Saint-Jean looks at the rock-strewn river coursing through his village and shakes his head in disgust. “Look at this river — it’s filled with stones from the mountains,” said Saint-Jean, lamenting the results of decades of erosion caused by deforestation. Much of the destruction can be blamed on the way the majority of the populace subsists in this poor Caribbean nation, where public utilities are unreliable and often unavailable. With few reliable sources of fuel, most Haitians rely on charcoal […]

ACCRA, Ghana — Henry Kobby, 22, opened his family’s store here, which sells drinks and food, 18 months ago. But what seemed like a viable business idea in early 2006 is now undermined by power shortages that occur at least 24 hours of every three days. When the power goes, so does the refrigerator Kobby needs to keep the drinks cold and the microwave he uses to warm up the pies and pastries. The power cuts began last August when low water levels were registered at Ghana’s southeastern Akosombo Dam, the country’s major source of electricity, which forced the government […]

BANGKOK, Thailand – Ethnic clashes that have led to 11 deaths in Moreh, an Indian town on the border with Burma, have barely raised a blip on the global news meter but have brought much trade between the two countries to a standstill. Moreh is a fly-blown place in a remote corner of India’s troubled and underdeveloped northeast region and remains largely under lock and key guard by units of the Assam Rifles regiment. And yet Moreh is regarded by the central government in faraway New Delhi as the gateway to Southeast Asia in its “Look East” economic growth policy. […]

PERUGIA, Italy — Back in the good old days, European unity was all about energy. The European Union’s original ancestor was the European Carbon and Steel Community, established in 1951. Six years later, on March 25, 1957, leaders signed Euratom, an agreement on atomic energy, along with the other, better-known Rome Treaty. Fifty years of peace and wealth are a testament to a convergence of fundamental interests, which would be better represented by a common European energy policy than by tomato quotas. Yet today, while the agricultural trade restrictions remain in place, energy policy has taken a back seat in […]

President Bush’s meeting with Vladimir Putin last week found U.S.-Russian relations in a far different state than six years ago, when President Putin was the first leader to call the Oval Office and pledge his support following September 11. While there is yet no real basis for proclaiming a new Cold War, a long list of thorny issues includes sanctions against Iran, location of the proposed U.S. missile defense system, and the unresolved question of Kosovar independence. Perhaps the most important recent change U.S.-Russian relations, however, is Russia’s much greater reluctance to support the Bush administration’s Middle East and Europe […]

ACCRA, Ghana — When London-based Tullow Oil announced last month that it had discovered oil off the country’s west coast, a few Ghanaians thanked God for the blessing. Others, including President John Kufuor, reveled in the prospect that Ghana’s precious new resource would fuel faster growth and create more jobs. Kufuor suggested that oil would transform his country, which experiences 12-hour power cuts every two of three days, into an African tiger. Even government critics considered the find of up to 600 million barrels of reserves at the West Cape Three Points block, operated by Kosmos Energy of Texas, to […]