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 […]

Whether the new British Labour Party government headed by Prime Minister Gordon Brown will seek to distance itself from the policies of U.S. President George Bush remains uncertain. So far, however, Brown seems to be resisting calls for significant change to Britain’s core foreign policies, despite a political atmosphere that is conducive to such a break. Many British people disapprove of recent U.S. policies regarding Iraq, climate change, and other issues. Moving away from Washington also would allow Brown to differentiate himself from his predecessor, Tony Blair, underscoring his authority and credentials. Several recent statements by newly appointed members of […]

NEW YORK — America generally has had an uneasy relationship with the Non-Alignment Movement, which represents some 118 countries, mainly in the developing world. More than a half century ago — on June 9, 1955, to be precise — John Foster Dulles, the U.S. Secretary of State under President Dwight D. Eisenhower, upset the leaders of several non-aligned countries, including former Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, when he chastised in a speech that “neutrality (a term used by the then U.S. administration to refer to non-alignment) has increasingly become an obsolete and, except under very special circumstances . . . […]

Editor’s Note: Click here to watch a video of Carmen Gentile reporting from Cité Soleil. PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — Edith Destiny remembers the days when gunfire in the Haitian capital’s slums kept her awake all night. “Things are beginning to improve here — I don’t hear nearly as many gunshots as I used to,” said Destiny while deep-frying a batch of Haitian “marinade” for potential customers along a busy thoroughfare in Cité Soleil, one of Port-au-Prince’s largest, and most notoriously violent, slums.<<ad>>The 38-year-old mother of two said fewer gunshots means better business for her and the other merchants along 19th Street, […]

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WASHINGTON — Eight years ago, the Senate declined to ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) following President Clinton’s signature and endorsement. Even today, though, many lawmakers, analysts, and voters continue to push for it and the treaty remains on the calendar of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. As nuclear politics have increased in importance — especially following developments in Iran and North Korea — Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) is reportedly attempting to revive a debate on the treaty by attaching a “sense of Congress” resolution to the annual defense authorization bill, now being considered in Congress, which will express […]

BOGOTÁ, Colombia — After seven years of ineffective drug policies, Colombia is questioning whether America’s coca fumigation strategy is really the answer to their drug problem. From sharp criticism in the Colombian media to Colombia’s own defense minister admitting that the country’s drug progress resembles a “stationary bicycle,” new solutions are rapidly being sought. Since 2000, under the banner of, “Plan Colombia,” the American government has spent $4.7 billion fighting drugs and helping the Colombian military counter armed groups in the country. More than 900,000 hectares of coca, the base for cocaine, have consequently been fumigated or manually eradicated. Yet, […]

On July 10, the U.N. Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC), which had conducted WMD inspections in Iraq, formally ceased operating when its staff contracts expired. Two weeks earlier, on June 29, the U.N. Security Council (UNSC) had voted to dissolve the commission. This Security Council decision was a mistake. The UNSC should instead establish a small force of WMD inspectors that could assist with current WMD monitoring tasks and could rapidly expand to lead future U.N.-authorized inspection missions. UNMOVIC was the immediate successor to the U.N. Special Commission (UNSCOM), established by the UNSC in 1991 to oversee the postwar […]

MEXICO CITY — Mexican President Felipe Calderon took office last December promising to create jobs, crack down on drug traffickers, improve infrastructure and reduce rampant inequality. But any progress towards tackling these national priorities hinges on a much more mundane topic — tax policy. This is why Calderon’s recent fiscal reform initiative, currently being discussed by a Mexican congressional committee, is a crucial test. To make his promises reality, he needs more money, and improving the nation’s anemic tax collection is the only solution. “It’s pretty clear that we don’t raise enough revenue to do all the things we want […]