Posts Tagged ‘World News’

Will Corruption Interrupt Aid Money in Haiti?

With worldwide aid money totaling in the billions, many are concerned that Haiti’s government will not properly handle the allocation of those funds. In fact, many Haitians are expecting that will be the case. As they sit in tent villages constructed amongst the ruins of their city and their lives, they are very much aware of the corrupt government that controls the shaken country.

Despite efforts by the current president, Transparency International, a group that investigates the degree of government corruption, rates the government in Haiti as one of the world’s worst and one of the least effective, two traits that the country could seriously do without right now.

Clifford Rouzeau is a restaurant owner in the Haitian capital who has been feeding 1,000 people every day since he was able to reopen. “I’m hoping. I’ve got my fingers crossed. The people here deserve better than they actually have,” he said. “You have a government that steals everything and won’t give anything back to the country. You have a government that doesn’t feel it necessary to put police out in the street. Do something! Put canteens all over. Just do something.”

Many are worried that if the money is given to the country’s top officials, most of it will be pocketed and will never trickle down to help rebuild the ruined nation. While the President has done his best to fight against corruption, those beneath him are apparently still bathing in it.

Haiti is the poorest country in the western hemisphere and its people cannot afford to have any aid money taken from them. They need food, medicine, clean water, clothing, building materials, the list could realistically go on for days. Previous funding has mysteriously fizzled before it ever made it to the areas where it was needed most. If the same happens now, there will be even less of a country left over than what the earthquake decided to spare on January 12.

To read the original article, please go to http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE60P3HN20100126

The Final Anne Frank Helper Dies at 100

Miep Gies was one of only a few non-jews who took care of and brought supplies to Anne Frank’s family as they hid from the Nazis in Amsterdam during World War two. When the family was found by the Nazis in August of 1944, Gies convinced the Austrian SS officer not to take her as well, and was able salvage Anne’s diaries so that her story could live on.

While Anne did not survive the concentration camps, her father, Otto, was able to come out of the war alive and eventually met with Gies and received his daughter’s diaries.

“There is nothing special about me,” Gies wrote in a book first published in 1987. “I have never wanted special attention. I was only willing to do what was asked of me and what seemed necessary at the time.”

After the war was over, Gies gave many speeches opposing Holocaust denial and so that she could keep Anne’s story alive and in the thoughts of many.

It is because of Gies that the diaries lived on and were able to attain their popularity. Anne’s story is now published in 70 languages and is one of the best-selling books in the world because of its vivid, firsthand description of a life lived in fear during the war.

To access the original article, please go to http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/01/12/AR2010011200516.html

The World’s Tallest Building

The Burj Khalifa in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, celebrated its inauguration on January fourth.  The building, now the tallest in the world, stands two thousand, seven hundred and seventeen feet tall, nearly one thousand feet taller than the north tower of the World Trade Center was, and views of up to sixty miles can be seen from the top.  Construction began on the building in September, 2004.  

The one hundred and sixty story building also boasts some other impressive records.  The building holds the world’s fastest elevator, which can reach speeds of forty miles per hour.  It also has the world’s tallest observation deck, located at the one hundred and twenty fourth floor, and the world’s highest swimming pool, located on the seventy fourth floor.  It is also the tallest building in the world to contain residential living space, all of which has already been spoken for. 

The building is adorned with twenty six thousand, three hundred and forty eight windows which are cleaned by a staff of thirty six workers and a group of automated machines for the highest points.  It will take this whole crew three to four months to clean the entire structure.  

The inaugural ceremony featured fireworks emanating from the building and a fantastic water show stemming from the technologically magnificent fountain system that lies at the foot of the building. 

For more information on the building, please go to its Wikipedia page at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burj_dubai