World News Brief, Thursday January 21

Troops arrive in Haiti, work to open more airfields amidst aftershocks (+ analysis of what's next); Obama's healthcare plans at risk after Massachusetts loss; South Korea promises pre-emptive strike; Nigerian military enforce curfew, 4,000 displaced; and more

Top of the Agenda: More US Troops Arrive in Haiti

Thousands of US troops moved into Port-au-Prince, Haiti, to increase aid efforts (WashPost), and the United Nations approved the dispatch of 3,500 additional peacekeepers . Some 2,000 US troops were on the ground Tuesday and 5,000 on ships or helicopters offshore. The United States is expected to ramp up to 10,000 troops. Many Haitians have still not received any food or medical care, and aid delivery is still hampered by air traffic problems. Medical organization Doctors without Borders said it has had five flights, with a total of eighty-five tons of medical supplies, refused for landing. US troops are working to open more airfields and get more trucks to help deliver supplies to victims.

The US military's arrival highlighted complaints (NYT) that the Haitian government has had little involvement in the rescue effort. But Haitians are welcoming of foreign troops as long as their presence is temporary. Aides to Haitian president René Préval--who is stationed with advisers at a compact police station that has become the government's de-facto headquarters--said the president would soon address the country for the first time since the quake struck.

A 6.1-magnitude earthquake struck Haiti (AP) Wednesday morning only eight days after the last quake.


On, Colum Lynch says the Haiti earthquake poses serious political risks to the United Nations and its secretary-general, Ban Ki-moon, who has a habit of downplaying crises.

In the Globe and Mail, Robert Muggah says the quake is an opportunity for the international community to rethink its relationship to fragile states.

The Brookings Institution's Elizabeth Ferris says the three keys to Haiti's success are strengthening Haiti's government, supporting its community groups, and letting the United Nations take the lead in relief efforts.


PACIFIC RIM: North-South Korean Tensions

South Korea's Defense Minister Kim Tae-young said the South would launch (Yonhap) a pre-emptive strike against the North if there were clear indications of an imminent nuclear attack.

Malaysia: Malaysian police say they have arrested (AFP) eight people over the firebombing of a church earlier this month.



Democrats Lose Filibuster-Proof Majority
Al-Qaeda Provoking India-Pakistan Tensions
Nigerian Troops Quell Violence


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