08 Oct

News and Analyses, A Foreign Perspective


Efforts to access worst-affected areas have been hampered by flooding and damage after storm devastated parts of island

LIVE: Hurricane Matthew threatens Florida after Haiti devastation

Hurricane Matthew is seen in Nasa footage from the International Space Station as it approaches Florida. Footage shows some of the devastation in Haiti, where at least 330 people died when the storm hit on Tuesday. Cuba and the Bahamas also suffered damage to homes and infrastructure

The number of people killed in Haiti by the devastating effects of Hurricane Matthew was reported by Reuters to have risen as high as 842 on Friday as rescue workers and aid agencies battled to reach remote areas of the country, assess the damage and deliver relief.

The hurricane, which hit Haiti on Tuesday, brought 145mph winds and torrential rains that destroyed more than 3,200 homes, displaced 15,000 people, ruined plantations and drowned animals.

With communications still down in many of the worst-affected areas, it will take days before a definitive death toll can be established. The government puts the number of dead at 122, Radio Television Caraibes at 264, while Hervé Fourcand, a senator for the Sud department, said more than 300 people had died in the region. A Reuters tally of deaths reported by local civil protection officials suggested 842 people had died, but that figure has not been confirmed by the government or the civil protection agency.

The International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies estimates that more than one million Haitians have been affected, with hundreds of thousands of people in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. It has launched an appeal for £5.8m to help provide medical relief, shelter, water and sanitation over the next year.

By Friday morning Matthew was battering Florida, becoming the first major hurricane threatening a direct hit on the United States in more than 10 years.

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Honor bestowed upon Juan Manuel Santos surprised many Colombians who believed his chances had been scuttled by popular rejection of the peace deal

Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos

Some Colombians see the prize as ‘a well-deserved recognition by the international community to the efforts’ Santos has been making for peace. Photograph: John Vizcaino/Reuters

Colombia’s president, Juan Manuel Santos, has been awarded the Nobel peace prize for his work on a peace deal that was defeated in a referendum this week, in a surprise move that could breathe new life into flailing efforts to end the 52-year war with Farc rebels.

“I receive this recognition … as a mandate to continue to work without rest for peace for all Colombians,” Santos said in an early morning address after receiving news of the prize.

“I accept it not on my behalf but on behalf of all Colombians, especially the millions of victims of this conflict that we have suffered for more than 50 years,” he said.

More than 220,000 people have died and six million have been internally displaced by the war that began in 1964 as an uprising of a small group of peasants. After four years of intense talks in Havana, government and Farc negotiators finalized a deal in August , which Barack Obama called a “historic achievement”. But the whole process was thrown into turmoil this week after Colombians narrowly voted to reject the deal in a national plebiscite.

The Norwegian Nobel committee said it hoped the prize would encourage all parties to continue working toward peace. “There is a real danger that the peace process will come to a halt and that civil war will flare up again,” said the committee chairwoman, Kaci Kullmann Five.

“The fact that a majority of the voters said no to the peace accord does not necessarily mean that the peace process is dead. The referendum was not a vote for or against peace,” she said.

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The WikiLeaks emails appear to show Clinton enjoying warm relations with Wall Street and admitting she is ‘far removed’ from ordinary citizens

Excerpts from the speeches, long kept under wraps, came to light when WikiLeaks published what it claimed were hacked campaign emails.

Excerpts from the speeches, long kept under wraps, came to light when WikiLeaks published what it claimed were hacked campaign emails. Photograph: Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images

Speeches given by Hillary Clinton to major Wall Street banks including Goldman Sachs, long kept under wraps, have apparently been released by WikiLeaks.

The lucrative speeches were a recurring theme in the Democratic primary campaign; accused of being the pro-Wall Street establishment candidate, Clinton faced calls from rival Bernie Sanders to make them public.

The speech excerpts came to light on Friday when WikiLeaks published thousands of what it claimed were hacked emails from her campaign chairman John Podesta. The campaign refused to confirm or deny the authenticity of the documents.

On Friday the US government formally named the Russian government as responsible for recent hacks intended to interfere with the US presidential election.

Glen Caplin, Clinton campaign national spokesperson, said: “We are not going to confirm the authenticity of stolen documents released by Julian Assange [of WikiLeaks] who has made no secret of his desire to damage Hillary Clinton. Guccifer 2.0 has already proven the warnings of top national security officials that documents can be faked as part of a sophisticated Russian misinformation campaign.”

If genuine, the WikiLeaks emails appear to show Clinton enjoying warm relations with Wall Street and admitting she is “far removed” from ordinary citizens.

In a speech to the Goldman Sachs Builders And Innovators Summit in October 2013, Clinton apparently complained of “a bias” against successful people in Washington that stops them retaining their wealth.

“Well, you know what Bob Rubin said about that,” she is quoted as saying. “He said, you know, when he came to Washington, he had a fortune. And when he left Washington, he had a small …”

A man called Mr Blanfein interjected: “That’s how you have a small fortune, is you go to Washington.”

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