Prayer and mourning a year after quake
PORT-AU-PRINCE | The normally traffic-clogged streets of the Haitian capital turned quiet Wednesday as businesses closed and people walked in solemn processions to prayer services marking the anniversary of the worst natural disaster in the nation’s history.
Many people wore white, a color associated with mourning in Haiti, and sang hymns as they navigated collapsed buildings and rubble from the Jan. 12, 2010, earthquake that left much of Port-au-Prince in ruins and, by the government’s imprecise estimate, killed more than 230,000 people.
President Rene Preval and former President Bill Clinton attended a ceremony to lay the cornerstone for a new National Tax Office, where many workers were killed in one of the blows to the public sector that paralyzed the government after the earthquake.
Police disrupt human smuggling ring
AMSTERDAM | A smuggling network channeling about 200 migrants a month, mainly from Afghanistan, into Europe has been disrupted in an Italian-led investigation, European police agency Europol said on Wednesday.
A two-year cross-border investigation resulted in 26 arrests on Jan. 11, mainly in Italy but also in France and Germany. Groups in Greece, Norway, Sweden, Britain, Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan were also involved, Europol said in a statement.
The ring is thought to have smuggled about 200 migrants a month from August 2008 to date. One-fifth are thought to be to be minors, after children were found during house searches conducted in the criminal probe, Europol said.
Official: No talks on ‘nuclear dossier’
TEHRAN | Iran will not talk about its “nuclear dossier” at the Istanbul talks with world powers, atomic chief Ali Akbar Salehi said in comments published Wednesday, reiterating Tehran’s long-standing policy.
“We will absolutely not recognize the negotiation if the other side wants to negotiate on the issue of the nuclear dossier” of Iran, Mr. Salehi, who also is acting foreign minister, said in an interview with state-run Iran newspaper.
His remarks come ahead of a Jan. 21-22 meeting in Istanbul between Iran and the six world powers — Britain, China, France, Russia, the United States and Germany — aimed at resolving a dispute over Iran’s nuclear program.