HAITI CHOLERA OUTBREAK
A cholera epidemic in Haiti confirmed Oct. 22 has claimed more than 900 lives. Experts predict it will infect at least 200,000 more.
Medical authorities in Haiti decided Tuesday to focus on treating victims rather than finding the origin of the outbreak.
“We are focused on treating people, getting a handle on this and saving lives,” said Daniel B. Epstein, a spokesperson for a branch of the World Health Organization functioning in Haiti.
Scientists found a cholera strain in South Asia that matches the one in Haiti. They suggest the disease could have traveled between the two locations through contaminated food or water.
Many blame UN peacekeepers from Nepal who arrived in Haiti in 2004 to end political conflict. Protestors started riots Monday throughout Haiti.
The UN denies the accusation, but the World Health Organization said the possibility of a link between UN troops and Haiti’s cholera epidemic cannot be ruled out.
U.S. AFGHAN OPERATIONS
Afghan President Hamid Karzai has called on the U.S. to decrease its military operations in the country.
“The time has come to reduce the presence of, you know, boots in Afghanistan…to reduce the intrusiveness into the daily Afghan life,” Karzai said.
In response, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton defended U.S. military operations, saying they are in the best interest of the Afghan people and their government. Clinton also pointed out that the U.S. has conducted its operations in full partnership with the government of Afghanistan.
NATO leaders will begin a two-day summit in Lisbon on Friday to discuss replacing foreign troops with Afghan forces.