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‘October, 2006’

US/Haiti: Govt Corruption Suit Stalls for Lack of Funds

US/Haiti: Govt Corruption Suit Stalls for Lack of Funds

Inter Press Service (IPS), Oct 26, 2006

The U.S. Justice Department is withholding agreement to share assets seized from Haitian drug traffickers to finance a lawsuit by the Haitian government charging former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide with taking bribes.

The suit is based on allegations by a former executive of the telecom company IDT that before Aristide left the country in 2004, he took hundreds of thousands of dollars in kickbacks from IDT, which is connected to prominent U.S. Republicans.

Athens: Art from the ancient Acropolis to the moderns

Athens: Art from the ancient Acropolis to the moderns

The soul of Athens is embedded in its ancient monuments. The Acropolis and other historic sites are not museum pieces tucked away for tourists’ visits. They are an integral part of the city’s life. Visit the National Gallery, and you’ll see a 19th-century painting of Athenians lounging on a terrace, with the Acropolis in the background, “Athenian Evening,” 1897, by Iakovos Rizos (1849-1926).

The city shows its pride in the venerable stones of the Parthenon and other more-than-2500-year-old temples by designing its streets and buildings with the goal of assuring direct sightlines. That appears to be the de rigueur view from the best hotels.

Key West in January: Books & Boats (also Poetry, Prose & Parties)

Key West in January: Books & Boats (also Poetry, Prose & Parties)

Come January, there’s no better place to be than Key West. If the stars are right, you might arrive there as I did early this year, first to bask in the intellectual lights of the Key West Literary Seminar and then to revel in the glories of the annual Key West international regatta.

The seminar was about adventure, travel and discovery. If you were there, you would have heard Kate Wheeler, who trained as a Buddhist nun in Burma and wrote the novel, “When Mountains Walked,” about foreigners adrift in exotic cultures. Or maybe you’d have chatted with her at the champagne party the seminar throws every year at the Key West Museum of Art and History at the historic red brick Custom House. (That is Kate second from the right at the 2006 party.)