The U.N. will name Bill Clinton its special envoy to Haiti, his spokesman said Monday, in a move that could capitalize on the ex-president’s years of involvement with the impoverished nation to burnish the international body’s image there.
An official announcement is expected from U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon today, Clinton spokesman Matt McKenna said.
U.N. peacekeepers have provided the only real security in Haiti since 2004, and are helping train the country’s underequipped national police force to eventually retake control. But protesters and some Haitian lawmakers denounce the international troops as an occupation force and have called for them to leave.
Because of his marriage to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, State Department lawyers must approve and review some of Clinton’s international activities under an agreement between the U.S. Senate and the Clinton Foundation, which works in Haiti on a number of issues including health care, AIDS, the environment and economic development.
Mudslides claim dozens of lives
Mudslides tumbled down a rain-soaked mountain in the southern Philippines, burying dozens of shanties in a gold mining village and killing at least 26 people, a provincial governor said today.
A 50-member police and military rescue team headed to the remote village of Napnapan to help search for at least six people missing a day after the landslides hit, said Gov. Arthur Uy of Compostela Valley province.
The village, which normally has no police presence, is about 64 miles from the nearest main town and the rescuers brought a backhoe and other heavy equipment to clear the only road leading to it, police Inspector Winifredo Regidor said.
Chinese climber dies on Everest
An amateur Chinese mountain climber died of altitude sickness early today while descending Mount Everest on the Chinese side just hours after reaching the summit, state media reported.
The climber, identified as Wu Wenhong from the eastern province of Jiangsu, died at around 4 a.m. just 328 feet below the summit, the Xinhua News Agency said.
Xinhua said Wu, 40, had reached the summit on Monday morning but fell seriously ill shortly afterward while still inside the so-called “death zone” where oxygen levels are about one-third of that at sea level.
Other climbers provided him with bottled oxygen and medication and tried to keep him warm, but by midafternoon Wu was too sick to move, Xinhua said, quoting climbing official Nyima Tsering.
The other 11 Chinese climbers in Wu’s group were all reported safe, it said.
From wire reports