On January 10, a massive 7.0 earthquake struck Haiti. Six months later, relief efforts are moving very slowly. On our rebroadcast of today's To the Point, has Haiti's government been an obstacle in the flow of aid? Why are donors taking so long to actually provide the funds they promised? How are people on the ground being helped? Also, beautiful new schools rise on the site of the Ambassador Hotel, and the strange tale of the Iranian nuclear scientist who either was – or wasn't – abducted by the CIA. Sara Terry sits in for vacationing Warren Olney.
FROM THIS EPISODE
The Ambassador Hotel, once frequented by the rich and famous, has been razed and rebuilt as a site for multiple K-12 school campuses set to open this fall. The Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools will include a state-of-the-art auditorium, built on the site of the famous Coconut Grove nightclub, as well as a pool and other sports facilities. Howard Blume reports in today's LA Times that it will also feature a hefty price tag of more than $578 million.
It's been six months since a devastating magnitude-7.0 earthquake hit Haiti, killing as many as 230,000 people and leaving more than a million homeless. Governments, aid agencies and individuals all responded swiftly to the disaster, pledging more than $5 billion in aid, but only two percent of that money has actually reached Haiti. The US Senate has expressed its concerns about how aid is being managed. What's gone wrong? Why have relief efforts stalled? Could the American government pull back on its pledge of help? What about other countries? What support has actually reached those in need?
Deborah Sontag, Correspondent, New York Times
Julie Sell, Spokeswoman, American Red Cross in Haiti
Robert Perito, Director of the Haiti Program, US Institute of Peace
Brian Concannon, Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti
Iranian nuclear scientist Shahram Amiri is on his way home to the United States, ending a long, strange intelligence drama. The US says he defected, but Amiri says the CIA abducted him and the Iranian government says they can prove it. Amiri has changed his story a few days, but now appears to be sticking with abduction. Laura Rozen, who writes the ‘On Foreign Policy' blog for Politico, picks up the story.