Sunday, May 16, 2004

Hot Corner: Nipping at the heels of the newsmakers

Exile must be getting jet-lag

Ousted Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide was granted asylum in South Africa last week, his third stop since his pressured resignation on Feb. 29.

Aristide originally was flown by a U.S. jet to the Central African Republic. A short time later he flew back across the Atlantic to Jamaica. South Africa agreed to take him in at the request of Caricom, a political and economic association of Caribbean nations. Caricom wanted him out of the region before June 1, when a United Nations force takes control of Haiti from a U.S.-led peacekeeping force that has been there since Aristide left Haiti following a three-week insurgency that was growing increasingly violent. The United States said it flew him to Africa after he resigned. Aristide now claims he was forced into exile by the Bush administration. Along with the frequent flyer miles he has amassed since February, Aristide is accused of embezzling more than $1 billion from his impoverished nation.

Tabloid twist

If you thought the photographs of U.S. prisoner abuse in Iraq looked as improbable as something out of news tabloids, now the Brits have given the international scandal another bizarre twist.

The British military have proved photographs of British soldiers abusing Iraqi prisoners were fakes; CNN reports that Piers Morgan, the anti-war editor of the Daily Mirror, has been forced to resign for falling for the hoax and slandering British troops. Instead of offering a reward for the capture of terrorists in Iraq, the Mirror's tabloid rival, The Sun, is offering an $88,000 reward for the arrest and conviction of those who faked the Mirror photographs.

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