World More than one in three in Haiti need urgent food aid: UN
Qantas grounds Boeing 737 plane with crack, inspects others
Australian flag carrier Qantas said Thursday it had grounded one Boeing 737NG due to a structural crack, and was urgently inspecting 32 others for the flaw. The grounding is the latest safety concern for Boeing, as it reels from two 737 MAX crashes that killed 346 people and highlighted problems with the planes' flight handling software. The US aviation authority this month ordered checks of Boeing 737NG planes that had flown more than 30,000 times.That came after the company reported the "pickle fork", which helps connect the wing to the fuselage, could be prone to cracking.
More than a third of Haitians are facing "severe food insecurity", sparked by price hikes, dwindling agricultural production and widespread social unrest, the UN's World Food Programme warned Friday.
A study conducted last month showed that out of Haiti's 11 million inhabitants, nearly 3.7 million are in a situation of "severe food insecurity," WFP spokesman Herve Verhoosel told journalists in Geneva.
Among them, more than one million people are considered to be facing a food "emergency" -- just one step away from "famine" -- meaning families face extreme hardship to meet their food needs, the agency said.
Sri Lanka economy slowly recovering from Easter attacks: IMF
Sri Lanka's economy was slowly recovering from the impact of the Easter Sunday suicide bombings that killed hundreds and crippled the booming tourism sector, the International Monetary Fund said Saturday. The country estimates it will lose about $1.5 billion in tourism revenue this year as a result of a sharp dip in arrivals following the jihadist attacks on churches and hotels, which killed at least 269 people. "The authorities are taking actions to mitigate the revenue shortfalls caused by the terrorist attacks and preserve the hard-won gains made under the program," said IMF deputy managing director Mitsuhiro Furusawa in a statement.
The poorest country in the Americas has been roiled for two months by protests, which were triggered by fuel shortages but have turned violent and morphed into a broader campaign against President Jovenel Moise.
According to UN figures, at least 42 people have been killed and dozens injured during anti-government protests since mid-September.
Verhoosel lamented that the dire security situation in Haiti had hampered WFP and other aid organisations' efforts to reach people in need for more than seven weeks.
"WFP’s school feeding programme has been badly affected and many deliveries have had to be postponed," he said.
"WFP has also postponed food distributions through cash-based transfers," he said, warning that "This is affecting some of the most vulnerable communities in Haiti who were counting on this assistance to provide food to their families."
Verhoosel pointed out that food insecurity had swelled by 15 percent in rural areas of the country since the previous study was conducted there nearly a year ago.
And last month's analysis had for the first time looked at urban areas in the Port-au-Prince, finding that some neighbourhoods of Cite Soleil in the capital were categorised as facing a food "emergency".
"Without immediate assistance, the situation is expected to deteriorate further," Verhoosel warned, pointing out that the analysis conducted last month indicated that the number of people in urgent need of food assistance would swell to 4.1 million by next March.
Mother of missing 5-year-old Florida girl not cooperating, deputies say .
Florida Crime Stoppers is offering a reward of up to $3,000 to anyone with information about the whereabouts of a missing 5-year-old girl. Authorities in Jacksonville say Taylor Rose Williams was discovered missing from her bedroom early Wednesday morning. Sign up for our Newsletters After initially working with investigators, deputies said the girl's mother has stopped cooperating. "We were talking to her about some inconsistencies in her statement and that's why she chose to stop cooperating with us," Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams said at a news conference Thursday.
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