Tuesday, December 12, 2017
News Roundup

Housing plan for Haiti falls short

Washington

Housing plan for Haiti falls short

Disputes over land rights, higher costs and other factors have forced the U.S. Agency for International Development to drastically scale back plans to build 15,000 homes in Haiti following the 2010 earthquake, the Government Accountability Office said in a report Tuesday. It also found that as of March, the agency had disbursed only 31 percent of $651 million despite the government's insistence that it was committed to Haiti's reconstruction. Instead of 15,000 homes, the agency is expected to build 906 houses, and nongovernment agencies and other partners are on tap to add 1,743. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Miami, said the findings were "alarming and showcases the need to further investigate and ensure that U.S. taxpayer dollars are not being wasted or abused in Haiti."

GERMANY

Raids target terror plots in Europe

Scores of special police officers raided at least nine sites in Germany and Belgium on Tuesday after what the German authorities said was a tip to an Islamist plot involving two men of Tunisian origin planning to stage terrorist attacks involving explosives and remote-controlled model airplanes.

None of the suspects was identified by name, and no one was detained in the raids, which the prosecutor's office in Karlsruhe said were intended to collect evidence of plans and preparations for attacks.

Separately, French authorities detained nine people in raids Monday and Tuesday, security officials said. The nine were suspected of plotting acts of Islamic terrorism or of having ties to jihadist networks.

Elsewhere

St. Louis: A fire and explosion that apparently started in an underground electrical transformer sent fireballs and thick black smoke shooting from a street outside one of the largest office buildings in downtown St. Louis Tuesday afternoon. No injuries were reported.

China: A space capsule with three astronauts landed today on China's northern grasslands after a 15-day trip to a prototype space station, marking the latest success for the country's manned space program.

South Korea: Major government and news media websites in South and North Korea were shut down Tuesday after anonymous hackers claimed to have attacked them on the 63rd anniversary of the start of the 1950-53 Korean War.

Times wires

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