U.S. rabbis speak out against Dominican expulsion on Dominico-Haitians

A group of American rabbis are denouncing the Dominican Republic’s treatment of Dominicans of Haitian descent after a recent trip to the country who shares the same island as Haiti. Ten U.S.rabbis toured the Dominican Republic last week as part of a Global Justice Fellowship trip with the American Jewish World Service (AJWS).

“This trip to the Dominican Republic strengthened my ability to stand with oppressed Dominicans of Haitian descent as an ally,” said Rabbi Ronit Tsadok, of Los Angeles’ IKAR synagogue, in a press release. “We will raise awareness about the human rights crisis in the Dominican Republic, which echoes some of the most difficult and disturbing chapters of Jewish history.”

Peaceful pro-government march held in Port-au-Prince

Supporters of President Michel Martelly’s administration held peaceful marches in Port-au-Prince on Thursday calling for elections to take place. Thousands of people in t-shirts with Jovenel Moise’s face, took part in the march, in what reports have described as a “carnival-like atmosphere.” The protest was organized by Haiti’s ruling party. A similar demonstration took place in Gonaives.

“We are demanding the second round of presidential elections be held so the voice of Haiti’s voters will be respected,” accountant Jean Baptiste Nacal said to the Associated Press, as people nearby danced to a popular carnival song. “We don’t want any transition government.”

Clifford Brandt trial begins

The high-profile kidnapping trial of Clifford Brandt began on Thursday. Brandt is the son of a prominent Haitian family that has extensive business holdings in Haiti. Brandt was arrested in 2012 of the alleged kidnapping of two adult children of a wealthy Haitian family and demanding a ransom of $2.5 million. Brandt is pleading not guilty. His lawyers claim the allegation stem from a family dispute. Brandt is charged with kidnapping for ransom, money laundering, and illegal possession of weapons.

125 Zika virus cases reported in Haiti

The Ministry of Public Health and Population confirmed Wednesday there are 125 new cases of Zika virus across the country’s 10 departments. The West department is the most affected with 35 percent of the cases, followed by the North with 32 percent, and the Center with 15 percent of the cases.

Women are being warned to avoid becoming pregnant for the moment and to take extra precaution to prevent mosquito bites.

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