Haitian among three arrested in marijuana bust

PELICAN CAY, Jamaica – The Marine police are reporting a massive ganja seizure, which they say has dealt yet another blow to the guns-for-drugs trade between Jamaica and Haiti, the Jamiaca Observer reported.

Approximately 650 pounds of ganja and three 15-gallon bottles of fuel were seized by a team about 4:45 pm yesterday.

Reports are that the team was patrolling the Pelican Cay area when they observed the bottles of fuel ashore. This aroused the suspicion of the lawmen, leading them to probe the surrounding area. During the search, the ganja was found in plastic bags and three men—one of whom has since been confirmed as a Haitian—were arrested in connection with the find.

Arrangements are now being made for the men in custody to be interviewed in the presence of attorneys.

US official visits Haiti to assess progress toward elections

PORT-AU-PRINCE (AP) – The U.S. State Department’s special coordinator for Haiti arrived in the troubled Caribbean nation Thursday seeking to help resolve a political standoff that has left elections in limbo.

Kenneth Merten began talks with Haitian officials and international partners focusing on steps needed to conclude a stalled electoral cycle that began last year. The U.S. was careful in its language, saying Merten was sent only to assess the situation, not wanting to appear to meddle in the country’s affairs.

While Merten held meetings with lawmakers, partisans of rival political factions threw rocks at each other in front of Parliament and riot police dispersed demonstrators with rubber bullets.

Haiti had Zika months before Brazil’s 2015 outbreak

Two months after Haiti confirmed it was having an outbreak of the painful mosquito-borne virus chikungunya in 2014, Haitians began complaining about a new fever epidemic and wondered whether it was Zik or Zika, the other virus carried by the same mosquito, the Miami Herald reported.

Haiti health officials and experts from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention quickly dismissed the Zika rumors, regarding the fever symptoms as another bout of fast-spreading chikungunya.

Now, infectious-disease specialists at the University of Florida believe that diagnosis was wrong. Zika, according to new research, was not only present in the Western Hemisphere before it was confirmed in Brazil in March 2015 — it was in Haiti.

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