Ahmad Fawzi said the news came in a letter from President Bashar Assad's government to Annan, the former U.N. secretary general who has been trying to broker an end to the Assad regime's crackdown on dissent — which the U.N. estimates has led to the deaths of more than 8,000 people in the past year.
Occupy L.A. activists rally outside the Bank of America Plaza in Los Angeles in February. The Occupy protests around the country have inspired two working groups that are attempting to reform the banking system and create an alternative bank.
Groups within the Occupy Wall Street movement are trying to overhaul the banking system and even dream of creating a new kind of bank.
Occupy isn't in the headlines so much these days, but work continues behind the scenes. The Alternative Banking Group of Occupy Wall Street meets weekly in different places. Members are older than some might think — in their 30s, 40s and 50s — and many work or formerly worked in the financial industry.
Hanoi, Hue, Danang and Saigon, were city names that were stamped on the American psyche a half-century ago, when the U.S. waged war in Vietnam. The once war-torn, Southeast Asian nation has made great strides to leave its troubled past behind.
At the Supreme Court, lawyers and justices will continue to spar over the new health care law. Tuesday's debate will center on whether the requirement that everyone carry health insurance — the individual mandate at the heart of the law — is constitutional.
The walls, furniture and detailing of artist Frank Buckley's apartment in Dublin, Ireland, are made from bricks of shredded euros. He estimates each brick contains up to 50,000 euros worth. He got the materials for free from the country's central bank.
The Pennsylvania capital Harrisburg is more than $300 million in debt. The budget is controlled by a state-appointed custodian. City and law enforcement services are under strain and residents worry violent crime may be growing.
Lawmakers in the House are expected to vote on a jobs act Tuesday. Part of the legislation would allow the public to make investments in start-up companies and small businesses. These companies could raise money online or through social networks. The bill would lift SEC regulations that restrict soliciting investors.
October Baby tells the story of 19-year-old Hannah, a first-year college student, who leaves home on a search for her birth mother. In many ways, it's a Hollywood-style road trip movie dealing with questions of identity, but at the movie's core is also a vigorous message about abortion.
In one scene, Hannah tracks down a nurse who worked at the health clinic where her birth mother had sought an abortion — one that failed when Hannah was born prematurely.
Joseph Francis, 54, says he came to this cholera clinic in Haiti's capital, Port-au-Prince,after becoming so dehydrated he could barely walk. Cholera has killed more than 7,000 Haitians since the first outbreak of the disease in October 2010. At the start of the rainy season, cases are once again beginning to climb.
Cots are lined up in a Port-au-Prince cholera clinic run by GHESKIO, a Haitian medical group. GHESKIO is helping to organize a huge pilot project to vaccinate some 100,000 Haitians against cholera. Tens of thousands of people have signed up to participate. The health workers have been trained, and the vaccine is waiting in coolers. But the campaign is bogged down in bureaucratic red tape.
Residents of the Port-au-Prince slum Cite de Dieu step gingerly over a stream of sewage. Aid workers had planned to be finished with the vaccination program before the spring rains, when widespread flooding can bring cholera directly into people's homes.
Nadia Simone stands in front of her house in Cite de Dieu. She says she has been trying to get a trash-clogged ditch next to her house drained because she knows it brings cholera right to her doorstep. Last year cholera made her young daughter very sick. "I don't want cholera to come back to my house," she says.
A lone pig roots through trash along a sewage canal that runs from the center of Port-au-Prince through Cite de Dieu. During the rainy season, the canal overflows its banks and fills nearby houses with sewage.
A GHESKIO worker goes door to door in Cite de Dieu. As part of the planned vaccination campaign, an army of health workers has gone out to inform Haitians about cholera and sign them up to get the vaccine.
Most people in this rural part of Haiti, near Saint-Marc, get their water from the Artibonite River. Though the river is known to be contaminated with cholera, few can afford chlorine tablets to purify the water.
Esperante Jean-Louise, who goes by Fifi, got cholera last year. The experience was terrifying, she says: "I first felt it in my head. And then once I started vomiting, I had diarrhea at the same time. I couldn't stand up — I was near death."
Rice farmer Alexis Rochenel, Fifi's husband, shows his blank cholera vaccination card. People will need two doses of vaccine spread over several weeks. Health workers could have been finished with the first round of vaccinations by now. But they're still waiting for the government to sign off on the project.
A young girl cools off from the midday heat in an irrigation canal near Saint-Marc. People in this area were chosen for the pilot vaccination program because they draw their water from the contaminated Artibonite River.
A hundred thousand people in Haiti are ready and waiting to get vaccinated against cholera.
The vaccine is sitting in coolers. Vaccination teams are all trained. Willing recipients are registered and entered into databases.
The impending mass vaccination project aims to show that vaccinating against cholera is feasible in Haiti. It has never been done in the midst of an ongoing cholera epidemic. So far, more than 530,000 Haitians have fallen ill with cholera, and more than 7,000 have died.