Haiti has long been one of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere. Even though it was the first Latin American nation to gain independence — through a slave rebellion — Haitian history has been marked by invasions and occupations to bring down one corrupt regime after another.

President Obama has two initiatives to help victims of Haiti's devastating earthquake, a private initiative that deserves lavish praise and a new government dole that lacks constitutional authority and merits condemnation. The January 12 earthquake in Haiti has unquestionably wreaked unspeakable violence.

UN buildingThe United Nations, which has faced massive fraud cases in recent years, has cut back on its fraud investigations. These fraud cases typically involve theft or other misuse of funds.

Mexican violence"A record 69 people were murdered across Mexico on Saturday, making it the deadliest day since President Felipe Calderon took office just over three years ago," the Latin American Herald Tribune reported on Wednesday, January 13, citing Mexico's El Universal newspaper. The previous daily death toll record was 57 murders on Aug. 17, 2009.

The World Health Organization (WHO) and a pharmaceutical company are advising doctors in Canada not to use a batch of H1N1 swine flu vaccines following reports that the shots were causing an unusually high number of severe allergic reactions.