Sunday, January 24, 2010

Haiti's Signal FM: The Little Radio Station that Could

In Haiti's devastation and upheaval since the Jan. 12 earthquake there has been one constant: the sound of Signal FM, the only radio station in the country that remained on the air after the quake hit, broadcasting through the following tumultuous days. "I cannot tell you how this happened, but our antennae did not fall down," the station manager Mario Viau told TIME by phone on Friday. "We stayed here and just kept going." With telephone and electricity lines down, and fuel scarce, Signal FM has been a lifeline for Haitians — one of the few sure ways people have had to relay details of where needs are most urgent, and to broadcast information about the missing.

Friday, January 15, 2010

U.S. texting raises $10 million and counting for Haiti

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Cellphone users in the United States have contributed more than $10 million to Haitian earthquake relief through text messages in what is being hailed as an unprecedented mobile response to a natural disaster.

Jim Manis, CEO of the foundation helping to manage cellphone donations, said it was receiving up to 10,000 text messages per second, he said. The foundation said more than $10 million has been donated.

Cellphone users can donate $5 to Haiti-born hip-hop musician Wyclef Jean's Yele Haiti Earthquake Fund by texting the word "Yele" to 501501, or they can donate $10 to other nonprofit organizations, such as the American Red Cross, by texting the word "Haiti" to a specified number, like 90999.

The donation is charged to a user's cellphone bill.

Read more....

A note from the Homeschool Hangout Zone Commentator:

Teen readers with cell phones (like me) who can text (unfortunately, not like me) - DONATE NOW! Don't text your usual $10 worth of texts this week - send it to Haiti instead! The American Red Cross text code is 90999. Give!

US sending 10,000 troops to earthquake-hit Haiti

Up to 10,000 US troops will be on the ground or off the coast of Haiti by Monday to help deal with the earthquake aid effort, US defence officials say.

Tuesday's earthquake has left as many as 50,000-100,000 people dead.

Haitian Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive said more than 15,000 bodies had already been recovered and buried, French news agency AFP reported.

The UN has launched a flash appeal for $562m (£346m), saying three million people would need help for six months.

US President Barack Obama described the scale of the devastation as extraordinary and the losses suffered as "heartbreaking".

Read more....'

(Image credit:

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Dubai opens world's largest half-mile-high tower

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Dubai opened the world's tallest skyscraper Monday in a blaze of fireworks, then added a final flourish: It renamed the half-mile-high tower for the head of neighboring Abu Dhabi, whose billions bailed out Dubai amid last year's financial crisis.

Long known as Burj Dubai — Arabic for "Dubai Tower" — the building rises 2,717 feet (828 meters) from the desert. The $1.5 billion "vertical city" of luxury apartments and offices and a hotel designed by Giorgio Armani also plans to have the world's highest mosque (158th floor) and swimming pool (76th floor).

Its backers wanted the skyscraper to be a monument to the boundless, can-do spirit of Dubai — one of a federation of seven small sheikdoms that make up the United Arab Emirates — but the timing could not be worse. Property prices in parts of Dubai collapsed by nearly half in the past year, the result of easy credit and overbuilding during a real estate bubble that has since burst.

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