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REPUBLIC: Warding off cholera

Health authorities began taking down some food stands and installing public bathrooms Wednesday in an effort to control a cholera outbreak. Crews are inspecting food at the remaining stalls to ensure it is thoroughly cooked and that clean water is being used, said Jose Miguel Carrion, spokesman for the municipality of Santo Domingo. Hundreds of new cases of cholera have been reported across the country, with more than 1,143 cases and 14 deaths since the outbreak began in November. Officials are concerned the outbreak will worsen as the hurricane season approaches. Most of the new cases have been reported in cities, including Santo Domingo, Santiago and San Pedro de Macoris. Cholera was first detected in neighboring Haiti last year, with 266,000 cases and nearly 5,000 deaths reported.


HAITI: New reconstruction effort

Daniel-Gerard Rouzier, the businessman nominated to be the next prime minister said Wednesday he wants to scrap the earthquake reconstruction commission co-chaired by former U.S. President Bill Clinton that has been criticized for its slow progress. Rouzier said the 27-member commission is "dysfunctional" and he would replace it with a new government agency, one more responsive to the needs of the Haitian people and still accountable to international donors. He said he hopes Clinton, a special UN envoy to Haiti, will remain active in reconstruction from the January 2010 earthquake, which killed more than 300,000 people as it left much of the capital in ruins.


AFGHANISTAN: Taliban fighters routed

Airborne NATO and Afghan soldiers expelled Taliban fighters Wednesday from a government building they occupied in remote Nuristan province in the east and forced them to flee to surrounding mountains, a local official said, the latest fighting in a region bordering Pakistan's lawless tribal area. As coalition forces came under fire, they called in airstrikes, killing 10 Taliban fighters, NATO said.

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