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January 28 & 31: from Port-au-Prince - Sarajevo - Jos, Nigeria - Khimki, Russia - London - Monrovia

Haitian Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive told the Montreal meeting that Haiti has set up six committees to deal with the crisis caused by the earthquake. (Paul Chiasson/Canadian Press)
Haiti ponders the task ahead while furious voices ask where their government's been all this time.

Vodka and the village of widows; Russia tries again to stop the country's slow march towards alcoholism.

How the internet has triggered libel tourism and some publications to consider cutting off the United Kingdom.

Sergei Magnitsky was trying to stop the mysterious forces stealing from his company. Now he's dead. We'll hear from a victim of the Russian shell game known as "raiding."

Also; thoughts from an expat on the latest violence in Nigeria, and why Liberians are getting their news the old-fashioned way; on the blackboard.

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Click here to listen to the individual Dispatches.

Haitians help themselves

Haiti's reconstruction will proceed with global support, following a meeting of Foreign Minsters in Montreal earlier this week.

They've agreed it will take a ten-year commitment, with Haiti's government in the forefront. And that's just what Haitian Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive came looking for.

Listen to Jean-Max Bellerive ...

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But while the Prime Minister insists Haiti's "government is functioning," amid the ruins of Port-au-Prince, there is little confidence in it.

It was virtually absent in the hours after the earthquake. It had no plan in place to operate in an emergency.

And as we hear from the CBC's Stephen Puddicombe, survivors aren't working with their government. They're working around it.

Listen to Stephen's report...

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Have libel...will travel

A recent ruling by Canada's Supreme court is being hailed as a new defence for journalists facing libel lawsuits.

But it may already be out-of-date. Here's why.

A new report finds those with a grievance against the media can now lauch their complaint from a growing number of countries which make it easy to sue, and easy to win.

It's called "libel tourism," and it's all because of the internet, which makes it possible to sue from a country other than the one where the story first appears.

So you're thinking, "Right. Some police state, I suppose." Surprise. It's the United Kingdom. And right behind are Australia, Ireland and France.

As a result, one supermarket tabloid is blocking its website to the U.K., and mainstream newspapers are considering it too.

So is journalist Drew Sullivan, who prepared the report for the Center for International Media Assistance.

Listen to Rick's conversation with Drew Sullivan...

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Nigeria's killing fields

    A text message appeared on the cellphones of many Nigerians last week.

"Kill before they kill you" it said, "Slaughter before they slaughter you."

When the rioting finally ended, more than three-hundred Christians and Muslims lay dead in the latest outbreak of religious violence.

From far away Washington, D.C., Sunday Dare is monitoring the violence in his village with fear and alarm.

He is Editor of the online news website Newsbreaksnow.com. Listen to Sunday Dare's essay...

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Russia: No country for old men

Russia, it turns out, is no country for old men. Because booze is killing them while they're young. In recent weeks the state has been trying to get it under control, by upping liquor prices.

Russia has one of the highest rates of alcohol consumption in the world. And one of the lowest rates of life expectancy for men in a developed country; just sixty years. Just ahead of Haiti.

Canadian journalist Laura Lynch is seeing the effects, in a Russian village without men.

Listen to Laura's story...

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They killed my lawyer

Well, the Russian state may be attempting to protect the public from the scourge of alcohol.

But some say Russian companies need protection from the state. It's because of the practice of raiding, where police and others in state institutions use their power to strip a company's assets.

Sergei Magnitsky tried to fight them. Now he's dead.

Magnitsky was a corporate lawyer for Hermitage Capital Management. It's founder and C.E.O is William Browder, and he joins me from London, England.

Listen to Rick's interview with William Browder...

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All the news that's fit to print

Movrovians read the news on the "Daily Talk" newspaper/blackboard.(Photo/Prue Clarke)

In Kinshasa, capital of the French-speaking Democratic Republic of Congo, newspapers cost money and most people haven't got any.

So single copies of whatever's available get posted on outdoor boards, and everybody stands in the street discussing the issues of the day. They call it, "parliament debut": The standing parliament.

Now in distant Liberia, still recovering from a long civil war, the obstacles to information are even greater.

But someone's found another remarkable way around them, as we hear from "Dispatches" contributor Prue Clarke.

More news from the "Daily Talk" Liberia's blackboard newspaper.(Photo/Prue Clarke)
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And that piece was an edited version of the one awarded a 2009 Edward R. Murrow Award in the Feature Reporting category.

 

 This program is the work of producers Dawna Dingwall, Alison Masemann and Steve McNally, technical producers Victor Johnston and Tim Lorimer and senior producer Alan Guettel.

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