Hillary is stuck in a bad news loop that’s feeding voraciously off itself

by Rashmee

Posted on September 20, 2015


Here’s the news about Hillary Clinton. (P.S.: You knew it already. It’s not really news.) Hillary Clinton is stuck in a so-called “poll-deflating feedback loop”. According to David Weigel of The Washington Post, voters are hearing about only three types of Clinton stories, all of them with negative implications for her. First, stories about the … Continue reading “Hillary is stuck in a bad news loop that’s feeding voraciously off itself”

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Key lessons for Nepal from post-quake Haiti, but will anyone listen?

by Rashmee

Posted on April 29, 2015


“The Interim Haiti Recovery Commission needed to be swift and nimble,” writes American anthropologist, physician, good Samaritan and Haiti-enthusiast Paul Farmer about how things needed to be right after the January 12, 2010 earthquake. “…the rules of the road for development assistance needed to be re-written, not to favour contractors and middlemen and trauma vultures, … Continue reading “Key lessons for Nepal from post-quake Haiti, but will anyone listen?”

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Nepal & Haiti were once part of different community of sorrow: cholera

by Rashmee

Posted on April 28, 2015


Till Saturday’s earthquake, the only time the words “Haiti” and “Nepal” appeared in one sentence, was in reference to the cholera epidemic unwittingly started by Nepalese United Nations peacekeepers stationed in Haiti. It seemed an excessively cruel twist to a pathetic story – dirt-poor Haiti, leveled by a devastating earthquake in January 2010, infected by … Continue reading “Nepal & Haiti were once part of different community of sorrow: cholera”

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Platitudes and poverty statistics: All in a day’s work for the World Bank

by Rashmee

Posted on July 10, 2014


The World Bank, it seems, finds much to commend in Haiti’s progress in the four years since the earthquake. According to a press release, Sri Mulyani Indrawati, the Bank’s Managing Director and Director of Operations, said she found Haiti very different from “the aftermath of the devastating quake.” That’s good, but if one had to … Continue reading “Platitudes and poverty statistics: All in a day’s work for the World Bank”

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Port au Prince is not on anyone’s ‘dirty city’ list. But why has it been spared?

by Rashmee

Posted on February 20, 2014


Can Delhi really be the world’s most polluted city, as a recent study by Yale University’s Center for Environmental Law and Policy says? (Till now, we all thought Beijing, China had the dirty crown.) What about Port au Prince? It’s hardly in the same big city league as the Indian capital, has barely a sixth … Continue reading “Port au Prince is not on anyone’s ‘dirty city’ list. But why has it been spared?”

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Art and architecture: A city is defined by its classics, ancient or modern

by Rashmee

Posted on February 16, 2014


The National Gallery’s spring exhibition, ‘Building the Picture’ will be worth it for that simplest of pleasures – thrilling to a building’s form and structure as painted by some of the great masters. The exhibition, which runs from April 30 through most of September, will explore the role of architecture within art, especially Italian Renaissance … Continue reading “Art and architecture: A city is defined by its classics, ancient or modern”

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Port au Prince has resilient qualities, but it can’t really be a ‘resilient city’

by Rashmee

Posted on February 2, 2014


Can Port au Prince ever be a resilient city? I would argue that it already has resilient qualities, at least in the classic sense of the word, which is to withstand or recover quickly from difficult conditions. But resilience also means recoiling or springing back into shape after bending, stretching, or being compressed. Port au … Continue reading “Port au Prince has resilient qualities, but it can’t really be a ‘resilient city’”

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Port au Prince: The city liveability index probably just won’t work here

by Rashmee

Posted on January 31, 2014


Everyone always tells me about Port au Prince’s liveability “back then”, before the earthquake, before the Troubles, before everything fell apart. But surely that was the era that followed on from the period described by Graham Greene’s ‘The Comedians’? He set the novel in the darkest days of the dictatorship of François “Papa Doc” Duvalier. … Continue reading “Port au Prince: The city liveability index probably just won’t work here”

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‘Port au Prince’s problem is Port au Prince?’ D’accord, say French

by Rashmee

Posted on January 30, 2014


Some have expressed surprise at Haiti’s finance minister, Wilson Laleau’s frank lament in my Guardian piece on rebuilding Port au Prince. “Port au Prince’s problem is Port au Prince. It swallows everything,” I quote him to say. Those 11 words are the merest fragment of Mr Laleau’s view of Port au Prince’s multiple problems four … Continue reading “‘Port au Prince’s problem is Port au Prince?’ D’accord, say French”

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After Haiyan, gale-force swirl of shocking facts on climate change?

by Rashmee

Posted on November 17, 2013


More than a week from the devastation wreaked on the Philippines by super typhoon Haiyan, and the climate change brigade is piling on what should be shock-inducing facts (except that they’re neither shock-inducing any more nor a dead cert as a fact). Here’s what the Global Climate Risk Index 2014 says: Haiti, the Philippines, and … Continue reading “After Haiyan, gale-force swirl of shocking facts on climate change?”

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Rashmee has lived and worked in several countries in the past decade, including Afghanistan, India, Haiti, Tunisia, the UAE, US and UK