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Haiti's new interim Prime Minister Michel Patrick Boisvert holds a glass with a drink after a transitional council took power with the aim of returning stability to the country, where gang violence has caused chaos and misery, on the outskirts of Port-au-Prince, Haiti April 25, 2024.

REUTERS/Pedro Valtierra

New chapter for Haiti as Henry steps down

Haiti’s Prime Minister Ariel Henry formally resigned on Thursday to be replaced by Finance Minister Michel Patrick Boisvert, who will work with a newly sworn in transitional council. Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, has been ravaged by gang violence and effectively without a prime minister since March 12.

Get up to speed: Henry agreed to step down last month after gangs blocked his reentry to the country from Kenya, where he was trying to secure a multinational security force to assist him in restoring law and order to the country.

Many of the gangs are led by a man named Jimmy Chérizier, aka Barbecue. They have taken advantage of the power vacuum left by Henry’s absence and are now in control of about 80% of the capital, Port-au-Prince, and large swaths of the country. Barbecue said last month he would consider laying down weapons if armed groups were allowed to take part in talks to establish the new government.

Boisvert and thenine-member council, of which seven have voting powers, have a steep climb to tackle the gang violence. The council will appoint a provisional electoral commission, a requirement before elections can take place, and establish a national security council.

Detectives pose in front of the truck used in the Toronto Pearson International Airport gold heist as they give details of the arrests made one year on in Brampton, Ontario, on April 17, 2024.

REUTERS/Carlos Osorio

Hard Numbers: Police make a golden catch, Canada hikes capital gains tax, Haiti names transitional council, Boats wait on Baltimore, Indigenous groups eye energy investments

22.5 million: Police have cracked the case of the biggest gold heist in Canadian history, arresting six people in the $22.5 million caper that involved the theft of a container at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport last year. Two of the suspects were employees of Air Canada.

⅔: No gains, no pain! Canada’s new federal budget increases the tax rate on capital gains from one-half to two-thirds for some payers. The measure, which applies to businesses and individuals whose capital gains earnings exceed $250,000, is projected to net about $19 billion over the next five years.

7: Haiti on Tuesday named the 7 voting members of a transitional council that is charged with selecting a successor to Prime Minister Ariel Henry. Henry, who was unable to return to violence-wracked Haiti following a trip last month to secure international aid, has pledged to resign once the council picks a new PM. The council’s mandate runs until 2026, but it is still unclear when it will actually take power. Last month, Canada dispatched troops to Jamaica to help train an international policing mission for Haiti.

3: After a boat crash brought down a bridge at the entrance to Baltimore’s harbor last month, interrupting shipping at one of North America’s busiest ports, the city opened two alternative shipping channels to accommodate cargo boats. Shipping giant Maersk has said those aren’t deep enough, but there is intrigue afoot: The company also said it had seen unconfirmed reports of a third channel set to open later this month that would be deep enough, and that it was waiting for local authorities to confirm. The ball’s in your port, Baltimore.

3.6 billion: The Canadian government will make available up to $3.6 billion in preferential loan guarantees for indigenous groups that want to invest in natural resources projects. Those projects could include, for example, massive energy transport projects like the Trans Mountain or Coastal GasLink pipelines, as well as a range of renewable energy projects.

A Canadian soldier stands guard by the Canadian embassy as violence spreads and armed gangs expand their control over the capital, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti March 29, 2024.

REUTERS/Ralph Tedy Erol

Canada dispatches troops to train Haiti mission

On Saturday, around 70 Canadian troops arrived in Jamaica at Kingston’s request to begin training some 330 soldiers from Jamaica, Belize, and the Bahamas in preparation for an expected Kenyan-led deployment to Haiti. Canada notably helped define the concept of UN peacekeeping, and this initial deployment – which came at the request of Jamaica’s government – is expected to last a month.

Haiti has been in a state of de facto anarchy for over a month since gangs seized key infrastructure while unelected Prime Minister Ariel Henry was in Nairobi trying to sign the deal.

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People take cover from gunfire near the National Palace, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti March 21, 2024.

REUTERS/Ralph Tedy Erol

Haitians flee capital en masse

Intense violence in Port-au-Prince led over 33,000 Haitians to flee the city in the last two weeks alone, according to the United Nations.

Gangs attacked two specialized police bases in Port-au-Prince on Saturday and continue to make advances. Over 2,500 people have been killed in the fighting this year. Violence has kept the air and seaports shuttered all month, making it difficult for aid organizations to bring supplies in. The World Food Programme now says Haiti faces a record level of food insecurity.

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FILE PHOTO: Street vendors carry goods for sale as they walk near the Presidential Palace after Haiti's Prime Minister Ariel Henry pledged to step down following months of escalating gang violence, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti March 12, 2024.

REUTERS/Ralph Tedy Erol/File Photo

US evacuates citizens from Haiti

The US Embassy in Haiti evacuated more than 30 US citizens who were still in the country on Sunday, as unchecked violence shuttered all but one hospital in the capital.

A chartered flight left from the northern city of Cap-Haitien, where the airport has been occasionally functional. The State Department said it would continue chartering flights as long as it could do so safely. The airport in Port-au-Prince has been closed since gangs attacked it on March 4 to prevent the return of now-outgoing Prime Minister Ariel Henry.

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Haiti's Prime Minister Ariel Henry speaks while addressing the nation, at an unidentified location on a date given as March 11, 2024, in this screengrab obtained from a handout video.

Prime Minister of the Republic of Haiti via X/Handout via REUTERS

Haiti’s embattled prime minister resigns amid chaos

Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry announced his resignation overnight amid mounting international pressure for him to step down. The move follows weeks of civil unrest and violence by rival gangs in the Caribbean country.

Henry said he would turn over power to a transitional council made up of political leaders, the private sector, civil society, and a religious representative. The handover marks the end of Henry’s unelected term as Haiti’s acting president, a post he has held since President Jovenel Moïse was assassinated in 2021.

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A woman with a gunshot wound is transported by two men on a motorcycle as Haiti remains in state of emergency due to the violence, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti March 9, 2024.

REUTERS/Ralph Tedy Enrol

Haitian Interior Ministry torched in weekend violence

Regional leaders are meeting Monday in Jamaica to discuss Haiti’s political crisis after intense violence in Port-au-Prince saw gangs burn down the country’s Interior Ministry this weekend. They also attacked police stations near the National Palace in offensives that have paralyzed the country. The US Embassy has evacuated non-essential staff.

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A police officer patrols near the police headquarters as Haiti continues in a state of emergency, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti March 6, 2024.

REUTERS/Ralph Tedy Erol

Haiti’s gangs threaten civil war

Prime Minister Ariel Henry is refusing calls to resign and remains stranded outside Haiti while the leader of the country’s largest gang alliance, Jimmy Chérizier, threatens civil war.

Henry visited Nairobi last week in an attempt to secure a Kenyan-led intervention force to help bring peace to Haiti. But heavily armed gangs took advantage of his absence and launched assaults against Haiti’s two largest prisons and the international airport in Port-au-Prince, paralyzing the country. Henry has since tried but failed to return to Haiti.

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