MEXICO - Haitians on Sunday marked the 10th anniversary of the destructive 2010 earthquake that toppled buildings across the island, killing more than 300,000 people. The powerful 7-magnitude quake hit at 4:53 p.m. local time (2153 GMT), with an epicenter just 15 kilometers southwest of the capital Port au Prince. Another 350,000 people were left injured and some 1.5 million people were left homeless. United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres issued a video message to the people of Haiti, in which he renewed his organization’s pledge to help the country rebuild for a better future. “On this day we remember the hundreds of thousands of Haitians who lost their lives and the millions gravely affected by the devastating earthquake that struck their country 10 years ago,” said Guterres. “I renew the commitment of the United Nations to helping Haiti and its people build a brighter future,” he said. He also paid tribute to the 102 UN staff members who died in the quake when the building that housed the UN mission to Haiti collapsed. “I will never forget the shock and sadness across the United Nations as we became aware of the scale of the tragedy,” said Guterres. A week after the disaster, the UN Security Council authorized an additional 3,500 UN peacekeeping troops, who joined the 9,000 already deployed there, to help bolster the recovery and stability of the island. On Saturday, Haitian President Jovenel Moise addressed the controversy surrounding the massive international funding in support of the reconstruction effort and the lack of progress made in rebuilding.

Putin, Macron hold phone conversation over Libya crisis

MOSCOW - Russian President Vladimir Putin and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron held a phone conversation on Sunday, discussing the situation in Libya and the importance of a ceasefire, the Kremlin said in a statement. “In the framework of the Russian-Turkish agreements reached on January 8 in Istanbul, the importance of adhering by both sides of the conflict to the ceasefire declared since January 12 was acknowledged,” said the statement. During the conversation, the leaders reaffirmed the readiness to assist in the political and diplomatic settlement of the crisis, and expressed the intention to contribute in every way to the successful holding of the planned international conference on Libya in Berlin, it added. According to the statement, Putin and Macron also discussed the conflict in Ukraine as well as the current situation in Iran and Syria. German Chancellor Angela Merkel called for a ceasefire and a resumption of the Berlin process during a press conference after talks with Putin in Moscow on Saturday. On Wednesday, Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan agreed on a common stance on Libya and urged to establish a ceasefire in Libya starting midnight on Jan. 12.