NPR logo Obama In Indonesia; Fears Of Cholera In Port Au Prince; Vote Counting In Alaska


Obama In Indonesia; Fears Of Cholera In Port Au Prince; Vote Counting In Alaska

President Obama May Cut Trip To Indonesia Short

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, left, introduces members of his cabinet to U.S. President Barack Obama, center, and first lady Michelle at Merdeka Palace in Jakarta, Indonesia, Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2010. Dita Alangkara/AP Pool hide caption

toggle caption
Dita Alangkara/AP Pool

Returning to a country where he was known as Barry, President Barack Obama had a full schedule that may be trimmed because of the erupting Mt. Merapi. Obama spent four years of his childhood in Indonesia and had previously had to cancel trips there twice because of domestic political reasons. Obama is scheduled to give an address at an Indonesian university that his aides are saying is part of his outreach to the Muslim world. Indonesia has become an important ally in fight against terrorism, with US forces helping train Indonesian troops as they battle Islamic insurgent groups in their country.

Cholera Has Reached Port Au Prince

A woman suffering from cholera symptoms is treated at the St. Nicholas hospital in Saint Marc, Haiti, Monday, Nov. 8, 2010.. Health officials fear the disease has spread from the countryside into Port Au Prince. Ramon Espinosa/AP hide caption

toggle caption
Ramon Espinosa/AP

Haitian health officials are testing more than a hundred people for cholera. They fear that the deadly water borne disease may have reached the Haitian capital. NPR's Jason Beaubien reports that there is growing fear that the disease could break out in the camps that house more than a million people in primitive conditions. He visited one and talked to residents there.

Most people in the Old Military Airport camp live in shelters cobbled together out of corrugated metal, sticks and tarps. Other people live in tents. For the 50,000 residents, there are only 178 latrines.

Jean Charles Micheline, sitting in front of the shack she shares with her husband and three children, says she is terrified about cholera.

"I'm very worried about it," the 27-year-old says in Creole. "It's said that it's contagious, and I'm worried that I may catch cholera."

Beaubien reports that even with that fear, they also are wary of health officials. Officials fear the rains and flooding from hurricane Tomas may be spreading the disease. More than 500 people have already died from it and thousands hospitalized.

Alaska Vote Count Begins

Election officials in Alaska begin counting 30,500 absentee ballots today. Republican nominee Joe Miller is hoping it will give him more of an edge in the vote count. Tomorrow they'll begin counting the 83,201 write-in ballots, most of them expected to be for incumbent Senator Lisa Murkowski. That's more than 13,000 more than voted for Miller. Miller, backed by the Tea Party and Sarah Palin, defeated Murkowski in the Republican primary, and she ran as a write-in candidate.