Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Bashir's campaign against ICC proving effective; Global rise in alcohol-related deaths

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June 30, 2009 | News covering the UN and the worldSign up  |  E-Mail this  |  Donate

Iraq celebrates as U.S. troops are withdrawn from cities

The Iraqi government launched fireworks to celebrate the official pullout of U.S. forces from Baghdad and other urban areas today, while nationalists proclaimed their readiness to undertake security responsibilities. "We think they are ready," said U.S. Ambassador Christopher Hill, although he acknowledged there are lingering concerns regarding the nation's continued inability to reconcile its Shiite, Sunni and Kurdish populations. The Toronto Star/The Associated Press (6/29) , The New York Times (6/30)



The conditions were so inhumane and the food was so little. I even thought eating human flesh would be a good meal."

Cambodian prisoner of the Khmer Rouge Vann Nath. Read the full story.



UN Dispatch: It's mainly being looked at through a Hugo Chavez-centric lens, but yesterday, the Honduran military arrested the country's president, Manuel Zelaya, in Latin America's first post-Cold War coup.

UN Dispatch


United Nation
  • Ban to make official visit to Myanmar
    UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon will make an official visit to Myanmar on Friday and Saturday, where the trial of democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi is underway. Aung, who is charged with violating terms of her house arrest, faces up to five years in jail if convicted in a trial that has been denounced by governments across the world. Ban seeks to apply pressure on the ruling military junta to push forward reforms and release political prisoners during his visit. The Wall Street Journal/Agence France-Presse (6/29) , Yahoo!/Reuters (6/29) Email this Story
Development Health and Poverty
  • Oxfam: G-8 must aid agriculture development
    The G-8 should address years of underinvestment in agriculture in poor countries when it meets next week, Oxfam urged. Investment has plummeted by 75% since the 1980s, Oxfam said, leading to degraded land, stagnant yields and social upheaval. AlertNet.org/Reuters (6/30) Email this Story
  • Global rise in alcohol-related deaths
    Alcohol-related causes such as accidents, violence and associated diseases account for 1 in 25 deaths globally, according to a study published in the Lancet. Researchers credit the rise primarily to increasing alcohol consumption by females but noted socioeconomic upheaval also contributes to the problem. TIME (6/29) Email this Story
Development Energy and Environment
  • Central Asia appeals for help with toxic cleanup
    Central Asian governments have launched an appeal backed by the United Nations Development Programme to governments and businesses around the world to help clear toxic nuclear waste left over from the Cold War. Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan house uranium tailings and other toxic waste that threaten local populations' health and contaminate ground water. AlertNet.org/Reuters (6/29) Email this Story
  • Climate change effects on staple crops could be imminent
    Climate change reduces yields and increases toxicity in current staple food sources such as cassava, and immediate efforts are needed to cultivate climate-resistant crops, Australian scientists said. Yield drops could leave hundreds of millions of people across Asia, Africa and Latin America struggling to find sufficient food. Reuters (6/29) Email this Story
  • World's most detailed global map created
    The most complete map of Earth's terrain ever made is complete and will be free to use, courtesy of Japan's space-based Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer. Covering 99% of the world's surface, the terrain map features images of the surface taken every 30 meters. BBC (6/30) Email this Story
  • Other News
Security and Human Rights
  • Group alleges mistreatment of child prisoners by Israelis
    When Palestinian teenager Walid Abu Obeida was apprehended by Israeli soldiers and accused of pegging them with rocks, he maintained his innocence until, he said, he was tortured into taking responsibility for a crime he didn't commit. According to Geneva-based Defense for Children International, Obeida's story is an all-too-common occurrence, and human-rights groups inside and outside of Israel are questioning the treatment of Palestinian children in Israeli prisons. TIME (6/30) Email this Story
  • Bashir's campaign against ICC proving effective
    Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir has successfully pivoted the controversy surrounding his indictment on war crimes charges, bringing scrutiny to bear on International Criminal Court prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo -- particularly from African and Arab leaders. His critics say Moreno-Ocampo's efforts have skewed the delicate balance between the need for justice and efforts to strike a political resolution as even early supporters question his political strategy and personal conduct. Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi and Gabon President Jean Ping are pressuring African states to drop out of the treaty body that established the ICC. The Washington Post (6/30) Email this Story
Peace and Security
  • Guardian Council pronounces Iran's election sound
    Iran's Guardian Council formally dismissed all complaints about the election and denied all allegations of fraud in the presidential election, thereby confirming a landslide election for incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Iran's government deployed Basij militia forces in advance of the announcement in an effort to stop any outbreak of street demonstrations, which largely have been squashed. Council Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati described the election as "a golden page ... of Iran's democratic history," while people throughout Tehran chanted protests from their rooftops. The Washington Post (6/30) Email this Story
  • Honduran coup summons memories of U.S. plots in Latin America
    The recent military coup in Honduras, condemned by U.S. President Barack Obama as an illegal ouster of a legitimate sitting leader, summoned memories of previous U.S. interference in Latin American political affairs -- in particular as Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez described the coup as a U.S. plot. The Obama administration said in recent days it worked to head off a crisis between Honduran President Manuel Zelaya and the military over his efforts to lift limits on presidential terms there. The New York Times (6/29) Email this Story
  • Militants threaten to seize U.S. arms to Somalia
    Radical Islamic insurgents threatened to commandeer U.S. arms bound for the Somalia government days after the Barack Obama administration said it would supply the government with weapons and military training in an effort to halt insurgent advances in the region. The insurgents have been trying to overthrow the tenuous government for more than two years. The Toronto Star/The Associated Press (6/30) Email this Story
  • Israel to offer brief pause in settlement expansion
    Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak is expected to announce a temporary and restricted freeze in settlement expansion in a conciliatory gesture to the White House -- an effort that will not stop any construction underway nor prevent developers from planning more construction to follow the brief reprieve. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reiterated all settlement must stop. The Guardian (London) (6/30) Email this Story
  • Other News
Program Officer-STI/HIV/AIDSInternational Planned Parenthood Federation/Western Hemisphere RegionNew York
Program Officer- AccessInternational Planned Parenthood Federation/Western Hemisphere RegionNew York


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