Thursday, December 31, 2009

Suicide attack in Afghanistan kills 8; Brazzaville students get course on gorilla protection

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December 31, 2009 | News covering the UN and the worldSign up  |  E-Mail this  |  Donate

CIA employees reported killed in suicide attack

In the single-deadliest attack against the Central Intelligence Agency in the eight-year war in Afghanistan, a suicide bomber struck a base in southeastern Afghanistan, killing eight -- most of them CIA officers. The attack comes as a severe blow to the insular intelligence agency, which has lost only 90 personnel since its founding in 1947. In recent years, the CIA has played an active role in campaigns in Afghanistan and Pakistan, in particular involving drone operations hunting Taliban in the remote mountainous border area between the nations. The New York Times (12/30)

In a democratic system, debate should be encouraged. [Indian State Minister for Foreign Affairs Shashi] Tharoor is hardly a threat to Indian civilization."

Jawaharlal Nehru University professor Deepak Kumar. Read the full story.

This is your last chance to give a 2009 charitable donation. Maybe you didn't have the kind of year where you need the charitable tax deduction, or maybe you're lucky enough that you do. Either way, I think that ending the year on a note of generosity sets you up right to face the next one.

UN Dispatch

United Nation
  • UN to relocate some staff based in Pakistan
    The UN announced it will temporarily relocate about 20% of its expatriate staff based in Pakistan as a result of attacks that have led to the deaths of 11 UN personnel this year -- a decision that expands a decision two months ago to suspend development work based near the border with Afghanistan. The UN will relocate staff to locations outside Pakistan or to safer areas within the country, and will re-evaluate the security situation in six months. Associated Press (12/31) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Obama nominee for UN financial post withdraws
    Jide Zeitlin, the nominee to oversee financial reform at the UN named by U.S. President Barack Obama, has withdrawn from consideration after indications he might have understated the legal and financial problems faced by Independent Mobile Infrastructure, the Indian wireless company he owns. The withdrawal leaves the U.S. without a nominee to begin addressing financial accountability at the UN nearly a year into Obama's administration. The Washington Post (12/31) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Development Health and Poverty
  • WHO: H1N1 pandemic waning
    The World Health Organization has confirmed at least 12,200 deaths around the world from the H1N1 flu, but evidence suggests the pandemic is declining overall. Infection rates remain high in Central and Eastern Europe but have declined significantly in North, South and Central America and the Caribbean. (12/30) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Development Energy and Environment
  • Teaching gorilla protection in Congo
    Schoolchildren in the Republic of Congo capital Brazzaville are learning about gorilla protection as part of a campaign by conservationists, authorities and nongovernmental organizations to protect the threatened primates. Supporters hope the program will begin to change social attitudes toward gorillas and bolster new regulations to protect wildlife and protected areas put in place by authorities in 2008. AllAfrica Global Media/Inter Press Service (12/29) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • France's carbon tax plan to get a makeover
    The French Constitutional Council has blocked a proposed tax on carbon-gas emissions over concerns the legislation contains too many exemptions for polluters and threatened to make tax collection unfair. The ruling conservative party responded with plans to amend the bill and resubmit it for consideration in January. The New York Times (free registration) (12/30) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
Tech Thursdays
  • Indian official's Twitter feed tweaks higher-ups
    State Minister for Foreign Affairs Shashi Tharoor, a junior minister in India's government, has faced heat from senior Cabinet officials in what observers describe as a generational conflict over the use of Twitter and other social media to broadcast doubts and difficulties regarding government policy -- in particular with regard to India's new immigration policy. Los Angeles Times (12/31) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Mobile booms as connectivity, subscriptions spread in Africa
    Mobile connectivity on the African continent has boomed such that South Africa, which posted 74% of all mobile connections in Africa in 2000, accounts for just 19% as of last year. Internet use and mobile subscriptions have boomed in Kenya as well as Ghana, Tanzania and Cote d'Ivoire -- while customers in South Africa are enjoying access to new applications providing Internet commerce, mobile banking and access to online government services. AllAfrica Global Media/BusinessDay (12/28) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • BlackBerry to push for improved mHealth security, efficiency
    BlackBerry intends to push customers to leverage their investment in the mobile company to build secure mobile applications for health professionals to improve security and efficiency -- two of the most significant challenges facing the implementation of new mHealth technology by health care providers. Mobile News (U.K.) (12/21) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Security and Human Rights
  • Report: 100 journalists killed on the job in 2009
    One-hundred journalists lost their lives while performing their duties in 2009 after two years of decline, Canadian Journalists for Free Expression says. A group of 31 journalists lost their lives in a vicious attack in the Philippines at a news conference in November, while others were murdered for their reporting or killed in military encounters. Dozens more are missing or imprisoned because of their work, the group said. The Toronto Star/The Canadian Press (12/30) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Injured children form bond that crosses Israeli-Palestinian divide
    The friendship and journey of two severely injured hospital-bound young children -- one Israeli, the other Palestinian -- and their families is inspiring people around them to re-evaluate how they view individuals from other ethnic groups. Both children were wounded in violence associated with the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The New York Times (12/30) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Peace and Security
  • African al-Qaida groups emerge as threat to U.S.
    The failed attempt by a Yemen-trained Nigerian terrorist to blow up a trans-Atlantic flight between Amsterdam and Detroit on Christmas highlights an emerging threat from al-Qaida branches based in North and East Africa. Up to this point, militant Islamist groups in Somalia and Yemen have not demonstrated the capacity to directly attack the U.S. They have been perceived by authorities primarily as a threat to U.S. and Western assets in Iraq, Africa and other areas where al-Qaida affiliates operate. The New York Times (12/30) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Iranian dissident talks about troubles facing Green Movement
    An Iranian dissident discusses the difficulties in using social media such as Twitter -- popular at the emergence of the so-called Green Movement after the controversial June presidential elections in Iran -- to relate details of the crackdowns of demonstrations by Iranian security forces and the Basij militia. The dissident says opposition supporters hope to appeal to more reasonable figures within the Iranian police force in hopes of curbing bloodshed seen during recent violent clashes. The Washington Independent (Washington, D.C.) (12/30) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
Program Officer - TREATMENT MONITORING AND ADVOCACYThe Open Society InstituteNew York, NY

  • UN WIRE will not be published Friday
    In observance of New Year's Day in the U.S., UN WIRE will not be published Friday, Jan. 1. Publication will resume Monday. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

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