InnercityPress is reporting today that:
Tuesday, 30 November 2010
InnercityPress is reporting today that:
Monday, 29 November 2010
Sunday, 28 November 2010
Friday, 26 November 2010
By Mark Hosenball
WASHINGTON | Wed Nov 24, 2010 4:23pm EST
By Mark Hosenball
WASHINGTON | Wed Nov 24, 2010 4:23pm EST
(Reuters) - Classified U.S. diplomatic cables reporting corruption allegations against foreign governments and leaders are expected in official documents that WikiLeaks plans to release soon, sources said on Wednesday.
The whistle-blowing website said on its Twitter feed this week its next release would be seven times larger than the collection of roughly 400,000 Pentagon reports related to the Iraq war which it made public in October.
Three sources familiar with the State Department cables held by WikiLeaks say the corruption allegations in them are major enough to cause serious embarrassment for foreign governments and politicians named in them.
They said the release was expected next week, but could come earlier.
The detailed, candid reporting by U.S. diplomats also may create foreign policy complications for the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama, the sources said.
Among the countries whose politicians feature in the reports are Russia, Afghanistan and former Soviet republics in Central Asia. But other reports also detail potentially embarrassing allegations reported to Washington from U.S. diplomats in other regions including East Asia and Europe, one of the sources familiar with the WikiLeaks holdings said.
The U.S. government has strongly objected to past WikiLeaks revelations, which it said compromise national security and can put some people at risk.
Past WikiLeaks releases of classified U.S. documents on related to Iraq and Afghanistan have given a battlefield view of both conflicts and sensitive intelligence, but contained few startling revelations.
State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said Washington was assessing the implications of what WikiLeaks may reveal and was notifying foreign governments "that a release of documents is possible in the near future."
"We decry what has happened. These revelations are harmful to the United States and our interests. They are going to create tension in our relationships,' Crowley said. "We wish that this would not happen but we are obviously prepared for the possibility that it will."
Both the State Department and the Pentagon confirmed they had been in touch with lawmakers on Capitol Hill to inform them of what may be coming.
Sources said three international news organizations which previously published stories based on classified U.S. government documents acquired by WikiLeaks -- the New York Times, Britain's Guardian newspaper and the German weekly news magazine Der Spiegel -- were given access the documents some time ago by Julian Assange, the Australian-born computer hacker who says he is WikiLeaks' founder and leader.
Two of the sources said Assange has also made the documents available to at least two other European publications -- the newspapers El Pais of Spain and Le Monde of France.
Assange did not immediately reply to an email seeking comment.
The New York Times, Guardian and Der Spiegel are trying to coordinate when they release their first stories about the material -- likely to be next week -- but one of the sources said that it is unclear whether Le Monde and El Pais will be publishing on the same schedule.
The sources said the documents -- which also report on other local controversies beyond allegations of corruption -- may result in more international uproar than did the earlier release by WikiLeaks of Pentagon reports on the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Asked by e-mail to comment on the latest anticipated WikiLeaks release, New York Times Executive Editor Bill Keller told Reuters: "If we had a big story in the works, we'd be disinclined to discuss it before publication."
Wednesday, 24 November 2010
Tuesday, 23 November 2010
- Getting Away with Murder Part 1Neil Macdonald sheds new light on the assassination of Lebanon's Rafik Hariri, and the young captain who cracked the case before the UN could.Watch: 18:26
- Getting Away with Murder Part 2Will Hezbollah, or anyone, be held responsible for Rafik Hariri's assassination?Watch: 4:39
- UN and the Hariri investigationThe United Nations offered few comments Monday on an exclusive CBC News story about the 2005 killing of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri, the CBC's Neil MacDonald reportsWatch: 3:20
- Lebanon reacts to Hariri investigationThe CBC investigation into the assassination of Rafik Hariri is making headlines in LebanonWatch: 2:04
Last Updated: Monday, November 22, 2010 | 11:03 PM ET
The United Nations offered few comments Monday on an exclusive CBC News story about the 2005 killing of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri.
The CBC investigation, relying on interviews with multiple sources within a UN inquiry into the killing, along with some of the inquiry's own records, found examples of timidity, bureaucratic inertia, and incompetence bordering on gross negligence in the UN probe.
One of the records lays out networks of cellphones linked to the Hariri murder. The networks were uncovered by murdered Lebanese police officer Capt. Wissam Eid and UN investigators, and they provide evidence that Hariri's assassins had ties to the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah.
"I … don’t have any comment on the substance of those documents," UN spokesman Farhan Haq said during a daily briefing at UN headquarters in New York City.
Haq said he can't confirm the authenticity of any of the documents obtained by CBC News, adding that if they are UN documents they are privileged documents that should not be "disclosed to a third party, copied or used without the consent of the United Nations, which had not been given in this case."
He added: "We had requested CBC to contact us with information regarding the documents, so that we could assess them."
The original UN probe into Hariri's murder — the UN International Independent Investigation Commission — has subsequently been transformed into the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, residing in The Hague, where Canadian Daniel Bellemare is now its chief prosecutor.
U.S. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley called the work of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon "critically important to Lebanon's future.
"Lebanon needs to end this era of impunity, which has afflicted it for years, if not decades. And we support the work of the tribunal and we look forward to completion of its investigation," Crowley said.
Thursday, 18 November 2010
By Agence France-Presse, Updated: 11/16/2010
The head of the UN agency for tackling rural poverty is to move out of his luxury villa in Rome and cut his spending by 20 percent, a spokeswoman said on Tuesday in the wake of an expenses scandal.
Italian media had accused Kanayo Nwanze, president of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), of spending up to 300,000 euros (404,000 dollars) a year on a sprawling villa in Rome's wealthy Via Appia Antica area.
"The president has asked IFAD to cancel his contract on the house and has found a new residence," Cassandra Waldon told AFP, adding that Nwanze hoped to move out of the villa before the end of the year once the terms were finalised.
IFAD said the media reports contained "inaccuracies" and were "misleading".
Waldon declined to reveal the cost of renting the villa complex -- which boasts its own swimming pool, football pitch and ancient Roman ruins -- but said the new accommodation was likely to cost 13,000 euros a month or less.
She said Nwanze "recognises his accommodation has given rise to some perceptions not in line with the IFAD mandate," adding that the UN organisation has reacted by moving to reduce his expenses by close to 20 percent.
Rome-based website Italian Insider last month quoted anonymous IFAD sources who accused Nwanze of "blowing millions" on "princely personal expenses."
Thursday, 18 November 2010 13:16 Neue Zürcher Zeitung
Climate policy has almost nothing to do anymore with environmental protection, says the German economist and IPCC official Ottmar Edenhofer. The next world climate summit in Cancun is actually an economy summit during which the distribution of the world's resources will be negotiated.
Interview: Bernard Potter
NZZ am Sonntag: Mr. Edenhofer, everybody concerned with climate protection demands emissions reductions. You now speak of "dangerous emissions reduction." What do you mean?
Ottmar Edenhofer: So far economic growth has gone hand in hand with the growth of greenhouse gas emissions. One percent growth means one percent more emissions. The historic memory of mankind remembers: In order to get rich one has to burn coal, oil or gas. And therefore, the emerging economies fear CO2 emission limits.
But everybody should take part in climate protection, otherwise it does not work.
That is so easy to say. But particularly the industrialized countries have a system that relies almost exclusively on fossil fuels. There is no historical precedent and no region in the world that has decoupled its economic growth from emissions. Thus, you cannot expect that India or China will regard CO2 emissions reduction as a great idea. And it gets worse: We are in the midst of a renaissance of coal, because oil and gas (sic) have become more expensive, but coal has not. The emerging markets are building their cities and power plants for the next 70 years, as if there would be permanently no high CO 2 price.
The new thing about your proposal for a Global Deal is the stress on the importance of development policy for climate policy. Until now, many think of aid when they hear development policies.
That will change immediately if global emission rights are distributed. If this happens, on a per capita basis, then Africa will be the big winner, and huge amounts of money will flow there. This will have enormous implications for development policy. And it will raise the question if these countries can deal responsibly with so much money at all.
That does not sound anymore like the climate policy that we know.
Basically it's a big mistake to discuss climate policy separately from the major themes of globalization. The climate summit in Cancun at the end of the month is not a climate conference, but one of the largest economic conferences since the Second World War. Why? Because we have 11,000 gigatons of carbon in the coal reserves in the soil under our feet - and we must emit only 400 gigatons in the atmosphere if we want to keep the 2-degree target. 11 000 to 400 - there is no getting around the fact that most of the fossil reserves must remain in the soil.
De facto, this means an expropriation of the countries with natural resources. This leads to a very different development from that which has been triggered by development policy.
First of all, developed countries have basically expropriated the atmosphere of the world community. But one must say clearly that we redistribute de facto the world's wealth by climate policy. Obviously, the owners of coal and oil will not be enthusiastic about this. One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. This has almost nothing to do with environmental policy anymore, with problems such as deforestation or the ozone hole.
Nevertheless, the environment is suffering from climate change - especially in the global south.
It will be a lot to do with adaptation. But that just goes far beyond traditional development policy: We will see in Africa with climate change a decline in agricultural yields. But this can be avoided if the efficiency of production is increased - and especially if the African agricultural trade is embedded in the global economy. But for that we need to see that successful climate policy requires other global trade and financial policies.
The great misunderstanding of the UN summit in Rio in 1992 is repeated in the climate policy: the developed countries talk about environment, the developing countries about development.
It is even more complicated. In the 1980s, our local environmental problems were luxury problems for the developing countries. If you already fed and own a car, you can get concerned about acid rain. For China, the problem was how to get 600 million Chinese people in the middle class. Whether there was a coal power plant or whether the labour standards in the coal mines were low was second priority - as it was here in the 19th Century.
But the world has become smaller.
Now something new happens: it is no longer just our luxury, our environment. Developing countries have realized that causes of climate change lie in the north and the consequences in the south. And in developed countries, we have realized that for a climate protection target of two degrees neither purely technical solutions nor life style change will be sufficient. The people here in Europe have the grotesque idea that shopping in the bio food store or electric cars will solve the problem. This is arrogant because the ecological footprint of our lifestyle has increased in the last 30 years, despite the eco-movement.
You say that for successful climate policy a high degree of international cooperation is necessary. However this cooperation is not present.
I share the scepticism. But do we have an alternative? Currently, there are three ideas how to avoid the difficult cooperation: We try unsafe experiments such as geo-engineering, focus on the development of clean and safe energy, or one trusts in regional and local solutions. However, there is no indication that any of these ideas solves the problem. We must want the cooperation, just as you work together for the regulation of financial markets.
But unlike the financial crisis, in climate policy a country benefits if it does not join in.
The financial crisis was an emergency operation - in the face of danger we behave more cooperatively. Such a thing will not happen in climate policy, because it will always remain questionable whether a specific event like a flood is a climate phenomenon. But there is always the risk that individual rationality leads to collective stupidity. Therefore, one cannot solve the climate problem alone, but it has to be linked to other problems. There must be penalties and incentives: global CO 2-tariffs and technology transfer.
In your new book you talk much about ethics. Do ethics play a role in climate negotiations?
Ethics always play a role when it comes to power. China and Latin America, for example, always emphasize the historical responsibility of developed countries for climate change. This responsibility is not to deny, but it is also a strategic argument for these countries. I would accept the responsibility for the period since 1995 because we know since then, what is causing the greenhouse effect. To extend the responsibility to the industrial revolution is not ethically justified.
Could we the ethics in order to break the gridlock?
The book contains a parable: A group of hikers, who represent the world community, walks through a desert. The industrialized nations drink half of the water and then say generously: “Let us share the rest." The others reply: “This is not possible; you have already drunk half of the water. Let us talk first about your historical responsibility." I think if we are arguing about the water supply because we cannot agree on the ethical principles, then we will die of thirst. What we need to look for is an oasis that is the non-carbon global economy. It's about the common departure for this oasis.
Copyright 2010, NZZ
Transl. Philipp Mueller
Ottmar Edenhofer was appointed as joint chair of Working Group 3 at the Twenty-Ninth Session of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in Geneva, Switzerland. The deputy director and chief economist of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and Professor of the Economics of Climate Change at the Berlin Institute of Technology will be co-chairing the Working Group “Mitigation of Climate Change” with Ramón Pichs Madruga from Cuba and Youba Sokona from Mali.