Friday, 9 December 2011

Israel challenges U.N. on Palestinian refugees & U$ ageest to pay 22B to UN Climate Fund

Ny studie av norsk støtte til handelsrelatert bistand
... : Norway’s Trade Related Assistance through Multilateral Organizations: A Synthesis Study Report 8/2011 – Study.

Travel Snapshots: Austria - CNN
Each week will post a Travel Snapshots gallery focusing on a destination or theme. This week, we're looking for photos taken during your trips to gorgeous, scenic Austria. Send us your best shots for an upcoming gallery!
Please upload large, horizontal versions of your photos if possible.
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Diet Secrets of Famous Politicians
Whether for health or looks, some politicians have shed serious pounds
Nafissatou Diallo Caught on Tape Reenacting Alleged Sexual Attack by DSK - Video
France buzzed Thursday over the leak of videotapes showing Sofitel workers briefly celebrating after calling police to report an alleged sexual attack by DSK, but the most important video clip may be of the maid herself, who reported the attack.
Climate Talks Closer to Agreement on Plan with $100 Billion Aid
Envoys at United Nations talks are near an agreement that would set up a fund channeling a portion of the $100 billion a year in pledged climate aid to developing nations, part of a package to keep a lid on global warming.
Kofi Annan: Despite flaws, UN Human Rights Council can bring progress
Bush, Blair are war criminals, court says
Washington: A War Crimes Tribunal in Malaysia has found former US President George W. Bush and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair guilty of war crimes for their roles in the Iraq war, Press TV reports.
The five-panel Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal decided that Bush and Blair committed genocide and crimes against humanity by leading the invasion of Iraq in 2003, a Press TV correspondent reported on Tuesday.

KUALA LUMPUR, 18 November 2011 – The Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal (Tribunal) will be hearing war crimes charges against George W Bush (former U.S. President) and Anthony L Blair (former British Prime Minister) from November 19-22, 2011 in Kuala Lumpur. This is the first time that war crimes charges will be heard against these two former heads of state in compliance with due legal process, wherein complaints from war victims had been received, duly investigated and formal charges instituted by the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission (Commission). - Read More –
Israel challenges U.N. on Palestinian refugees
December 8, 2011
JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Israel questioned the use of the U.N. aid agency created exclusively for Palestinian refugees.
Addressing the United Nations in Geneva, Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon argued Thursday against the two-tier system whereby Arabs displaced by the fighting in British Mandatory Palestine around the creation of the Jewish state in 1948, and their descendants, are tended to by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, while other refugees must look collectively to the U.N High Commissioner for Refugees.
Israel has long argued that UNRWA perpetuates the conflict with the Palestinians, who insist on a "right of return" for their refugees to land now in Israel, whereas UNHCR has often worked to resettle its wards.
"While the UNHCR has found durable solutions for tens of millions of refugees, the agency created specifically for the Palestinian context, UNRWA, has found durable solutions for no one," Ayalon said at the conference, according to a transcript circulated by his office.
"This has meant that a peaceful solution to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians remains further away. This is morally and politically unacceptable."
Israel says Palestinian refugees should resettle in a future Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, or elsewhere. Israelis also have called on the international community to give consideration to the hundreds of thousands of Jews from Arab countries who were dispossessed during the 1948 war and were mostly taken in by Israel.

Dutch: $1.3 million for oppressed bloggers
THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — The Dutch government has pledged euro1 million ($1.3 million) to help bloggers operating under oppressive regimes.
Speaking at the Freedom Online conference, Dutch Foreign Minister Uri Rosenthal says the money will be used to "support" the development of backup computer and mobile networks that bloggers can use to disseminate information when a government tries to block the Internet or social media. He says Syria, Iran and Zimbabwe are target countries.
The Netherlands said Friday it has earmarked additional euro5 million in its human rights donations for unspecified online freedom projects.
On Thursday U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton opened the conference with a call for companies not to sell surveillance tools to authoritarian regimes.
Freedom Online, 8 & 9 December 2011, The Hague
Obiang's palace building spree
... The new building plan comes to light several months after Equatorial Guinea inaugurated the $830 million luxury Sipopo resort, which served as the venue for the African Union's 47th Summit in June. Obiang, who is serving as the U.N. president this year, presided over the gathering...
Debating Bolton at the UN
Unsurprisingly, I've received plenty of pushback on yesterday's post regarding John Bolton's tenure at the UN. A very well-informed reader argues that Security Council activity levels and resolutions are a poor indication of Bolton's diplomatic impact and that his true colors emerged in the informal consultations that are the bread-and-butter of UN diplomacy:
Insight: Ten years on, American business rethinks China dreams
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Few in the United States would recognize Charlene Barshefsky or remember what she did. Not so in China where the former Trade Representative says she is stopped in the streets by ordinary people and thanked.
Her gift to the Chinese people was leading the U.S. delegation that negotiated China's entry to the World Trade Organization in December 2001. The removal of trade barriers heralded unprecedented economic growth for China, vaulting it in a decade to the second largest economy in the world and helping slash its rural poverty rate from 10.2 percent in 2000 to 2.8 percent in 2010.
"The Chinese consider WTO entry the most historic achievement in U.S.-China relations since (U.S. President Richard) Nixon's visit to China," in 1972, Barshefsky said.
Green technology race outpaces U.N. climate talks
(Reuters) - China has roared to the front of a green technology race that ultimately could do more to save the planet than the endless hours of U.N. negotiations, that year after year have failed to deliver an adequate response to climate change.
A Democratic Chance in a Post-Soviet Holdout
The West can break Russia's monopoly of influence over the unrecognized territory of Transnistria.
On Saturday, voters will decide the president of Transnistria, the unrecognized quasi-state between Moldova and Ukraine that remains one of Eastern Europe's last frozen conflict zones. Following the breakup of the Soviet Union, Transnistria declared independence from Moldova, its pro-Russian population wary of the new Moldovan republic's geopolitical orientation. A year later, it successfully repelled Moldovan forces during a bloody 1992 civil war. Since then, the region has been ruled by Igor Smirnov, an authoritarian president with close ties to Russia.
UN's Ban Ki-moon in Mogadishu on Somalia visit
UN head Ban Ki-moon is visiting the Somali capital, Mogadishu - the highest-ranking foreign official to go there in years.
He was wearing a bulletproof vest as he was welcomed at the airport by Somalia's prime minister.
Robert Levinson, Ex-FBI Agent Gone Missing In Iran, Appears As Hostage In Video
Officials Confirm Authenticity of Iranian TV Images Showing Lost U.S. Drone
U.S. officials have confirmed to Fox News that images aired by Iranian state television do in fact show the secret U.S. drone that went down last week in eastern Iran.
"Yep, that's it," one senior official told Fox News. "And it's intact."
UBS advice for a euro collapse: ‘tinned goods, small calibre weapons’
As if there isn’t already enough eurozone doom and gloom floating around these days.
A note from UBS economist Larry Hatheway on Wednesday spells out why he and his colleagues at the bank believe a eurozone collapse would result in an “end of the world” scenario. It makes for some grim reading.
U.K. funding think-tank hostile to oil sands
The British government, through its high commission in Ottawa, has given a Canadian environmental think-tank nearly $60,000 for research that included a report advocating a shift away from fossil fuel industries like the Alberta oil sands, money that critics say represents an attempt to intrude into Canada's domestic environmental policy.
Eyes down for a more revealing insight into economic development
The addled advice often given to low-income countries suggests strategists are overlooking the merits of structural economics
A group of people had just disrupted a baseball game by running naked across the field. After the disturbance, legendary player Yogi Berra was asked whether they were men or women. He replied: "I don't know. They had bags over their heads." That story illustrates what is perhaps the biggest issue in development economics today: the inability of many researchers to look in the right place when searching for answers.
Smartphones, the internet and the smart energy revolution

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