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New York Times | EUROPE|

Seven billionth baby scandal

The birth of the world’s seven billionth baby — little Danica from the Philippines — became a big media story. But while the United Nations says we’ve reached seven billion, the US Census Bureau argues that it won’t happen for another four months.

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Reuters | LINKS|

Two thirds of global murders occur in Africa or central America

Thanks to the worsening drug wars, men in Central America have a whopping 1 in 50 chance of being murdered before 30, according to a new United Nations report.

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Locals in Yasser Arafat Square: ‘we know the peace process has stopped’

In the eyes of Palestinians direct negotiations have become delegitimised, writes Nigel O’Connor writes from Ramallah.

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| LINKS|

Palestine’s UN bin: a time of great opportunity

The longstanding situation between Palestine and Israel has become untenable, but Palestine’s bid to join the United Nations may turn a crisis into an opportunity, writes James L. Richardson.

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ynet | LINKS|

Palestine to seek full UN membership

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has confirmed that Palestine will submit a statehood bid seeking full United Nations membership later this month, reports Roee Nahmias.

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Letter from: Ghana … caught on the wrong side of the political divide

While Côte d’Ivoire may be relatively stable for now, human rights organisations continue to express concern at the government’s seeming unwillingness to investigate and prosecute its own forces, writes journalist Clair MacDougall.

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Hold the treaty, I’ll have a six pack

Cancun is probably the perfect venue for the 16th Conference of the Parties and for the UN climate change secretariat to kick the partying college students out for a fortnight and get to work on their six-packs. Because that’s probably all they’ll achieve, says Giles Parkinson.

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In smoggy Tianjin, ‘structural imbalance’ is the hot topic

Day two of UN climate talks in heavily-polluted Tianjin fittingly started with a side event on coal use in China. Burning coal and the “structural imbalance” of energy use is the hot topic, writes Owen Pascoe, who is at the talks for the Australian Conservation Foundation.

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UN set to give Oz a serve on our racial discrimination record

The UN Committee that monitors breaches of the UN Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination (the CERD Committee) will report on its examination of Australia this weekend.

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New York Times | LINKS|

Fears for Pakistan floods: only 20% of UN aid received

Up to 20 million people are currently homeless because of Pakistan’s epic floods, leaving an already politically embattled nation struggling to survive and UN chief Ban Ki-moon pleading for aid from foreign donors.

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The Guardian | LINKS|

Kosovo’s independence: a battle lost

The UN has upheld Kosovo’s declaration of independence from Serbia. The battle for Kosovo may have been lost, writes Simon Tisdall, but this legal decision sets an important precedent for other separatist groups.

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Google | LINKS|

Iran explodes over UN inspectors

More conflict between Iran and the U.N. has ensued following the ban of two nuclear inspectors from Tehran. Iran officials allege the inspectors leaked false information about experiments conducted at a research laboratory.

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Newsweek | THE REST|

Something’s rotten in the UN’s World Food Programme

News that half of the food aid sent to Somalia ends up in the hands of contractors, militants and UN staffers is just the latest scandal in a long history of corruption in the UN’s World Food Programme.

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The Independent | ENVIRONMENT|

How the UN poisoned Bangladesh

How a UN and World Bank-backed scheme to bring clean drinking water to millions of Bangladeshis went horribly wrong, resulting in what the World Health Organisation has labeled “the largest mass poisoning of a population in history”.

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The Guardian | ASIA-PACIFIC|

China’s Copenhagen report

A Chinese think-tank report from the Copenhagen climate summit leaked to the Guardian reveals the government didn’t set out to spoil the talks, just to avoid rich nations’ “conspiracy to divide the developing world”.

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Washington Post | THE REST|

Ban Ki-Moon: Help Haiti, help the world

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon tells of his experiences in Haiti in an op-ed for the Washington Post and makes his plea: helping Haiti swiftly and effectively in its hour of need will give hope to the entire world’s poor.

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The Times (UK) | ENVIRONMENT|

Did the UN mislead us on climate change?

The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has egg on its face after its long-held claim that climate change will melt most of the Himalayan glaciers by 2035 has been revealed as pure speculation published in a non-academic pop-science magazine.

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Sphere | THE REST|

Peter Galbraith: I was not plotting against Karzai

Ousted former senior UN official Peter Galbraith says a NYT piece accusing him of plotting to oust Afghan President Hamid Karzai was false: the UN is just trying to distract people from its terrible mishandling of the country’s elections.

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New York Times | THE REST|

The UN plot to oust Karzai

Following revelations of wide-spread fraud in the Afghan election, fired senior UN official Peter Galbraith planned to enlist the US’s help to replace President Hamid Karzai with “a more Western-friendly figure”. Is that the real reason he was given the boot?

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The Australian | ENVIRONMENT|

UN: Tony Abbott will motivate climate sceptics

The chair of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says the recent success of climate sceptic Tony Abbott will help fuel other naysayers, comparing him to George W. Bush.

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The New Yorker | THE WORLD|

PHOTO GALLERY: Portraits of the powerful

An incredible series of world leader portraits — including audio about each subject’s photo — by Platon of The New Yorker, taken during the latest sitting of the UN General Assembly.

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New York Magazine | THE REST|

UN sends Nicolas Cage to fight Somali pirates

Clearly the most qualified candidate for the roll, actor Nicolas has gone to Africa to meet with jailed Somali pirates in his capacity as a “Goodwill Ambassador on Drugs and Crime” for the UN.

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The Times (UK) | THE REST|

UN secretly negotiating with Iran to lift nuclear sanctions

Documents leaked to the Times reveal the United Nations has been negotiating with Iranian officials to lift the country’s nuclear sanctions, allowing it to retain most of its nuclear program, in return for co-operation with UN inspectors.

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Wall Street Journal | THE REST|

Is the UN helping Iran launder money?

Iran may be using a UN agency, intended to facilitate financial payments between Asian countries, to route billions of dollars offshore and circumvent American sanctions, a former US Treasury official alleges.

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An audience with Radovan Karadzic. Location: The Hague

The Hague has a long history of overseeing international law, the latest being the trial of Serbian Radovan Karadzic, accused of war crimes in the former Yugoslavia. Too bad he was a no show, writes Grant Doyle.

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