Tag Archives | United Nations
Michael Joseph Gross describes the war for control of the Internet, for Vanity Fair:
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I. Time Bomb
In 1979 the Dubai World Trade Centre dominated the skyline of Dubai City, on the horn of the Arabian Peninsula. Today, the World Trade Centre looks quaint, like an old egg carton stuck into the ground amid a phantasmagoric forest of skyscrapers. But come December the World Trade Centre will once more be the most important place in Dubai City—and, for a couple of weeks, one of the more important places in the world. Diplomats from 193 countries will converge there to renegotiate a United Nations treaty called the International Telecommunications Regulations. The sprawling document, which governs telephone, television, and radio networks, may be extended to cover the Internet, raising questions about who should control it, and how. Arrayed on one side will be representatives from the United States and other major Western powers, advocating what many call “Internet freedom,” a plastic concept that has been defined by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as the right to use the Internet to “express one’s views,” to “peacefully assemble,” and to “seek or share” information.
Timothy W. Ryback reports for the New York Times:
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Next Monday, the United Nations will implement Resolution 65/309, adopted unanimously by the General Assembly in July 2011, placing “happiness” on the global agenda.
“Conscious that the pursuit of happiness is a fundamental human goal” and “recognizing that the gross domestic product […] does not adequately reflect the happiness and well-being of people,” Resolution 65/309 empowers the Kingdom of Bhutan to convene a high-level meeting on happiness as part of next week’s 66th session of the U.N. General Assembly in New York.
An impressive array of luminaries will be speaking for this remote Himalayan kingdom. His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales will open the meeting via a prerecorded video missive. The Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz will speak on “happiness indicators,” as will the economic shock therapist Jeffrey Sachs. The Bhutanese prime minister will represent King Jigme Khesar Namgyel, the reigning Dragon King of the Bhutanese House of Wangchuck.
Journalists for the most part report what they know and hope that someone pays attention. With so many media outlets, brands, bloggers and sloggers out there, it is rare for challenging ideas to touch a larger nerve or get visibility beyond fragmented followings.
The idea of winning global attention is a far off dream unless you break the biggest exclusive or win the first interview with, say, Jesus on his return to earth. (And that could be ignored if your name isn’t Oprah, etc.)
Yes, sometimes going viral is the way to go—as is the case of a new video exposing the head of the Lords Resistance Army, the Ugandan terror crazies.
But even then, stories are always flashing one minute, gone the next, unless other media outlets pile on and raise their profile as happened here during Watergate and other issues, mostly sex scandals, since.
By and large, you labor on in the media wilderness hoping the time will come when someone outside your world recognizes your value and gives you a bigger platform, usually more than just one TV interview or quote.… Read the rest
New World Order conspiracy theory is starting to have a real influence on local politics in the United States. Leslie Kaufman and Kate Zernike report for the New York Times:
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Across the country, activists with ties to the Tea Party are railing against all sorts of local and state efforts to control sprawl and conserve energy. They brand government action for things like expanding public transportation routes and preserving open space as part of a United Nations-led conspiracy to deny property rights and herd citizens toward cities.
They are showing up at planning meetings to denounce bike lanes on public streets and smart meters on home appliances — efforts they equate to a big-government blueprint against individual rights.
“Down the road, this data will be used against you,” warned one speaker at a recent Roanoke County, Va., Board of Supervisors meeting who turned out with dozens of people opposed to the county’s paying $1,200 in dues to a nonprofit that consults on sustainability issues.
In December 2011, leaders from around the world gathered at the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations meeting in Doha, a forum meant to encourage dialogue between cultures and people. The host nation, Qatar, asked Vangelis, the Greek composer, to create the music for the event, which also marked the inauguration of Doha's cultural village and Greek-style amphitheatre. The event brought together celebrated artists from around the world and his music was written to formulate a message of hope. Vangelis, one of the world's most celebrated creators of electronic music and the Oscar-winning composer of the music for Bladerunner and Chariots of Fire, came to a Middle East in the midst of upheaval at a time of financial crisis in his own country. Al Jazeera's Tony Harris met the composer to talk about the role of music in our times.
As if Haiti didn’t have enough problems already… From ABC News:
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Compelling new scientific evidence suggests United Nations peacekeepers have carried a virulent strain of cholera — a super bug — into the Western Hemisphere for the first time.
The vicious form of cholera has already killed 7,000 people in Haiti, where it surfaced in a remote village in October 2010. Leading researchers from Harvard Medical School and elsewhere told ABC News that, despite UN denials, there is now a mountain of evidence suggesting the strain originated in Nepal, and was carried to Haiti by Nepalese soldiers who came to Haiti to serve as UN peacekeepers after the earthquake that ravaged the country on Jan. 12, 2010 — two years ago today. Haiti had never seen a case of cholera until the arrival of the peacekeepers, who allegedly failed to maintain sanitary conditions at their base.
From Courthouse News Service:
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An American expatriate in Bulgaria claims the United Nations, the World Economic Forum, the Office of International Treasury Control and the Italian government conspired with a host of others to steal more than $1.1 trillion in financial instruments intended to support humanitarian purposes.
The 111-page federal complaint involves a range of entities common to conspiracy theorists, including the Vatican Illuminati, the Masons, the “Trilateral Trillenium Tripartite Gold Commission,” and the U.S. Federal Reserve.
Plaintiff Neil Keenan claims he was entrusted in 2009 with the financial instruments – which included U.S. Federal Reserve notes worth $124.5 billion, two Japanese government bonds with a combined face value of $19 billion, and one U.S. “Kennedy” bond with a face value of $1 billion – by an entity called the Dragon Family, which is a group of several wealthy and secretive Asian families.
“The Dragon family abstains from public view and knowledge, but, upon information and belief, acts for the good and better benefit of the world in constant coordination with higher levels of global financial organizations, in particular, the Federal Reserve System,” Keenan claims.
Regarding the question of Palestinian statehood, Barack Obama nows hold a position far to the right of the Israeli populace. Raw Story writes:
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Nearly 70 percent of Israelis surveyed recently said that Israel should accept a Palestinian state if the United Nations chooses to recognize it, according to a report in Thursday’s edition of The Jerusalem Post.
The poll results fly in the face of American conservatives and even President Barack Obama, who have taken the lead in discouraging the U.N. from voting on the matter, claiming that it could threaten Israel’s security.
The study was carried out by the Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace and the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research. A further 83 percent of Palestinians said that turning to the U.N. for statehood is the right thing to do.
The United States has vowed to veto any request for Palestinian statehood at the Security Council, potentially sparking a new Middle East crisis.
With numerous research groups inching closer to a cure for AIDS, the United Nations asks that leaders throughout the world end the pandemic by 2020. While one of the largest problems in the spread of AIDS is the lack of knowledge about the disease and access to treatment in certain areas, there is also a lack of funding to facilities that are on a progressive path towards a cure, but are stopped because of finances. The Christian Post reports:
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World leaders must do everything in their power to end the AIDS pandemic by 2020, the U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has said at the U.N. Summit on AIDS in New York.
“Today, we gather to end AIDS,” Ban said as the United Nations General Assembly opened on Wednesday.
The three-day summit is being held as the world marks the 30th anniversary since HIV was first discovered. Ban told delegates gathered from across the world that AIDS must end: “That is our goal – zero new infections, zero stigma and zero AIDS-related deaths.”
Ban urged: “If we are to relegate AIDS to the history books we must be bold.