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December 4, 2012 | News covering the UN and the worldSign up  |  E-Mail this  |  Donate

Stopping temperature rise at 3.6 degrees? It's almost too late

Scientists are warning that temperatures could increase by 9 degrees Fahrenheit if current levels of human activity continue apace, well beyond the 3.6-degree limit eyed by negotiators at ongoing United Nations climate talks. Researchers affiliated with the Global Carbon Project suggest that the 3.6-degree threshold is already nearly beyond reach. Spiegel Online (Germany) (12/3), The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (12/2) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

Why @BillGates thinks 2012 was different in the effort to defeat polio via @gatesfoundation #endpolio


“If the Senate ratifies this treaty with the required two thirds majority, it would mean that major international treaties could avoid the pitfalls of domestic abortion politics.”

UN Dispatch

United Nation
  • UN pulls some staff from Syria
    The United Nations has begun to remove nonessential international staff from Syria because of dangers brought on by an intensification of fighting, particularly in the capital, Damascus. "There is an increased risk for humanitarians as a result of indiscriminate shooting or clashes between the parties," said Sabir Mughal, the UN's main security adviser in the country. Reuters (12/3) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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Spotlight: U.S.-UN relations
  • U.S. Senate poised to reject UN disabilities treaty
    The U.S. Senate was expected to fall short today of the two-thirds vote needed to ratify the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The treaty -- work on which spanned the presidencies of George W. Bush and Barack Obama -- is not intended to cede U.S. authority to the UN, but conservative activists warn it could infringe on homeschooling. "Our concerns ... have everything to do with protecting U.S. sovereignty, protecting the interests of parents in the United States and the interests of families," said Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah. The Hill/Global Affairs blog (12/4) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Health and Development
  • Dlamini-Zuma: Want peace? Pursue development
    Underdevelopment, poverty and inequitable distribution of wealth are the main problems facing Africa, said Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, chairwoman of the African Union. "It's important to understand that development is not a 'nice to have,' it's essential for peace, for stability and for progress in the world," she said. The Guardian (London) (12/3) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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Climate and Energy
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Peacekeeping and Security
  • Spike in global terrorism tapers off
    The number of terrorist-related incidents has stabilized worldwide since 2007, according to the Global Terrorism Index of the Institute for Economics and Peace. "The overall global trend does give some hope for optimism as the steep increase in terrorist activity experienced from 2003 to 2007 has halted, however the deteriorating situation in Syria and other future possible conflicts in the Middle-East could reverse the situation," the report said. BBC (12/4) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • U.S., NATO warn Syria about chemical weapons
    Top U.S. and NATO officials on Monday warned Syrian President Bashar Assad that the use of chemical weapons in the country's civil war would invite an international response. "The use of chemical weapons is, and would be, totally unacceptable. And if you make the tragic mistake of using these weapons, there will be consequences, and you will be held accountable," President Barack Obama said. BBC (12/4), Los Angeles Times (tiered subscription model) (12/3) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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