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May 13, 2010 | News covering the UN and the worldSign up  |  E-Mail this  |  Donate

Red Shirt general is shot as Thai election compromise falls apart

The anti-government standoff in Thailand appeared to explode today as renegade Thai military leader and Red Shirt sympathizer Gen. Khattiya Sawatdiphol -- better known as Seh Daeng -- was shot in the head moments after giving a press interview. The Thai government scrapped a plan to host elections in exchange for the dispersal of the protesters but relented on an announcement that it would cut water and electricity to the area where protesters have staged standing demonstrations for six weeks. The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (5/13), Reuters (5/12), Google/The Associated Press (5/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

If major countries wish to address Iran's nuclear dossier, they can do that by bringing Israel and Iran to the negotiating table."

Egyptian Ambassador to the UN Maged Abdel Aziz. Read the full story.

"The General Assembly will vote for the newest members of the UN Human Rights Council today. Council members serve three-year terms and are not eligible for immediate re-election after serving two consecutive terms. This means that every year, the 47-member body replaces about one-third of its membership."

UN Dispatch

United Nation
  • Ban bucks orders from UN personnel tribunal
    A UN personnel court has challenged UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to release confidential documents that claimants say will prove that they have been treated poorly by UN employees -- documents that Ban has proved resistant to release. Ban's lawyer has refused to turn over notes from a UN ethics probe regarding a U.S. diplomat who was removed from a UN job in Kosovo after he cooperated with an internal investigation. His is just one of a number of cases before the new tribunal overseen by professional international judges -- a system established in July to replace the volunteer-run administrative justice system designed in the 1940s. Foreign Policy (free registration)/Turtle Bay blog (5/2010) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • UN, Ethiopia call for funds to care for flood of refugees
    The UN High Commissioner for Refugees and Ethiopia are appealing for $13 million to protect, shelter and feed the 25,000 Somali refugees expected to stream into camps in coming months. Some 67,000 Somalis and 42,000 Eritreans have already sought refuge in Ethiopia, with thousands more arriving each day, causing an impending shortage of food, according to the World Food Programme. Google/Agence France-Presse (5/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Development Health and Poverty
  • Afghan women will suffer when U.S. exits
    A willingness among U.S. officials to consider reconciliation for moderate Taliban figures into Afghanistan government structures leaves Afghan women in the lurch -- at a time when Afghan President Hamid Karzai's government is denying women more rights than ever before, according to the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan. Neither U.S. President Barack Obama nor U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has addressed the plight of Afghan women in recent months, even as Karzai has increasingly given politically connected rapists and abusers appointments and impunity. The UN Development Fund for Women reports that 87% of Afghan women say they are beaten on a regular basis. Foreign Policy (free registration) (5/2010) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • World Bank outlines action plan on reproductive health
    The World Bank's Reproductive Health Action Plan targets reducing infant and maternal mortality as well as high fertility in impoverished countries that it says have neglected such issues of late. Over five years, in 58 countries, the World Bank will work to increase access to contraceptives, prenatal care and education. Reuters (5/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Development Energy and Environment
  • Ban chides Canadian PM over climate
    UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon singled out Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper for failing to signal greater dedication to reducing carbon emissions and combating global climate change. Harper, who did not attend the UN climate-change summit in the fall, has said the global economy will take priority among Canadian policy goals. Ban said that preventing climate change is crucial to ensuring development in poor and developing countries and to broader global economic recovery. The Gazette (Montreal)/Canwest News Service (5/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
Tech Thursdays
  • UN tech portal will track MDG progress
    The UN Nations Global Alliance for ICT and Development aims to build a Web-based system for tracking and storing knowledge about technological and communications solutions to problems in development and aid. The effort is intended to help speed progress toward achieving the UN's Millennium Development Goals. (South Africa) (5/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Security and Human Rights
  • Human trafficking and the World Cup
    Human rights groups are concerned that with the World Cup comes prostitution and human trafficking -- as seen in the migration of sex workers from Zimbabwe to South Africa in advance of the tournament. Eight popular hotels in Johannesburg were filled with newly arrived prostitutes from Zimbabwe, in a trend similar to that seen in Germany before the 2006 World Cup. Human rights groups and Christian organizations have urged South African hotels to guard against human trafficking and child prostitution, while the AIDS Consortium has expressed fears that disease could spread as a result of the influx of prostitutes. The Christian Science Monitor (5/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Pope's comments on abuse reveal split in Holy See
    Though Pope Benedict XVI's recent comments showed more decisiveness in confronting the sexual-abuse crisis than the Vatican has expressed to date, they may reflect an effort to get ahead of a brewing power struggle within the Catholic Church. In a recent off-the-record interview, Austrian Cardinal Christoph Schönborn criticized Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Angelo Sodano for blocking an investigation into alleged abuse by Schönborn's predecessor, Cardinal Hans Hermann Groer. TIME (5/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Protests quiet temporarily, but Greek anger has not waned
    Although demonstrations have quieted in Greece, the sentiment persists that Greek leaders must be held accountable for their failure to prevent a financial catastrophe that will bring hardship in the form of austerity measures -- and for the impression that the political leadership has weathered the crisis with impunity. Protests cooled after three workers, including one pregnant women, died from smoke inhalation, but union organizers say they are prepared to return to the streets, with a nationwide 48-hour strike to follow within weeks. Labor leaders fear that some 100,000 private-sector jobs will be lost as a result of the crisis. Los Angeles Times (5/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Peace and Security
  • Russia and Turkey seal a new partnership
    In a turn for the relationship between historic rivals, Russia and Turkey signed a series of energy and trade agreements that will see Russia build and operate Turkey's first nuclear power plant and will speed the delivery of a new oil pipeline between the Black Sea and the Mediterranean. Describing the relationship as a "full-scale strategic partnership," Russian President Dmitry Medvedev pledged visa-free travel and a threefold increase in trade between the two. Some tensions remain between the two former empires, as Moscow has expressed concerns about Turkey's large Chechen minority, while Turkey's energy plans in Europe compete with Russian interests. The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (5/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Despite superior force, Somali soldiers are reluctant to fight al-Shabaab
    With some soldiers deserting over the fear of failure and lapses in salaries, a Somali military effort to retake Mogadishu from al-Qaida-aligned militants of al-Shabaab remains in doubt -- despite the fact that joint Somali and African Union forces outnumber al-Shabaab fighters nearly three to one. With the support of U.S. and European governments, Somali President Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed believes that a successful campaign in Mogadishu could give him leverage to control the rest of the country, even though he now presides over just a swath of the capital. Los Angeles Times (5/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Washington must refine political strategy for Afghanistan
    U.S. President Barack Obama made polite and public gestures of reconciliation with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, whose relationship with the U.S. has been strained over the course of a tumultuous Afghan presidential election and other political developments. But the U.S. will need to exercise a political strategy as clear as its diplomatic and military strategy in Afghanistan -- and, specifically, in dealing with Karzai -- in order to bolster the Afghan government and undermine support for the Taliban. The head of U.S.-Afghan policy remains unclear, with relations between Karzai and both U.S. Special Representative Richard Holbrooke and U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Karl Eikenberry strained. The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (5/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • The "special relationship" shifts
    New British Prime Minister David Cameron and Deputy Prime Minister Nicholas Clegg debuted the U.K.'s new coalition government with a Cabinet comprising members of the Conservative and Liberal Democratic parties and a pledge to place five-year term limits on Parliament seats. Going forward, the U.K. relationship with the U.S. -- which has waned over the course of the Iraq war, for which U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair and his successor, Gordon Brown, suffered politically -- appears unclear, with U.K. figures of all stripes addressing an alliance that has grown imbalanced. The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (5/12), The Washington Post (5/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Iran's posturing triggers interest in Israel's nuclear arsenal
    With the U.S. leading the charge to denounce the threat of an illicit Iranian nuclear development program, Arab and Islamic states have answered by saying that a greater threat is posed by Israel -- which has never declared its nuclear weapons, accepted inspectors into its facilities or signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Iran's nuclear posture has reignited interest in a long-ignored 1995 proposal -- one that Washington supported at the time -- to transform the Middle East into a nuclear-free zone. BBC (5/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
Chief of PartyManagement Sciences for HealthKigali, Rwanda
Director for Health Systems ManagementManagement Sciences for HealthBaghdad, Iraq
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, Africa DivisionHuman Rights WatchNew York, NY
Media Relations Senior Specialist, Latin America & the CaribbeanRotary InternationalEvanston, IL

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