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August 22, 2016

President of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte threatens to leave UN

Filed under: Asia,Disputed,Philippines,United Nations — admin @ 5:00 am

President of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte threatens to leave UN

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Monday, August 22, 2016

Yesterday President of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte threatened to leave the UN after it criticized the way he fought the war on drugs, describing his conduct as a crime under international law.

President of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte

He accused the organisation, which aims to increase world peace; of being useless, having achieved nothing and having just complained saying. “Take us out of your organization. You have done nothing anyway.”

The UN’s comments come after a spike in government sanctioned vigilante killings, there have been 900 unexplained murders and 650 police killings since June when the government’s crackdown began. President Duterte has accused several rival politicians of being involved in the drug trade, while maintaining that the 650 police killings where justified and in self defense. Saying that “My orders are for the police to go out and hunt for criminals, I tell them to arrest these criminals if they surrender peacefully, but kill them if they put up a violent struggle. I assume full responsibility for what happens.”

Four days ago the UN responded to this by urging the Philippine’s president to “adopt with immediate effect the necessary measures to protect all persons from targeted killings and extrajudicial executions”. Saying that “The State has a legally binding obligation to ensure the right to life and security of every person in the country, whether suspected of criminal offences or not”.



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August 19, 2016

United Nations admit role in Haitian cholera outbreak of 2010

United Nations admit role in Haitian cholera outbreak of 2010

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Friday, August 19, 2016

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For the first time, the United Nations (U.N) has acknowledged its involvement in the Haiti cholera outbreak of 2010, admitting the disease was carried by Nepalese peace workers, contracted with the earthquake relief on behalf of the U.N.. In an email sent this week, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon admitted that the U.N. played a role in the spread of the disease, which affected hundreds of thousands of Haitian people, but he stopped short of admitting sole culpability for the epidemic.

New York University law professor Philip Alston, convinced Secretary General Ban-ki Moon, that the U.N.’s operation lack of basic hygiene checks was legally indefensible: as quoted in the Washington Post.

Image of cholera bacteria though a scanning electron microscope.
Image: Ronald Taylor, Tom Kirn, Louisa Howard.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the gastrointestinal illness hadn’t been recorded on the island nation prior to this outbreak, inviting immediate speculation over how it began.

Medical researchers tracked the disease to Haiti and found that Nepalese representatives had worked for the United Nations immediately after a mission in Nepal where cholera was present.

Reports from the United Nations indicate that this admission will lead to an overhaul in approaches to peacekeeping missions. According to a statement from Farhan Haq, the deputy spokesperson for the Secretary General, these changes will be developed over the next two months.

The U.N. have long maintained legal immunity in national courts, resulting in the dismissal of a class-action lawsuit in the United States addressing the cholera involvement on Thursday.

The lawsuit was brought by representatives of the victims and their families and sought reparations for the damages brought by the cholera outbreak. The plaintiffs now have the option to appeal to the U.S Supreme Court to overturn this decision.



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July 14, 2016

UN tribunal dismisses Chinese claims to South China Sea

UN tribunal dismisses Chinese claims to South China Sea

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Thursday, July 14, 2016

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Map of South China Sea.
Image: Nzeemin, NordNordWest.

On Tuesday, a United Nations (UN) tribunal in The Hague dismissed China‘s sovereignty claims to the South China Sea, a body of water connecting to the Pacific Ocean which is also bordered by the Philippines, Vietnam, Brunei, Malaysia, Taiwan, and Indonesia. Court battles over the claims between China and the Philippines go back to 2013.

These claims were established by China during the reign of its Nationalist government in the 1940s, marked by a demarcation line nicknamed its Nine-dash line. Its line stretched hundreds of miles from the Chinese mainland, including about nine tenths of the entire sea. The South China Sea is a valuable property, providing passage for about US$5 trillion in trade by planes and boats every year. China is not the only country to claim large parts of the sea; notably, Taiwan and Vietnam have also done so, but other large-scale claimants have been less militarily active about their claims than China.

China has built several artificial islands and military bases in the South China Sea. The tribunal scolded the impeding of fishing and exploration in the sea by China, which it deemed against the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), signed by China in 1982. The tribunal also concluded China knowingly permitted the poaching of endangered turtles and clams as well as destroyed coral reefs to construct artificial islands.

UNCLOS permits countries to claim a 200-nautical mile area from their mainland, referred to as an exclusive economic zone. It also permits freedom of navigation, allowing unimpeded exploration through “high seas”: international waters also available for the use of fishing and trade passages.

There is no process to enforce the decision. UNCLOS allows countries to exclude themselves from “compulsory binding procedures for the settlement of disputes” as defined in Part XV, Section 3 – Article 298. China exercised this right to exclude themselves from compulsory binding procedures on August 25, 2006. They reject the jurisdiction or authority of the tribunal’s findings. Various other countries have also exercised Article 298 partially or fully, such as Australia, Canada, the UK, Russia, and France.

Many nations made statements after the decision. The Chinese government opposed the decision, calling it “ill-founded”. It said “China neither accepts nor recognizes” the decision. The Philippine government referred to the decision as a “milestone decision”. The US, a key ally with many of the countries claiming parts of the sea, said it was an “important contribution to the shared goal of a peaceful resolution to disputes in the South China Sea”.



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May 28, 2016

Australia removed from major UN climate change report after government intervention

Australia removed from major UN climate change report after government intervention

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Saturday, May 28, 2016

Any mention of Australia has been removed from a final major report on climate change after intervention from the Australian government. The report “The World Heritage and Tourism in a Changing Climate” published by Unesco with the United Nations environment program and the Union of Concerned Scientists was released on Friday.

The draft of the report had a key chapter, on the Great Barrier Reef as well as mentions of Kakadu and Tasmanian forests. The Australian Department of Environment upon seeing a copy of the draft objected to the mentioning of Australian locations, on grounds that it would adversely affect tourism. Unesco then removed any reference to Australia from the final report. The omission of Australia from the report comes less than a year after the Australian Government had Unesco not include The Great Barrier Reef on its list of World Heritage Sites in Danger.

No sections about any other country were removed from the report and Australia was the only inhabited continent to have no mentions at all. The report comes as the Great Barrier Reef is experiencing its worst crisis in recorded history as unusually warm weather has resulted in 93% of the reef suffering coral bleaching.



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March 27, 2016

Former Bosnian-Serb Leader, Radovan Karadžić, found guilty of Srebrenica Massacre

Former Bosnian-Serb Leader, Radovan Karadžić, found guilty of Srebrenica Massacre

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Sunday, March 27, 2016

On Thursday, the 24th of March, 2016, former high-ranking Bosnian-Serb Radovan Karadžić was found guilty on 10 charges laid against him by the United Nation’s International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) at the Hague, the Netherlands. Mr Karadžić was sentenced to 40 years in prison for his alleged committal of genocide, crimes against humanity and violations of the laws or customs of war during the 3-year conflict which claimed the lives of almost 100,000 people.

Mr Karadžić, who was the first president of the newly-formed Republika Srpska (a Serbian-aligned separatist section of north-eastern Bosnia & Herzegovina), was found guilty of orchestrating the shelling of civilian centres during the 3-year siege of Sarajevo. The tribunal also found him guilty of involvement in the organisation of the 1995 Srebrenica Massacre, which oversaw the systematic separation and execution of over 7,500 Muslim men and boys over a period of 3 days. It aimed to “terrorise and demoralise the Bosnian Muslim and Bosnian Croat population”, as Karadžić had planned a campaign of “ethnic cleansing’ in which Serbian-affiliated militias and paramilitary groups targeted non-Serbian civilians living within the territory of the breakaway Bosnian-Serb republic, Republika Srpska.

The sentence was handed down after a lengthy 8-year trial in which Mr Karadžić represented himself. Mr Karadžić previously claimed in a written statement that he bore the “moral responsibility” for the actions of Bosnian-Serb soldiers during the conflict as he was the political leader of the breakaway state, yet still claimed innocence of the charges laid against him. The decision caused civilian unrest in the Serbian capital of Belgrade, as Serbian far-right nationalists protested the UN’s verdict.


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February 8, 2016

North Korea launches long-range missile

North Korea launches long-range missile – Wikinews, the free news source

North Korea launches long-range missile

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Monday, February 8, 2016

The South Korean defense ministry said North Korea launched a long-range missile yesterday.

North Korea had announced a plan to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) for a terrestrial observation satellite launch between February 8 and 25. North Korean state media reported the satellite launch was successful and was ordered by North Korean leader Kim Jong-un with more plans to launch satellites.

The launch occurred at 09:31am local time (0031 UTC) and was detected by a South Korean warship, according to ministry spokesman Moon Sang Gyun. Nations including Japan and South Korea considered the launch a disguised ballistic missile test. Japan, South Korea, and the United States condemned the launch and called for an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council to be held in New York yesterday at 11:00am local time (1600 UTC).

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe called the launch “unacceptable” and said, “We will take action to totally protect the safety and well-being of our people”. South Korean President Park Geun-hye also called the launch “unacceptable” and a “challenge to world peace”. Japanese public broadcaster NHK said the rocket passed in Japanese airspace over Okinawa without provoking use of anti-ballistic missiles.

North Korea claimed in January to have successfully tested a hydrogen bomb.



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February 5, 2016

States pledge $10 billion for aid to Syria

States pledge $10 billion for aid to Syria

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Friday, February 5, 2016

Yesterday, a donor conference of nations was held in Westminster, London, United Kingdom to collect money for aid to Syria. UK Prime Minister David Cameron announced more than $10 billion were pledged in one day, for “food, medical care, and shelter”, and other purposes including creation of schools to benefit one million Syrian children by the end of the coming school year. Cameron also said this was the biggest sum ever collected for an international crisis in one day.

David Cameron, British PM, in 2014.

The “Supporting Syria and the Region” conference goal was more than $7 billion asked for by the United Nations and around $1.3 billion by countries of the region. Pledges included $3.3 billion from the European Union; $1.7 billion from the UK until 2020; $2.6 billion from Germany until 2018; and for 2016, $1 billion from France and $935 million from the United States.

Ahmet Davutoğlu, Turkish prime minister, said a Syrian government offensive with Russian air support is sending about another 70,000 Syrians to the Turkish border, and expressed worry this would continue. Syrian rebels suspended Geneva, Switzerland peace talks with the regime of Bashar al-Assad, protesting the current offensive. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights recently said Russian airstrikes have killed around 1,400 Syrian civilians.



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January 6, 2016

Donors pledge $10 billion for aid to Syria

Donors pledge $10 billion for aid to Syria

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Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Yesterday, a donor conference was held in Westminster, London, United Kingdom to collect money for aid to Syria. UK Prime Minister David Cameron announced more than $10 billion were pledged in one day. He also said the money will go to food, medical care, and shelter, also for the making of schools that will benefit 1 million of Syrian children by the end of the next year. David Cameron also said this was the biggest amount ever collected in one day.

David Cameron, British PM, in 2014.

The goal of the “Supporting Syria and the Region” conference was to reach more than $7 billion, the amount requested by the United Nations and $1.3 billion as requested by countries of the region. The European Union pledged $3.3 billion, UK pledged $1.7 billion until 2020, Germany said it will give $2.6 billion until 2018, France and United States pledged for 2016, France giving $1 billion and US giving $935 million.

Ahmet Davutoğlu, Turkish prime minister, said he is worried about more airstrikes by the regime and that nearly 70,000 Syrians are going to its borders after an offensive of the government backed by the Russian airforce. This offensive caused the suspension of the Syria peace talks between the regime of Bashar al-Assad and the rebels in Geneva, Switzerland. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Russian airstrikes have killed 1,400 Syrian civilians.



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October 28, 2015

Time magazine names Ahmed Mohamed to \’Most Influential Teens of 2015\’

Time magazine names Ahmed Mohamed to ‘Most Influential Teens of 2015’

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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Time magazine named 14-year-old Ahmed Mohamed yesterday to its list of “30 Most Influential Teens of 2015”. He was made famous after being taken into custody by police when a teacher thought a clock he brought to his Texas school looked like a bomb. Mohamed joins the ranks of influential teens including US President Barack Obama’s daughter Malia Obama, and Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai.

Ahmed Mohamed at Ames Research Center in 2015
Image: Courtesy of the Office of Congressman Mike Honda.

Time said of Mohamed in announcing the news: “Not many people make national news by bringing a homemade clock to school. But the ninth-grader’s arrest, after teachers and authorities mistook said clock for a bomb, kicked off a national debate over racial profiling”.

Cquote1.svg The ninth-grader’s arrest […] kicked off a national debate over racial profiling Cquote2.svg

Time magazine

Texas student Ahmed Mohamed and NASA Astronaut Alvin Drew at the 2015 White House Astronomy Night.
Image: Harrison Jones, hjonesphotography.

Mohamed traveled to the White House last week where he met with US President Barack Obama. His family said last week that they would move from Texas to Qatar, where Mohamed was offered a full-scholarship to a well-respected school in the country.

The September 14 incident in Irving, Texas triggered a wider discussion about Islamophobia within the community. The Twitter hashtag #IStandWithAhmed became part of a social movement in support of the youth. After news of the police response was reported, Mohamed received support online ranging from US President Barack Obama to Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg.

Mohamed brought the digital clock he made to school on September 14, and a teacher mistakenly thought it resembled a bomb. Police arrested and questioned the student. Images of the boy wearing a NASA T-shirt and handcuffed by the police were quickly posted and reposted online.

Cquote1.svg Cool clock, Ahmed. Want to bring it to the White House? Cquote2.svg

—US President Barack Obama

The Twitter attention led to outreach from Google and Mohamed was invited to their Google Science Fair. Mohamed was a VIP guest at the Google Science Fair, and met finalists at the event held at Google’s headquarters located in Mountain View, California. Co-founder of Google, Sergey Brin, personally met with Mohamed during his visit to Google.

US President Barack Obama tweeted using his @POTUS account: “Cool clock, Ahmed. Want to bring it to the White House? We should inspire more kids like you to like science. It’s what makes America great.” Twitter gave Mohamed the option to come to their company for an internship. Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg tweeted to Mohamed and said the boy was welcome to come and tour the company.

Both the Irving Independent School District and the Irving Police Department have asserted that the boy’s religion and name were not a factor in the manner in which they approached the situation.



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  • Wikipedia-logo-v2.svg Ahmed Mohamed clock incident
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  • Wikisource-logo.svg We Stand with Ahmed – and We Hope He’ll Join Us for Astronomy Night

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October 20, 2015

Justin Trudeau elected Prime Minister of Canada

Justin Trudeau elected Prime Minister of Canada

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Tuesday, October 20, 2015

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On Monday, Justin Trudeau, the leader of the Liberal Party of Canada was elected as the new Prime Minister of Canada. Liberal Party formed the majority by winning 184 seats where at least 170 seats were needed for majority. With the absolute majority for the Liberal, it was an end to Stephen Harpers’ era who was the Prime Minister of the second largest nation, Canada since early 2006.

Justin Trudeau, Leader of the Liberal Party
Image: Alex Guibord.

Son of the ex-Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, he became a Minister of Parliament for the Liberals in 2008. In 2013 with 80.1% votes to his name, he was elected as the new leader for Liberal.

Trudeau shared his feminism opinions on twitter previous month. His tweet read “I am a feminist. I’m proud to be a feminist. #upfordebate“. He also spoke on abortion saying “It is not for any government to legislate what a woman chooses to do with her body. And that is the bottom line.”

Trudeau manifested a change of climate change policy in three months prior to United Nations’ climate summit scheduled in November, in French capital Paris. Trudeau wants to improve relations with Iran and pull out the ISIS operations in Iraq as well as Syria.

He has promised tax rise for the 1% of wealthiest Canadian population to support middle class families. On the ideas of Colorado Model, he planned to legalise marijuana.

Previous PM, Harper won only 99 seats, and Conservative ended second in the election campaign. Harper said “The people of Canada have elected a Liberal government, which we accept without hesitation.” Harper is about to resign as the leader of the Conservative.

Cquote1.svg I didn’t make history tonight, you did
—Justin Trudeau
Cquote2.svg




Statistics[]

184 99 44 10 1
Liberal Conservative New Democratic BQ G
Popular vote by province, with graphs indicating the number of seats won.Image: Noname2.
Party Votes Vote share  % votes
Liberal 6,928,514
39.5%
39.5%
Conservative 5,597,565
31.9%
31.9%
New Democratic 3,460,288
19.7%
19.7%
Bloc Québécois 818,652
4.7%
4.7%
Green 605,637
3.4%
3.4%


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  • Wikipedia-logo-v2.svg Canadian federal election, 2015
  • Wikipedia-logo-v2.svg Results of the Canadian federal election, 2015

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