Newsbriefs

Pompeo in Talks with Blacklisted North Korean Official in New York

A rare closed-door meeting between the United States and North Korea was described as a major breakthrough—the first time in nearly two decades.

Movie Mogul Arraigned on Charges of Sexual Abuse

When Hollywood movie mogul Harvey Weinstein arrived for his arraignment on charges of sexual abuse, there were hordes of photographers and reporters waiting for him outside the New York Supreme Court.  

Women’s March Focuses on Gender Equality & Minority Rights

The one-year anniversary of the 2017 Women’s March in Washington was commemorated in mid-town Manhattan yesterday where thousands of demonstrators marched through the streets of New York protesting the policies of the Trump administration—focusing specifically on gender empowerment, women’s rights, diversity, migrants, people of color, and gay and lesbian rights, in what is described as an increasingly polarized American society.

Bronx Fire Deadliest in Over 25 Years, Says Mayor

A major fire, fueled by strong winds on a frigid night, killed at least 12 people in a Bronx building, inhabited mostly with migrants from West Africa, the Caribbean and Latin America.

Police Tighten Surveillance to Thwart Terrorist Attacks on City

A Bangladesh immigrant, 27 year-old Akayed Ullah, set off a pipe bomb strapped to his body in a crowded passageway at a Times Square subway station yesterday. The explosive failed to detonate but burnt him and injured three others causing panic during the morning rush hour in the heart of the city.

US Woman Cracks Africa’s Dominance in New York City Marathon

With an estimated two million people lining up the streets, the annual New York City Marathon ended on a predictable note: the Africans dominated one of the most popular events testing the endurance of over 50,000 athletes from more than 125 countries in a 26.2 mile run through the city’s five boroughs---- Staten Island, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx and Manhattan.

UN to be in Lock Down Mode For Meeting of World Leaders

President Donald Trump’s appearance before the UN General Assembly next week will be accompanied by tight security measures by local and federal law enforcement agencies, including the New York Police Department (NYPD), the US Secret Service and UN Security.[pullquote]3[/pullquote]The 72nd session of the General Assembly, which will be attended by over 150 world leaders, will be a “first” both for Trump and for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, a former Prime Minister of Portugal, who took office in January 2017.The security measures will include road closures, rooftop snipers and heavy concrete barriers to thwart the entry of any vehicles that could be used in terrorist attacks. The UN will be in a lock down mode – and will continue to be so until all of the world leaders leave town by end September.According to the NYPD, thousands of police officers will be deployed outside the UN perimeter—and residents in the neighborhood will be checked and double-checked before they are permitted to cross from Second to First Avenue. So will UN delegates, staffers and journalist, even with valid UN passes.All UN retirees, representatives of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and visitors, however, will be banned from the UN neighborhood even if they are armed with passes. And the UN precincts will be a restricted security zone.The Police is also expecting anti-Trump protestors in the city—along with a march to combat “white supremacy” that will begin outside the Grand Central Terminal.A left-wing group Code Pink has organized a march to protest Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Among other planned protests will be a rally against Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, mostly by Iranian dissidents in the US.

New York City Rejects Singling Out Muslims for Surveillance

With the rise in terrorist attacks in Europe, the Muslim community in New York City is fast becoming the centre of attention in the US presidential campaign currently underway.

Survivors Speak Out to End Genital Mutilation

“I had no identity, I didn’t know who I was, I didn’t know what I was going to do, I didn’t know what my place was in society because of what I went through,” Inna Modja said while recounting her experience with female genital mutilation (FGM).

Academics & Activists Discuss Poverty, Inequality, Conflict

Poverty, inequality and global conflict are issues that remain under-prioritised, said President of Malta Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca in a recorded message, kicking off a conference at the United Nations headquarters in New York.

Homelessness in New York City Has Exploded, Says Police Commissioner

Police Commissioner William Bratton has publicly declared that homelessness in New York City has “exploded” over the last two years.

Analysis: Paris Climate Accord Lacks Legal Commitment

Over 195 countries gathered in Paris and agreed on a set of broad measures to address the looming threat to human existence of global warming and climate change. A beaming UN Secretary-General, for whom climate change has been "one of the defining priorities of his tenure", described the Paris Accord as heralding a generation with climate hope and a "monumental triumph for people and the planet".

New York Vows to Stop Terrorist Attacks on City

When New York city launched a new counter terrorism unit, immediately following the terrorist attacks in Paris, Mayor Bill de Blasio was emphatic in his reaction: “We can say more certainly than ever before that no city in America is better prepared to defend against terrorism.”

UN Staff Union Warns Pay Cuts Will Largely Undermine Women

The UN’s 60,000-strong international staff union is challenging some of the proposed cuts both on salaries and allowances which will “damage living standards, working conditions and family lives” of some 32,000 staffers “working in the world’s most dangerous locations.”

UN Frontline Staff Consider Their Options as Pay Cuts Loom

When the world’s most powerful ambassadors gathered in New York last week to celebrate the United Nations’ 70th anniversary, it would have been undiplomatic to mention the looming crisis facing the UN’s proudest achievement - its humanitarian aid programmes.

Haider Rizvi: a Rebel Who Battled Many Causes

Haider Rizvi, who spent nearly 20 years as a reporter for IPS covering the United Nations, died October 29 in Lahore, Pakistan, his home country.

Indonesia and US Sign 12 Investment Deals

Following a state visit to the US, Indonesian President Joko Widodo finalized 12 investment deals estimated at over 20 billion dollars.

South African Students Win Fight Against Rising School Fees

(GIN) – In an official response from President Jacob Zuma to massive student protests, the proposed 10% hike in school fees has been cancelled for 2016.

Opinion: Africa’s Agricultural Potential Begins on the Ground

My friend Kofi Boa is a Ghanaian agronomist who is probably the biggest advocate for conservation farming in Africa. For decades, Kofi has taught farmers how to increase their yields using no-till, cover crops and other techniques.

Over 100 Cities Pledge to Fight Hunger & Reduce Food Waste

Over 100 cities around the world have come together in Milan to sign the Urban Food Policy Pact, promising to develop equitable and sustainable food systems.

Opinion: 1325 a Groundbreaking Initiative for Women, Peace & Security

2015 is a year of UN anniversaries as the calendar tells us. Of course the big one is the United Nations’ own seventieth birthday. I find two other anniversaries very significant in their relevance to humanity’s quest for peace and development in general and for goals and objectives of the UN’s work in particular.

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