United Nations

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Where Was Jesus Baptized? UNESCO Weighs In

Debate continues as UN group picks Jordan side over West Bank locale

(Newser) - Addressing a long-simmering debate about whether Jesus Christ was baptized on the eastern or western side of the Jordan River, UNESCO has made its final decision, and the winner is … Jordan, not the West Bank in Israel, the AP reports. Despite a lack of strong archaeological evidence, the UN... More »

In World's Newest Nation, Army Is Burning Girls Alive

UN report describes torture, rape, abductions in South Sudan

(Newser) - Violence in South Sudan, which broke from Sudan in 2011, has escalated to "a new brutality and intensity," according to a new UN report accusing the Sudan People's Liberation Army of carrying out a campaign of "killing, rape, abduction, looting, arson, and displacement." It notes... More »

UN Report: Both Sides in Gaza May Be War Criminals

Israel, Palestinians both on the hook for 'serious violations' of humanitarian law

(Newser) - Evidence of "serious violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law" in the Gaza Strip was noted in a UN report released today—and both Israelis and Palestinians got hammered, the AP reports. But the Human Rights Council probe into the Gaza war that started last July... More »

Rescue Workers: Syria Still Using Chemical Weapons

Witnesses say chlorine gas keeps coming, but UN won't officially point finger

(Newser) - In 2013, Syria agreed to get rid of its chemical weapons , a promise allegedly broken multiple times last year . Now more evidence reported by rescue workers and citizens has piled up that toxins continue to be deployed via chlorine bombs in the war-torn country, the New York Times reports. The... More »

Number of Countries With Gender Equality: 0

UN women's agency head slams lack of progress since 1995 commission

(Newser) - The head of the UN agency promoting equality for women is lamenting that a girl born today will be an 81-year-old grandmother before she has the same chance as a man to be CEO of a company—and she will have to wait until she's 50 years old to... More »

Ukraine Peacekeepers Would 'Destroy' Truce: Russia

Ambassador accuses Ukrainian president of calling for UN assistance

(Newser) - In an unraveling ceasefire with Russia-backed separatists, Ukraine lost the city of Debaltseve yesterday; the BBC also reports that shelling picked up in the rebel-held city of Donetsk, and that separatists have been conducting mortar attacks in the town of Shirokyne. So it's perhaps not surprising that Ukrainian President... More »

Iraqi Diplomat: ISIS May Be Harvesting Organs

Reports raise fears group is selling body parts to fund itself

(Newser) - On the heels of a report that ISIS burned 45 to death comes yet another claim of brutality. The Iraqi ambassador to the UN is calling for an investigation of reports that the terrorist group has been harvesting organs to fund itself, the AP reports. Ambassador Mohamed Alhakim referred to... More »

Afghan Civilian Casualties Have Jumped 22%: UN

Taliban responsible for 72% of them, report says

(Newser) - The number of civilians killed or wounded in fighting in Afghanistan climbed by 22% in 2014 to reach the highest level in five years as foreign troops concluded their combat mission, the UN says in an annual report released today. The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan in 2014 documented 10,... More »

Dinner Party's Goal: 194 Global Meals

Couple cooks meals from all the United Nations member states

(Newser) - How to combine passions for food, friends, and global aid? A Portland couple is cooking 194 dinner-party meals that recreate food from all the United Nations member states. Laura Hadden and her husband, Jesse Friedman, started the United Noshes project about three and a half years ago when they lived... More »

UN May Look Into 'Great Political Mystery' of 1960s

What happened in plane crash that killed Dag Hammarskjold?

(Newser) - For more than 50 years, the death of Swedish diplomat Dag Hammarskjold has remained one of the era's biggest mysteries. The UN secretary-general's plane plummeted out of the skies in September 1961 in Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia) as he flew to orchestrate a ceasefire between Congo's government... More »

UN: North Korean Leaders Should Be Prosecuted

Non-binding resolution passes; China, Russia stand in way

(Newser) - North Korea's leaders should be prosecuted for crimes against humanity, according to none other than the UN. In a 111-19 vote, with 55 abstentions, UN members made what the New York Times calls the organization's strongest-ever move against the North, saying its leaders had violated human rights and... More »

UN Slams Our Cuba Embargo for 23rd Year in a Row

Resolution passes 188-2

(Newser) - The only thing different this year was Ebola: For the 23rd year in a row, the United Nations General Assembly passed a near-unanimous resolution condemning the long-standing American embargo against Cuba. The vote this year was identical to 2013, with 188 countries in support and only the US and Israel... More »

North Korea: Yes, We Have Labor Camps

But 'no prison, things like that,' UN envoy says

(Newser) - A North Korean official publicly acknowledged to the international community the existence of his country's "reform through labor" camps yesterday, a mention that appeared to come in response to a highly critical UN human rights report earlier this year. A North Korean foreign ministry official said at a... More »

N. Korea 'Now Ready' to Launch Another Rocket

Improved facility may be designed to launch long-range missiles, US institute says

(Newser) - North Korea has been busily working on its Sohae Satellite Launching Station for the past year, and a US think tank says that satellite images indicate construction is complete and the facility is likely ready to launch longer-range missiles with bigger payloads, the New York Times reports. "North Korea... More »

Obama's Salute With Coffee Cup Causes Outrage

Obama is getting heat over what some are calling 'unpresidential' gesture

(Newser) - Many of us have probably disembarked from a long flight clutching a cup of joe—but we're not all the president of the United States saluting members of our armed forces. President Obama is on the receiving end of criticism and coffee-themed jokes for stepping off the Marine One... More »

What Will Happen at Today's UN Climate Summit?

125 world leaders convene in NYC to rally for new climate initiatives

(Newser) - Today's UN climate summit in New York City will draw together 125 nations in a massive, one-day precursor to Paris talks next year aimed at an overarching agreement, and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is calling on world leaders to show up with "pledges of action," the BBC... More »

Emma Watson: Feminism Is Not 'Man-Hating'

Actress gives impassioned speech at UN headquarters

(Newser) - Emma Watson gave a passionate speech against gender inequality at UN headquarters Saturday as the actress, who was appointed a UN Women Goodwill Ambassador six months ago, launched the HeForShe campaign. The campaign aims to "mobilize men" to fight for gender equality, reports E! , which has a transcript of... More »

World 'Losing' Ebola Battle: Doctors Without Borders

Top doc tells UN world has done nothing to stem spread

(Newser) - The picture of Ebola in West Africa is apocalyptic: Infected bodies decompose in the street, 150 health workers have died, overflowing clinics turn away the sick, to say nothing of food shortages and riots. And the disease is spreading at an unprecedented rate , Doctors Without Borders President Joanne Liu told... More »

UN Backs $1.2M Inquiry Into Islamic State

Diplomats OK probe of alleged crimes in Syria, Iraq

(Newser) - The UN's top human rights body today overwhelmingly approved the Iraqi government's request for an investigation into alleged crimes against civilians committed by the Islamic State group in its rampage across northeastern Syria and parts of Iraq. Diplomats agreed by unanimous consent to approve a nearly $1.2... More »

UN Calls Crisis Meeting as Russia Tanks Roll in Ukraine

NATO official: 1K Russian troops crossed border, attacked

(Newser) - The UN Security Council is set to hold an emergency meeting this afternoon at the request of Lithuania to address what Ukraine is calling a Russian invasion across the border, reports the AP. At least 1,000 Russian troops were said to have entered Ukraine with "sophisticated equipment" and... More »

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