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North Korea Threatens 'New Form' of Nuke Test

And accuses the UN of hypocrisy over ballistic-missile testing

(Newser) - Having tried out mid-range ballistic missiles in recent weeks, North Korea said today it may conduct a "new form" of nuclear test, the New York Times reports. Pyongyang officials didn't clarify, but the US and its allies have long thought North Korea wants to build small, sophisticated nuclear... More »

Stop Laughing at North Korea

Mockery isn't the right response to this horror: Clive Crook

(Newser) - Many years ago, Clive Crook green-lit an Economist cover featuring what at the time was a rare photo of Kim Jong Il, underneath the headline, "Greetings, earthlings." It was inspired, and "people still mention it to me unprompted as their favorite Economist cover," Crook writes at... More »

UN: Punish N. Korea, Kim for 'Unspeakable Atrocities'

Report urges prosecution, crimes against humanity for Kim Jong Un

(Newser) - A hard-hitting United Nations report out today is expected to contain hundreds of pages of details of the horrors people have suffered under the North Korean regime—and call for those behind the "unspeakable atrocities" to be punished. That includes Kim Jong Un, who got a personal letter from... More »

UN Rescue Operation Shot At in Homs

Accusations fly over attack as new ceasefire negotiated

(Newser) - A UN convoy seeking to bring aid to, and evacuate civilians from the rebel-held "Old City" section of Homs came under mortar and sniper fire yesterday, in violation of a negotiated ceasefire. At least four civilians awaiting evacuation were killed in the attack, but the convoy ultimately managed to... More »

Iran to Reveal Work on Nuclear Detonator

Includes new inspections and addresses detonator concerns

(Newser) - Iran has agreed to boost the transparency of its nuclear program following talks with the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency. The country will provide information on its nuclear work in seven new steps to be taken by May 15, CNN reports; the agreement follows a six-step deal in November.... More »

UN Rips Vatican: You Failed Kids, Saved Sex Abusers

Church 'regrets' that panel is interfering with its teaching

(Newser) - The United Nations is hammering the Vatican for what a panel calls a failure to fully address sex abuse in the Catholic Church. "The Holy See has consistently placed the preservation of the reputation of the church and the protection of the perpetrators above children’s best interests,"... More »

Syria Blows Past Chemical Weapons Deadline

Meanwhile, UN decries treatment of children in war

(Newser) - Today was supposed to be the deadline for Syria to turn over all of its chemical weapons—and it's not even close. So far Syria has handed the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons just 4% of the promised 1,433 tons of chemicals, Reuters reports, and an... More »

UN: Cancer Cases to Jump 50% by 2030

Officials slam tobacco companies

(Newser) - Disturbing news on World Cancer Day: Cases are poised to surge in the coming years, jumping 50% by 2030, according to a UN report. That means 21.6 million cases per year, compared to a rate that was 14 million in 2012, AFP reports. By 2035, we're likely to... More »

World Paid Terrorists $105M in Ransoms in 3.5 Years

And UN wants the payments to stop

(Newser) - In the past three and a half years, terror groups tied to al-Qaeda have raked in an estimated $105 million via ransom, Britain's ambassador to the UN says—and the UN Security Council wants those payments to end. Though countries are already legally banned from making such payments, it'... More »

UN: We've Stopped Updating Syria Death Toll

Says it can no longer verify 'source material'

(Newser) - The UN's human rights office has stopped updating the death toll from Syria's civil war, confirming today that it can no longer verify the sources of information that led to its last count of at least 100,000 in late July. A spokesman for the UN Office of... More »

Syria Set to Blow Chemical Weapons Deadline: UN

Movement of materials has yet to begin

(Newser) - Syria's deadline for expelling key chemical weapons is tomorrow, but insiders say the country hasn't even started transporting the arms—and watchdogs expect a missed deadline, the New York Times reports. "At this stage, transportation of the most critical chemical material before 31 December is unlikely,"... More »

UN Votes to Increase Troops in South Sudan to 12.5K

80% increase as Security Council calls for 'immediate cessation of hostilities'

(Newser) - The UN Security Council has voted to temporarily increase the UN peacekeeping force in conflict-torn South Sudan to 12,500 troops from 7,000, a nearly 80% increase. The resolution adopted unanimously today by the UN's most powerful body will also increase the UN's international police contingent from... More »

Obama Eyes 'Further Action' in South Sudan

Almost 700 evacuated, including 380 Americans: State Department

(Newser) - With South Sudan facing the threat of a civil war, the US evacuated its citizens from the country over the weekend, and Washington is prepared to intervene further on Americans' behalf, President Obama told Congress in a letter. "I may take further action to support the security of US... More »

UN Base Attacked in South Sudan

Meanwhile, US sends in 45 troops

(Newser) - The UN sent four rescue helicopters to its base in Akobo today, after the outpost came under fire yesterday. At least two Indian peacekeepers at the South Sudanese base were killed before all communications were lost, the New York Times reports. The UN later announced that some refugees sheltering there... More »

UN OKs Force in Central African Republic

France, African Union will step up military action in unraveling nation

(Newser) - The UN Security Council has authorized increased military action by France and African troops to try to end near-anarchy in the Central African Republic. The council unanimously approved a French-sponsored resolution today aimed at restoring security and protecting civilians in the impoverished country. The authorization is expected to lead to... More »

Truck Carrying Radioactive Material Stolen in Mexico

Theft of cobalt-60 prompts fears of a dirty bomb

(Newser) - A truck laden with "dangerous" radioactive material used to fight cancer was stolen on Monday near Mexico City, says the International Atomic Energy Agency, per the BBC . "At the time the truck was stolen, the source was properly shielded. However, the source could be extremely dangerous to a... More »

UN Cultural Agency Halts US Voting Rights

Israel's voting rights also suspended over failure to pay dues

(Newser) - The US failure to pay its dues has cost Washington its voting rights with the UN's Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization. The US and Israel stopped paying in 2011, after Palestine was allowed to join the agency; any country that stops paying for two years loses its right to... More »

UN Wants to Save Us From Asteroids

Former astronauts propose plan to deal with dangerous rocks

(Newser) - The next time an asteroid is on a collision course with Earth, the UN wants to make sure someone calls Bruce Willis. The General Assembly last week gave the green light to an asteroid defense plan drawn up by the former astronauts at the Association of Space Explorers, Scientific American... More »

Germany Wants the UN to Hamper NSA Spying

Merkel's government goes into overdrive to counter US efforts

(Newser) - Germany is not reacting kindly to revelations that the NSA may have tapped Angela Merkel's phone . Along with fellow outraged NSA target Brazil, it intends to introduce a new UN resolution that would explicitly extend the privacy protections in the International Covenant on Political and Civil Rights to communications... More »

Angry Over Syria, Saudis Back Away From US

Intelligence chief wants more aggressive approach against Assad

(Newser) - Following his country's decision to reject a UN Security Council seat , Saudi Arabia's intelligence chief is edging away from the US specifically: Prince Bandar bin Sultan al-Saud told European officials that his country will reduce its secret work with the CIA on training Syrian rebels, reports the Wall ... More »

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