Archive for March 19th, 2016

19/03/2016

UN Laboriously Strives for its First Female Secretary-General

Human Wrongs Watch 

UNITED NATIONS, 19 March 2016 (IPS) – When the only female candidate failed in her attempt to become UN Secretary-General back in late 2006, an Asian diplomat weighed in with an upgraded Biblical quote: “It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle”, he said, “than for a woman to become the Secretary-General of the United Nations.”

NATO-Ukraine Commission at the level of Heads of State and Gover

**Vaira Vike-Freiberga, the only female candidate failed in her attempt to become UN Secretary-General back in late 2006 | NATO photos

But as an unrelated New Yorker cartoon jokingly pronounced: “We (may still) need either bigger needles or smaller camels.”

That female candidate, Latvian President Vaira Vike-Freiberga, never made it to the 38th floor of the UN Secretariat, the office of the UN chief.

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19/03/2016

My Terrorist, Your Terrorist

Human Wrongs Watch

By Uri Avnery*

19 March 2016

SO IS Hezbollah a terrorist organization?

Of course not.

So why has the Arab League decided that they are?

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Uri Avnery

Because most of the league’s member states are Sunni Muslims, while Hezbollah is a Shiite organization supporting Shiite Iran and Alawite (quasi-Shiite) Bashar al-Assad in Syria.

So were Israel’s Arab parties right when they condemned the league’s resolution?

Right, yes. Wise, no.

LET’S START with Hezbollah. Surprisingly enough, it is in a way an Israeli creation.

Lebanon is an artificial state. For centuries, it was considered a part of Syria.

Because of its mountainous terrain, it was an ideal place for small persecuted sects, which could defend themselves there. Among them is the Maronite Christian community, called after a monk by the name of Maron.

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19/03/2016

Dizzy Growth of Argentina’s ‘Shale Capital’ Slows Down Due to Plunge in Global Oil Prices 

Human Wrongs Watch 

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Añelo, a Patagonian town in southwest Argentina that experienced explosive growth because it is next to the country’s biggest shale oil and gas field, is now starting to feel the impact on the development of these resources due to the plunge in international oil prices. Credit: Fabiana Frayssinet/IPS

Añelo, a Patagonian town in southwest Argentina that experienced explosive growth because it is next to the country’s biggest shale oil and gas field, is now starting to feel the impact on the development of these resources due to the plunge in international oil prices. Credit: Fabiana Frayssinet/IPS

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19/03/2016

International Day of Happiness

Human Wrongs Watch 

The UN on 18 March 2016 appointed Red, the leader of the “Angry Birds” mobile game characters, as an envoy to inspire climate action toward a sustainable and happier future for all.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon with Red from the ‘Angry Birds’ who was appointed Honorary Ambassador for International Day of Happiness. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

Red’s appointment, as Honorary Ambassador for Green, is part of a UN campaign launched today in partnership with the globally renowned characters to make a direct link between tackling climate change and people’s happiness and well-being on the occasion of the International Day of Happiness on Sunday, 20 March.
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19/03/2016

Banks Rely Heavily on Tax Havens to Increase Profits – New Report

Human Wrongs Watch 

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The five banks investigated in today’s [16 March] new study disclosed having 16 subsidiaries in the Cayman Islands alone – with no staff – from which they still declare €45 million in profits.
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The study by Oxfam, CCFD-Terre Solidaire and Secours Catholique-Caritas shows that the “big five” French banks make a third of their international profits in tax havens –  close to €5 billion – even though they pay only a fifth of their taxes to these jurisdictions (€825 million).

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