1. “It is unacceptable that children are killed while they play football.” So declares a statement by 62 professional footballers protesting the recent Israeli actions in Gaza. Posted on the website of Frédéric Kanouté, it includes some of the best known names in global football, notably Didier Drogba and Eden Hazard. It is a striking gesture, one with few precedents. It highlights how powerfully football and politics are increasingly intertwined in Israel and Palestine.

    The statement expresses “solidarity” with the people of Gaza, and specifically mentions the bombing of a football stadium that resulted in the deaths of four teenage boys. (The Israel Defense Forces claimed the soccer stadium was being used as weapons depot and launching site by Hamas). The footballer’s petition also mentions the arrest of two professional Palestinian footballers. And it insists that it would be immoral, in this context, for Israel to host the upcoming UEFA U-21 Championship. Having this event in Israel, the statement argues, would be a violation of “sporting values.”

    … But it was only in 1998, with the creation of the Palestinian National Authority, that a separate Palestinian Football Association was founded. Accepted by both FIFA and the Asian Football Confederation, Palestine has fielded national teams in the years since then.

    interesting  post on palestinian soccer. one thing i might add, and also missing from all of the analyses of the palestinian statehood bid at the united nations last week, was the question of what international body is more integral in defining state sovereignty and national identity— the un or fifa?

    the fact that palestine plays in international tournaments, is listed in fifa world rankings, and fields a popular, obsessed-over national soccer team in many ways already does what the un bid hopes to achieve— international recognition of a ‘stateless’ people. this is one of the themes i explored years ago in a magazine feature on palestine’s 2006 world cup qualification campaign. in many ways, the palestinian national soccer team created the spatial conditions of national identity that were a necessary foundation for the statehood bid to succeed so emphatically at the un. one might argue that obtaining fifa membership was the shrewdest bit of cultural diplomacy the plo has ever employed. as the late historian eric hobsbawm famously said, 'the imagined community of millions seems more real as a team of eleven named people.'


  2. the new normal…


    Climate change is accelerating, and it will place unparalleled strains on American military and intelligence agencies in coming years by causing ever more disruptive events around the globe, the nation’s top scientific research group said in a report issued Friday.

    The group, the National Research Council, says in a study commissioned by the C.I.A. and other intelligence agencies that clusters of apparently unrelated events exacerbated by a warming climate will create more frequent but unpredictable crises in water supplies, food markets, energy supply chains and public health systems. Hurricane Sandy provided a foretaste of what can be expected more often in the near future, the report’s lead author, John D. Steinbruner, said in an interview.


    The Secretary-General, in his speech, acknowledged the difficulties in attributing any single storm to climate change, adding, “But we also know this: extreme weather due to climate change is the new normal.”

    “This may be an uncomfortable truth, but it is one we ignore at our peril. The world’s best scientists have been sounding the alarm for many years,” he said. “Our own eyes can see what is happening. There can be no looking away, no persisting with business as usual, no hoping the threat will diminish or disappear.”

    The UN chief said the challenge before the international community remains clear and urgent: a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening for adaptation to the even larger climate shocks expected in the future, and to reach a legally binding climate agreement by 2015.


    Coffee is under threat from climate change, according to a study which found that popular Arabica beans could face extinction within decades. Rising global temperatures and subtle changes in seasonal conditions could make 99.7 per cent of Arabica-growing areas unsuitable for the plant by 2080, according to a new study by researchers from Kew Gardens. 

    Justin Moat, one of the report’s authors, said: “The worst case scenario, as drawn from our analyses, is that wild Arabica could be extinct by 2080. This should alert decision makers to the fragility of the species.” Arabica is one of only two species of bean used to make coffee and is by far the most popular, accounting for 70 per cent of the global market including almost all fresh coffee sold in high street chains and supermarkets in the US and most of Europe.



  4. notaqueensphotoblog:

    protesters during un week…


  5. When President Obama flies to New York on Monday afternoon for the United Nations General Assembly, he will dispense with the usual battery of one-on-one meetings with world leaders so he can tape an appearance on “The View.”

    election year multilateralism! 


  6. EXCLUSIVE: In one of its first buys of the season,NBC has gone global with a geopolitical project set at the United Nations. Described as “West Wing in the United Nations,” the drama, which has received a script commitment, follows an interpreter at the international organization’s New York HQ working with ambassadors and politicians from various countries as they deal with political and military crisis around the world.

    hahahaha! this could be amazing. more likely though, it will be cancelled after three episodes, especially considering some of these comment gems on the article like this one… ‘This is propaganda. It’s to create a favorable image of the UN, so that Americans will easily and stupidly accept the UN/New World Order take over.’


  7. UNITED NATIONS (AP) — A U.N. treaty to regulate the multibillion-dollar global arms trade will have to wait after member states failed to an reach agreement, and some diplomats and supporters blamed the United States for the unraveling of the monthlong negotiating conference.

    "This was stunning cowardice by the Obama administration, which at the last minute did an about-face and scuttled progress toward a global arms treaty, just as it reached the finish line," said Suzanne Nossel, executive director of Amnesty International USA. "It’s a staggering abdication of leadership by the world’s largest exporter of conventional weapons to pull the plug on the talks just as they were nearing an historic breakthrough."


  8. "I will say this as clearly as I can, so you all can hear me," said Ban, his finger hovering inches away from the small red button on his podium. "Either attend the next Follow-up International Conference on Financing for Development to Review the Implementation of the Monterrey Consensus, or prepare to suffer the consequences.”


  9. ihya:

    U.N. Report Accuses Syrian Government of Crimes Against Humanity

    The commission received credible and consistent evidence… identifying high- and mid-ranking members of the armed forces who ordered their subordinates to shoot at unarmed protesters, kill soldiers who refused to obey such orders, arrest persons without cause, mistreat detained persons and attack civilian neighborhoods with indiscriminate tanks and machine-gun fire. (UN Investigators) 

    Download the report here.


  10. capitalnewyork:

    Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in front of the United Nations headquarters in New York on April 18, 1967. After leading more than 125,000 peace marchers from Central Park to the U.N., he called for an end to the U.S.’s bombing campaign against North Vietnam. (Photo: John Littlewood/The Christian Science Monitor)

    Declaration of Independence from the War in Vietnam

    These are revolutionary times. All over the globe men are revolting against old systems of exploitation and oppression, and out of the wombs of a frail world, new systems of justice and equality are being born. We in the West must support these revolutions. … Our only hope today lies in our ability to recapture the revolutionary spirit and go out into a sometimes hostile world declaring eternal hostility to poverty, racism, and militarism.


  11. the CIA team in Lebanon consisted of 10 officers and all used diplomatic cover. 

    ah yes, diplomatic cover for intelligence activities. still widely used by many different countries all over the world, including at the un. 


  12. The name Escopetarra is derived from the Spanish words escopeta and guitarra, which means rifle and guitar. Each Escopetarra is made with a firearm that has participated actively in the four decade long conflict in Colombia. The instrument comes from a demobilized illegal home-made weapon confiscated by the Colombian Ministry of Defense, and donated to UNODC to be transformed into an electric guitar.
    currently reading up on disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration (ddr) initiatives in colombia. fascinating stuff and a really interesting contrast to some of the ddr programmes in west africa that i’m more familiar with.