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U.N. Drone Investigator Expects Dramatic Decrease in Activity

Ben Emmerson tells the Guardian drone use likely to be curbed in coming months as program shifts from CIA to US military

Ben Emmerson, UN Drone Investigator

The United Nations’ drone investigator says he expects a “significant reduction” in the controversial strikes by the US in the next 18 months.

After meeting the CIA


Putin Offers Peacekeeping Force for Israeli – Syrian Border

Russia may replace Austrian UN peacekeepers who withdrew from the Golan Heights on the Israel-Syria border. A UN representative has welcomed the proposal, first announced by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“In view of the complicated situation which is currently unfolding on the Golan Heights, we could replace the Austrian peacekeeping contingent, which is withdrawing from


Top U.N. Official: Ban Killer Robots


Robots that can attack and kill without human direction should be banned before they come into existence, according to a senior UN official.

Lethal autonomous robotics (LARs) have not yet been created but are described as “the next major revolution in military affairs”.

The Terminator-style weapons systems could select, engage and kill


China Manipulating for Regime Change in North Korea

The sudden reduction in aggressive rhetoric and actions by North Korea has led to suggestions that Pyongyang has realized it has pushed its only ally in the region to the brink of severing its friendship.

The announcement in Pyongyang on May 13 of the promotion of Jang Jong-nam to


North Korea Apparently Readying Missile Test

A South Korean newspaper is reporting that North Korean troops are scurrying around the site where it tested a nuclear bomb on February 12, its third ever. All signs point to a fourth, and the timing couldn’t be worse.

Is he Smoking…Looks like an ashtray and lighter on the desk too?

“There are recent


More People Have Access to Cell Phones Than Toilets

Every day, we read statistics, studies and reviews on topics regarding health and wellness. Seldom do they surprise or frighten me as much as this one about world sanitation, though: there are 1.5 billion people more in the world with access to cell phones than the number who have access to clean toilets.



Revealed: Ahmadinejad Almost Shot at U.N. in 2006

A US agent accidentally fired his gun at a UN assembly in 2006, narrowly missing Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a new book reveals. The incident was kept under wraps for fears Iran would accuse the US of attempted assassination.

A Secret Service agent readjusting a shotgun mounted on a vehicle in former President George


China’s Next Door Laughingstock

kim jong un

How the Chinese are using Kim Jong Un’s antics to mock their own leaders.

North Korea’s latest nuclear test may have stirred alarm in Washington, but its intimidation effect seems to have been lost on much of the Chinese web universe, which largely saw the announcement as a joke. “He’s so naughty!” More…

North Korea Enacts Martial Law

kim jong un with army

North Korea has been placed under martial law and Kim Jong-un has told his front-line troops to “be ready for a war,” according to South Korean media reports.

In an emergency meeting of his top defence and security officials on Saturday, the North Korean leader issued a series of orders that included the


U.N. Starts U.S. Drone Program Investigation


The United Nations’ special rapporteur for human rights and counter terrorism launched an investigation Thursday into the United States’ targeted killing program.

Ben Emmerson, from Britain, will lead the inquiry, which will focus on the civilian effect of the program as well, as the legal framework governing drone attacks.

Reuters explains:



U.N. Demands Video of Drone Strikes

drone strike


The US must open itself to an independent investigation into its use of drone strikes or the United Nations will be forced to step in, Ben Emmerson QC said yesterday.

His comments came as Pakistani officials said that a US drone strike had killed at least four militants after targeting their vehicles


Freedom of Internet Threatened by U.N.

On Feb. 27, a diplomatic process will begin in Geneva that could result in a new treaty giving the United Nations unprecedented powers over the Internet. Dozens of countries, including Russia and China, are pushing hard to reach this goal by year’s end. As Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said last June, his goal and


Cholera Outbreak Pinned on U.N Peacekeepers

Compelling new scientific evidence suggests United Nations peacekeepers have carried a virulent strain of cholera — a super bug — into the Western Hemisphere for the first time.

The vicious form of cholera has already killed 7,000 people in Haiti, where it surfaced in a remote village


U.N. Suggests Eating Bugs

A Chinese woman selling scorpions on stick waits for customers at a stall in Beijing, where the delicacy is fried in cooking oil.

Saving the planet one plateful at a time does not mean cutting back on meat, according to new research: the trick may be to switch our diet to insects and


Bin Laden’s Son Wants U.N. Job

In an interview with the New Statesman, the fourth eldest son of the world’s most wanted man said that he “passionately wants to try to stop violence”.

Asked whether he plans to enter politics or public life, Mr bin Laden said: “I do not believe that I would be a good politician –


White Phosphorus Shells hit Gaza UN Building

CNN’s John Roberts talked with John Ging who is the director of United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) in Gaza. Ging believes that Israeli shells that recently struck the U.N. complex contained white phosphorus. “It looks and smells like phosphorus and it’s burning like phosphorus. That’s all I can say. That’s why I’m calling


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