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U.N. envoy leaves Crimea after being harassed by pro-Russian gunmen and protesters

United Nations special envoy to Crimea Robert Serry cut short his mission to the disputed region Wednesday after he was threatened by unidentified pro-Russian gunmen and later heckled by protesters, officials said. Serry, who had been sent to the tense Black Sea peninsula by U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon, was confronted…

Syria on track to miss deadline for destroying its chemical weapons

By Anthony Deutsch AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – Syria has relinquished only 11 percent of its chemical weapons in three shipments and is on track to miss a politically-loaded midyear deadline to completely destroy the toxic stockpile, sources told Reuters on Friday. Syria should already have handed over the 1,300 tonnes of…

Bodies litter liberated South Sudanese town

In the shade of a tree close to the slow waters of the White Nile river, a body killed during the fighting over South Sudan’s town of Bor gathers flies. On the bumpy road towards the heavily fortified compound of the United Nations peacekeepers, another body of man lies beside…

Canada’s prime minister wants to claim the North Pole

Canada’s prime minister has ordered the inclusion of the North Pole in the country’s Arctic claim after it was excluded from a proposed UN submission, a newspaper reported Wednesday. Canada will still meet a December 6 deadline for filing an application to the United Nations to extend its northern sea…

Will the United Nations protect us from an asteroid?

Will the United Nations protect us from an asteroid? (via The Christian Science Monitor) At the moment, Earth has no coordinated, international plan for how to respond to an impending asteroid strike. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/AP) Earth is not alone. It has lots, and lots, of asteroids for companionship – companions that, should…

United Nations covers up nude male sculpture to appease Iranian diplomats

A relief carving of a naked man at the UN’s Geneva headquarters was covered up on Monday, apparently to spare the blushes of Iranian diplomats ahead of fresh talks on the country’s nuclear drive. UN officials would not comment on why the wall relief, inspired by Michelangelo’s “Creation of Adam”,…

Pakistani teen activist Malala pleads to UN: Send books, not guns

Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teen shot by the Taliban for championing girls’ education has stood by world leaders at the United Nations and called for books not guns. “Instead of sending weapons, instead of sending tanks to Afghanistan and all these countries which are suffering from terrorism, send books,” she…

John Kerry: We stand with the Kenyan people

The United States is monitoring the bloody siege in a Kenyan shopping mall and will stand with the country’s people in the days ahead, US Secretary of State John Kerry said on Monday. “Ruthless and valueless terrorists remain a serious challenge everywhere in the world as we all know, whether…

Putin scolds U.S. on Syria in New York Times column

Russian President Vladimir Putin warned that any US military strike on Syria that circumvents the United Nations would undermine the global body and risk unleashing a wave of terror. Such military action would “result in more innocent victims and escalation, potentially spreading the conflict far beyond Syria’s borders,” Putin wrote…

UN seeks Syria peace talks amid military strike threat

The United Nations is making a desperate new push for a Syria peace conference even as the United States prepares a possible military strike, according to diplomats. Talks on a conference are to be relaunched at the Group of 20 summit in Russia this week with the 30-month-old conflict at…

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