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World Weekly with Gideon Rachman

Prospects for peace in Syria

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Prospects for peace in Syria

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The Takeaway

Family Fights for US Marine's Release in Iran

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Just before his visit to the U.S. back in September, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani made a bold statement to the West by freeing 11 political prisoners. But one American of Iranian descent — with no political ties — is still being held at Tehran’s notorious Evin prison, which has held political prisoners since the 1979 Iranian Revolution. Former US Marine Amir Hekmati has been detained at Evin for more than two years. His Congressman, along with the United Nations and his family, including his sister Sarah Hekmati, are desperately seeking his release.

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The Takeaway

Climate Change Talks Reignite Cold War-Era Conflicts

Thursday, November 21, 2013

United Nations-sponsored climate talks in Warsaw have reopened old wounds this week. Representatives from some of the world's poorest countries staged a walk-out yesterday as the United States, the European Union, Australia and other developed nations refused to discuss payment for extreme environmental damage until after 2015. Isaac Valero, the European Union's spokesman for Climate Action, explains where the E.U. stands and what's in store going forward.

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Transportation Nation

U.N.: Over 1 Million Die In Traffic Crashes Each Year - and Many Are in Poor Countries

Thursday, March 14, 2013

The World Health Organization says 1.24 million people die each year as a result of traffic crashes, which are the leading cause of death for people between 15 and 29.

The Global Status Report on Road Safety 2013, released Thursday, also estimates crashes injure between 20 and 50 million people each year.

Worldwide, the report says pedestrians and cyclists constitute 27% of all road deaths. But "in some countries this figure is higher than 75%, demonstrating decades of neglect of the needs of these road users in current transport policies, in favour of motorized transport."

(The above video, which has hair-raising footage of schoolchildren crossing roads in developing countries, provides ample visual evidence of this.)

There's also a strong link between income and road deaths. While wealthier countries have made progress, the toll is rising elsewhere. "91% of the world's fatalities on the roads occur in low-income and middle-income countries, even though these countries have approximately half of the world's vehicles."

(Read TN's report on the link between income and pedestrian fatalities in Newark, NJ)

from the "Global Status Report on Road Safety"

Africa has the highest death rate per 100,000 residents — 24.1, compared with 16.1 in North and South America. The European Region has the highest inequalities in road traffic fatality rates, with low-income countries having rates nearly three times higher than high-income countries (18.6 per 100 000 population compared to 6.3 per 100 000). The Western Pacific and South East Asia regions have the highest proportion of motorcyclist deaths.

The report says the first step to reducing traffic mortality is a group of laws aimed at drinking and driving, speeding, and failing to use motorcycle helmets, seat-belts, and child restraints. Currently, only 28 percent of countries -- covering 7 percent of the world's population -- have laws addressing all of these factors.

Other steps are making road infrastructure safer, ensuring vehicles meet international crash testing standards, and improving post-crash care.

The report was funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies, the charitable arm of Michael Bloomberg, the mayor of New York City.

Read the entire report below.

Global Status Report on Road Safety 2013

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The Brian Lehrer Show

Open Phones: UN Dignitary Tour

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

It's UN General Assembly week in New York, which means that there are hundreds of dignitaries visiting from around the world. Immigrants, where would you take your home-county's leader? Suggest a spot, tell us what you'd do, and add your pick to our interactive map below!

Transportation Nation

Transportation and Tech Intersect as UN General Assembly Gridlock Hits NYC

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

A man looks at the MTA subway map on his iPhone (photo by bjallen via flickr)

Motorists in Midtown may find their cars at a standstill Tuesday as the UN General Assembly kicks into high gear and President Obama heads to Jay Z's 40/40 club near Madison Square Park for a celebrity-studded fundraiser.

While world leaders who tend to cause the biggest traffic jams — like Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu — won’t be in town until next week, lesser-known dignitaries also bring on checkpoints, street closures and the inevitable gridlock.

The bottlenecks and detours are a headache for the drivers and cabbies plying Manhattan's roadways.

But they're also the perfect opportunity to explore how the MTA and the city's Department of Transportation are — or are not — using technology to help New Yorkers get around more efficiently.

This week on New Tech City, we tackle the intersection of transportation and tech.

Host Manoush Zomorodi talks to Transportation Nation's Alex Goldmark about the latest technology helping New Yorkers navigate the city by car, taxi, subway and bus, as well as what's missing from the city's plan to ease congestion on the roads and rails.

Then, around 5.3 million people ride New York City's 22 subway lines every day, but no one gets uninterrupted cell service below ground.

Reporter Tracey Samuelson investigates just how long it will be until underground subway stations and the tracks between them get outfitted with Wi-Fi.

Plus, we'll introduce you to the perfect smartphone app for that New York stereotype: the neurotic subway commuter.

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The Takeaway

UN Report: Syrian Government Using Children as Human Shields

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

According to a report by the UN's Secretary General as part of the UN's annual report on children and armed conflict, the Syrian government is torturing children and using them as human shields. The report is also critical of opposition forces in Syria and accuses the Free Syrian Army of recruiting children. Radhika Coomaraswamy is the UN's Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict.

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The Takeaway

Laura Lynch on Seven Days Inside Syria

Friday, May 18, 2012

Laura Lynch, a correspondent for PRI's The World, recently spent seven days inside the Syria. She did so with permission, following U.N. monitors as they toured the country in an effort to maintain a U.N./Arab League-orchestrated ceasefire. Lynch shares her impressions and experiences of her time within Syria, and assesses the fragile state of the country.

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The Takeaway

Update from Bomb Blasts in Damascus: Live Report

Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Syrian capital has gotten used to the sound of sirens, but this morning's two bomb blasts stand out as perhaps the most deadly in the capital. Syria's health minister says at least 50 people are dead, at least 170 wounded. The blasts were so powerful, a facade of a military intelligence build was ripped off. Today's bombing calls into question the entire UN peace plan. It's current mission inside the country is to monitor the peace, but seemingly there is very little peace to monitor. Ahmad Fawzi, spokesman for Kofi Annan, Joint Envoy for Syria responds. We are also joined by correspondent for The World Laura Lynch from inside Syria.

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World Weekly with Gideon Rachman

Austerity backlash in Europe and UN monitors in Syria

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Austerity backlash in Europe and UN monitors in Syria

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The Takeaway

Despite UN Ceasefire, Violence Continues in Syria

Monday, April 16, 2012

The violence in Syria has continued in spite of the ceasefire which came into effect on Thursday, and the first members of a United Nations truce monitoring mission which have arrived in the Syrian capital, Damascus. Fighting was reported between government forces and rebels in the city of Homs and unverified video posted on the internet showed the Khaldiyeh area of Homs being heavily shelled. Kieran Dwyer, from the UN's Department of Peacekeeping Ops, outlines what's expected of the monitors in the coming days.

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The Takeaway

Assad Demands Guarantee from Rebels

Monday, April 09, 2012

Tuesday marks the deadline for the Syrian government to begin drawing back troops as part of a cease-fire agreement with Syrian rebels brokered by UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan. But on Sunday night, President Bashar al-Assad’s government announced new conditions for the troop pullback. Amr Al Azm is a member of the Syrian opposition and professor of history and anthropology at Shawnee State University, and Jim Muir is the Baghdad correspondent for the BBC.

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The Takeaway

Arab League Summit in Baghdad and Iraq-Syria Relations

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Hugh Sykes reports on the Arab League summit in Baghdad, where only 10 out of 22 leaders of the Arab world have turned up. It's the first time the Arab League summit has been in Iraq since Saddam Hussein's time. As the meeting began, the UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon called on members to encourage political freedom across the region, and the main subject of today's summit is Iraq's neighbor Syria. Hugh Sykes is a reporter for our partner the BBC.

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The Takeaway

UN Special Rapportuer: Solitary Confinement is Cruel and Unusual Punishment

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Eighth Amendment declares that "cruel and unusual punishment" may not be inflicted on prisoners. But does solitary confinement constitute cruel and unusual punishment? In a new report looking at the imprisonment of Bradley Manning, the soldier suspected of leaking confidential military documents to the whistleblowing website Wikileaks, the UN Special Rapporteuer on Torture, Juan Mendez, says that it does. Having just completed a 14-month investigation, Mendez concludes that keeping Manning locked up alone for 23 hours a day over an 11-month period might have constituted torture and has formally accused the U.S. government of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment towards Bradley Manning. 

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The Takeaway

Diplomacy Stalls in Syria

Monday, March 12, 2012

As hopes for diplomacy stall once again, the killing goes on in Syria, with a report this morning of dozens dead after an attack by pro-government militia in Homs. This latest violence comes after UN envoy Kofi Annan met with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad twice over the weekend, but failed to reach a cease-fire agreement. 

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The Takeaway

UN Inspectors Head Back to Iran

Monday, February 20, 2012

Iran has been causing trouble in the region as Tehran cut off crude exports to Europe. United Nations nuclear inspectors are back in the country this morning for the second time in a month. This time they are seeking more talks about the country's nuclear program. Yesterday, Iran signaled that it was ready to hit back hard at sanctions threatening its economy by announcing it was halting its limited oil sales to France and Britain. James Reynolds is correspondent for our partner the BBC.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Backstory: Diplomacy Surrounding Syria

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Last month, the Arab League sent a team of observers to Syria, where the government has been cracking down on protesters. Colum Lynch, who writes the Turtle Bay blog for Foreign Policy and reports on the United Nations for the Washington Post, explains what internal Arab League memos reveal about the mission in Syria. Plus, a look at why Russia opposed the United Nations Security Council measure to condemn the Syrian government during a meeting on Tuesday.

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World Weekly with Gideon Rachman

World Weekly climate change special: the Durban summit

Thursday, December 01, 2011

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Please Explain: The UN General Assembly

Friday, September 23, 2011

The General Debate of the 66th Session of the United Nations General Assembly is happening in New York through September 30. The General Assembly is the main deliberative, policymaking and representative organ of the United Nations, comprising all 193 Members of the United Nations. On this week's Please Explain we start off with Warren Hoge, Senior Advisor for External Relations for the International Peace Institute in New York and former foreign correspondent for the New York Times, covering the UN. Then we're joined by Vera Jelinek, Divisional Dean and Director of the Center for Global Affairs at New York University School of Continuing and Professional Studies, and Stanley Meisler, author of  The United Nations: The First Fifty Years, and  United Nations: A History, will tell us how the General Assembly works and what comes out of the sessions.

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The Takeaway

Military Attacks on Syrian Port as Refugees Flee

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

All week we've been reporting on the increasing violence in Syria. It has now been reported that thousands of Palestinian refugees have been forced to flee a camp in the Syrian port of Latakia after days of shelling by President Assad's troops. Syria says it is tackling gangs, but at least 30 people are reported to have died in Latakia in a three-day military attack. 

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