WHO is punishing the NYTimes – lightly – for breaking news embargo

The World Health Organization has just announced sanctions — very light ones — against the NYTimes for breaching a news embargo. It is surprising, because hardly anybody who wants news coverage would dare do anything against the NYTimes.  In fact, it is far more normal for UN spokespersons to deliberately leak advance copies of importan...

Read More

She came to the Sudan … and cashed her salary in dollars

This teacher could have received 40 lashes, but was sentenced instead to 15 days in jail — while demonstrators are calling for her execution. Her crime? Officially, that she allowed her students to name a class teddy bear “Muhammad”. Scholars can debate whether this is in any way an offense against Islam (though I am […]

Read More

U.S. Annapolis hospitality goes all the way

When the U.S. does something, it tries to go all the way. Now, we learn, the U.S. is asking the UN Security council to endorse the Annapolis “Joint Understanding” — agreed between Israeli and apparently more recalcitrant Palestinian negotiators just eight minutes before the opening of the conference this week. The U.S. is probably...

Read More

There are two types of journalists — if not more

“…one of my mentors pointed out an interesting fact to me. He told me that in life there are different types of journalists – those who are very good at getting the story but terrible at putting it together and those who are the opposite. ‘If you get a journalist who can get the story […]

Read More

UNSG Appoints new Special Coordinator for Middle East Peace Process etc.

Just after returning from the Annapolis conference, the UNSG BAN Ki-Moon said he would appoint Dutch diplomat Robert H. Serry as his “Envoy to the Quartet”. In addition, BAN said that Serry would be the “United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process and his Personal Representative to the Palestine Liberation...

Read More

Ahmadeinejad threatens to reveal Mousavian's conversations with "foreigners"

Just a day after the acquital of Iran’s former nuclear negotiator on charges of spying, the AP has reported from Tehran that “President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad threatened Wednesday that his government would expose details of conversations between a former Iranian nuclear negotiator whom the president had labeled a spy and foreigners he was ...

Read More

BAN at Annapolis: This time, let us see it through

UNSG BAN Ki-Moon told delegates at the Annapolis conference that he was “very pleased and moved to be a part of this historic meeting”. He pledged “the full support of the United Nations family for the renewed effort”, adding that “[f]or 60 years, the Organization has provided the broad parameters for peace, first in t...

Read More

Kazemi case reopened – Is something happening in Iran?

The AP reported yesterday that “Iran’s Supreme Court ordered a new investigation Tuesday into the case of an Iranian-Canadian photojournalist whose death in a notorious Tehran prison severely strained relations with Canada. Zahra Kazemi was arrested in July 2003 while taking photographs outside Evin prison during student-led protests ag...

Read More