Stephanie's Feed
Aug 19, 2013

Swiss ban “inappropriate” ski lifts for North Korea

GENEVA, Aug 19 (Reuters) – Switzerland has banned the sale
to North Korea of equipment for a luxury ski resort planned for
the ruling elite in the widely impoverished state that is under
U.N. sanctions, officials said on Monday.

North Korean leader Kim Jung-un, who studied under an
assumed name in the Swiss capital Berne and is believed to have
gone on school ski trips in the Alps, wants to develop leisure
activities for tourists and the upper crust among its 23 million
citizens.

Aug 15, 2013

North Korean defectors to testify on torture and executions

GENEVA (Reuters) – North Korean defectors and prison camp survivors will start testifying at U.N. hearings in Asia next week about alleged rights abuses, including torture and executions, for which they hope their country’s leaders may one day face trial.

Three independent investigators, backed by 10 U.N. staff, have convened the hearings in Seoul and Tokyo to document alleged abuses, also including food deprivation and arbitrary detentions, in the country of 23 million people.

Jul 29, 2013

Afghan women’s rights at risk in peace process, U.N. watchdog says

GENEVA (Reuters) – Women’s rights in Afghanistan risk being further undermined in the fragile country’s peace process due to entrenched patriarchal attitudes, a United Nations watchdog warned on Monday.

Afghan women have made hard-fought gains in education and work since the collapse of the Taliban government in 2001, but fears are growing these could suffer a reversal when most foreign forces leave by the end of next year.

Jul 29, 2013

Afghan women’s rights at risk in peace process: U.N. watchdog

GENEVA (Reuters) – Women’s rights in Afghanistan risk being further undermined in the fragile country’s peace process due to entrenched patriarchal attitudes, a United Nations watchdog warned on Monday.

Afghan women have made hard-fought gains in education and work since the collapse of the Taliban government in 2001, but fears are growing these could suffer a reversal when most foreign forces leave by the end of next year.

Jul 25, 2013

Political trials in Ukraine, Tajikistan draw U.N. rebuke

GENEVA (Reuters) – A United Nations human rights watchdog on Thursday deplored “politically motivated” prosecutions in Ukraine and Tajikistan and told the two former Soviet republics to make sure judges were impartial.

It cited the case of former Ukrainian prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko, jailed for seven years in October 2011 for abuse of office, and of Zaid Saidov, a Tajik politician who was setting up an opposition political party before his arrest in May.

Jul 10, 2013

North Korea says could resume nuclear talks if U.S. ends hostility

GENEVA (Reuters) – North Korea said on Wednesday that it would not give up its nuclear deterrent until the United States ends its “hostile policy” towards Pyongyang, but that it was ready to revive international talks on its nuclear program frozen since 2008.

The United States and its allies believe North Korea violated a 2005 aid-for-denuclearization deal by conducting a nuclear test the following year and pursuing uranium enrichment that would give it a second path to a nuclear weapon in addition to its plutonium-based atomic program.

Jul 9, 2013

Concern at undetected cases as WHO holds coronavirus talks

GENEVA (Reuters) – International health experts began urgent talks on the Middle East coronavirus (MERS) on Tuesday amid concerns about larger numbers of milder infections possibly going undetected, the World Health Organization (WHO) said.

The United Nations agency announced last Friday that it was forming an emergency committee, to convene this week, to prepare for a possible worsening of the SARS-like virus.

Jul 5, 2013

U.N. rights team will visit Asia for North Korea inquiry

GENEVA (Reuters) – United Nations human rights investigators will go to South Korea and Japan next month to interview North Korean exiles about alleged crimes against humanity in the secretive state.

Michael Kirby, a former judge of Australia’s top court and chairman of the panel, said the team would hold public hearings and interview witnesses on alleged rights violations, including kidnappings of foreign nationals, torture and a gulag system.

Jul 5, 2013

‘Sugar Man’ Rodriguez opens Montreux Jazz Festival

MONTREUX, Switzerland (Reuters) – American singer-songwriter Sixto “Sugar Man” Rodriguez, virtually unknown a few years ago, opened the Montreux Jazz Festival on Thursday, which American producer and its former co-director Quincy Jones calls the “Rolls Royce of music festivals.”

Fresh from the Glastonbury festival in Britain last weekend, Rodriguez gave a Fourth of July concert in the Swiss resort, mixing songs from his two albums that never made the charts with borrowed tunes including the classic rock’n'roll hit “Fever.”

Jun 30, 2013

Tobacco taxes, smoking bans set to save millions of lives -study

* Tobacco control measures studied in 41 countries

* Raising taxes on cigarettes, smoke-free areas save lives

* Measures are “win-win” for health, public coffers – WHO

By Stephanie Nebehay

GENEVA, July 1(Reuters) – Anti-smoking measures including
higher taxes on tobacco products, bans on adverts and controls
on lighting up in public places could prevent tens of millions
of premature deaths across the world, researchers said on
Monday.

Similar steps taken by Turkey, Romania and 39 other
countries between 2007 and 2010 were already saving lives, the
independent study published by the World Health Organization
(WHO) said.