Tom's Feed
Jul 22, 2014

Ukraine war crimes trials a step closer after Red Cross assessment

GENEVA (Reuters) – The Red Cross has made a confidential legal assessment that Ukraine is officially in a war, Western diplomats and officials say, opening the door to possible war crimes prosecutions, including over the downing of Malaysia Airlines MH-17.

“Clearly it’s an international conflict and therefore this is most probably a war crime,” one Western diplomat in Geneva told Reuters.

Jul 18, 2014

Investigators face tough task in Ukraine plane inquiry

BERLIN/GENEVA, July 18 (Reuters) – As international
investigators head to rebel-held eastern Ukraine to piece
together what – and who – caused a Malaysian airliner to plunge
into the steppe, securing evidence in the middle of a war zone
is a major challenge.

Proving what happened beyond doubt and to the satisfaction
of the warring parties may already be all but impossible, after
local people and rebel fighters have spent 24 hours sifting and
moving debris and bodies and Ukraine and Russia make detailed
allegations against each other and argue over the black boxes.

Jul 17, 2014

SGS fishing for marine acquisition as growth slows

GENEVA, July 17 (Reuters) – The world’s largest testing and
inspection company, SGS, is hunting for an acquisition
in the marine sector to add to a portfolio of businesses slowed
by weak demand for minerals services and a strong Swiss franc.

First-half net profit at SGS rose 6.3 percent to 255 million
Swiss francs ($284 million), short of a forecast of 283 million
francs in a Reuters poll of analysts.

Jul 16, 2014

U.N.’s Pillay suggests Snowden should not face trial

GENEVA (Reuters) – The top U.N. human rights official suggested on Wednesday the United States should abandon its efforts to prosecute Edward Snowden, saying his revelations of massive state surveillance had been in the public interest.

U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay credited Snowden, a former U.S. National Security Agency contractor, with opening a global debate which has led to calls for the curtailing of state powers to snoop on citizens online and store their data.

Jul 9, 2014

De Mistura succeeds Brahimi as U.N. Syria mediator: diplomats

UNITED NATIONS/GENEVA (Reuters) – Veteran United Nations official Staffan de Mistura, a former U.N. special envoy to Afghanistan and Iraq, will replace Lakhdar Brahimi as the international mediator seeking an end to Syria’s civil war, diplomats said on Wednesday.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will speak to the media later on Wednesday, said spokesman Stephane Durjarric. Ban will announce the appointment of de Mistura, a dual citizen of Italy and Sweden, said diplomats, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Jul 7, 2014

Oslo, Almaty, Beijing named as 2022 Winter Games candidates

LAUSANNE Switzerland (Reuters) – Oslo, Almaty and Beijing were confirmed as the official candidates to host the 2022 Winter Olympic Games on Monday even though an International Olympic Committee (IOC) report found several weaknesses in the Kazakh city’s bid.

Stockholm, Krakow and Lviv had also submitted bids to the IOC but all three later withdrew.

Jul 7, 2014

Olympics-Oslo, Almaty, Beijing named as 2022 Winter Games candidates

LAUSANNE, Switzerland, July 7 (Reuters) – Oslo, Almaty and Beijing were confirmed as the official candidates to host the 2022 Winter Olympic Games on Monday even though an International Olympic Committee (IOC) report found several weaknesses in the Kazakh city’s bid.

Stockholm, Krakow and Lviv had also submitted bids to the IOC but all three later withdrew.

Jul 1, 2014

Ebola toll jumps to 467 as ministers mull response

GENEVA, July 1 (Reuters) – The number of deaths attributed
to an epidemic of Ebola virus in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra
Leone stood at 467 by Monday, out of 759 known cases in total,
the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Tuesday.

The outbreak of the deadly disease is already the largest
and deadliest ever, according to the WHO, which previously put
the death toll at 399 as of June 23, out of 635 cases.

Jun 30, 2014

Russia backs away from rejection of Europe-wide trucking system

GENEVA, June 30 (Reuters) – Russia’s Customs Service made a
last-minute concession on Monday to stop Russia from being
ejected by a U.N.-backed customs system that has expedited
European trucking for 60 years.

The TIR system speeds up cross-border trade because it
allows trucks to be sealed when they start their journey and to
cross multiple borders without undergoing customs checks, saving
time and money.

Jun 27, 2014

U.N. agrees to launch human rights inquiry into Eritrea

GENEVA (Reuters) – The U.N. Human Rights Council agreed on Friday to set up a year-long inquiry into human rights in Eritrea, similar to previous high-level investigations into Syria, North Korea and Sri Lanka.

It condemned what it said were “widespread and systematic” violations by Eritrea’s government, from arbitrary executions to restrictions on religion, detention of journalists and a shoot-to-kill policy for citizens trying to cross the border.