Tom's Feed
Jul 2, 2015

Eritrea faces more U.N. scrutiny, a step closer to global court

GENEVA (Reuters) – Eritrea faces a second year of scrutiny by human rights investigators after the U.N. body overseeing them extended their mission on Thursday, a decision that may put the government at risk of referral to the International Criminal Court.

The U.N. Human Rights Council asked the independent investigators to use the time to consider if the Horn of Africa country was committing “crimes against humanity” – a level of offence that can be prosecuted by the global tribunal.

Jun 25, 2015

Swiss central bank braced for ructions if Greece exits euro

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (Reuters) – The Swiss National Bank anticipates considerable market turbulence if Greece quits the euro bloc and would fight a rush to buy already overvalued Swiss francs, the central bank’s chairman said on Thursday.

The franc faces upward pressure from ultra-loose monetary policy in the euro zone, where the debt crisis in Greece is reaching a decisive phase. The bank stopped trying to cap the franc’s value by intervening on the foreign exchange market in January.

Jun 24, 2015

Police in Geneva guard U.N. investigators into Eritrea’s human rights after threats

GENEVA (Reuters) – Swiss police were guarding three U.N. investigators into Eritrea’s human rights record in Geneva on Wednesday after a top official said they had received threats on the street and at their hotel.

The inquiry’s report published earlier this month showed human rights violations in Eritrea that may amount to crimes against humanity, including extrajudicial killings, widespread torture and enforced labor.

Jun 19, 2015

Air strikes hit elite Yemen forces, Geneva truce talks break off

SANAA/GENEVA (Reuters) – Saudi-led warplanes bombed elite Republican Guard forces allied with the dominant Houthi faction in Yemen’s conflict on Friday, residents said, and U.N.-sponsored ceasefire talks broke off without a deal to end nearly three months of fighting.

More than 2,600 people have been killed since an Arab alliance led by Saudi Arabia launched air strikes to try to stop the Iranian-backed Houthis from completing a takeover of Yemen and to try to reinstate exiled President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.

Jun 16, 2015

Yemeni parties agree need for ceasefire, not yet on details – delegate

GENEVA (Reuters) – Yemen’s warring parties have agreed at U.N.-sponsored peace talks on the need for a ceasefire but the details remain under discussion, a delegate to the discussions said on Tuesday.

The U.N. special envoy to Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, began shuttle diplomacy in Geneva trying to bridge differences between various political factions. But they still refused to sit at the same table and spelled out clashing agendas.

Jun 16, 2015

Let migrants move with the market, U.N. expert says

GENEVA (Reuters) – Rich countries must learn the lessons of the war on drugs and the U.S. prohibition of alcohol in the 1920s and realize that trying to stop migrants from moving is just making the problem worse, an independent U.N. expert said on Tuesday.

The European Union is struggling with the question of what to do about hundreds of thousands of migrants flocking to its shores across the Mediterranean, often dying in the attempt.

Jun 16, 2015

Rivals signal defiance as Yemen crisis talks open in Geneva

GENEVA (Reuters) – Warring Yemeni powers signaled mutual hostility at the start of talks on Tuesday aimed at ending a war that has caused a humanitarian disaster, drawn in regional rivals and threatened the Arabian peninsula country with permanent division.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon opened the Geneva discussions on Monday calling for a humanitarian ceasefire with the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Jun 15, 2015

U.N. chief opens Yemen talks, Saudi-led planes bomb capital

GENEVA (Reuters) – U.N. Chief Ban Ki-moon launched Yemen peace talks in Geneva on Monday with a call for a humanitarian truce as warplanes from a Saudi-led Arab coalition pounded the Houthi-controlled capital Sanaa overnight.

More than 2,600 people have been killed since the coalition began military operations in March to stop the Iranian-backed Houthi militia moving on Aden and to shore up embattled President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, then in the southern city.

Jun 14, 2015

U.N. Syria envoy to visit Damascus, warn on barrel bombs

GENEVA (Reuters) – U.N. Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura plans to meet senior Syrian government officials in Damascus in his effort to find common ground among the parties with an interest in ending Syria’s civil war, his office said on Sunday.

De Mistura began the talks last month saying he expected to meet 40 or more delegations for one-on-one discussions in Geneva, including Syrian officials, opposition and civil society, and representatives of governments in the region and with influence in the conflict.

Jun 13, 2015

Blatter may seek to stay as FIFA boss, source tells Swiss paper

GENEVA (Reuters) – Sepp Blatter may seek to stay on as the president of FIFA, a Swiss newspaper quoted an anonymous source close to Blatter as saying on Sunday. The report comes less than two weeks after Blatter resigned as head of the world soccer organization.

The Schweiz am Sonntag newspaper said it had information that Blatter had received messages of support from African and Asian soccer associations, asking him to rethink his decision to step down.