The hundreds, or thousands, in the back of this neverending line look like they could be CGI’d. The rubble to the left hangs precipitously, like an apple in a Cezanne still-life. There is a tree in the middle of the road. But this photo was posted Wednesday by the U.N. Relief and Works Agency—it is very real. It shows a street in Damascus, Syria, on January 31, as Palestinian refugees queue for their ever-diminishing daily food ration. They’re residents of Yarmouk Refugee Camp, an unofficial camp that before Syria’s civil war was home to 150,000 Palestinian refugees, a figure that since the war has dwindled to just 20,000. They are currently besieged by Assad forces, and of late UNWRA has not even been allowed in to distribute humanitarian aid—which, on Wednesday, prompted an official to speak out and, doubtlessly, prompted UNWRA to release this photograph.
Nations have so dragged their feet in battling climate change that the situation has grown critical and the risk of severe economic disruption is rising, according to a draft United Nations report. Another 15 years of failure to limit carbon emissions could make the problem virtually impossible to solve with current technologies, experts found. A delay would most likely force future generations to develop the ability to suck greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere and store them underground to preserve the livability of the planet, the report found. But it is not clear whether such technologies will ever exist at the necessary scale, and even if they do, the approach would probably be wildly expensive compared with taking steps now to slow emissions. The report said that governments of the world were still spending far more money to subsidize fossil fuels than to accelerate the shift to cleaner energy, thus encouraging continued investment in projects like coal-burning power plants that pose a long-term climate risk.
It was always a very difficult figure. It was always very close to the edge in terms of how much we could guarantee the source material was accurate. And it reached a point where we felt we could no longer cross that line. So for the time being, we’re not updating those figures.
The U.N.’s human rights office has stopped updating the death toll from Syria’s civil war, confirming Tuesday that it can no longer verify the sources of information that led to its last count of at least 100,000 in late July. (cont)
The United Nations Mission concludes that chemical weapons have been used in the ongoing conflict between the parties in the Syrian Arab Republic.
"I speak for my delegation, but I speak for the countless people who will no longer be able to speak for themselves after perishing from the storm. I speak also for those who have been orphaned by the storm. speak for the people now racing against time to save survivors and alleviate the suffering of the people affected."
— Naderev Saño, the representative of the Philippines during UN climate negotiations in Warsaw, emphasizing the human costs of inaction.
(Source: Washington Post)
All these issues are getting tangled up into the other. Like the Saudis, we are very afraid that the United States’ other interests in Iran will come at the cost of the Syrian cause… If you ask me, this meeting won’t happen on November 23. It won’t happen ever.
Personally, I don’t see any obstacles to being nominated to run in the next presidential elections.
Saudi Arabia on Friday rejected its freshly acquired seat on the U.N. Security Council, saying the 15-member body was incapable of resolving world conflicts such as the Syrian civil war.
The move came just hours after the kingdom was elected as one of the Security Council’s 10 nonpermanent members. Lithuania, Nigeria, Chile and Chad were also elected on Thursday.
In a statement carried by the official Saudi Press Agency, the Foreign Ministry said the council has failed in its duties toward Syria, saying that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime has been able to “kill its people” without facing reprisal from the international community.
Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images