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Incredible UN speech by a girl the Taliban tried to kill

Less than a year ago, a Taliban gunman boarded a school bus in Pakistan, approached 15-year-old Malala Yousafzai, aimed a pistol at her head, and pulled the trigger. The Taliban made a big mistake. Malala survived, and has become an icon for women's rights and access to education. 

Atheists face widespread international discrimination, UN is told

Is non-belief the most dangerous belief? That's the stance of a group of global atheist group the International Humanist and Ethical Union, which has submitted a document to the UN describing the persecution non-believers face in many nations.

Commonwealth and UN visit Maldives to probe allegation of a coup

The UN's Oscar Fernandez-Taranco says it is "extremely important" that the uncertainties surrounding the Maldives' recent change of power be clarified.

Syria: British ambassador speaks out

Moving eyewitness testimony from the British ambassador in Syria

Sometimes this blog will be just about direct sharing. 

With a minority here in London and elsewhere questioning whether the Syrian uprising is some kind of Western plot to get at Iran and with Russia encouraging doubters by its strong opposition to UN action, Simon Collis is Britain's Ambassador to Syria (recalled to London recently as I reported the other day) has posted this blog. It gives as impartial an eyewitness account of what has been going on as anything I have read. Beyond that I have dealt with British diplomats for a long time - they are never this frank in public.  The post has tremendous moral force and I urge you to read it in its entirety.

Here are a few extracts:

"Over the long period of time that I have known Syria, I have seen the regime of Hafez Assad and his son Bashar in action. The Assad dynasty was never a pleasant one to its people. I have seen the wounds of people released from prison. I have spoken to the families whose relatives have simply disappeared. I have heard from those who got a knock at 2am from the Mukhabarat (intelligence services) and were taken away for a still unknown affront to the Syrian authorities.

But even having witnessed Syria’s dark side, the violence and brutality I have witnessed over the last ten months shocks me.

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Argentina and Britain: heading for the UN?

Argentine President Kirchner ramps up Falkland anniversary war of words.
KirchnerEnlarge
Argentina's President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner speaking to Falkland War veterans yesterday in Buenos Aires (JUAN MABROMATA/AFP/Getty Images)

Argentina's President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner told a group of parliamentarians and Falkland war veterans that Britain was "militarizing the South Atlantic one more time."

She told the veterans, "We will present a complaint to the UN Security Council and the UN General Assembly, as this militarizing poses a grave danger to international security."

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Opium prices soar in Afghanistan, UN says

The price of opium in Afghanistan rose dramatically in 2011, a UN report released Thursday has found. 
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