United Nations

4:24pm

Wed April 25, 2012
The Two-Way

U.N. Refugee Chief: 'We Are All Overstretched'

Antonio Guterres, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, speaks to the press during a visit to camp Andalusia for internally displaced people from southern Sudan, some 30 kms south of the capital Khartoum.
Ashraf Shazly AFP/Getty Images

Over the past year and a half, the world has seen crisis after crisis. Today, NPR's Michele Kelemen spoke to António Guterres, the United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees, mostly about the crisis in Sudan.

But at one point during their talk, Guterres rattled off the crises they've dealt with since the beginning of 2011: The Ivory Coast, Libya, Syria, Yemen, both a famine and conflict in the Horn of Africa, Mali and now Syria is flaring up again.

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3:29pm

Wed April 25, 2012
Middle East

U.N. Monitors Fail To Halt Violence In Syria

Originally published on Thu April 26, 2012 12:03 am

Members of the Syrian opposition walk with a U.N. observer during a visit by monitors to the restive city of Homs, Syria, on April 21. Opposition activists say observers appear to help bring calm if they stay in an area. Two monitors have been deployed in Homs for the past several days.
Khaled Tallawy UPI/Landov

The U.N.-brokered cease-fire in Syria keeps unraveling. Syrian government troops were supposed to pull their tanks and soldiers out of cities and towns, while rebels were supposed to lay down their arms.

Yet hundreds of people have died in recent days, according to activists. And in some areas, visits by U.N. observers have been followed by intense violence.

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4:30pm

Tue April 24, 2012
The Two-Way

Syria Envoy Kofi Annan Says Situation In Syria 'Bleak'

International envoy to Syria Kofi Annan told the U.N. Security Council that the situation in the country is "bleak." That's according to the AP, which obtained a copy of the closed briefing.

"He echoed Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in calling the current situation 'unacceptable' and called on the Syrian government to immediately implement his six-point peace-plan," the AP added.

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1:31am

Tue April 24, 2012
Environment

Melt Or Grow? Fate Of Himalayan Glaciers Unknown

Originally published on Tue April 24, 2012 8:14 am

In this undated picture, Mount Everest, the world's tallest mountain at 29,029 feet, stands behind the Khumbu Glacier, one of the longest glaciers in the world. Nepal has more than 2,300 glacial lakes, and experts say at least 20 are in danger of bursting.
Subel Bhandari AFP/Getty Images

The Himalayas are sometimes called the world's "third pole" because they are covered with thousands of glaciers. Water from those glaciers helps feed some of the world's most important rivers, including the Ganges and the Indus. And as those glaciers melt, they will contribute to rising sea levels.

So a lot is at stake in understanding these glaciers and how they will respond in a warming world. Researchers writing in the latest issue of Science magazine make it clear they are still struggling at that task.

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4:33am

Fri April 20, 2012
Middle East

Video Asks Asma Assad To Help Stop Syrian Conflict

Originally published on Fri April 20, 2012 4:46 am

Earlier this week, two women took a new approach to raising awareness about Syria's crackdown. The wives of the British and German ambassadors to the United Nations appealed directly to Syria's first lady with a video on YouTube. The narrator calls on Asma Assad to "stop being a bystander" — and to stop her husband and his supporters from continuing the conflict.

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