Members of UN human rights probe head to Gaza

The fact-finding mission, headed by Richard Goldstone, former Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, will enter Gaza from Egypt through the Rafah crossing point on 1 June in the first of its planned field visits.“The mission plans to meet with all concerned parties, including non-governmental organizations and civil society organizations and groups, UN agencies, victims and witnesses of alleged violations and other persons who may provide information with regard to the facts under investigation,” the group said in a statement issued in Geneva.The other members of the mission include Christine Chinkin, Professor of International Law at the London School of Economics and Political Science at the University of London; Hina Jilani, Advocate of the Supreme Court of Pakistan and former Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Human Rights Defenders; and Colonel (retired from the Irish Armed Forces) Desmond Travers, member of the Board of Directors of the Institute for International Criminal Investigations (IICI).This fact-finding mission is separate from the four-member UN Board of Inquiry, led by Ian Martin of the United Kingdom, which examined incidents involving death and damage at the world body’s premises in Gaza during Israel’s military operation. A summary of that report was sent by Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to the Security Council earlier this month. 29 May 2009The independent team of investigators tasked by the United Nations Human Rights Council with examining alleged rights abuses and violations of international law during the recent conflict in Gaza will begin a week-long trip to the area this weekend. read more

Georgia top UN officials depart former mission area

The departures of the Chief Military Officer and Senior Police Adviser are part of the Mission’s liquidation phase, which includes the withdrawal of its military and police personnel.It follows the Security Council’s lack of agreement to renew the Mission’s mandate, which led to UNOMIG effectively ceasing its functions in mid-June.“According to the drawdown plan, all civilian staff will also be leaving in the near future, with the goal being to completely close the Mission by November 2009,” UN spokesperson Michele Montas told reporters. For nearly 16 years, UNOMIG was entrusted with overseeing the ceasefire accord between the Government and Abkhaz separatists in the country’s north-western region.It had no jurisdiction in nearby South Ossetia, the scene of fighting last August which pitted Georgia against separatists and their Russian allies.Ms. Montas also reported that the Secretary-General’s Special Representative, Johan Verbeke, chaired the first meeting, under UN auspices, of the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism yesterday.The purpose of the Mechanism, she said, is to bring together the Georgians, Abkhaz and Russians, as well as representatives from the UN and European Union, on a periodic basis to discuss security matters.At yesterday’s meeting, held in the town of Gali, it was agreed to set up a “hotline” to prevent future incidents. Participants also agreed to meet on a bi-weekly basis, and the next meeting is scheduled to be held in Gali under UN auspices on 28 July. 15 July 2009The top military and police officials serving with the United Nations Observer Mission in Georgia (UNOMIG) – which ceased its functions last month – have now left what was formerly their area of operation, a spokesperson for the world body announced today. read more

Information technology helps advance antipoverty goals UN report says

United Nations report released today.For the first time, the 2010 World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Stocktaking report – now in its third edition – takes into account the use of social networking services.“This report charts significant progress in meeting the ICT development targets set by the WSIS Tunis Phase in 2005, and also offers real hope that we may be able to leverage our success in connecting the world to accelerate progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs),” said Houlin Zhao, Deputy Secretary-General of the UN International Telecommunications Union (ITU). The Tunis phase of the World Summit, held in 2005, focused on how to bridge the so-called digital divide between developed and developing countries through the spread of Internet. The first phase of the Summit was held in Geneva in 2003.In addition to examining the potential of new social networking services in the development of ICTs and the link with MDGs, the report looks at the use of ICTs for disaster management, cyber security and cyberspace.The WSIS Stocktaking Process was initiated in 2004 to provide a register of activities carried out by governments, international organizations, the business sector, civil society and other entities, in order to highlight the progress made since the Summit. The report was released today as representatives of UN agencies, governments, civil society and the technology industry continue their discussions at the WSIS Forum, which runs until Friday in Geneva. ITU, which organized the Forum along with the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the UN Development Programme (UNDP) – said it has modernized its online database to better analyze projects around the world and to better identify new trends. 12 May 2010Information and communication technology (ICT) projects are helping countries make significant progress towards the globally agreed anti-poverty targets world leaders have pledged to achieve by 2015, according to a read more

Tracking 20 years of environmental change UN report lays out challenges ahead

The report, Keeping Track of our Changing Environment: From Rio to Rio+20, compiles relevant statistical data on population, climate change, energy and food security among other key issues, to draw a picture of the current environmental landscape, spotlighting challenges ahead.Achim Steiner, Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), said the report was a timely reminder for world leaders of the areas that continue to need urgent attention such as the rapid build-up of greenhouse gases, the erosion of biodiversity and the use of natural resources, which increased by 40 per cent from 1992 to 2005, a much faster pace than population growth.Other key issues highlighted by the report include ongoing forest loss in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, with a decrease of 300 million hectares of forest areas in the region since 1990, and the diminishing glaciers which have influenced the current rise in sea-levels, threatening the well-being of approximately one sixth of the world’s population.However, Mr. Steiner said the report also highlights areas where progress has been made and “underlines how, when the world decides to act it can dramatically alter the trajectory of hazardous trends that threaten human well-being – action to phase-out ozone-damaging chemicals being a spirited and powerful example.”The report notes that many environmental issues, which were only emerging in 1992, when the Earth Summit was held in Rio de Janeiro, are now part of mainstream policy-making in many countries due to consumer and civil society demands.Some of these issues include the implementation of recycling practices, the commercialization of renewable energy, the rise in sales of organic products and eco-labelling, and the use of carbon trading as a way to regulate greenhouse gas emissions.In addition, the report draws attention to the increase in the support for developing green economies, with more government investment in ways to effectively manage their resources and curb their carbon emissions as part of their broader economic development strategy.Mr. Steiner said the upcoming UN Conference on Sustainable Development Rio+20 in the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro next June could help address the negative effects mentioned in the report and enhance efforts already having a positive impact.“Rio+20, under the two themes of a Green Economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication and an institutional framework for sustainable development, can, with the requisite level of leadership, trigger the necessary switches that may ensure that the balance of negative versus positive trends moves from the red into the black and that the right to development is enjoyed by the many rather than the few,” he said.The report is part of UNEP’s Global Environmental Outlook-5 (GEO-5) series, which assesses the state and trends of the global environment. The full GEO-5 report will be launched next May, one month ahead of Rio+20. 1 November 2011Concerted and rapid action is urgently needed to curb resource depletion and ensure human activities do not destroy the very environment that supports economies and sustains life, warned a United Nations report released today, which tracks the environmental changes the planet has gone through over the past 20 years. read more

TSX adds to losses over central bank concerns

The Toronto stock market was lower late Wednesday morning, adding to a sharp loss in the previous session amid worries that central banks may withdraw efforts to help the global economic recovery.The S&P/TSX composite index declined 58.43 points to 12,165.14 on top of a 159-point slide on Tuesday.The Canadian dollar lost early momentum to move down 0.01 of a cent to 98.14 cents US.U.S. indexes erased early gains. The Dow shed an early triple-digit advance to move down 15.25 points to 15,106.77, the Nasdaq dropped 9.07 points to 3,427.88 and the S&P 500 index declined 2.36 points to 1,623.77.The TSX tumbled Tuesday after Japan’s central bank failed to deliver expected measures to ease bond market volatility. Instead, the bank only upgraded its economic outlook.There has also been concern about whether the U.S. Federal Reserve will ease its monetary stimulus. The Fed has been buying bonds to push down market interest rates, which has helped fuel a strong rally on U.S. markets since late last year.Speculation that the Fed will begin to wind down its quantitative easing program has also had the effect of pushing U.S. Treasury yields sharply higher, which in turn has had a negative effect on TSX defensive sectors as well such as real estate, utilities, telecom and pipeline stocks.The telecom sector led TSX decliners on Wednesday, down 1.45 per cent and BCE Inc. (TSX:BCE) fell $1.06 to $44.04.Utilities also pressured the Toronto market as Algonquin Power & Utilities (TSX:AQN) shed 15 cents to $7.34.Commodity prices were higher but the energy sector lost 0.71 per cent as the July crude contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange gained 52 cents to US$95.90 a barrel. Canadian Natural Resources (TSX:CNQ) gave back 52 cents to C$29.01.July copper was up two cents to US$3.21 per pound after worries about Chinese growth helped send the metal down 17 cents over the past four sessions. Uncertainty about China’s recovery has weighed on markets following weekend data showing exports, retail sales and other indicators weaker than expected.“They’re trying to move more to sustainable development, not at all costs,” observed Wes Mills, chief investment officer at Scotia Asset Management PM Advisor Services.The TSX base metals sector slipped 0.26 per cent and Teck Resources (TSX:TCK.B) shed 45 cents to C$24.31.Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. (NYSE:CLF) says it is calling a temporary halt to its environmental assessment activities for a major chromite mine in the Ring of Fire region in remote northern Ontario. The company says the suspension is due to delays related to the environmental process, land surface rights and negotiations with the Ontario government about building infrastructure in the fly-in-only region. Its shares were up 22 cents to US$17.72.The gold sector was the leading advancer, up almost two per cent as August bullion on the Nymex gained $13.70 to US$1,390.70 an ounce. Barrick Gold Corp. (TSX:ABX) improved by 51 cents to C$20.50.The rally on U.S. markets has bypassed the TSX, which has been depressed by a mining sector weighed down by falling commodity prices amid a weak global economic recovery. Gold miners have also been a major weight as lower inflation concerns have depressed gold stocks and bullion prices.Energy stocks have suffered because of demand concerns and worries about the future of major pipeline projects such as Keystone XL which would move greater amounts of oilsands crude to American markets.“Until we get word on Keystone and some of these bottlenecks, Canada will suffer on that side.” added Mills. “Really, if you look at the earnings growth by sector, energy and materials earnings growth is negative and that’s the whole story.”The TSX is down around 200 points year to date and finished lower in seven of the past eight sessions.In corporate news, Hudson’s Bay Co. (TSX:HBC) lost $80.7 million in the latest quarter including discontinued operations, down from $129.7 million in the first quarter of 2012. Revenue rose by 4.2 per cent to $884 million. Hudson’s Bay stores in Canada had a 7.6 per cent same-store sales growth, offset by a 1.4 per cent decline at Lord & Taylor stores in the United States and its shares gained nine cents to $16.25.Dollarama Inc. (TSX:DOL) says the addition of 85 stores over the past year and strong growth at established locations helped push up revenue by 12 per cent to $448 million. The Montreal-based discount chain also reported profit of $45.6 million or 62 cents per share, which missed estimates of 67 cents and its shares fell $2.92 to $69.66.European bourses turned lower as London’s FTSE 100 index moved down 0.63 per cent, Frankfurt’s DAX dipped 1.09 per cent while the Paris CAC 40 was down 0.38 per cent. read more

MP Prasanna Ranaweera and several others further remanded

Joint opposition Parliamentarian Prasanna Ranaweera and several others, who had been arrested over a recent protest in Hambantota, were today ordered to be further remanded until November 13.Prasanna Ranaweera was arrested together with Parliamentarian Namal Rajapaksa after the protest. However Namal Rajapaksa was released on bail earlier while Ranaweera and several others were remanded. (Colombo Gazette)

Vasu loses his cool after being hooted at

As the Minister walked off he was hooted at again. An angry Minister kept verbally abusing the crowd for showing disrespect in the court premises before he left the premises. (Colombo Gazette) The newly appointed Minister charged towards them and demanded to know who hooted at him and then verbally abused them. Minister of National Integration, Reconciliation, and Official Languages Vasudeva Nanayakkara lost his temper near the Supreme Court after being hooted at by a group of people in the court premises.Nanayakkara was in court to attend the case filed against the dissolution of Parliament. Just as the Minister was walking away after speaking to the media he was hooted at by a group of people standing in the court premises.

Mahindanandas son arrested over hitandrun accident

Of the eight arrested, seven, including Mahindananda Aluthgamage’s son were later released on bail while the driver was remanded.The Police said that Aluthgamage’s son was in the Defender jeep at the time of the accident. A Defender type vehicle had crashed into the motorcycle of the Policeman and sped away followed by another jeep. Seven people were arrested today while Mahindananda Aluthgamage’s son was also taken into custody. The vehicle was seized yesterday. (Colombo Gazette) The son of United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) Parliamentarian Mahindananda Aluthgamage was arrested today over a hit-and-run accident involving the Borella Police Traffic Officer In Charge (OIC).The OIC was critically injured in the accident in Bambalapitiya yesterday.

Move to get Mitsubishis assets sold amid SKoreaJapan fight

SEOUL, Korea, Republic Of — Colonial-era Korean labourers are seeking a court’s approval for the sales of local assets of their former Japanese employer after it refused to comply with a court order to compensate them for forced labour decades ago.The development comes amid growing tensions between South Korea and Japan. Tokyo recently tightened controls on high-tech exports to South Korea, a move Seoul believes is retaliation for the South Korean court rulings last year.Japan says it is not retaliation.Lawyers for Koreans who worked for one of the Japanese companies, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, during Japan’s 1910-45 occupation of Korea say they’ll soon ask a South Korean court to authorize the sales of some assets that South Korea has seized from Mitsubishi.The assets are some of Mitsubishi’s trademark rights and patents.The Associated Press read more

De Beers secures government funding for carbon capture research project

CALGARY — De Beers Group has secured federal government funding for a research project aimed at eventually making its diamond mines carbon neutral.The company says the $675,000 from Natural Resources Canada will go towards testing carbon capture techniques at its Gahcho Kue mine in the Northwest Territories.De Beers is working with several Canadian universities to look at ways to capture the carbon in kimberlite, the type of rock that hosts the diamonds at the mine.The project aims to accelerate the natural process where carbon binds to the rock and traps it as a solid carbonate mineral.Greg Dipple, a University of British Columbia professor leading the collaborative research project, says in a release that the government funding will allow testing of the lab-proven techniques at scale at the actual mine site.De Beers Group CEO Bruce Cleaver says the funding will help accelerate a project that could make a substantial change to the mining industry’s climate impact. The Canadian Press read more

How major US stock indexes fared Friday

U.S. stock indexes closed mostly lower Friday as a decline in technology stocks offset a strong performance by Wall Street banks.The S&P 500 notched its third straight weekly gain. Bond yields rose sharply after the government reported that Americans kept spending money in August. Investors were looking ahead to next week, when the Federal Reserve is expected to announce another interest rate cut.On Friday:The S&P 500 index slipped 2.18 points, or 0.1%, to 3,007.39.The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 37.07 points, or 0.1%, to 27,219.52.The Nasdaq fell 17.75 points, or 0.2%, to 8,176.71.The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks gained 3.07 points, or 0.2%, to 1,578.14.For the week:The S&P 500 rose 28.68 points, or 1%.The Dow gained 422.06 points, or 1.6%.The Nasdaq added 73.64 points, or 0.9%.The Russell 2000 picked up 72.97 points, or 4.9%.For the year:The S&P 500 is up 500.54 points, or 20%.The Dow is up 3,892.06 points, or 16.7%.The Nasdaq is up 1,541.44 points, or 23.2%.The Russell 2000 is up 229.58 points, or 17%.The Associated Press read more

Library opens free pantry

The county library does a lot more for the community than just provide books.The Simcoe branch of the Norfolk County Public Library recently opened a free pantry, and is offering patrons support of the Canadian Mental Health Association one day a week.These are both brought in by an activist group called RISE (Raising awareness, Improving conditions, Striving for social equity, and Evaluating actions and knowledge). People can drop into the monthly RISE meetings to chat about the issues they face living in Norfolk County.Some of the issues discussed by the group are lack of accessible and affordable housing, lack of access to nutritious food, and the general stigma attached to using programs like Ontario Works.The Little Free Pantry has been open for almost two weeks and has already been heavily accessed by people in the community.Anyone that would like to donate to the pantry is reminded they are not accepting food donations. They are looking for things that may not be covered by a food bank such as sanitary products, shampoo, tissues, and paper towels. All donations can be brought to the front desk.Accessing the pantry can be totally anonymous, and it is placed in a selected area to provide privacy.“They do not have to identify themselves, they just go over to the corner that it’s in, which is by the end of the fiction section, or they can ask staff for directions as to how to find it,” said Beverly Slater, manager of programming and communications at the Norfolk County Public Library.The unveiling of the pantry comes just after the library system offered income tax preparation for low-income residents and families. Seven hundred returns were filed through the program.Slater said that assisting those in need is “a very important part of our job as the library and as one of our community hubs.”“We have a need in our community to give access and to help,” she added.The library is also holding open office hours with Brandy Weaver, a case manager and transition support worker with the Canadian Mental Health Association of Brant, Haldimand, and Norfolk. The hours are currently being held on Tuesdays at the Simcoe branch.Weaver will be open to discussing community support, counseling, family support, housing, mental health, and vocational support with anyone in the community seeking support.astaylor@postmedia.com read more

John Ivison PMs defence to ethics czar reveals his nasty political side

In his written submission to Dion, Trudeau said his relationship with Wilson-Raybould was challenging and tense, citing examples of her refusing to share information with cabinet colleagues.But Dion said that Wilson-Raybould’s decision-making capacity, her relationship with her cabinet colleagues and her demotion were all immaterial to the case before him.The director of public prosecutions, Kathleen Roussel, had decided in September 2018 that a remediation deal was not appropriate in SNC’s case.The attorney general has the power to overrule the DPP but that power has never been used federally and Wilson-Raybould opted to back Roussel.Dion deemed the decision to be an exercise in prosecutorial discretion and said it was not for him or Trudeau to judge whether or not the attorney general had sufficiently considered the public interest. “I find all these tactics troubling,” he said of the repeated attempts to persuade Wilson-Raybould to re-examine the idea of seeking outside advice on the SNC case.“The authority of the prime minister and his office was used to circumvent, undermine and ultimately attempt to discredit the decision of the director of public prosecutions, as well as the authority of Ms. Wilson-Raybould as the Crown’s chief law officer.”On the concept of “vicarious liability,” he said no one could have influenced the attorney general by virtue of their own position — they were “under the direction and authority of the prime minister.”Trudeau’s interpretation of Wilson-Raybould’s decision was that she was taking an overly rigid perspective on prosecutorial independence — typical of the kind of woolly analysis of an arts graduate. Ethics watchdog says he was denied access to evidence in SNC-Lavalin affair Read Jody Wilson-Raybould’s full statement on the ethics ruling on the SNC-Lavalin affair Six things we learned about the SNC-Lavalin affair from the ethics report But Dion said there were good grounds in law for not granting SNC a remediation deal, principally that the company was charged with offences under the Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act, which specifically directs prosecutors to ignore the national economic interest under the Criminal Code.Thus, Wilson-Raybould was resistant to all pressure that cited the economic fallout from a prosecution that could see SNC barred from competing for public contracts for up to 10 years.Dion also made clear that Trudeau and his staff were as motivated by political concerns as they were by the potential job losses. The prime minister talked about the delicate intersection of policy and politics, while reminding Wilson-Raybould that he is an MP for a Montreal riding. Senior staff told the attorney general’s chief of staff “we can have the best policy in the world but we need to get re-elected.”Dion pointed to the Shawcross doctrine, the principle that protects prosecutorial independence, as a line that should not be crossed.Trudeau argued he didn’t contravene it, saying he did not direct Wilson-Raybould, he only sought explanations for her decision-making and an assurance that she’d considered every option.Dion disagreed, saying the repeated interventions by the prime minister, his senior staff and public officials led him to conclude that “these actions were tantamount to political direction.”Trudeau came to power promising to restore trust in government and democracy. Anyone who suggested that the business of reaching for power would sully those lofty ideals was labelled a cynic. But few people have behaved more cynically in the past four years than this repeat offender prime minister.In two months, Canadians will be asked to vote for someone they feel they can trust to run the country. Nobody could read Dion’s report and feel inspired that Trudeau is that leader.It is a gift for the Liberals that this damning report landed when most voters are squeezing out the last drops from summer and not paying any attention to politics.jivison@postmedia.comTwitter.com/IvisonJ OTTAWA — Justin Trudeau has created an illusion of himself as a leader more noble and principled than the facts warrant.Yet, it can still be a shock when it’s revealed he’s as calculating as the most cynical of his predecessors, greeting each new situation with the internal question: “What can this do for me?”The mask slipped Wednesday, with the release of a report by Ethics Commissioner Mario Dion that found him in contravention of the Conflict of Interest Act for the second time — just two years after he had his knuckles wrapped for taking a Christmas vacation on an island in the Bahamas owned by the Aga Khan.Much of the narrative is known but the written testimony submitted by the prime minister last month is new and it will make uncomfortable reading for Liberals, revealing as it does the disconnect between the toothy feminist, preaching positive politics, and the egotist, happy to lay down his friends for his political life.In mid-July, after Dion had presented Trudeau with the evidence he had gathered in the SNC Lavalin investigation, the prime minister’s counsel made a written submission, that tried (and failed) to sway the ethics commissioner from finding him guilty of trying to further the interests of the Montreal-based engineering giant.Story continues belowThis advertisement has not loaded yet,but your article continues below.It was an ugly, mean piece of work that not only sought to portray former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould as over-wrought, irrational and incompetent, it also attempted to exonerate Trudeau from any inappropriate behaviour by his staff.The submission said Wilson-Raybould’s anger at being moved from her position as minister of justice and attorney general to become minister of veterans affairs in January’s shuffle left her angry and coloured her perception of events. His counsel submitted that at no time did she express her opinion that Trudeau’s conduct, or that of his staff, was improper (even though she did repeatedly make that claim to a number of senior advisers and to Finance Minister Bill Morneau).Few people have behaved more cynically in the past four years than this repeat offender prime ministerNot only was she too emotional, Trudeau’s counsel said, she failed in her duty to acquaint herself with all the relevant facts. Rather than make a meaningful decision on SNC’s request to be offered a remediation agreement, she deferred to the director of public prosecutions. Trudeau’s counsel pointed out that Wilson-Raybould’s own deputy minister had expressed concerns that more time and reflection were needed to weigh the impact on SNC workers and pensioners. In summary, the submission said Wilson-Raybould’s decision-making was inadequate and infected by legal misunderstanding and political motivation.While Trudeau did nothing wrong, his counsel claimed, if anyone acted improperly, it could not be laid at the prime minister’s door.Trudeau could not be held “vicariously liable” for the actions of his staff, counsel claimed, because liability under the act is personal.The case for the defence wrapped up by submitting that Trudeau did not act to advance partisan or private considerations, his only concern being for the public interest.For months, the government was panicked by the thought of the political and economic implications of a criminal prosecution of SNC, despite the fact no study or analysis of the economic impact was carried out.Dion resisted the urge to nominate Trudeau for a meritorious service medal and instead found him guilty of contravening section 9 of the Conflict of Interest Act, which prohibits public officer holders from furthering the interests of people or organizations. In this case, he said Trudeau attempted to use his influence to arrive at a decision that would have furthered the interests of SNC, which was charged in 2015 with bribery and fraud in Libya. In 2016, SNC’s new chief executive began lobbying Ottawa to strike a remediation deal that would avoid a criminal trial. The government introduced the legal framework for such a deal in its 2018 budget but Wilson-Raybould said she was concerned the process was rushed and made the decision not speak publicly or before parliamentary committees about the new regime. Lars Hagberg / AFP Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrives to speak to the media at the national press gallery in Ottawa, Ontario, on March 7, 2019. read more

Regina woman suing after tip of sons penis cut off in circumcision

The mother is of African descent and said circumcision is part of her family’s culture.Story continues belowThis advertisement has not loaded yet,but your article continues below.“It was already taking too long,” she said, remembering how quick the procedure had been for her older son eight years earlier. “I could hear the baby crying so much.”She said Dr. Owen Miller, the physician they understood was going to perform the circumcision, came into the waiting area and was apologetic.“He came out and he said, ‘There’s a problem. We have to call the ambulance,”‘ the mother recalled.The lawsuit adds, “After the botched surgery, Miller informed the plaintiff (mother) that his intern performed the surgery.”The mother said she broke down and couldn’t control her crying.“Someone just told me he was performing some practice on my baby, that’s what it sounded like,” she said. “I couldn’t even talk.”We just want to know if our son’s going to be OKLawyer Kolade Oladokun, who’s representing the mother, said any damages awarded in the suit could help pay for future cosmetic surgery for the boy.The boy’s father said the family doesn’t care about money.“We just want to know if our son’s going to be OK,” he said.None of the allegations has been proven in court.In an email, Miller declined to comment, but in a statement of defence filed with the court he denies acting negligently.“At the close of the procedure, it was noted that a small piece of the glans of the infant’s penis (tip) had been removed with the foreskin,” the statement reads.“Immediate steps were undertaken to treat the wound and arrangements made to transfer the infant to specialists at Regina General Hospital for further treatment.” Canadian pediatricians’ objection to circumcising babies ‘at odds with the evidence,’ new study argues Ontario newborn bleeds to death after family doctor persuades parents to get him circumcised ‘Intactivist’ mom who took son into hiding to save his foreskin sobs in court as she signs consent for circumcision Iceland says bill banning circumcision, a potential first for Europe, is not ‘against religion’ Miller is a longtime doctor who specializes in family medicine and has no previous disciplinary history listed on the Saskatchewan College of Physicians and Surgeons website.The mother said her baby bled for hours and wailed in pain while he was in the emergency room.Photographs taken by the woman show the infant lying in a hospital bed, hooked up to machines and a tube to carry urine.She said a surgeon informed them he was too young to have the severed tip re-attached.Dr. Todd Sorokan, a pediatrician based in British Columbia, said circumcision remains a relatively common procedure in Canada, with between ten to 30 per cent of babies having it done.Saskatchewan has seen an average of about 430 circumcisions performed annually out of medical necessity in recent years. Non-medically necessary circumcisions aren’t insured by the province, so those numbers aren’t tracked.Last year, a doctor in Regina was fined more than $10,000 for not dealing appropriately with complications arising from a circumcision done in 2014.I just hope this doesn’t get to that point where the boy is feeling less of himselfSorokan said it’s a straightforward procedure where minor bleeding can occur, but that’s estimated to happen in only one to two cases out of 100.“It’s certainly not a good result to trim part of the glans penis (tip) along with the foreskin,” he said. “I’m happy to hear that the family went and got urgent attention.”The boy’s next followup appointment is in September. His penis is mostly functional, but is disfigured, said his mother.“It’s healed up, but it doesn’t look normal.”The mother kept the severed part of her son’s penis and stored in the freezer, she said, in case he someday has questions about his body.“I just hope this doesn’t get to that point where the boy is feeling less of himself,” she said. “We don’t know.” Victoria East Medical Clinic is pictured in Regina, Sask., on Sunday August 18, 2019. Mark Taylor / The Canadian Press REGINA — A Regina mother has filed a lawsuit alleging negligence after the tip of her baby’s penis was severed during a circumcision.In an interview, the woman says she and her husband are worried about their son’s self-esteem as he grows up.The circumcision happened last November when the boy was nine-days old. The mother has filed a statement of claim against the doctor, his business, and an unidentified intern she believes did the procedure.The woman, whom The Canadian Press is not naming to protect the identity of the child, said she and her husband took their newborn to the Victoria East Medical Clinic in Regina for the procedure. read more

Annan to receive Fulbright Prize for International Understanding

The Secretary-General will be honoured “for his work in conflict resolution and his promotion of international cooperation and peace,” spokesman Manoel de Almeida e Silva told reporters in New York. The ceremony will take place at the Library of Congress. Mr. Annan will arrive in Washington on Sunday evening to attend the Kennedy Center Honors ceremony, where he will speak about Luciano Pavarotti, one of the honourees who currently serves as a UN Messenger of Peace.

Annan embarks on 10day trip to Central America

According to a UN spokesperson, Mr. Annan was scheduled to arrive this afternoon in Managua, where he will receive the keys to the City of Managua from Mayor Herty Lewites. Afterward, the Secretary-General will go on to a private meeting with President Enrique Bolanos Geyer. Later today, Mr. Annan will receive the Grand Cross of the Jose Dolores Estrada and attend a dinner hosted by the President.

Middle East UN envoy continues contact with Israeli Palestinian officials

Mr. Roed-Larsen met on Tuesday with senior members of the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) and the country’s Foreign Minister, Shimon Peres, according to a UN spokesman. The envoy also spoke by phone with several Palestinian officials. In addition, Mr. Roed-Larsen represented the UN at a meeting of the “Quartet,” which brings together the UN, the European Union, the Russian Federation and the United States. Washington’s envoy Gen. Anthony Zinni also attended. “This was the latest in a series of intense and continuing discussion among the members of the Quartet,” spokesman Fred Eckhard told reporters in New York. In subsequent remarks to the press, Mr. Roed-Larsen said during those talks he had addressed the growing tension along the Blue Line between Lebanon and Israel. The envoy also emphasized that the Security Council had confirmed Israel’s withdrawal from all occupied lands in southern Lebanon, and that all parties must fully respect the Blue Line.Mr. Roed-Larsen said the Palestinian-Israeli military crisis grew out of feelings by both parties that their very existence was under threat. On the humanitarian side, he appealed to the Israeli Government to ensure that relief agencies had full of access to populations in need. He also called on the donor community to ensure that humanitarian agencies, particularly the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), had adequate funding. Meanwhile, in New York, the Security Council scheduled separate private meetings with Israel’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Yehuda Lancry, and the Permanent Observer for Palestine, Nasser Al-Kidwa. In addition, Council members held their monthly working lunch with the Secretary-General, who briefed members on his recent trip to the Arab League Summit in Beirut. They also discussed the general situation in the Middle East, according to a UN spokesman.Late on Monday afternoon, the Council met in consultations to discuss a request from the Arab Group to hold an urgent public meeting on the Middle East. read more

Burundi Security Council members urge warring parties to reach ceasefire

Council members “called on all belligerents to cease hostilities immediately and urged the armed groups to enter into ceasefire negotiations without further delay with a view to concluding a ceasefire agreement,” said the current President of the 15-member security body, Ambassador Sergey Lavrov of the Russian Federation, in a statement to the press following consultations.The members also encouraged cooperation among the Burundian parties “in order to ensure the smooth running of transitional institutions and the resolution of pending issues,” Ambassador Lavrov said. “They also strongly support the efforts of the facilitation and regional initiative to expedite ceasefire negotiations.”The President’s statement commended South African troops in the country “for their important contribution to the effort to help bring comprehensive peace to Burundi” and encouraged them to continue their mission in the country. Council members also commended efforts to facilitate the voluntary repatriation of refugees “at a measured pace to ensure the safety of returning refugees in the current security situation.”Looking to the broader global context, the members called on the international community to support the process in the framework of the Arusha Agreement and urged the donor community to increase economic, humanitarian and development assistance to Burundi.During their closed-door meeting, Council members were also briefed on sanctions against Liberia. Ambassador Lavrov said they “took note” of the Security Council sanctions committee’s intention to have further discussions on recommendations produced by a Panel of Experts on those measures.The Chairman of the sanctions committee will brief the Council on the outcome of those discussions sometime before 6 May, according to Ambassador Lavrov. read more

Amid fighting in Liberia hundreds of refugees return to Côte dIvoire UN

Saying the desperate refugees are “caught between a rock and a hard place,” the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reported this development after a “protection team” returned from a visit to the frontier area between Liberia and Côte d’Ivoire, which had been out of reach in recent weeks.At one small frontier post at Nero village – west of the southern Ivoirian town of Tabou – an estimated 50 to 60 civilians were crossing back into Côte d’Ivoire each day. UNHCR said those on the move are a mixture of Ivoirian civilians, Liberian refugees who fled the Ivoirian crisis in recent months, and guest workers from Mali and Burkina Faso.Liberian border officials told the UN agency that in recent days, several hundred civilians had passed through the frontier checkpoint, and that similar numbers were crossing at other border posts into southern Côte d’Ivoire. UNHCR has also been trying to verify reports that a group of some 2,000 people in eastern Liberia could be heading towards the border opposite Tabou.Recent arrivals in Côte d’Ivoire said they decided to return because of a breakdown of law and order and widespread food shortages in Liberia, according to UNHCR. The agency’s team interviewed one 26-year-old Liberian refugee who had just made the gruelling, three-day journey to Côte d’Ivoire on foot with only wild bananas to share with her four-year old daughter, because, she said, “there is no food to be had anywhere in Liberia.”But the situation is hardly better in Côte d’Ivoire, where the UN refugee agency has been negotiating for the relocation of the remaining 35,000 Liberian refugees to alternative sites within Côte d’Ivoire or in the region. Some of those refugees – including children – have been exposed to recruitment as fighters by both the rebels and government forces.Although UNHCR and other humanitarian agencies have withdrawn the majority of their staff following an upsurge of fighting along the frontier, discussions are ongoing with the Liberian Government on ways to reach the desperate populations. Meanwhile, a new rebel movement, reportedly calling itself the Movement for Democracy in Liberia (MODEL), is staging a fierce battle in Ganta, near the Guinean border, which has displaced thousands of civilians, including Liberians, Ivoirians and other West Africans. read more