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Say ‘yes to a world united among peoples,’ urges Holy See — Global Issues

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Quoting Pope Francis, head of the Roman Catholic Church, he said, “it is necessary to pass from the strategies of political, economic and military power to a plan for global peace: No to a world divided among conflicting powers; Yes, to a world united among peoples and civilizations that respect each other’,” he said,

‘Fragmented solutions’

Noting that “the great challenges of our time are all global,” he noted that while problems are more interconnected, solutions are increasingly fragmented – fueling tensions, divisions, uncertainty, and instability.

To move forward, the papal envoy upheld the need to recover our “shared identity as a single human family”.

He said that at the UN we are called to work together to implement the Charter and respond to challenges faced by humanity.

Reputation in question

However, the UN’s progress over the past century in reducing global armed conflict has been questioned in recent years, said the Cardinal, observing a “perennial logic of self-interest,” seeking to extend economic, ideological and military influence.

Yet, the Holy See strongly believes in multilateralism and the UN’s “irreplaceable role”.

“For that reason, Pope Francis…speaks repeatedly in support of this Organization, while at the same time encouraging a process of renewal and calling on Governments to heed the plea of those countries and peoples, who suffer most from the consequences of its current limitations,” said the Cardinal.

‘Ideological colonization’

The General Assembly’s focus to revitalize its work reflects “a healthy instinct, for, as time passes, all institutions need to examine themselves,” continued the papal envoy.

Pope Francis has described the UN’s crisis of credibility as “ideological colonization”, arising from its “apparent impotence in times of crisis” and an agenda that frequently shifts focus “to matters that by their divisive nature do not strictly belong to the aims of the Organization,”

“The revitalization process must restore focus to those common aims outlined in the UN Charter: peace and security, human rights, and development,” said Cardinal Parolin.

Ukraine

He then spoke about the repercussions of the war in Ukraine, including food and fuel price increases; displacement surges; nuclear security concerns; and the vulnerability of short-sighted energy policies.

“As always in times of crisis, it is the poorest among us who suffer the most”.

The war had not only undermined the nuclear nonproliferation regime, but also presented the danger of nuclear devastation – either through escalation or accident.

The papal envoy also drew attention to the issue of a nuclear-weapon State at war with one that renounced its arsenal for security guarantees, saying that it would discourage other States that possess nuclear weapons from following suit, “complicating the path toward a world free of nuclear weapons”.

Migration

Mixed migration also needs to be addressed through the Global Compact for Safe, Regular, and Orderly Migration, Global Compact on Refugees, and the fulfilment of international obligations to generate conditions for people to live in peace, security and dignity in their countries of origin.

“The framework of international laws and agreements providing protection to refugees and upholding the human rights of migrants, regardless of status, is under significant strain,” he acknowledged.

“Mixed flows are notoriously difficult to manage,” and without updating international protection systems and relevant legal instruments “the current chaos that continues to result in countless acts of violence, abuse and increasing loss of life will only get worse,” warned the Cardinal.

Climate

Meanwhile, the world continues to be “gravely affected” by climate change, indicating “clear signs of our failure” to address it – despite overwhelming scientific evidence.

It is now up to each State Party to key international agreements honour the obligations incumbent upon them and to implement such agreements,’ the papal envoy said, advocating for political will at the upcoming UN Climate Conference (COP 27) in Egypt to take decisive and transformative decisions to protect the environment through stronger mitigation measures, scaled-up adaptation efforts and enhanced flows of appropriate finance.

Finally, he noted that the Holy See has deposited instruments of accession to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Paris Agreement – becoming a party to both prior to COP27.

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Investors Fleeing Company That Plans To Merge With Trump’s Truth Social, Take It Public

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There’s more bad news for the company that’s supposed to merge with Donald Trump’s Truth Social to take it public: Investors are beginning to jump ship.

Digital World Acquisition Corp. — the special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) that Truth Social needs to go public — revealed in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing Friday that investors have backed out of $139 million in commitments of the $1 billion previously announced by the company.

There’s likely more to come. Investors, who agreed to put up the money nearly a year ago, can now drop their commitments because Digital World missed its initial Sept. 20 deadline to merge with Truth Social.

DWAC is extending the time frame for the deal by three months after shareholders refused to approve its bid for a 12-month extension. But investors can still back out.

It’s just the latest trouble for Digital World and Truth Social.

A key vendor complained last month that Truth Social bills were going unpaid. A major web-hosting operator said Truth Social owed about $1.6 million in contractually obligated payments, an allegation suggesting the operation’s finances are in “significant disarray,” Fox Business News reported.

In another setback, Truth Social’s application for a trademark was turned down last month because its name was too similar to other operations.

Truth Social is hardly the juggernaut some investors had hoped. The social media platform is largely a forum for Trump, who repeatedly posts messages touting himself and reposts articles from right-wing media praising him each day.

Responding comments mostly involve QAnon conspiracies, over-the-top pro-Trump and anti-Joe Biden memes, and cringey comments like: “Ode to the greatest President ever.”

Comments lack the back-and-forth of social media platforms like Twitter that make them more of a dialogue. Most negative comments on Truth Social are buried or vanish from the site, which organizers had promised would be censorship free.

Trump launched Truth Social after he was booted off Twitter in the wake of the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol. Trump has been using the platform much as he did with Twitter — to rail against enemies, complain he’s being victimized and falsely insist he won the 2020 presidential election.

Last month, Digital World warned in an SEC filing that a dip in Trump’s popularity could hurt the business. The filing noted that Truth Social’s success hinges on the “reputation and popularity” of the investigation-plagued Trump, who chairs the Trump Media and Technology Group, which owns and operates the social media platform.

“In order to be successful, TMTG will need millions of those people to register and regularly use TMTG’s platform,” the filing warned. “If President Trump becomes less popular or there are further controversies that damage his credibility or the desire of people to use a platform associated with him,” the planned merger with Digital World “could be adversely affected,” it warned.



N Korea fires ballistic missile ahead of US-S Korea drills | Military News

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Japan condemns ‘unprecedented pace’ of North Korean missile launches, lodges official protest through Beijing embassy.

North Korea has fired a ballistic missile towards its eastern seas, ahead of planned military drills by the United States and South Korea.

The South’s military said Sunday’s weapon test involved a single, short-range ballistic missile fired from near the Taechon area of North Pyongyan Province just before 7am (22:00 GMT on Saturday).

It did not immediately release further specifics about the weapon, including what type of missile it was or how far it flew.

Japanese Defence Minister Yasukazu Hamada said Japan estimated it reached maximum altitude at 50 kilometers (31 miles) and may have flown on an irregular trajectory.

Hamada said it fell outside Japan’s exclusive economic zone and there were no reports of problems with shipping or air traffic.

Many of the short-range missiles tested by North Korea in recent years have been designed to evade missile defences by maneuvering during flight and flying on a lower, “depressed” trajectory, experts have said.

“If you include launches of cruise missiles this is the nineteenth launch, which is an unprecedented pace,” Hamada said. “North Korea’s action represent a threat to the peace and security of our country, the region and the international community and to do this as the Ukraine invasion unfolds is unforgivable.”

He added that Japan had delivered a protest through North Korea’s embassy in Beijing.

The launch comes after the arrival of the nuclear-powered American aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan in South Korea to participate in joint drills with South Korean forces, and ahead of a planned visit to Seoul this week by US Vice President Kamala Harris.

It was the first time the North carried out such a launch after firing eight short-range ballistic missiles in one day in early June, which led the US to call for more sanctions for violating United Nations Security Council resolutions.

North Korea rejects UN resolutions as an infringement of its sovereign right to self defence and space exploration, and has criticised previous joint drills by the US and South Korea as proof of their hostile policies.

The drills have also been criticised by Russia and China, which have called on all sides not to take steps that raise tensions in the region, and have called for an easing of sanctions.

After North Korea conducted an unprecedented number of missile tests earlier this year, including its intercontinental ballistic missiles for the first time since 2017, the US and South Korea said they would boost joint drills and military displays of power to deter Pyongyang.

“Defense exercises are not going to prevent North Korean missile tests,” said Leif-Eric Easley, an international affairs professor at Ewha University in Seoul.

But US-South Korea security cooperation helps to deter a North Korean attack and counter Pyongyang’s coercion, and the allies should not let provocations stop them from conducting military training and exchanges needed to maintain the alliance, he added.

South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported on Saturday that North Korea may also be preparing to test a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM), citing the South’s military.

A North-Korea focused think-tank, 38North, also said last week that Pyongyang was possibly preparing to launch a new submarine capable of firing ballistic missiles. The group said its analysis of commercial satellite imagery shows multiple barges and other vessels gathered at the eastern port of Sinpo, where the country has a major shipyard building submarines.

North Korea has been pushing hard to acquire an ability to fire nuclear-armed missiles from submarines, which it sees as a key piece in building a nuclear arsenal that can bolster its deterrent as they would ensure retaliation after absorbing a nuclear attack on land.

Ballistic missile submarines would also add a new maritime threat to the North’s growing collection of solid-fuel weapons fired from land vehicles, which are being developed with an apparent aim to overwhelm missile defense systems in South Korea and Japan.

Still, experts say the heavily sanctioned nation would need considerably more time, resources and major technological improvements to build at least several submarines that could travel quietly in seas and reliably execute strikes.

 

Dodgers place May on 15-day IL

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The Dodgers have placed right-hander Dustin May on the 15-day injured list due to lower back tightness. The team also announced that righty Andre Jackson was called up from Triple-A to take May’s spot on the active roster.

May is now ineligible to pitch again during the regular season, though his postseason availability could hinge on his health. Since Los Angeles already has a bye in the first round, May will get some extra time to rest and recover before the Dodgers have to make their roster decisions for the NLDS. Jack Harris of the Los Angeles Times reports that May has a strained muscle in his lower back, and it isn’t yet known if the strain will impact his readiness for the playoffs, but the Dodgers are hopeful May will be ready.

May has already missed a lot of time with injury over the last two seasons, due to a Tommy John surgery back in May 2021. The right-hander made it back to action in August, and has a 4.50 ERA, 22.8% strikeout rate, and 11% walk rate over 30 innings in 2022. While these numbers are nothing to write home about, May’s velocity and spin rates are all still looking good in the wake of his TJ rehab.

The regular season has been a rousing success for the Dodgers, but they now face more pitching uncertainty as the playoffs loom. Tony Gonsolin has a minor league rehab start scheduled for Tuesday after missing a month due to a forearm strain, so the All-Star could be on his way back to action, though nothing will be certain until Gonsolin gets onto the mound. Ideally, Julio Urias, Clayton Kershaw, and Gonsolin would be the Dodgers’ top three starters in a playoff series, with Tyler Anderson likeliest for fourth starter duty. Andrew Heaney, May, or rookie Michael Grove would be lined up for long relief or emergency-starter depth, but as we’ve seen from past postseasons, the Dodgers are generally pretty flexible with pitcher roles in big games.



Russia had ‘no choice’ but to launch ‘special military operation’ in Ukraine, Lavrov tells UN — Global Issues

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The operation launched on 24 February had been carried out to protect Russians living in Ukraine’s Donetsk and Luhansk regions, and eliminate threats to Russian security, said Mr. Lavrov, that the EU and United States-led NATO military alliance had consistently created in the territory, since what he described as the “bloody coup” by the current “Kyiv regime”, in 2014.

“I am convinced that any sovereign, self-respecting State would do the same in our stead, which understands its responsibility to its own people.”

‘Throwing a fit’

Mr. Lavrov accused the West of “throwing a fit” over this weekend’s referenda being conducted in the Donbas and other Russian-controlled areas on becoming a part of the Russian Federation, countering that people there were simply following an order from Kyiv, to “get out and to go to Russia”.

The Russian Foreign Minister said the crises surrounding the war were growing, and the international situation was rapidly deteriorating, but instead of having an honest dialogue and searching for compromise, the West was “undermining confidence in international institutions” and encouraging negative tendencies within the United Nations as well.

He said the United States was trying to turn the whole world into its “backyard”, and together with its partners, punishing dissenters from its world view, through what he called “illegal unilateral sanctions” which violate the UN Charter, and hurt poor citizens in poorer countries, targeting their medicines, vaccines and food imports.

‘Provocations’

Attempts by the US to impose dividing lines, telling nations “you’re either with us or against us”, meant that instead of “honest dialogue” there was instead “disinformation, crude staging, and provocations”.

He praised the UN Secretary-General for mobilizing efforts to overcome the global food and energy crisis fuelled by the war but blamed the West for economic mismanagement in the pandemic, claiming that sanctions against his country amounted to an “economic war against Russia.”

He praised the Black Sea Grain Initiative to free up food and fertilizer from Ukraine, and Russia, to alleviate price inflation and supply, but said the poorest countries were still not benefitting, and again criticized the US and EU for not fully removing “obstacles” to Russian exports he said were trapped in European ports.

‘Russophobia’ claim

Mr. Lavrov told the Assembly that there was now a “crusade by the West against the objectionables”, with NATO seeing Russia as simply a threat to its domination of the region and beyond.

Furthermore, Russophobia, he said, had reached unprecedented proportions, with Western powers making no secret of their ambition to militarily defeat Russia, and try to “destroy and fracture Russia…What they want to do is to remove from the global map, a geopolitical entity, which has become all too independent.”

He warned countries beyond Europe and North America, that the Western alliance, in an effort to impose its will, was seeking to expand influence and hegemony further into Asia, South America, and Africa, and ended his remarks by quoting the hugely influential and charismatic second UN Secretary-General, Dag Hammarskjöld:

Save humanity from hell

“The UN wasn’t created to take mankind to paradise, but rather to save humanity from hell. These are very topical words. They call upon us, to understand our individual and collective responsibility for creating conditions for a peaceful and harmonious development for our future generations, and everyone needs to show political will for that.”

Ending his speech on a conciliatory note, and a nod to a brighter future for multilateralism, he said he was convinced that the stability of the world order could be ensured, by returning to “the origins of UN diplomacy”, based on the key principle of “sovereign equality of States”.

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Here’s What Happened When My Macho Latino Dad Agreed To Go To Therapy With Me

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My relationship with my father was great until I turned 12 and started forming my own opinions about the world around me.

My opinions were often different than his, and that’s when our disagreements began. In his sentimental moments, he’d say it was because we were too similar: strong character, opinionated, talkative, and we stand up for ourselves. Except things weren’t so good when I stood up to him.

After my parents split when I was 9, I often told my dad, a macho Latino immigrant, that I didn’t like his disrespectful comments about my mom or his objectifying commentary about women we’d pass while driving or walking down the street. Instead of acknowledging what I was saying, he’d get defensive and shrug me off by saying, “I’m not talking to you.” And then there was his favorite, “You’re so sensitive.”

Sensitive or not, I wanted respect.

Growing up in the suburbs of the San Francisco Bay Area, I sensed the way my dad talked to me wasn’t the norm among my peers. I was aware that things he said in front of my younger brother and me weren’t considered appropriate by others, but regardless of what I said, he never acknowledged that he was in the wrong. His parenting style was protective, authoritative, and with an attitude of “father always knows best.”

As I started to mature into a responsible adult, he still viewed me as “daddy’s little girl.” He needed me to need him and look up to him in the same way I once had. I needed him to trust me, to let me spread my wings and do things my own way. After all, he’d raised me well. He’d taught me to think critically, to be brave and, inadvertently, to do things my way, just as he lived life his way.

“He needed me to need him and look up to him in the same way I once had. I needed him to trust me, to let me spread my wings and do things my own way.”

Then when I was 20, things came to a head. My dad and I went to the department of motor vehicles to transfer the title of a secondhand car he had purchased for me as a surprise birthday present. We had an argument in the DMV parking lot about how I didn’t do things his way. I was tired of our arguments and tired that he continually treated me like I wasn’t capable of doing things correctly when I’d given him no reason not to have confidence in me. I told my dad point-blank that we needed counseling.

Deep down, I was sure it was useless to say, but I couldn’t help myself. I felt like I had nothing to lose. I knew my idea would fall on deaf ears and possibly cause more issues between us ― and unsurprisingly, he did become upset.

My father was born in Chile in 1940 when talking to a professional about your problems was taboo. For him, therapy meant you had a mental illness. In his generation and culture, you didn’t talk to a stranger about your personal issues. You just dealt with them yourself or maybe you shared with a few select people you trusted. He often talked negatively about therapy, suggesting that therapists choose the profession because they have problems themselves.

“In his generation and culture, you didn’t talk to a stranger about your personal issues. You just dealt with them yourself.”

I always found his perspective absurd. For me, the real question was, and still is: Who doesn’t have problems they’re struggling with? Everyone does at various points in their lives. Sometimes a trained professional to help you through tough circumstances can be a lifesaver. Sometimes they simply provide a non-biased space in which to process what is going on. I’ve gone to counseling on my own and always found it to be helpful, providing me with perspective I hadn’t considered and allowing me to share my vulnerabilities.

A month after our argument — after not talking to each other because I refused to call him — he called me. I was shocked yet happy that he’d reached out. The first thing he said to me was, “You’re right, I think we need to go to counseling.” I was stunned. I never expected my father to admit we could use therapy, but I was ecstatic his relationship with me meant enough to him to consider it. He had looked into his health coverage, which provided 10 sessions with a co-pay.

Our therapist’s process was for each of us to have an individual session in the beginning. This gave my father and me a chance to explain why each of us was there, what was going on, and what we hoped to achieve. Afterward, she had us each fill out an intake form giving her more information about our issues and dynamics. Now we had eight sessions remaining.

The truth is, I was nervous. I knew counseling wouldn’t be easy. I was going to speak up about sensitive issues and wasn’t sure how my dad would react in front of a mediator.

Going to therapy requires time, attention and a willingness to be vulnerable and to listen to the other person. There’s no magic formula. We had moments of tears and moments of laughter. My father was a natural storyteller and loved to be in the limelight. In some ways, having a space to talk about himself with an attentive listener was a perfect fit (though he’d never admit it).

In our first session together, I was nervous about how he was going to react, yet I found the courage to say that I didn’t like his patronizing and negative comments about women. He listened and then he brought up the cultural argument that I had heard several times before: In his country, people aren’t as sensitive and those comments aren’t meant in a negative way.

“My dad had said so many times, ‘I’m too old to change’ ― he’d even said it while we were in therapy. I didn’t like hearing those words.”

When the therapist highlighted how his words affected me ― I had tears streaming down my face ― he paused. But he still didn’t comprehend my point of view and grasp that I wasn’t just being overly sensitive. He still didn’t see that he had raised me in a time and place that didn’t share that culture of machismo.

Even when he acknowledged my feelings, his behavior after therapy didn’t change dramatically. Over the course of our sessions, I began to see some progress and sometimes I walked out of a session feeling like things had shifted. But bigger changes can take time, and I didn’t start noticing them until long after counseling had ended.

As our sessions were nearing their close, I knew we needed more time. Yet I also knew my dad wouldn’t be open to the idea. First, he wouldn’t want to pay out of pocket for additional sessions. Second, he thought that if the medical establishment had given us 10 co-pay sessions, that should be “sufficient.” More importantly, I believe having a set number of sessions gave my dad the relief of an end date. He could commit to 10. He could do that for me. For us.

In our sessions, my dad had scratched the surface of traumatic experiences he endured when he was around 14 years old. I knew he should dive deeper into a challenging and emotionally vulnerable process. I also knew that admitting he needed individual therapy would be too hard for him. After all, my dad had said so many times, “I’m too old to change” ― he’d even said it while we were in therapy. I didn’t like hearing those words. I understand that as people age, they become more set in their ways but I interpreted his words as an excuse to absolve himself of the responsibility to change.

Our second-to-last session was split, each of us having one-on-one time with the counselor to wrap up our experience. I realized, and the therapist confirmed, that I had a crucial role to play in my relationship with my father going forward.

I would need to change. I had to shift my perspective and my expectations of my father.

“I realized, and the therapist confirmed, that I had a crucial role to play in my relationship with my father going forward. I would need to change.”

Going to therapy made me aware that I couldn’t share vulnerable pieces of myself with my father because he wasn’t capable of being there for me in that way. He never was. What I so desperately wanted from him ― connection on a more personal and emotional level ― he wasn’t able to give me. Therapy gave me the perspective to see that. After therapy, I changed my own behavior and stopped trying to share some aspects of myself in the interests of having a good relationship with him.

It was only a few years later, after his passing, that I realized how much culture had divided us. I’d never really understood the “cultural” rules that governed my dad’s life. I knew things at home were different from my peers’ families, but as a child, I couldn’t articulate or understand that difference.

Culture is something you can’t always see even when it has a huge presence. Although my father immigrated to California when he was 28 years old, he still maintained his culture at heart and often criticized the American way of doing things. Yet I don’t think it ever occurred to my dad that he needed to teach me his culture.

For example, one thing that was always my responsibility as a teenager and an adult was to initiate phone calls with my father. I found it frustrating and annoying because in the United States, calling is a two-way street. No one is keeping score of who called last. But when a week had passed and I hadn’t called, I’d get anxious because I knew that when I finally gave in and called him, he’d answer the phone by saying, “Who’s this?” I’d respond letting out a sigh, “Your daughter,” and he’d always reply sounding hurt, “I have a daughter, I didn’t know.”

“I don’t think it ever occurred to my dad that he needed to teach me his culture.”

When I didn’t call frequently, he interpreted this as a lack of caring and love for him. Even though he carried himself as a tough guy, my dad was a sensitive person. He had his own emotional baggage and didn’t know how to express himself without appearing vulnerable ― which would be a sign of weakness to him. Instead, he pushed me away with his words. I didn’t like the guilt trip or the constant sense of being responsible for his feelings. I simply couldn’t understand why he didn’t just call me. It seems so simple and yet it took me years to grasp the underlying cultural basis for our differing expectations.

Although the outcome of therapy may not have been what I hoped going in — his respecting me more and treating me like an equal — I realize my dad stepped out of his comfort zone to show his love for me. He had to push through his own biases, judgments and ideologies for the sake of our relationship. I realize now it wasn’t easy for him. He had to acknowledge there was a problem. For him, admitting that was a sign of weakness. For me, it was a sign of bravery.

I’ll always be grateful for that.

Have a compelling first-person story or experience you want to share? Send your story description to pitch@huffpost.com.



‘We must continue to believe in the power of diplomacy,’ India says in UN speech — Global Issues

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The Minister outlined India’s commitment to multilateralism, evidenced, he said, by the decision to supply vaccines to over 100 nations, provide disaster relief to those in distress, and partner with other countries, with a focus on green growth, better connectivity, digital delivery and accessible health.

Mr. Jaishankar declared that India is filling gaps in humanitarian needs in nearby countries and regions, mentioning the supplies of 50,000 metric tonnes of wheat and multiple tranches of medicines and vaccines sent to Afghanistan, the extension of $3.8 billion worth of credit to Sri Lanka for fuel, essential commodities and trade settlement, and the supply of 10,000 metric tons of food aid and vaccine shipments to Myanmar.

Whose side are we on?

Turning to the war in Ukraine, Mr. Jaishankar raised the question of whether India sides with Ukraine or Russia.

“India is on the side of peace and will remain firmly there,” he said. “We are on the side that respects the UN Charter and its founding principles. We are on the side that calls for dialogue and diplomacy as the only way out”.

He went on to note that, with food, fuel, and fertilizer costs rising, it is in the interests of the international community to work constructively to find an early resolution to the war. 

World ‘poised for transformational change’

Noting that the COVID-19 pandemic has called into question the over-centralized nature of globalization, Mr. Jaishankar said that the world is poised for “transformational change”. The war in Ukraine and climate events have also, he continued, added to the disruption the world is already facing.

The Minister declared that India is pursuing climate action and climate justice, and stands ready to “support any collective and equitable endeavour to protect our environment and to further global wellness.”

India’s approach, he explained, is based on principles of mutual respect and national ownership with a commitment to sustainable development for all, and he announced that, as it assumes the presidency of the G20 organization of advanced economies, India will work with other members to address serious issues of debt, economic growth, food and energy security and the environment.

‘Zero-tolerance on terrorism’

India will end its time as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council in 2022, and Mr. Jaishankar noted some of the country’s achievements during its tenure.

At the Security Council, he said, India has focused on concerns such as maritime security, peacekeeping and counter-terrorism. On the latter, he mentioned the special meeting of the Counter Terrorism Committee this year, hosted in India, which chairs the Committee, and invited Member States to participate.

The meeting will focus on new and emerging technologies, and Mr. Jaishankar said that a new global architecture is needed, in response new technology tools that are being deployed against open, diverse and pluralistic societies.

“Having borne the brunt of cross border terrorism for decades, India firmly advocates a ‘zero-tolerance’ approach,” announced Mr. Jaishankar. “In our view, there is no justification for any act of terrorism, regardless of motivation.

And no rhetoric, however sanctimonious, can ever hide blood-stained hands”.

Reform ‘anachronistic’ Security Council

Reforming the Security Council is needed because is currently “anachronistic and ineffective,” claimed the Minister. He described it as deeply unfair, denying entire continents and regions a voice in a forum that deliberates their future. 

Mr. Jaishankar called for serious negotiations on the matter to be decisively addressed, and for serious negotiations to proceed sincerely, rather than being blocked by procedural tactics.

“We believe and advocate that this is not an era of war and conflict,” concluded Mr. Jaishankar. “On the contrary, it is a time for development and cooperation…It is vital that we continue to believe in the promise of diplomacy and the need for international cooperation.”
 

South Korea Says North Korea Test-Fired Missile Toward Sea

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SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea’s military says North Korea has fired at least one unidentified ballistic missile toward its eastern sea.

South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff on Sunday did not immediately say what type of missile it was or how far it flew. The launch came a day after South Korean officials said they detected signs that North Korea was preparing to test a missile designed to be fired from submarines.

North Korea has dialed up its testing activities to a record pace in 2022, testing more than 30 ballistic weapons, including its first intercontinental ballistic missiles since 2017, as it continues to expand its military capabilities amid a prolonged stalemate in nuclear diplomacy.

The launch came as the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan and its strike group arrived in South Korea for the two countries’ joint military exercise to show their strength against growing North Korean threats.

The North Korean threat is also expected to be a key agenda when U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris visits South Korea next week after attending the state funeral in Tokyo of slain former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

The office of South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol earlier said that he was briefed on possible North Korean preparations for a submarine-launched ballistic test before his flight back home from a visit to Canada.

On Wednesday, 38North, a North Korea-focused website, said its analysis of commercial satellite imagery shows multiple barges and other vessels gathered at the eastern port of Sinpo, where North Korea has a major shipyard building submarines. The report said the North was possibly preparing to launch a new submarine capable of firing ballistic missiles.

South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol speaks during a press conference with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Ottawa, Canada, on September 23, 2022. (Photo by Dave Chan / AFP) (Photo by DAVE CHAN/AFP via Getty Images)
South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol speaks during a press conference with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Ottawa, Canada, on September 23, 2022. (Photo by Dave Chan / AFP) (Photo by DAVE CHAN/AFP via Getty Images)

DAVE CHAN via Getty Images

North Korea has been pushing hard to acquire an ability to fire nuclear-armed missiles from submarines, which it sees as a key piece in building a nuclear arsenal that can viably threaten its neighbors and eventually the American homeland.

Such weapons in theory would bolster North Korea’s deterrent by ensuring retaliation after absorbing a nuclear attack on land. Ballistic missile submarines would also add a new maritime threat to the North’s growing collection of solid-fuel weapons fired from land vehicles, which are being developed with an apparent aim to overwhelm missile defense systems in South Korea and Japan.

Still, experts say the heavily sanctioned nation would need considerably more time, resources and major technological improvements to build at least several submarines that could travel quietly in seas and reliably execute strikes.

South Korea’s military in March detected the North flight-testing a ballistic missile from a submarine in March that flew 600 kilometers (372 miles) before landing in waters between the Korean Peninsula and Japan.

The March launch was North Korea’s first testing of a submarine-launched ballistic missile system since October of last year, when it fired a new short-range missile from the 8.24 Yongung – its only known submarine capable of launching a missile. The October underwater launch was the North’s first in two years.



At UN, Foreign Minister Wang Yi sees ‘hope’ in turbulent times, reaffirms ‘One China’ policy — Global Issues

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“We are at a time fraught with challenges. COVID-19 keeps resurfacing, global security faces uncertainty, the economic recovery is fragile and unsteady, and various other risks and crises are emerging,” he said in his address to the UN General Assembly’s high-level debate.

Nevertheless, amid this “new phase of turbulence and transformation” there were reasons for hope, Mr. Wang continued, pointing to the world’s increasing multipolarity, deepening economic globalization, and societies increasing digitalization and cultural diversity.

‘Stand up for peace, oppose war’

“Peace and development remain the underlying trends of our time. People’s calls for progress and cooperation are getting louder. How should we respond to the call of our times and ride the trend of history to build a shared community for mankind?” he asked and responded with the words of Chinese President Xi Jinping, who has said that the world must stand up for peace and oppose war. “War only opens ‘Pandora’s Box…we must address differences through peaceful means.”

Further, he called for the board pursuit of development and the elimination of poverty. Again, in the words of President Xi, Mr. Wang called for development to be placed at the center of the international agenda and for all countries’ right to development to be upheld. The international community must remain open and inclusive, as “openness is the surest way to prosperity.”

‘Agenda 2030 pacesetter’

Mr. Wang went on to say that as a permanent member of the UN Security Council and the world’s largest developing country, China is committed to solidarity and cooperation with other countries. “It will follow the trends of the times and pursue the shared interest of the vast majority of countries,” he stated, highlighting China’s efforts to maintain global peace and stability, including its adherence to the global non-proliferation regime and contribution to UN peacekeeping.

Human rights

China was also contributing to global development and had worked to keep global industrial and supply chains up and running. China is a major trading partner to over 130 countries and regions “is the global economy’s biggest engine… and a pacesetter in implementing the 2030 Agenda, having met the poverty reduction goal 10 years ahead of schedule,” Foreign Minister Wang said.

China was upholding the international order and committed to the principles of the UN Charter and had backed the UN-centred international system. “China has been involved in multilateral affairs in all fields and… fulfilled in good faith its international obligations. China abides by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and has made relentless efforts to protect and strengthen its human rights.”

In this context, the Foreign Minister said that China stood firmly against attempts to politicize human rights and had worked to promote health development of international human rights cooperation. 

Mediating hotspots

After detailing China’s commitment to a development path based on clean, green growth, and its cooperation initiative aimed at ensuring global food security, Mr. Wang said that China was also mediating global hotspot issues, “while adhering to the principle of non-interference and respecting the will and needs of countries concerned.”

On the war in Ukraine, he said: “China supports all efforts conducive to the peaceful resolution of the crisis … and the fundamental solution is to address the legitimate security concerns of all parties and build a balanced, effective and sustainable security architecture.”

“We call on all parties concerned to keep the crisis from spilling over and protect the legitimate rights and the interests of developing countries,” he added.

Turning to Taiwan, which has been an “inseparable part of China’s territory since ancient times”, Mr. Wang stressed that its ‘One China’ policy has become a basic norm of the international relations and a consensus of the international community.

His country would continue to work for the peaceful reunification with sincerity, he said, adding that, to realize this goal it must combat separatist activities with the firmest resolve and take the most forceful steps to oppose external interference.

“Only when China is completely reunified, can there be enduring peace across the Taiwan Strait…Any move to obstruct China’s reunification is bound to be crushed by the wheels of history,” he said.

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Privatization Isn’t The Answer To Jackson’s Water Crisis

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After heavy rains flooded its main water plant roughly two weeks ago, Jackson, Mississippi, has been in a public health emergency. For one week, the city’s 150,000 residents had no water coming out of their taps. Residents lined up in hours-long lines for drive-through bottled water sites, nonprofits delivered to people who didn’t have the means to travel and schools went virtual.

In 2021, after a historic winter storm forced the city’s main water plant to shut down, Jacksonians went without water for a month. Since then, the city has been dealing with a cycle of boil water notices. Those directives were issued due to the risk of contamination because of low water pressure.

When the water was turned back on, residents still needed to boil their water before drinking or bathing. Videos of coffee-colored water coming out of Jackson’s taps went viral.

But the city’s water crisis didn’t start with the latest storm — the public utility has been plagued with problems for the last three decades. And officials know it will happen again.

“Without critical and very important capital improvements to be made of our water treatment facility, it’s not a matter of if it will fail again, but a matter of when it will fail again,” Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba said on NPR last week.

It’s going to take massive investments from the state and federal government to finally end the cycles of boil water notices and water system failures. Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves (R) has floated the idea of turning over the city’s utility to a private company, but privatization of public goods has long been derided by experts.

“Privatization is on the table,” Reeves said earlier this month. “I’m open to ideas.”

Jackson, which is 80% Black, has already attempted to partner with a private company to fix some of its water infrastructure issues.

In 2010, the city signed a $90 million contract with Siemens, a private company that was supposed to install new water meters. But the meters were faulty. This led to some customers not receiving bills and others being unable to pay due to being overcharged. Those unpaid bills meant that the ailing system had even fewer resources. The city successfully sued Siemens in 2020, but in the interim, the water system got worse.

Rep. Bennie Thompson (D), who serves Mississippi’s 2nd District, is wary of letting the city control its water. “We want a system that meets federal and state regulations,” he said. “Now if we see that Jackson can’t do it, then obviously we have to look at an alternative.”

But the problems facing Jacksonians, an underinvested and aging system, won’t be helped by privatizing it, water system experts argue. Handing over a public water system to a corporation more concerned with profit has already shown time and time, again, that it won’t fix the problem.

A March 2022 Cornell University study of the 500 largest water systems in the United States found that privatization often resulted in problems.

“What was disturbing about the 500 water systems is that private ones had higher rates and more affordability problems,” said Mildred Warner, a Cornell professor and an author of the study. “And this was true after we controlled for the age of the system and the source of the water.”

JACKSON MS - SEPTEMBER 3 : Rodney Moore (C), maintenance supervisor at Addison Place apartments receives cases of bottle water from City of Jackson worker Dianna Davis (R) and Andrea Williams for elderly and disabled residents on September 3, 2022 in Jackson, Mississippi. The entire city of Jackson has been suffering from unsafe drinking water for years causing forcing residents to use bottle water to drink, cook and brush their teeth. Flooding in the area in the last week has caused the treatment facility to malfunction leaving residents without water to bathe or even flush toilets.
JACKSON MS – SEPTEMBER 3 : Rodney Moore (C), maintenance supervisor at Addison Place apartments receives cases of bottle water from City of Jackson worker Dianna Davis (R) and Andrea Williams for elderly and disabled residents on September 3, 2022 in Jackson, Mississippi. The entire city of Jackson has been suffering from unsafe drinking water for years causing forcing residents to use bottle water to drink, cook and brush their teeth. Flooding in the area in the last week has caused the treatment facility to malfunction leaving residents without water to bathe or even flush toilets.

The Washington Post via Getty Images

There was an outlier, however. California strictly regulates private water companies, ensuring affordability for low-income people. But a Republican governor is unlikely to follow suit. “Mississippi probably doesn’t have the policy environment that’s going to closely regulate the private operator to make sure public objectives are met,” Warner said.

“The history is extensive in terms of what happens when a private company pillages public resources or public utilities,” Lumumba said on NPR. “Private companies are not coming to be benevolent. They’re coming to make a profit.”

Jackson is facing a clear-cut example of environmental racism. After its schools were forced to integrate in the 1970s, white people began leaving the city in droves — taking with them their tax revenue. Today, one in four people in Jackson lives in poverty. The city’s water system is also old and in need of expensive repairs, but the city simply doesn’t have the tax base to support it. Currently, the mayor estimates that the city would need at least $1 billion to permanently fix its water problems.

And while privatization may be on the mind of Reeves and other state officials, there’s plenty of evidence to show that turning Jackson’s water system over to a private company could make the problem worse – which is what happened in Pittsburgh.

The Pennsylvania city’s water and sewer authorities were dealing with aging infrastructure, financial distress, and administrative problems. In 2012, the Pittsburgh water system signed a contract with Veolia to fix its water problems. Under the contract, Veolia would get to keep 50 cents for every dollar that was saved.

The private company, to save costs, switched to a new billing system that often overcharged customers, laid off staff, and perhaps most consequential, used a cheaper corrosion control chemical that led to increased lead levels in the city’s drinking water. Notably, the switch happened without the approval of the utility board or the city.

The utility switched back to the original corrosion control chemical, but residents who were affected still filed a class action lawsuit. The private company and public officials blamed each other for the lead problem, with Veolia saying it was acting as a consulting company only.

While privatization of water companies has led to increased rates and undrinkable water, public water systems aren’t immune to these problems as well. In Flint, Michigan, after the local government switched to cheaper corrosion control, the water was poisoned with lead.

But, just like privatization efforts, the problem began when the city tried to save money.

That’s the central problem with water privatization. It takes a public good — one that’s needed to survive – and turns it into another profit-maker at the expense of residents.

“Privatization is taking people from one state of misery to the next,” Lumumba said. “We have to depart from this notion that privatization is the only way that the system can be supported.”



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