October 2012

Ban Ki-moon

The Quiet Korean: Ban Ki-moon Opens Up

Over the last few years, an American journalist and academic, Tom Plate, has been writing a series of books called “Giants of Asia.” Lee Kuan Yew, the brilliant if steely founder of modern Singapore, was first. Then came Mahathir Mohamad, the former long-serving but short-tempered prime minister of Malaysia, and Thaksin Shinawatra, a deposed Thai …

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Kofi Annan

Kofi Annan: Lessons in Futility

  Kofi Annan‘s existential crisis during his decade as United Nations secretary-general was without question related to the US-led invasion of Iraq. But the most fascinating part of his new memoir, “Interventions: A Life in War and Peace,” is the account of his numerous attempts to nudge the world toward a Middle East peace deal. …

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Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens of Libya

Mourning a Diplomat Who Had the Right Stuff

The United States House Homeland Security Committee chairman called for Susan Rice, America’s ambassador to the United Nations, to resign. A top-ranking Republican on the Foreign Relations Committee derided “Benghazi-gate,” the name he uses in charging a cover-up of the facts surrounding the Sept. 11 deaths this year in Libya of Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and …

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Master of Science in Humanitarian Studies at Fordham University
Congo miner

Congo Miners See Hope While Rebels Sow Unrest

Important progress in controlling the mining of tin, tantalum and tungsten in the troubled eastern region of Democratic Republic of Congo has been achieved, says a report from the Enough Project, a Washington nonprofit group focused on Africa. Yet renewed fighting that began in the spring between regional militias and Congolese national troops, who are …

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Nepali woman dancing

The UN General Assembly Takes Up a Once-Taboo Topic

  A growing movement within the United Nations to ban female genital mutilation globally has led to the first resolution to be written on the issue in the General Assembly’s Third Committee, which will vote on the matter this month. Two Francophone countries in West Africa, Burkina Faso and Benin, have proposed the draft resolution …

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Master of Science in Humanitarian Studies at Fordham University
Indigenous Pacchanta in southeast Peru.

Fighting Corruption Can Be a Fatal Act

WASHINGTON — In 2000, I had the privilege to present Lasantha Wickramatunga, from Sri Lanka, with the Transparency International annual Integrity Award. Wickramatunga was a prominent and tenacious newspaperman with the courage to ask tough questions, call for government accountability and expose corruption. On Jan. 8, 2009, he was driving to work when eight unidentified …

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Paella, the daily special at Socarrat in Midtown Manhattan

Socarrat, Where the Reigning Star Is Paella

It’s not every day that you want to drop $30 or $40 on lunch. But if you have the time to pamper yourself with a nice relaxed meal, check out the new Socarrat Paella Bar. It looks, feels and tastes more New York than Valencia, but Socarrat, located on Second Avenue just above 50th Street, …

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Master of Science in Humanitarian Studies at Fordham University
Niger women at the Doctors Without Borders nutritional center in Guidan Roumdji, Niger.

The Hunger Lines Just Keep Growing in the Sahel

GUIDAN ROUMDJI, Niger — Her food reserves have almost run out, but Tini Kane, 50 years old and widowed three times, must feed all 23 members of her family. Like many other Nigerien farmers, she sold her precious goats to cope with the bad harvests of this year and last, even though she still goes …

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