This could be the last chance for Syria to avoid a prolonged and bloody civil war. We very much hope your work will end with a positive result.Russian President Dmitri Medvedev • Discussing the role that UN special envoy Kofi Annan will play in attempting to ease tensions in Syria. Annan is leading a peace mission that hopes to end the Syrian conflict. Annan hopes to getting both Russia and China to take a firmer stance against their ally. Both countries have shown support to the Assad regime, blocking measures to criticize the Syrian leader, but each has shown support for Annan’s peace mission. The Kremlin recently said that little would get done as long as outside countries continued to offer the Syrian opposition political and military support.
» You get what you pay for: Really, guys? Thirteen times in a year? This means NASA gets hacked more often than I pay my phone bill. But maybe that’s to be expected when you spend so little on cyber security. This is all based on testimony from the agency’s inspector general, Paul Martin, and the rest of his testimony is quite terrifying. For example, Martin says that hackers working through Chinese IP addresses were able to gain full system access to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, steal user credentials from over 150 NASA employees, and modify system logs to cover up their tracks. Let’s hope it was just a couple of bored middle schoolers.
This is a completely irresponsible use of the veto by Russia and China. It is staggering that they have blocked the passage of what was already a very weak draft resolution. After a night in which the whole world watched the people of Homs suffering, the actions of these members are particularly shocking.Amnesty International Secretary-General Salil Shetty • Discussing the veto of the United Nations resolution against Syria’s Assad by Russia and China — a situation made all the more surprising by the hundreds killed in the city of Homs on Friday night. The situation in Syria is becoming hard to ignore, and this decision casts a harsh light on those countries that choose to ignore it.
Every member of the Council has to make a decision: Whose side are you on? Are you on the side of the Syrian people? Are you on the side of the Arab League? Are you on the side of the people of the Middle East and North Africa who have during this past year spoken out courageously and often for their rights? Or are you on the side of a brutal, dictatorial regime?U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton • Stating her case to the UN Security Council, on the matter of the violent turmoil that continues in Syria. Clinton is clearly arguing on somewhat simplistic moral grounds, trying to put more pressure on Russia, which has said they’ll veto a resolution if it mandates that Bashar al-Assad step down from power. In particular, memory of the NATO mission in Libya is likely in play — Russia approved a resolution to protect Libyan civilians, only to see it broaden into a mission to depose dictator Muammar Gaddafi, which they opposed. Consequently, they’re now unwilling to agree to a resolution that carries either the overt or implied goal of regime change. source (via • follow)
UN action on Syria blocked by Russia, China: It was just over a month ago that Syria claimed to accept a deal with the Arab League to halt attacks and killings of citizens (and allow free media observers into the country), before flaunting their violation of the deal the next day by killing eleven people. They’ve since talked about another deal with the League, similar to the terms of the last one, but it’s rather impossible to take that seriously at this point. Many UN states would like to recommend Syria to the International Criminal Court in the Hague for crimes against humanity, but Security Council members China and Russia refuse to issue any condemnation of the Assad government — Russia, further, has referred to western criticism of their defense of Syria as “immoral.” source
In a time of constraints, in a time of crisis, in a time of tough budgets, people are saying that charity starts at home, that we cannot deal with something noble but medium and long-term like the environment.Angel Gurria, chief of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development • Discussing the stumbling inaction by the global community in adequately addressing the issue of climate change. 194 nations are currently convened in Durban, South Africa for a major conference on climate change, one which strives to reach agreements on carbon control to continue the process begun by the 1997 Kyoto Protocol; the EU has said they will not renew their emissions reduction standards unless measures are adopted so that all countries (most importantly the United States and China, the world’s worst polluters) must hold to certain emissions standards as well. This has caused turmoil in the discussions, as many less developed nations insist they haven’t been to blame for the surge in carbon to date, and thus shouldn’t be penalized as they now strive to industrialize. source (via • follow)