Next week, the United Nations’ Open Working Group will convene in New York to continue negotiating a set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These SDGs -- focused on issues such as gender equality, health, education, poverty, climate change, and biodiversity -- are intended to drive social, economic, and environmental development on an international scale. They will also serve as a continuation of the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which expire in 2015.
Originally published on Mon April 28, 2014 5:09 pm
Update at 9 a.m. ET:
The White House announced sanctions Monday against seven top Russian officials with links to President Vladimir Putin, including freezing their assets and banning them from obtaining U.S. visas. It also threatened to impose more economic sanctions on key sectors of Russia's economy if there is evidence of further Kremlin involvement in the unrest in eastern Ukraine.
The United States is urging North Korea to refrain from a new nuclear test amid indications of "heightened activity" at Pyongyang's Punggye-ri test site.
"We have certainly seen the press reports ... regarding possible increased activity in North Korea's nuclear test site," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said. "We are closely monitoring the situation on the Korean peninsula."
Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 3:12 pm
Japan says it will kill fewer whales when its seasonal Pacific hunt begins next week and will only observe whales in the Antarctic, after a U.N. court ordered it to stop taking the marine mammals from the Southern Ocean.
Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 9:04 am
This post was updated with a new top at 4:10 p.m. ET.
Diplomats from the U.S., Ukraine, Russia and the European Union emerged Thursday from a meeting that wasn't expected to accomplish much saying they had made progress toward resolving the crisis in Ukraine.
"We worked hard and we worked in good faith in order to narrow our real differences," Secretary of State John Kerry said following the meeting in Geneva. He and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov announced that the four parties at the negotiating table agreed:
A new report from the United Nations' panel on climate change says major action is needed, and fast, if policymakers want to limit global warming to acceptable levels.
There's an international target to control climate change: keeping the global temperature rise to just 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels — that's 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change now says it's technically possible to meet that goal. But doing so will require rapid, large-scale shifts in energy production and use.
Rep. Mike Rogers Discusses U.S.-Russia Relations On 'Weekend Edition'
A Ukrainian Security Service officer has been killed and five others wounded in the eastern city of Slovyansk, officials from Ukraine's interim government said Sunday. The casualty comes after Ukraine pledged a "very tough" response to those occupying government buildings.
It's been 20 years since the Rwandan genocide, in which political ideology and ethnic hatred gave license to thousands of Hutus to kill Tutsi families. But ethnic ideology may not have unleashed the genocide if the international community had not stepped back and allowed it to happen.
One notorious episode of abandonment changed forever the role of the United Nations peacekeeper. Early in the morning of April 7, 1994, thousands of Tutsis began arriving at a school on the outskirts of the capital, Kigali, seeking the protection of Belgian soldiers stationed there for the U.N.
President Vladimir Putin's annexation of Crimea is reigniting talk in Russia of taking back Alaska from the United States, which purchased the territory from a czar for $7.2 million nearly a century and a half ago.
Most of the talk is tongue-in-cheek, but it comes at a time of heightened sensitivity in the West over whether Russia is planning further incursions or land grabs.
Originally published on Tue March 25, 2014 2:27 pm
(This post was updated at 11:30 a.m. ET.)
President Obama on Tuesday said that he believed that Russia was "still making a series of calculations" regarding any further moves after its annexation of Crimea, but that there was no expectation of dislodging it by force from the Black Sea peninsula.
"What we can bring to bear are the legal arguments, the diplomatic arguments," he said at a joint news conference with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte following a nuclear security summit in The Hague.
Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 1:12 pm
Ukraine announced the pullout of its troops from Crimea after Russia annexed the Black Sea peninsula and took control of the military bases there. The decision comes as President Obama arrived in the Netherlands on Monday for a summit of the G-7 group of industrialized nations that is certain to focus on discussion of the international crisis.
Ukrainian President Oleksandr Turchynov said Monday that the Defense Ministry has been ordered to redeploy Ukrainian servicemen from the Crimea to Ukraine's mainland, in remarks confirmed by his office.
President Barack Obama expanded economic sanctions against Russia in response to its actions in Ukraine, with further sanctions on top officials of the Russian government.
"In addition, we are today sanctioning a number of other individuals with substantial resources and influence who provide material support to the Russian leadership, as well as a bank that provides material support to these individuals," said Obama in a statement on the south lawn of the White House.
For the second time in recent months, Senator Chris Murphy traveled with other U.S. senators to Kiev to meet with the new political leaders in the embattled country of Ukraine. But the conversation for many has turned from Ukraine, to the U.S. relationship with Russia. What's next for the region and has Ukraine completely lost the Crimea peninsula?
Murphy joins us in-studio to debrief on his trip and discuss the possibility of further U.S. actions against Russia.
Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 6:36 pm
Ukraine's plans to withdraw its troops from Crimea, which as we reported were announced Wednesday, have apparently been complicated by the issue of whether they will be allowed to take their weapons and other equipment with them.
In the past year, Russia has been a decisive player in several events on the international stage — often to the chagrin of the Obama administration. It gave asylum to former NSA contractorEdward Snowden, blocked United Nations efforts to impose sanctions against the Syrian government and sent troops into Ukraine.
Scotland has been part of the United Kingdom for more than 300 years. This fall, that could change. In mid-September, a referendum on independence will determine whether Scotland breaks off from England, Northern Ireland and Wales to become a sovereign nation.
Scotland's largest city, Glasgow, is ground zero in this debate. The East End of this city is poor and run down, with some of the worst health figures in Europe. Men here are expected to live into only their mid-50s, some 30 years less than in wealthy areas.
Originally published on Mon March 17, 2014 3:28 pm
Updated at 3:10 p.m. ET.
Russia has officially recognized Crimea as a sovereign independent state, after President Vladimir Putin signed a decree to that effect late Monday, according to a release from the Kremlin. The decree takes effect immediately, naming "the Republic of Crimea, in which the city of Sevastopol has a special status."
This post will be updated throughout the day Sunday.
Russian news services are claiming overwhelming support in Crimea for the region's plan to secede from Ukraine and unite with Russia, citing exit polls from Sunday's referendum. Russia's state news agency reports that afer 50 percent of the votes had been processed that more than 95 percent of voters said they were in favor of joining Russia.
Originally published on Sun March 16, 2014 11:47 am
Malaysian officials are asking more than a dozen nations to help find the jetliner that went missing last weekend. The search area for the Boeing 777 was widely expanded Saturday; investigators are now looking for potential motives among the plane's crew and passengers to disrupt the flight.
Originally published on Fri March 14, 2014 4:11 pm
This post has been updated.
Update at 12:45 ET: Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry came away from talks Friday in London saying they had not come any closer to an agreement about how to end the crisis in Ukraine.
Lavrov told reporters after the two men met that Russia intends to "respect the choice of the Crimean people" — who will vote Sunday on whether to join the Russian Federation. That was a sign that Russia may indeed move to annex the region if Crimeans indicate that's their wish.
Senior U.S. officials were warned of imminent Russian military action in Crimea about a week before the troop movements that have sparked a major international crisis over Ukraine, the head of the Defense Intelligence Agency tells NPR.
While watching the turmoil in Ukraine unfold, you may feel as though it has little to do with the United States, but the conflict is stirring a contentious debate in Europe over a topic familiar to many Americans: fracking.
Much of the continent depends on Russian natural gas that flows through pipelines in Ukraine. European countries are asking themselves whether to follow the U.S. example and drill for shale gas.
President Barack Obama delivered a statement about Ukraine from the White House on Thursday, condemning the possibility that international law would be violated in Crimea. Earlier in the day, it was announced the European Union suspended talks on some of the agreements with Russia over the Ukraine crisis, and threatened further sanctions.