WBEZ | United Nations http://www.wbez.org/tags/united-nations Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Black Youth Project 100 Calls for Reparations, Releases Policy Agenda http://www.wbez.org/news/black-youth-project-100-calls-reparations-releases-policy-agenda-114668 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/14736238518_ea1654827d_z.jpg" alt="" /><p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left;">Two groups have called recently for reparations in response to discrimination against black Americans.</div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left;">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left;">In its <a href="http://agendatobuildblackfutures.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/BYP_AgendaBlackFutures_booklet_web.pdf">policy agenda</a> released Monday, the Chicago-based advocacy group Black Youth Project 100 said dismantling the lingering impacts of white supremacy &ldquo;will require creative solutions that are a mix of financial settlements, implementing policies that eliminate obstacles to wealth for Black people and transforming the popular historical narrative about Black people in America.&rdquo;</div></div></div></div><p>The model is a landmark <a href="http://www.npr.org/2016/01/06/462114331/victims-of-chicago-police-torture-paid-reparations-decades-later">Chicago reparations package</a> for police torture survivors.</p><p>&ldquo;Closing the gender and race gap, protection for queer and trans folks, workers&rsquo; bill of rights, investing in our communities -- all of these things can be put into a reparations framework because we have to look at the root cause of all of these issues and they&rsquo;re all a product of harm that&rsquo;s been done through government and corporations that profited off of black bodies and labor,&rdquo; said Janae Bonsu, national public policy chair for BYP100.</p><p>Last week a United Nations working group on racism against blacks concluded its U.S. visit and offered <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/un-experts-address-black-racial-discrimination-us-114650">preliminary recommendation</a>s, which include urging Congress to study reparations as a way to confront a racist past and policies that still hurt black people.</p><p>BYP100 wants its agenda to be a national &ldquo;lobbying tool or a guideline to empower young black activists and organizers to create actual legislative policy or to campaign to lobby officials,&rdquo; Bonsu said.</p><p>An extension of work around the Black Lives Matter movement, the report offers several recommendations, from raising the minimum wage to addressing predatory lending.&nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;There&rsquo;s a big misconception about this entire movement -- that we&rsquo;re just young black people who are angry and we&rsquo;re just bodies at a rally protesting with signs and we have no real concrete vision of what we want,&rdquo; Bonsu said. &ldquo;That&rsquo;s just simply not true. This [report] is a testament to what we want.&rdquo;</p><p><em><a href="http://www.wbez.org/users/nmoore-0" rel="author">Natalie Moore</a> is WBEZ&rsquo;s South Side Bureau reporter. You can follow her on <a href="http://ttps://twitter.com/natalieymoore">Twitter</a>.</em></p></p> Mon, 01 Feb 2016 17:11:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/black-youth-project-100-calls-reparations-releases-policy-agenda-114668 Diplomatic row between Saudi Arabia and Iran http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2016-01-04/diplomatic-row-between-saudi-arabia-and-iran-114365 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Saudi%20Arabia%202.jpg" title="An Iranian woman holds up a poster showing Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, a prominent opposition Saudi Shiite cleric who was executed last week by Saudi Arabia, in Tehran, Iran, Monday, Jan. 4, 2016. Allies of Saudi Arabia followed the Kingdom's lead and began scaling back diplomatic ties to Iran after the ransacking of Saudi diplomatic missions in the Islamic Republic, violence sparked by the Saudi execution of al-Nimr. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)" /><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/240397350&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p><span style="font-size:24px;"><strong>Saudi Arabia executions</strong></span></p><p>According to Human Rights Watch, Saudi Arabia carried out its largest mass execution in the country since 1980, when it put 47 men to death on January 2<sup>nd</sup>, 2016. Among those executed was Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, a prominent Shia cleric whose death has sparked a diplomatic crisis in the Middle East. We&rsquo;ll take a look at what&rsquo;s behind the rise in executions in Saudi Arabia with Sarah Leah Whitson, executive director of Human Rights Watch&#39;s Middle East and North Africa Division.</p><p><strong>GUEST:</strong>&nbsp;<a href="https://www.hrw.org/about/people/sarah-leah-whitson">Sarah Leah Whitson</a> is executive director of Human Rights Watch&#39;s Middle East and North Africa Division<iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/240398881&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p><span style="font-size:24px;"><strong>Saudi Arabia - Iran diplomatic row</strong></span></p><p>Violent protests in Shi&rsquo;a-dominated Iran over the execution in Saudi Arabia of a Shiite cleric have led to recriminations by the Saudi Kingdom. The Saudis officially severed ties with Iran and ordered Iranian diplomats to leave the country. Despite having a majority Shi&rsquo;a population, the Sunni-ruled country of Bahrain also announced it would cut diplomatic ties with Iran. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) said it would &ldquo;reduce&rdquo; its diplomatic presence in Iran as well. We&rsquo;ll talk about the growing diplomatic row in the Middle East with Joe Kechichian, senior writer for the Dubai-based Gulf News. He&rsquo;s author of numerous books on the Gulf region, including his most recent release, <em>Iffat al Thunayan: An Arabian Queen.</em></p><p><strong>GUEST:</strong>&nbsp;<a href="http://gulfnews.com/opinion/thinkers/joseph-kechichian">Joseph Kechichian</a> is a senior writer for the Dubai-based Gulf News<em><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/240399202&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></em></p><p><span style="font-size:24px;"><strong>What&#39;s ahead for the UN in 2016?</strong></span></p><p>In 2016, the United Nations (UN) is expected to undergo some big changes. It will elect a new Secretary-General and try to implement the Climate Change agreement from Paris, among other things. In a recent article in <em>The Nation</em>, Barbara Crossette writes about some challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for the international body. She joins us to talk about what kinds of changes she believes are needed to &ldquo;rejuvenate&rdquo; the 70 year-old UN, highlighted in her article, &ldquo;In 2016, the UN Will Be Transformed. Will That Be Enough to Bring it Back to Life?&rdquo;</p><p><strong>GUEST:</strong>&nbsp;<a href="http://www.thenation.com/authors/barbara-crossette/">Barbara Crossette</a> is UN correspondent for <em>The Nation</em></p></p> Mon, 04 Jan 2016 09:59:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2016-01-04/diplomatic-row-between-saudi-arabia-and-iran-114365 Scientists See U.N. Climate Accord as a Good Start, but Just a Start http://www.wbez.org/news/scientists-see-un-climate-accord-good-start-just-start-114174 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/scientist-world_custom-bafdc96856408e56e032268b0ed9ae3a39f27d2b-s400-c85.jpg" style="height: 381px; width: 310px; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px; float: left;" title="Climate scientists who scrutinized the U.N. accord are urging citizens to keep a sharp eye on each nation's leaders to make sure they follow through on pledges to reduce emissions. (Simone Golob/Corbis)" />The United Nations climate summit is over, the weary diplomats have gone home, and now the historic&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2015/12/12/459464621/final-draft-of-world-climate-agreement-goes-to-a-vote-in-paris-saturday">deal</a>&nbsp;is being dissected by scientists.</p><p>Climate researchers&#39; dire&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2014/04/13/302541260/climate-change-adjustments-must-be-fast-and-large-u-n-panel-says">warnings</a>&nbsp;about global warming helped spur negotiators to draft this unprecedented international agreement, which commits both rich and poor countries to rein in greenhouse gas emissions in the coming decades.</p><p>Some scientists now say they feel relief that the world is finally taking climate change seriously.</p><p>&quot;The accord signals that the world really gets it,&quot; says<a href="http://www.mbl.edu/ecosystems/melillo/">Jerry Melillo</a>, who studies the impact of climate change with the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Mass. &quot;The world understands that climate change is a serious issue and, if left unchecked will have catastrophic consequences for society.&quot;</p><p>Melillo was particularly struck by the debate over whether to aim for a cap of 2 degrees Celsius in the average increase in global temperature, or to try to keep global warming lower &mdash; below 1.5 degrees Celsius. &quot;This says to me that the world understands that we have to do as much as possible, as soon as possible,&quot; he says.</p><p>But not everyone was so impressed by that debate over temperature targets.</p><p>&quot;There was a tremendous amount of discussion about [whether to have] a target of 1.5 degrees as opposed to 2 degrees,&#39;&quot; says&nbsp;<a href="http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/staff/trenbert/">Kevin Trenberth</a>, a climate scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo. &quot;Without saying how you&#39;re going to achieve things, I think we will actually blow right through both of those things.&quot;</p><p>Trenberth suspects warming will exceed 2 degrees Celsius probably around 2060. &quot;And so the discussion actually becomes somewhat irrelevant,&quot; he says.</p><p>&quot;There are a lot of commitments, there are goals,&quot; Trenberth continues. &quot;But the things which are not addressed are how to achieve those goals. There is no mention of a carbon tax, there&#39;s no mention of any penalties if countries don&#39;t come through.&quot;</p><p><a href="https://www.princeton.edu/step/people/faculty/michael-oppenheimer/">Michael Oppenheimer</a>, an expert on climate change impacts at Princeton University, says this deal has the promise of moving the world forward, but that governments need to be watched.</p><p>&quot;There are no enforcement and compliance provisions in this agreement which would cause a government to quake at the fear of not meeting the commitments they made,&quot; Oppenheimer says. &quot;And furthermore, the so-called transparency provisions, which allow different governments to understand what other governments have done, are not yet themselves worked out enough so we can be sure we&#39;ll be able to see what road we&#39;re actually going down.&quot;</p><p>Now that the international deal is done, he says, whether it makes a difference will depend on thousands of decisions made in individual countries and inside corporations.</p><p>&quot;Even more important than the transparency provisions is that people who are concerned about climate change &mdash; leaders and average citizens in each country &mdash; focus like a laser beam on what their country is doing,&quot; says Oppenheimer.</p><p><a href="http://globalecology.stanford.edu/labs/caldeiralab/">Ken Caldeira</a>, at the Carnegie Institution for Science in Stanford, Calif., says the deal has great aspirations. But he thinks the real test will come five years from now, when countries have to report back on what they&#39;ve achieved and ramp up their ambitions.</p><p>&quot;If countries really do what they say they&#39;re going to do, it could make a real difference,&quot; Caldeira says. &quot;However, we have the experience of the Kyoto protocol, some 20-odd years ago, where countries promised to do a lot; and it was great words but nothing got done. I&#39;m a little cynical that countries will really do what they said they were going to do.&quot;</p><p>Still, he says, this is a landmark agreement. And others point out there&#39;s just no way one meeting could solve the entire climate problem.</p><p>&quot;I don&#39;t think it&#39;s fair to look at Paris and say, &#39;You should have done everything today,&#39; &quot; says&nbsp;<a href="http://www.geosc.psu.edu/academic-faculty/alley-richard">Richard Alley</a>, a geoscientist at Pennsylvania State University. &quot;And so the question is: Are we moving in the right direction? Is this a step on the journey that more steps can be taken and will get us there? And I think that it&nbsp;is&nbsp;that.&quot;</p><p>&quot;We now have a plan for moving forward, which I can tell you for sure is better than no plan at all,&quot; agrees&nbsp;<a href="http://campusdirectory.ucsc.edu/detail.php?type=people&amp;uid=kkroeker">Kristy Kroeker</a>, at the University of California, Santa Cruz, who studies the effect of climate change on the oceans.</p><p>&quot;Based on the science, I would say that we still have substantial risks ahead for large-scale impacts to our oceans,&quot; Kroeker adds. &quot;I think there is considerable work to be done to actually meet some of the targets. But I would say I am really tentatively hopeful that we&#39;re at a turning point for our planet.&quot;</p><p>&mdash;<a href="http://www.npr.org/2015/12/15/459693015/scientists-see-u-n-climate-accord-as-a-good-start-but-just-a-start?ft=nprml&amp;f=459693015" target="_blank"><em> via NPR</em></a></p></p> Tue, 15 Dec 2015 15:31:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/scientists-see-un-climate-accord-good-start-just-start-114174 They Haven't Spoken To Family In Years. Now They Get A 3-Minute Call http://www.wbez.org/news/they-havent-spoken-family-years-now-they-get-3-minute-call-114116 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/refugees-dyptich2_custom-aa163bfa770e065db5628d1801275a39b389a5ad-s800-c85.jpg" alt="" /><p><div id="res458018057" previewtitle="Calling relatives they hadn't spoken to since 2013: from left to right, Chol Lul Walou, approximately 60, called her daughter and son-in-law; Simon Lam Yiek, 33, called his brother; Nyanchan Maluol Mot, 19, called her sister."><div data-crop-type=""><img alt="Calling relatives they hadn't spoken to since 2013: from left to right, Chol Lul Walou, approximately 60, called her daughter and son-in-law; Simon Lam Yiek, 33, called his brother; Nyanchan Maluol Mot, 19, called her sister." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/12/01/refugees-tryptich3_custom-3565400a79cfa30f22411514c92b524f5755828b-s800-c85.jpg" style="height: 323px; width: 620px;" title="Calling relatives they hadn't spoken to since 2013: from left to right, Chol Lul Walou, approximately 60, called her daughter and son-in-law; Simon Lam Yiek, 33, called his brother; Nyanchan Maluol Mot, 19, called her sister. (Giles Duley/Courtesy of ICRC)" /></div><div><div><p>What would you say to someone you hadn&#39;t spoken to in years, if you only had three minutes to talk?</p></div></div></div><p>Chan Majok, 32, lost track of her eldest brother two years ago when the civil war erupted in South Sudan. Since then she&#39;s been unable to talk to him, in part because the government has cut off cellphone service to the northern oil-rich region of Unity State, where forces opposed to the government control territory. Her 12-year-old daughter is living with this brother, and she doesn&#39;t even know if her child is alive or dead.</p><p>Then one day she recognized her brother&#39;s face in a booklet of faces, published by the Red Cross to help family members reconnect.</p><p>And now she has her chance. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is offering a three-minute phone call to South Sudanese who were displaced during the past two years by civil conflict.</p><div id="res458018376" previewtitle="Yen Gai Nai, 40, was calling her brother: &quot;I just wanted to know he's okay.&quot; Nyabuai Gai Rial, 19, tried to call her uncle."><div data-crop-type=""><img alt="Yen Gai Nai, 40, was calling her brother: &quot;I just wanted to know he's okay.&quot; Nyabuai Gai Rial, 19, tried to call her uncle." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/12/01/refugees-dyptich2_custom-aa163bfa770e065db5628d1801275a39b389a5ad-s800-c85.jpg" style="height: 463px; width: 620px;" title="Yen Gai Nai, 40, was calling her brother: &quot;I just wanted to know he's okay.&quot; Nyabuai Gai Rial, 19, tried to call her uncle. (Giles Duley/Courtesy of ICRC)" /></div><div><div><p>The offer is part of a larger Red Cross effort to help connect &mdash; and even reunite &mdash; families divided during the conflict. So far, the Red Cross says it has reunited 700 families, hand-delivered 7,700 messages from separated family members and initiated 112,000 free phone calls.</p></div></div></div><p>It took a month for the ICRC to arrange Majok&#39;s call to a satellite phone. She is in a Red Cross tent in a U.N. displaced person&#39;s camp in Juba, the capital city. Somewhere in Unity State, under a tent much like this one, her brother is waiting to hear from her.</p><p>She gets a recording when she first attempts a phone call.</p><p>On her second try, she gets him. But only for a moment. It&#39;s a bad connection.</p><p>Like millions of South Sudanese, Majok doesn&#39;t feel safe enough to go home. Sporadic fighting continues even though political rivals President Salva Kiir and his ex-deputy, Riek Machar, have signed a peace deal.</p><div id="res458018625" previewtitle="Nyakureht Banang Tier, 40, was calling his son, who was in Juba when the civil war started: &quot;I just wanted to tell him we are okay.&quot;"><div data-crop-type=""><img alt="Nyakureht Banang Tier, 40, was calling his son, who was in Juba when the civil war started: &quot;I just wanted to tell him we are okay.&quot;" src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/12/01/southsudanphoneportraits-15_custom-c36154a7f0b1ac094de252f2bf2b9004fb55317d-s400-c85.jpg" style="height: 412px; width: 310px; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px; float: right;" title="Nyakureht Banang Tier, 40, was calling his son, who was in Juba when the civil war started: &quot;I just wanted to tell him we are okay.&quot;" /></div><div><div><p>The phone call comes with a catch. Only &quot;family matters&quot; are an approved topic of conversation. A second earpiece is given to a Red Cross volunteer to make sure politics isn&#39;t discussed. ICRC field officer Nour Basonugo Husstein explains the terms: Saying your relatives were slaughtered? That&#39;s allowed. Saying your relatives were killed by government forces or their allied militias? That will have volunteers scrambling for the hang-up button.</p></div></div></div><p>Today, under the tent, there seems to be no time to talk of politics. Peter Teak Mok Boar reaches his wife in the village of Ayut only to hear a litany of bad news. She and their children are desperate for basics: clothes, schools fees and electricity. The conflict has disrupted planting cycles. And government soldiers and allied militias have even stolen people&#39;s goats and cows.</p><p>Boar had a good job as an oil company driver in the capital before the conflict began and was sending money back home. Now, hearing of his wife&#39;s situation, he&#39;s too upset to pay attention to the Red Cross volunteer frantically pointing to his watch. Boar&#39;s three minutes end mid-sentence.</p><p>Sometimes a program meant to close the distance between families can seem to increase it. Nyakueth Kuong scheduled a call with her husband, whom she hasn&#39;t spoken with since she fled to this camp in February. On the other end, the satellite phone rang and rang. No one could explain why the call went unanswered.</p><p>The time limit is so everyone can get their turn. Chan Majok returns to make one last attempt to get news of her eldest daughter. This time, through static, she is able to hear her brother say that her daughter is fine, that the family&#39;s fine.</p><p>Majok beams, one hand covering her splayed teeth. She even manages to slip in her &quot;bye&quot; just microseconds before the cutoff.</p><p><a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2015/12/01/457873595/red-cross-offers-free-calls-home-to-south-sudanese-refugees?ft=nprml&amp;f=457873595" target="_blank"><em>&mdash; via NPR</em></a></p></p> Tue, 08 Dec 2015 18:13:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/they-havent-spoken-family-years-now-they-get-3-minute-call-114116 10 Things To Know About The U.N. Climate Talks In Paris http://www.wbez.org/news/10-things-know-about-un-climate-talks-paris-113991 <p><div id="storytext"><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/gettyimages-499077148-fa5d820545269662f8c421d6e15611ca5dc1ca99-s1200.jpg" style="height: 465px; width: 620px;" title="A piece of ice floats in Los Glaciares National Park in Santa Cruz Province, Argentina. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)" /></div><p>Leaders from around the world will converge on Paris beginning Nov. 30 for the 2015 U.N. Climate Change Conference.&nbsp;</p><p>The two-week event is designed to allow countries the chance to come to an agreement on stifling climate change.</p><p>Below are 10 questions and answers that should better prepare you for the conference and what to expect during and after its completion.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>1. What&#39;s at stake and why should I care?</strong></p><p>It&#39;s no exaggeration to say that what happens in Paris will affect the future of the planet. Greenhouse gas emissions keep going&nbsp;<a href="http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg3/en/spmsspm-b.html">up</a>, and scientists say that continuing with business as usual will produce rapid and devastating warming. This won&#39;t just be bad news for polar bears and beachfront homeowners. Unchecked warming means that dependable food and water supplies could be disrupted, dangerous pathogens could spread to new areas, and rising seas could remake maps. What&#39;s more, extreme weather, plus worse droughts and more fierce wildfires, could become increasingly common. Security experts even&nbsp;<a href="http://www.state.gov/secretary/remarks/2015/11/249393.htm">worry&nbsp;</a>that scarce and shifting resources could lead to violence.</p><p><strong>2. What needs to happen to stop climate change?</strong></p><p>Many nations want a Paris agreement that will signal a long-term goal of net ZERO emissions in the second half of this century. That doesn&#39;t mean actually producing zero greenhouse gas emissions. But it does mean producing no more than the planet can absorb without raising temperatures. Doing this would mean a dramatic transformation of the world&#39;s entire energy system, turning away from fossil fuels to other options like wind, solar, and nuclear power. The task is absolutely staggering&mdash;but scientists say it&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2014/04/13/302541260/climate-change-adjustments-must-be-fast-and-large-u-n-panel-says">can</a>&nbsp;be done, if the political will is there.</p><p><strong>3. Well, is there really the political will to do all this?</strong></p><p>UN watchers say the stars are aligned like never before. Before the summit, all countries&mdash;rich and poor&mdash;were asked to come forward with their own voluntary pledges for how they would aid the global fight against climate change. Over 150 countries have&nbsp;<a href="http://www4.unfccc.int/submissions/indc/Submission%20Pages/submissions.aspx">submitted</a>&nbsp;national plans to the UN, and that in and of itself is a huge deal. Some nations say how they&#39;ll cut emissions, while others pledge to do things like preserve forest cover or use more clean energy. Independent&nbsp;<a href="http://climateactiontracker.org/">experts&nbsp;</a>have calculated that if the world is currently on track for warming of about 4.5 degrees Celsius, these pledges would reduce that to about 2.7 to 3.7 degrees&mdash;which is real progress, before the Paris summit even starts.</p><p><strong>4. What does the Paris agreement really need to have in it?</strong></p><p>The goal of Paris is to produce a short, simple&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/2015/06/01/410425716/editing-the-climate-talkers-punctuations-effect-on-earths-fate">agreement</a>&nbsp;&ndash; maybe a dozen pages &ndash;that will satisfy nearly 200 nations. Here&#39;s what some observers think are key elements for a credible, ambitious plan forward:</p><blockquote><ul><li>Countries need to agree to come back every few years to increase their pledges and keep doing more and more to reduce greenhouse gas emissions</li><li>The UN must have a rigorous system of accountability and transparency to make sure nations will actually keep their promises</li><li>The poorest countries of the world need support to both adapt to a warming world and to adopt new, low-carbon energy technologies</li></ul></blockquote><p><strong>5. There&#39;s talk of a 2 degree Celsius warming limit. Will this agreement hit that target?</strong></p><p>That&nbsp;<a href="http://unfccc.int/meetings/cancun_nov_2010/meeting/6266.php">target</a>&nbsp;comes from an international consensus 5 years ago, when nations agreed to limit warming to just about 2 degrees Celsius (about 3.5 degrees Fahrenheit) over pre-industrial times. The thinking was that this would avert the worst effects of climate change. But no one thinks Paris will get the world that far.Instead, the aim of Paris is to come up with an agreement that requires countries to make increasingly ambitious efforts to combat global warming over time, to put the world on track to meet that target in the future.</p><p><strong>6. Rich and poor countries are all part of this thing, but will rich countries have to do more?</strong></p><p>There&#39;s a lot of tension between the developed world and the developing world when it comes to climate change. Some developing countries such as&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/2015/10/02/445216719/india-makes-a-climate-pledge-but-insists-it-has-a-right-to-grow">India</a>&nbsp;say they&#39;re in no position to commit to an absolute reduction in greenhouse gasses when they&#39;re trying to bring economic advancement to millions of people who currently live in poverty. They need a supply of energy, and lots of it. What&#39;s more, poorer nations want financial compensation if they&#39;re going to agree to do things like preserve rainforests that will suck up carbon dioxide. They note that developed nations chopped down their own trees long ago and have burned enormous amounts of fossil fuels, but now they&#39;re being told they can&#39;t do the same&mdash;so they think the developed world should pay up. So-called &quot;financing&quot; issues will be a major hurdle that negotiators will have to clear in Paris.</p><p><strong>7. How is the UN trying to make this deal happen?</strong></p><p>Basically, for two weeks, they&#39;re going to&nbsp;sequester a bunch of diplomats in a conference center outside of Paris. There&#39;s been years of preparation leading up to this conference, and organizers expect tens of thousands of people to gather. Besides the delegates and diplomats there to do the actual wrangling, tons of businesses, activist organizations, and scientists will be there as well. While some outside events may be curtailed because of the recent terror attacks, the negotiations should go on as scheduled.</p><p><strong>8. But hey, hasn&#39;t the UN been trying to rein in greenhouse gas emissions for two decades?</strong></p><p>It&#39;s certainly true that past efforts have had serious shortcomings. Top emitters like the United States refused to join the landmark 1997 Kyoto Protocol, and it didn&#39;t include any developing countries, like China. Then the 2009 Copenhagen summit ended in a shambles, with a weak agreement thrown together at the last minute by politicians who didn&#39;t want to leave the talks with nothing. But things are different this time. The fact that almost all countries have submitted voluntary pledges shows that governments feel pressure to participate. Both the United States and China have taken a leadership role. And major public figures like&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2015/06/18/415429852/pope-francis-climate-change-a-principal-challenge-for-humanity">Pope Francis</a>&nbsp;have been urging action, saying there&#39;s a moral duty.</p><p><strong>9. What are the big fights going on in the negotiations?</strong></p><p>Besides arguing over how much rich nations should pay the poor, there&#39;s some nations that simply are not excited about a zero carbon future. Oil and gas producing countries, for example, aren&#39;t so keen to leave their valuable assets in the ground. Another hot-button issue is &quot;loss and damage.&quot; That&#39;s the idea that there should be some mechanism to compensate the citizens of places that simply cannot adapt to climate change&ndash;for example, small island states that could disappear under rising seas.</p><p><strong>10. What if Paris ends with a whimper?</strong></p><p>Scientists say that delaying action is just going to make changes harder and more expensive in the future, and that really the world should have started this transformation decades ago. If reliance on fossil fuels continues and produces unrestrained climate change, experts predict dramatic shifts in our familiar maps and weather patterns. Computer simulations show that New York would have the climate of Miami and melting ice would flood major cities around the world. Poor countries would be the hardest hit by a changing world, as they have the fewest resources to adapt.</p></div><div>&mdash;<a href="http://www.npr.org/2015/11/30/457364450/10-things-to-know-about-the-u-n-climate-talks-in-paris?ft=nprml&amp;f=457364450" target="_blank"><em> via NPR</em></a></div></p> Mon, 30 Nov 2015 13:41:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/10-things-know-about-un-climate-talks-paris-113991 Iran starts to dismantle its nuclear infrastructure as part of agreement with West http://www.wbez.org/programs/world/2015-10-20/iran-starts-dismantle-its-nuclear-infrastructure-part-agreement-west <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/A%20worker%20works%20at%20the%20fuel%20manufacturing%20plant%20at%20the%20Isfahan%20Uranium%20Conversion%20Facility%20273%20miles%20south%20of%20Tehran%20April%209%2C%202009..jpg" style="height: 349px; width: 620px;" title="A worker works at the fuel manufacturing plant at the Isfahan Uranium Conversion Facility 273 miles south of Tehran April 9, 2009. (Caren Firouz/Reuters)" /></div><p>Sunday marked 90 days since the United Nations Security Council endorsed the historic agreement between Iran and the US, Britain, France, Germany,&nbsp;Russia and China.</p><p>It was &ldquo;Adoption Day&rdquo; &mdash; the day when Iran was scheduled to dramatically scale back its nuclear program. Iran now has to dismantle around 15,000 centrifuges, surrender or dilute much of its enriched nuclear fuel stocks and turn one of its nuclear plants into a research center.</p><p>President Barack&nbsp;Obama acknowledged the day in a memo to the secretaries of state, treasury, commerce and energy.</p><p>&ldquo;Today marks an important milestone toward preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon and ensuring its nuclear program is exclusively peaceful going forward,&rdquo; he said.&nbsp;&ldquo;I hereby direct you to take all necessary steps to give effect to the US commitments with respect to the sanctions described in [the Iran deal].&rdquo;</p><p><a href="http://belfercenter.ksg.harvard.edu/experts/563/gary_samore.html" target="_blank">Gary Samore</a>,&nbsp;executive director for research at Harvard University&rsquo;s Belfer Center, says the length of the process&nbsp;depends on what Iran wants to do in the future.&nbsp;Samore says the deal allows Iran to retain all of its existing centrifuges but they have to be removed, dismantled and stored under inspections of the International Atomic Energy Agency&rsquo;s supervision.</p><p>&ldquo;If Iran wants to preserve the ability to reinstall the centrifuges if the agreement breaks down at some point in the future, they&rsquo;ll need to be very careful about how they remove them and disassemble them,&rdquo; he says. If it wants to race towards easing of sanctions, &ldquo;they can do a quick and dirty job and that will save them a lot of time.&rdquo;</p><p>The US and other Western powers have promised Iran sanctions relief once the dismantling has been completed.</p><p>But just like Iran has the ability to reinstall the centrifuges if the deal fails, the US and other Western powers have the capability to re-impose the sanctions.</p><p>Besides the centrifuges, Iran has to deal with its enriched uranium.</p><p>&ldquo;One option is to dilute it so that it&rsquo;s returned to natural uranium, or they can ship the bulk of it out, most likely to Russia,&rdquo; says Samore.</p><p>It&rsquo;s not yet clear which path Iran will take, but Samore thinks it will be a fairly straightforward&nbsp;process and it should not take long.</p><p>Because most of Iran&rsquo;s centrifuges have never been used, they aren&#39;t contaminated with low-enriched uranium. That means no significant safety or environmental concerns.</p><p>Samore sees this as a moment of success for setting back Iran&rsquo;s nuclear program, although he cautions that the West needs to continue monitoring the situation very closely.</p><p>&ldquo;The big question will be whether the agreement can survive in the long term,&rdquo; he says.</p><p>&mdash; <a href="http://www.pri.org/stories/2015-10-19/iran-starts-dismantle-its-nuclear-infrastructure-part-agreement-west" target="_blank"><em>via PRI&#39;s The World</em></a></p></p> Mon, 19 Oct 2015 09:34:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/world/2015-10-20/iran-starts-dismantle-its-nuclear-infrastructure-part-agreement-west Facebook plans to bring internet to regugees http://www.wbez.org/programs/here-and-now/2015-09-29/facebook-plans-bring-internet-regugees-113109 <p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Chinese%20President%20Xi%20Jinping%20%20talks%20with%20Facebook%20Chief%20Executive%20Mark%20Zuckerberg.jpg" style="height: 439px; width: 600px;" title="Chinese President Xi Jinping, left, talks with Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg, right, during a gathering of CEOs and other executives at Microsoft’s main campus September 23, 2015 in Redmond, Washington. (Ted S. Warren/Getty Images)" /></div><div><p>Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg promised Saturday that his company will help bring Internet access to refugee camps around the world. Speaking with public and private leaders at the 70th United Nations General Assembly in New York, Zuckerberg promoted the Internet as a &ldquo;force for peace.&rdquo;</p><p>As millions have been displaced by violence in Syria and other countries, the announcement comes as welcome news to many, but not without criticism. Free Basics, formerly known as Internet.org, is the name of Facebook&rsquo;s global effort to connect those without connections, and it is the target of backlash that claims the program is less about philanthropy and more about gaining users.</p><p><em>Here &amp; Now&rsquo;s</em> Jeremy Hobson speaks with&nbsp;Kurt Wagner&nbsp;of <em>Re/code </em>about the effort and its intentions.</p><p>&mdash; <a href="http://hereandnow.wbur.org/2015/09/29/facebook-internet-refugees" target="_blank"><em>via Here &amp; Now</em></a></p></div><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Tue, 29 Sep 2015 14:50:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/here-and-now/2015-09-29/facebook-plans-bring-internet-regugees-113109 Obama and UN discuss goals for aiding Syrian migrants http://www.wbez.org/news/obama-and-un-discuss-goals-aiding-syrian-migrants-113094 <p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/U.S.%20President%20Barack%20Obama%20delivers%20remarks%20at%20the%20United%20Nations%20Sustainable%20Development%20Summit.jpg" style="height: 399px; width: 600px;" title="U.S. President Barack Obama delivers remarks at the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit September 27, 2015 at United Nations headquarters in New York City. (Peter Foley/Getty Images)" /></div><div>President Barack Obama told the UN Sustainable Development Summit Sunday that the U.S. would continue to lead the world in humanitarian aid, but activists say the U.S. is not doing enough when it comes to aiding Syrian migrants fleeing a civil war. Syria now requires food for 4.1 million people from the UN World Food Programme.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that Russia will aid Syria, but U.S. officials question his intentions. Obama and Putin will meet today at the UN to discuss options to avoid conflict. U.S. correspondent Michele Kelemen reports from the UN.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&mdash; <a href="http://hereandnow.wbur.org/2015/09/28/obama-un-syrian-migrants" target="_blank"><em>via Here &amp; Now</em></a></div></p> Mon, 28 Sep 2015 15:43:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/obama-and-un-discuss-goals-aiding-syrian-migrants-113094 Will the next leader of the UN be a woman? http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2015-08-26/will-next-leader-un-be-woman-112736 <p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/221023835&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span style="font-size: 22px; background-color: rgb(255, 244, 244);">New campaign targets a female UN Secretary General</span></p><div style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><p>UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon&rsquo;s term as UN Secretary General will end in December 2016. He&rsquo;s said he will not serve another term. The process for selecting the secretary general has generally been done behind closed doors. There are lots of calls to reform the way the position gets filled. Along with calls to change the process, there&rsquo;s been mounting pressure to make the next head of the UN a woman. Many UN observers say it&rsquo;s unclear whether a woman has ever even seriously been considered for the job. Jean Krasno is chair of the &ldquo; Campaign to Elect a Woman UN Secretary-General.&rdquo; She&rsquo;s been a vocal advocate of having a woman lead the UN. Krasno joins us to discuss her campaign and the reason she believes it&rsquo;s time for a woman to have a leadership role at the UN.</p><p><strong>Guest:</strong>&nbsp;<em><span id="docs-internal-guid-6a62d090-6ba5-d653-1492-a9a518088ebe">Jean Krasno is a lecturer at Yale University and a tenured lecturer at the City College of New York. She is also </span>chair of the &ldquo; Campaign to Elect a Woman UN Secretary-General.&rdquo;</em></p><div>&nbsp;</div></div><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/221024932&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span style="font-size: 22px; background-color: rgb(255, 244, 244);">Venezuela&#39;s crisis continues</span></p><div style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><p>Venezuela is facing a serious economic crisis. There are long lines for basic foodstuffs and with oil prices expected to stay low there is no recovery in site for the resource rich country. The government has declared a &ldquo;state of exception&rdquo; that suspends human rights guarantees. Nicolas Maduro&rsquo;s socialist party government wants to maintain its dominance in the National Assembly with elections scheduled for December 6th. They&rsquo;ve disqualified opposition candidates. We&rsquo;ll discuss their strategy to maintain power and the country&rsquo;s ongoing economic problems with Javier Corrales, a professor of political science at Amherst College and co-author of the book Dragon in the Tropics: Hugo Chavez and the political economy of revolution in Venezuela.</p><p><strong>Guest:&nbsp;</strong><em><span id="docs-internal-guid-6a62d090-6ba9-c95c-afb1-9ffa8e49c1a0">Javier Corrales is a professor of political science at Amherst College and co-author fo the book </span>Dragon in the Tropics: Hugo Chavez and the political economy of revolution in Venezuela.</em></p><div>&nbsp;</div></div><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/221026385&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span style="font-size: 22px; background-color: rgb(255, 244, 244);">Global Notes: Modern indigenous and aboriginal music</span></p><div style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><p>On this week&rsquo;s Global Notes, music journalist and host of Beat Latino, Catalina Maria Johnson, will play some us some of her favorite tunes from indigenous and aboriginal artists around the globe- ranging from everything from Inuit throat singing to First Nation Canadian hip-hop.</p><p><strong>Guest:&nbsp;</strong><em><span id="docs-internal-guid-6a62d090-6baf-f403-a2f2-fdd84f4fa32a">Catalina Maria Johnson is a music journalist and the host of Beat Latino on Vocalo. </span></em></p><div>&nbsp;</div></div><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Wed, 26 Aug 2015 14:56:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2015-08-26/will-next-leader-un-be-woman-112736 Attack on synagogue in Jerusalem http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2014-11-18/attack-synagogue-jerusalem-111117 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/AP429120846110.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Three Israeli-Americans and one British Israeli rabbi were killed in an attack on a synagogue in West Jerusalem. The BBC&#39;s Kevin Connolly reports from Jerusalem.</p><div class="storify"><iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="no" height="750" src="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-27/embed?header=false&amp;border=false" width="100%"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-27.js?header=false&border=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-27" target="_blank">View the story "Worldview: Attack on synagogue in Jerusalem" on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Tue, 18 Nov 2014 11:22:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2014-11-18/attack-synagogue-jerusalem-111117