23 August 2017   Leave a comment

The United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination has issued an “Early Warning and Urgent Action” resolution on the outbreak of violence in Charlottesville, VA, USA on 11-12 August 2017.  The last time the Committee issued such a resolution was in late 2016 on the outbreak of racial violence in Burundi.  It is not the first time the US has been called out over racial violence, but, like all the earlier times, the US will likely ignore the call for action by the international organization.

The US Treasury has added ten new organizations and individuals from China and Russia to the sanctions list for their activities with North Korea.  These new sanctions are unilateral–they are not part of the sanctions that were unanimously approved by the United Nations Security Council.  Both countries have protested the additional sanctions, arguing that they are being subjected to US law outside of the framework of an international organization.  An editorial in the Global Times  states the Chinese position:

“The US resorts to domestic laws to sanction Chinese companies and people, which severely violates international law and cannot be accepted by China. So far the US sanctions have exerted little impact on China, but it breaks the rules and offends China.”

It remains to be seen how the sanctions will affect the Chinese role in defusing the crisis over North Korea’s nuclear program.

New research indicates that up to 60 million Pakistanis are susceptible to very high levels of Arsenic in their water.  The study tested groundwater samples from numerous sites in Pakistan all along the Indus Valley.  The arsenic is a feature of the geology of the region and it leaches into the groundwater affecting the quality of drinking and irrigation water.  Ingesting arsenic at high levels has many short- and long-term health effects which are very difficult to counteract.

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Posted August 23, 2017 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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