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Annan’s Fight for Equality, Human Rights Lives On

Kofi Annan left the United Nations far more committed than it had been to combating poverty, promoting equality and fighting for human rights — and until his death Saturday he was speaking out about the turbulent world he saw moving from nations working together to solve problems, to growing nationalism.

As secretary-general of the United Nations from 1997 to 2006, Annan saw as his greatest achievements the programs and policies he put in place to reduce inequality within and between countries, to combat infectious diseases and to promote human rights and protect civilians from war crimes including genocide.

​Millennium goals

He launched the U.N. Millennium Development Goals at a summit of world leaders in 2000 to cut extreme poverty by half, promote equality for women, ensure every child has a primary school education, reduce maternal and child mortality, and halt the spread of AIDS — all by 2015.

Those goals, only a few of which were fully achieved, were succeeded by an expanded list of U.N. Sustainable Development Goals for 2030 that adds issues such as climate action, affordable and clean energy, and promoting peace and justice. The updated list is a major focus of the U.N.’s current agenda.

As U.N. peacekeeping chief just before becoming secretary-general, Annan shared blame for the failure of U.N. troops he deployed to prevent the genocides in Rwanda in 1994 and in the Bosnian town of Srebrenica in July 1995.

When he became U.N. chief, Annan launched a doctrine of “humanitarian intervention” to prevent governments and leaders from massacring their own people. At a summit in 2005, over objections from some countries, 191 nations endorsed what has become known as the “responsibility to protect” civilians and head off the world’s worst crimes, from ethnic cleansing to genocide. This doctrine is frequently cited, but to the dismay of U.N. officials, not often implemented.

​UN partnerships

Annan also saw as a major achievement the expansion of the U.N.’s work into partnerships with businesses, foundations, universities and civil society.

This led, for example, to the establishment of the Global Compact in 2001 where Annan asked corporate leaders to publicly commit to 10 principles in the areas of human rights, labor, the environment and anti-corruption. More than 9,000 of the world’s leading CEOs have joined the compact, which continues to attract new members, and “corporate responsibility” has become a key feature of the business world.

When Annan handed the reins of the U.N. to Ban Ki-moon, he said he would keep working on African issues, human rights, global warming and governance issues, and speak out from time to time when necessary. He told one farewell party: “You can take the man out of the U.N., but you can’t take the U.N. out of the man.”

Leadership concerns

Through his foundation and as a member and head of The Elders, the group of prominent former leaders founded by Nelson Mandela, Annan kept working — and speaking out.

At an editorial board meeting with The Associated Press in May 2017, he worried aloud about lost jobs and said many people worldwide had lost trust in political and corporate leaders and feared being left behind.

He said it was time for mainstream leaders to explain that innovation and artificial intelligence are taking away jobs and tell those who have lost jobs they are going to be retrained for the new economy that’s coming.

“If we don’t encourage leaders, first of all fresh people, to go into politics and we don’t encourage the leaders to lead, we will create a situation which is normal,” he warned. “When leaders fail to lead, the people lead and make them follow. But you don’t know where they’re going to lead you to, and they might even pull you back.”

He also said U.S. President Donald Trump’s go-it-alone foreign policy is weakening America, and stressed the importance of multilateralism and the perils of growing nationalism.

Only last month, Annan was tweeting about his concerns with the current state of the world, including this July 3 tweet that appeared aimed at the United States.

And on July 30, he tweeted: “Whether our task is fighting #poverty, stemming the spread of #disease or saving innocent lives from mass murder, we have seen that we cannot succeed without the #leadership of the strong and the engagement of all.”

Mentor to others

Annan believed in quiet, behind-the-scenes diplomacy but wasn’t afraid to speak out when he thought necessary. He mentored a generation of U.N. officials including current Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and outgoing U.N. human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad Al-Hussein.

The Jordanian diplomat said in a statement he once told Annan how everyone was criticizing him, and the former U.N. chief responded: “You’re doing the right thing. Let them grumble.”

“In a world now filled with leaders who are anything but that, our loss, the world’s loss, becomes even more painful,” Zeid said.

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Annan’s Fight for Equality, Human Rights Lives On

Kofi Annan left the United Nations far more committed than it had been to combating poverty, promoting equality and fighting for human rights — and until his death Saturday he was speaking out about the turbulent world he saw moving from nations working together to solve problems, to growing nationalism.

As secretary-general of the United Nations from 1997 to 2006, Annan saw as his greatest achievements the programs and policies he put in place to reduce inequality within and between countries, to combat infectious diseases and to promote human rights and protect civilians from war crimes including genocide.

​Millennium goals

He launched the U.N. Millennium Development Goals at a summit of world leaders in 2000 to cut extreme poverty by half, promote equality for women, ensure every child has a primary school education, reduce maternal and child mortality, and halt the spread of AIDS — all by 2015.

Those goals, only a few of which were fully achieved, were succeeded by an expanded list of U.N. Sustainable Development Goals for 2030 that adds issues such as climate action, affordable and clean energy, and promoting peace and justice. The updated list is a major focus of the U.N.’s current agenda.

As U.N. peacekeeping chief just before becoming secretary-general, Annan shared blame for the failure of U.N. troops he deployed to prevent the genocides in Rwanda in 1994 and in the Bosnian town of Srebrenica in July 1995.

When he became U.N. chief, Annan launched a doctrine of “humanitarian intervention” to prevent governments and leaders from massacring their own people. At a summit in 2005, over objections from some countries, 191 nations endorsed what has become known as the “responsibility to protect” civilians and head off the world’s worst crimes, from ethnic cleansing to genocide. This doctrine is frequently cited, but to the dismay of U.N. officials, not often implemented.

​UN partnerships

Annan also saw as a major achievement the expansion of the U.N.’s work into partnerships with businesses, foundations, universities and civil society.

This led, for example, to the establishment of the Global Compact in 2001 where Annan asked corporate leaders to publicly commit to 10 principles in the areas of human rights, labor, the environment and anti-corruption. More than 9,000 of the world’s leading CEOs have joined the compact, which continues to attract new members, and “corporate responsibility” has become a key feature of the business world.

When Annan handed the reins of the U.N. to Ban Ki-moon, he said he would keep working on African issues, human rights, global warming and governance issues, and speak out from time to time when necessary. He told one farewell party: “You can take the man out of the U.N., but you can’t take the U.N. out of the man.”

Leadership concerns

Through his foundation and as a member and head of The Elders, the group of prominent former leaders founded by Nelson Mandela, Annan kept working — and speaking out.

At an editorial board meeting with The Associated Press in May 2017, he worried aloud about lost jobs and said many people worldwide had lost trust in political and corporate leaders and feared being left behind.

He said it was time for mainstream leaders to explain that innovation and artificial intelligence are taking away jobs and tell those who have lost jobs they are going to be retrained for the new economy that’s coming.

“If we don’t encourage leaders, first of all fresh people, to go into politics and we don’t encourage the leaders to lead, we will create a situation which is normal,” he warned. “When leaders fail to lead, the people lead and make them follow. But you don’t know where they’re going to lead you to, and they might even pull you back.”

He also said U.S. President Donald Trump’s go-it-alone foreign policy is weakening America, and stressed the importance of multilateralism and the perils of growing nationalism.

Only last month, Annan was tweeting about his concerns with the current state of the world, including this July 3 tweet that appeared aimed at the United States.

And on July 30, he tweeted: “Whether our task is fighting #poverty, stemming the spread of #disease or saving innocent lives from mass murder, we have seen that we cannot succeed without the #leadership of the strong and the engagement of all.”

Mentor to others

Annan believed in quiet, behind-the-scenes diplomacy but wasn’t afraid to speak out when he thought necessary. He mentored a generation of U.N. officials including current Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and outgoing U.N. human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad Al-Hussein.

The Jordanian diplomat said in a statement he once told Annan how everyone was criticizing him, and the former U.N. chief responded: “You’re doing the right thing. Let them grumble.”

“In a world now filled with leaders who are anything but that, our loss, the world’s loss, becomes even more painful,” Zeid said.

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Judge Blocks Use of Guantanamo Bay Detainees’ Statements to FBI Interrogators

In the U.S. case against five Guantanamo detainees who are accused of aiding in the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, a military judge has ruled that prosecutors may not use statements the detainees made to FBI interrogators after they were removed from a secret CIA prison.

Army Colonel James Pohl, the judge for the proceedings, ruled on Friday that the detainees’ statements, made to FBI “clean teams,” were not to be used in the death penalty trial.

The detainees had been interrogated while being held in a network of secret overseas prisons run by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). After the detainees were transferred to the Guantanamo detention center, an FBI “clean team” — agents who were not privy to the detainees’ previous statements or interrogations — again questioned the detainees.

Defense attorneys had argued that the detainees’ statements to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) could have been tainted by the previous interrogations. As part of their defense, the attorneys had sought to investigate the conditions under which the CIA had interrogated the accused men.

​The five detainees include Khalid Sheik Mohammed, who has been described as the main architect of the Sept. 11 attacks.

Pohl’s ruling prevented the defense from investigating the detainees’ interrogations by the CIA. But, he added, “in order to provide the defense with substantially the same ability to make a defense as would discovery of or access to the specific classified information, the government will not be permitted introduce any FBI Clean Team Statement from any of the accused for any purpose.” 

The ruling is seen as a potential setback to the prosecution, which may now have to rely on documents seized in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and other evidence, rather than the detainees’ statements, according to the McClatchy report.

On Sept. 11, 2001, 19 terrorists hijacked four airplanes, crashing two into the World Trade Center in New York, and one into the Pentagon, located in Virginia, near Washington. A fourth plane crashed into a field in near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, and was believed to be headed toward the White House or the U.S. Capitol. Nearly 3,000 people were killed.

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Judge Blocks Use of Guantanamo Bay Detainees’ Statements to FBI Interrogators

In the U.S. case against five Guantanamo detainees who are accused of aiding in the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, a military judge has ruled that prosecutors may not use statements the detainees made to FBI interrogators after they were removed from a secret CIA prison.

Army Colonel James Pohl, the judge for the proceedings, ruled on Friday that the detainees’ statements, made to FBI “clean teams,” were not to be used in the death penalty trial.

The detainees had been interrogated while being held in a network of secret overseas prisons run by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). After the detainees were transferred to the Guantanamo detention center, an FBI “clean team” — agents who were not privy to the detainees’ previous statements or interrogations — again questioned the detainees.

Defense attorneys had argued that the detainees’ statements to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) could have been tainted by the previous interrogations. As part of their defense, the attorneys had sought to investigate the conditions under which the CIA had interrogated the accused men.

​The five detainees include Khalid Sheik Mohammed, who has been described as the main architect of the Sept. 11 attacks.

Pohl’s ruling prevented the defense from investigating the detainees’ interrogations by the CIA. But, he added, “in order to provide the defense with substantially the same ability to make a defense as would discovery of or access to the specific classified information, the government will not be permitted introduce any FBI Clean Team Statement from any of the accused for any purpose.” 

The ruling is seen as a potential setback to the prosecution, which may now have to rely on documents seized in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and other evidence, rather than the detainees’ statements, according to the McClatchy report.

On Sept. 11, 2001, 19 terrorists hijacked four airplanes, crashing two into the World Trade Center in New York, and one into the Pentagon, located in Virginia, near Washington. A fourth plane crashed into a field in near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, and was believed to be headed toward the White House or the U.S. Capitol. Nearly 3,000 people were killed.

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Report: White House Counsel Is Cooperating With Russia Investigation

The White House’s top lawyer has cooperated extensively with the special counsel investigating Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election, sharing detailed accounts about the episodes at the heart of the inquiry into whether President Donald Trump obstructed justice, the New York Times reported on Saturday.

Citing a dozen current and former White House officials and others briefed on the matter, the newspaper said White House Counsel Donald McGahn had shared information, some of which the investigators would not have known about.

McGahn voluntarily cooperated with Mueller’s team as a regular witness, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters, as the White House asked many staffers to do. He was not subpoenaed nor did he speak to them under any kind of proffer or cooperation agreement.

The person also said he did not believe McGahn provided Mueller with incriminating information about Trump. McGahn provided the facts but nothing he saw or heard amounts to obstruction of justice by Trump, the person told Reuters.

According to the New York Times, McGahn in at least three voluntary interviews with investigators that totaled 30 hours over the past nine months, described Trump’s furor toward the Russia investigation and the ways in which the president urged McGahn to respond to it.

The newspaper reported McGahn’s motivation to speak with the special counsel as an unusual move that was in response to a decision by Trump’s first team of lawyers to cooperate fully.

But it said another motivation was McGahn’s fear he could be placed in legal jeopardy because of decisions made in the White House that could be construed as obstruction of justice.

McGahn, the newspaper said, shared information on Trump’s comments and actions during the firing of the F.B.I. director, James Comey, and the president’s obsession with putting a loyalist in charge of the inquiry, including his repeated urging of Attorney General Jeff Sessions to claim oversight of it.

The newspaper said McGahn was also centrally involved in Trump’s attempts to fire the special counsel, Robert Mueller, which investigators might not have discovered without him.

McGahn cautioned to investigators he never saw Trump go beyond his legal authorities.

A source close to the president told Reuters on Saturday the extent of McGahn’s cooperation was “a tactical or strategic mistake” instigated by Trump’s first legal team and it should not have been allowed to happen because McGahn should have been covered by executive privilege. The person also said Trump is not worried because he does not feel he did anything wrong.

One lawyer familiar with the matter said McGahn could have been subpoenaed to testify to the grand jury if he did not cooperate with Mueller voluntarily and might have lost legal battles if he tried to invoke executive privilege.

William Burck, McGahn’s personal lawyer, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Trump’s former personal lawyer, John Dowd, told Reuters on Saturday he was aware McGahn had spoken extensively with Mueller’s team.

“Lot to cover,” Dowd said in text message. “Did a great job. McGahn was a strong witness for the President according to Burck and debriefs of DM (Donald McGahn). Not aware of any of the alleged apprehensions manufactured by the NYT.”

Dowd said a decision was made by the president’s legal team for McGahn to cooperate with the investigation.

Rudy Giuliani, who joined the president’s outside legal team after Dowd resigned, told Reuters on Saturday that Trump’s lawyers had been in contact with McGahn’s counsel after he was interviewed and possessed “emails that say he provided nothing that was damaging or incriminating to the president.”

Giuliani said McGahn’s cooperation with Mueller was part of a legal strategy. As an officer of the court, he added, McGahn would have had to resign if he thought the president did anything illegal.

Giuliani said he did not believe McGahn was cooperating against the president, noting Trump’s lawyers and McGahn’s have a joint defense agreement that would have otherwise ended.

Former White House lawyer Ty Cobb, who resigned in May after joining the administration last summer to assist the president with the Russia probe, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Peter Carr, a spokesman for Mueller, declined to comment. Trump has repeatedly denounced the investigation into whether his campaign colluded with Moscow as a “witch hunt.”

“The president and Don have a great relationship,” the White House press secretary, Sarah Sanders, said in a statement. “He appreciates all the hard work he’s done, particularly his help and expertise with the judges, and the Supreme Court” nominees.

Others in the White House have described the relationship as strained. 

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Report: White House Counsel Is Cooperating With Russia Investigation

The White House’s top lawyer has cooperated extensively with the special counsel investigating Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election, sharing detailed accounts about the episodes at the heart of the inquiry into whether President Donald Trump obstructed justice, the New York Times reported on Saturday.

Citing a dozen current and former White House officials and others briefed on the matter, the newspaper said White House Counsel Donald McGahn had shared information, some of which the investigators would not have known about.

McGahn voluntarily cooperated with Mueller’s team as a regular witness, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters, as the White House asked many staffers to do. He was not subpoenaed nor did he speak to them under any kind of proffer or cooperation agreement.

The person also said he did not believe McGahn provided Mueller with incriminating information about Trump. McGahn provided the facts but nothing he saw or heard amounts to obstruction of justice by Trump, the person told Reuters.

According to the New York Times, McGahn in at least three voluntary interviews with investigators that totaled 30 hours over the past nine months, described Trump’s furor toward the Russia investigation and the ways in which the president urged McGahn to respond to it.

The newspaper reported McGahn’s motivation to speak with the special counsel as an unusual move that was in response to a decision by Trump’s first team of lawyers to cooperate fully.

But it said another motivation was McGahn’s fear he could be placed in legal jeopardy because of decisions made in the White House that could be construed as obstruction of justice.

McGahn, the newspaper said, shared information on Trump’s comments and actions during the firing of the F.B.I. director, James Comey, and the president’s obsession with putting a loyalist in charge of the inquiry, including his repeated urging of Attorney General Jeff Sessions to claim oversight of it.

The newspaper said McGahn was also centrally involved in Trump’s attempts to fire the special counsel, Robert Mueller, which investigators might not have discovered without him.

McGahn cautioned to investigators he never saw Trump go beyond his legal authorities.

A source close to the president told Reuters on Saturday the extent of McGahn’s cooperation was “a tactical or strategic mistake” instigated by Trump’s first legal team and it should not have been allowed to happen because McGahn should have been covered by executive privilege. The person also said Trump is not worried because he does not feel he did anything wrong.

One lawyer familiar with the matter said McGahn could have been subpoenaed to testify to the grand jury if he did not cooperate with Mueller voluntarily and might have lost legal battles if he tried to invoke executive privilege.

William Burck, McGahn’s personal lawyer, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Trump’s former personal lawyer, John Dowd, told Reuters on Saturday he was aware McGahn had spoken extensively with Mueller’s team.

“Lot to cover,” Dowd said in text message. “Did a great job. McGahn was a strong witness for the President according to Burck and debriefs of DM (Donald McGahn). Not aware of any of the alleged apprehensions manufactured by the NYT.”

Dowd said a decision was made by the president’s legal team for McGahn to cooperate with the investigation.

Rudy Giuliani, who joined the president’s outside legal team after Dowd resigned, told Reuters on Saturday that Trump’s lawyers had been in contact with McGahn’s counsel after he was interviewed and possessed “emails that say he provided nothing that was damaging or incriminating to the president.”

Giuliani said McGahn’s cooperation with Mueller was part of a legal strategy. As an officer of the court, he added, McGahn would have had to resign if he thought the president did anything illegal.

Giuliani said he did not believe McGahn was cooperating against the president, noting Trump’s lawyers and McGahn’s have a joint defense agreement that would have otherwise ended.

Former White House lawyer Ty Cobb, who resigned in May after joining the administration last summer to assist the president with the Russia probe, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Peter Carr, a spokesman for Mueller, declined to comment. Trump has repeatedly denounced the investigation into whether his campaign colluded with Moscow as a “witch hunt.”

“The president and Don have a great relationship,” the White House press secretary, Sarah Sanders, said in a statement. “He appreciates all the hard work he’s done, particularly his help and expertise with the judges, and the Supreme Court” nominees.

Others in the White House have described the relationship as strained. 

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Центр Києва знову підтопило під час грози (відео)

Центр Києва знову підтопило через зливу. Користувачі соцмереж публікують фото і відео наслідків стихії.

Гроза у Києві може тривати до кінця ночі, очікуються шквали 15-18 м/с, сильний дощ, повідомляє Київська міська адміністрація з посиланням на Український гідрометцентр.КМДА закликає зачиняти вікна і триматися подалі від дерев, рекламних щитів та ліній електропередач.

У ніч на 16 серпня сильна злива накрила Київ. У результаті були затоплені вулиці, повалені близько 200 дерев і п’ять опор електропередач.

Build a better website in less than an hour. Start for free at us.

Центр Києва знову підтопило під час грози (відео)

Центр Києва знову підтопило через зливу. Користувачі соцмереж публікують фото і відео наслідків стихії.

Гроза у Києві може тривати до кінця ночі, очікуються шквали 15-18 м/с, сильний дощ, повідомляє Київська міська адміністрація з посиланням на Український гідрометцентр.КМДА закликає зачиняти вікна і триматися подалі від дерев, рекламних щитів та ліній електропередач.

У ніч на 16 серпня сильна злива накрила Київ. У результаті були затоплені вулиці, повалені близько 200 дерев і п’ять опор електропередач.

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