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On Bed Bugs in UN, Focus Expands to New North Lawn, DC-2 & UN Credit Union

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, October 28, updated -- The UN's incremental spin of its bed bug problem grew wider and more surreal on Thursday.

  Inner City Press, which was the first to break the story of UN bed bugs, in a 46th Street building in September 2009 and May 2010 and on October 25 in the Capital Master Plan office in the UN headquarters, now asked UN spokesman Martin Nesirky to make full disclosure of all UN locations in which bed bugs have been found.

  Nesirky began listing further locations, the 1st, 2nd, 15th 19th and 20th floors of UN Headquarters and some outside of UN Headquarters, including the 11th and 25th floors of the UN DC-2 building across First Avenue, four floors of the UN Federal Credit Union building in Queens and, as Inner City Press had predicted and then reported, under the UN's new North Lawn building.

  But when Pressed, Nesirky said that these were locations which had been tested by bed bug testing dogs. This seemed incorrect, as least as to UN Headquarters.

  On October 27, Inner City Press directly reached and asked Andrew Nye of the UN Facilities Management Service, who said that bed bugs had been found in Headquarters on the the 1st, 2nd and 15th floors, beyond those admitted to that time by Nesirky.

So Inner City Press asked Nesirky to confirm that bed bugs had been found in the locations he'd listed -- if it were only testing, why test only the 1st and 3rd floors of the UN Library building, and not the 2nd floor where the Press is? 

Update: on the afternoon of October 28, the request was made.

UN Ban & NYC UN Commissioner Tiven in North Lawn, bugs not shown

  Nesirky replied that tests are made “on request,” and then depending on resources.

But some of the Headquarters locations he listed are empty, the staff already removed. Who then made the request? Inner City Press asked if the UN would be making full disclosure of its findings. Even to this, the answer wasn't clear. Watch this site.

Some of Inner City Press' previous reports:

At UN, Bed Bugs But No Medical Service in the Swing Space, Skanska's Closed Bid Openings

At UN, Bed Bug Infestation Confirmed, Spread to General Assembly by Documents Possible

As UN's Bed Bugs Spread, Incoming Diplomats Warned of Itching, No Answers, Talk of Gaddifi's Tent

UN Confirms "Extensive" Bed Bugs, Claims Missed Them in Due Diligence, GA Next?

   Watch this site.
* * *

At UN, Bed Bug Finds Are More Extensive, From 1st, 2nd & 15th floors to 2d Basement

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive

UNITED NATIONS, October 27 -- The UN's bed bug problem is more extensive than thus far admitted by the UN Spokesperson's Office, Inner City Press learned late Wednesday afternoon.

  Acting on a second tip from well place UN staff, Inner City Press asked Andrew Nye of the UN's Facility Management Service to confirm that bed bugs were found not only in the Capital Master Plan office (exclusively reported by Inner City Press on October 25) and furniture from the 19th and 20th floors, but also in the Office of Information and Communications Technology facility in the basement.

   Mr. Nye immediately acknowledged that bed bugs were found in the OICT “second basement level.” Since this went beyond Spokesperson Martin Nesirky's incremental admissions of October 26 and 27, Inner City Press asked Nye if there had in fact been other finds, contrary to Nesirky's earlier statement that beyond the CMP, there were no other bed bug incidents to report. Video here.

Mr. Nye then said that bed bugs had been found in the “first, second and fifteen floors,” and that the UN will be meeting with the vice president of its anti bed bug contractor on October 28 to reconsider its strategy in light of the expanding problem.

UN's Ban hear from Mr. Nye, left, bed bugs not shown or disclosed

Earlier, after Nesirky had said there were no more bed bug incidents to report, Inner City Press asked him about the OICT find. It is unclear why Nesirky was given at the October 27 noon briefing a two paragraph statement acknowledging only the CMP and 19 - 20th floor find, but not the OICT or first, second and 15th floor finds which were already known.

What else has yet to be disclosed? Watch this site.

* * *

At UN on Bed Bugs, Spin Supersedes Solutions, After 1 Year, North Lawn Next?

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, October 27 -- With bed bugs having been found and then confirmed in the UN's Capital Master Plan office in its headquarters building on 42nd Street, as first reported by Inner City Press on October 25, two days later the UN issued a statement trying to minimize the problem.

  Spin, it seems, takes precedence at the UN over solutions.

After Inner City Press' exclusive October 25 report, at the October 26 UN noon briefing it asked UN spokesman Martin Nesirky what the UN was doing. Later that afternoon Nesirky's office read a short statement over the UN's “squawk box” system.

  Inner City Press request to be e-mailed a copy of Nesirky's responses to its questions itself went unresponded to.

On October 27, Inner City Press asked Nesirky what had happened after the UN found bed bugs in its 46th Street Albano Building in September 2009, another outbreak exclusively reported by Inner City Press.

  Nesirky first said that had been “clover mites,” then acknowledged that characterization applied to a test done in May 2010, not the September 2009 incident Inner City Press was asking about. See list of previous Inner City Press articles, below.

UN's Ban, Adlerstein, Kane in North Lawn: bugs' next stop?

After the October 27 noon briefing, the UN issued the following written statement:

In September 2009, a bed bug sniffing dog confirmed infestation on most floors of the Albano building. The whole building was fumigated on 19 September 2009 and repeated 2 weeks later. As is standard practice, 6 months later on 6 May 2010 the dog returned and indicated the presence of bed bugs. However, the dog is not able to distinguish between alive and dead bed bugs. As a precautionary measure the whole building was fumigated the weekend of 8, 9 May 2010. On 10 May 2010 a staff member reported the presence of a bed bug in the office. The contractor examined the bug and identified it to be a “clover mite”, which is not harmful to building, furniture, or humans. Since the fumigation in September and October last year, one staff member advised of a suspected bed bug bite, but the expert advised this was from some other insect. In conclusion there has been no confirmed bed bug activity in the Albano building since the fumigations last year.

Since that time, as reported recently in the media, bed bug infestations have been found in many public and commercial buildings throughout New York City indicating a worsening problem. On 15 October 2010, bed bugs have also been found in furniture which came from the 19th and 20th floors of the Secretariat Building and on 22 October 2010 in furniture in the 1B area of the Library Building. This furniture has been moved to a part of the building not occupied by staff to facilitate fumigation. Two important factors are noted, firstly that the dogs are not able to distinguish between bed bugs that are alive and active or dead and secondly that no staff or building occupants have reported being bitten. We continue to follow the expert advice of our exterminator specialist making further tests with the bed bug sniffing dog to more fully assess and manage the problem.

New York, 27 Oct. 10

 Click here for an Inner City Press YouTube channel video, mostly UN Headquarters footage, about civilian deaths in Sri Lanka.

Click here for Inner City Press' March 27 UN debate

Click here for Inner City Press March 12 UN (and AIG bailout) debate

Click here for Inner City Press' Feb 26 UN debate

Click here for Feb. 12 debate on Sri Lanka

Click here for Inner City Press' Jan. 16, 2009 debate about Gaza

Click here for Inner City Press' review-of-2008 UN Top Ten debate

Click here for Inner City Press' December 24 debate on UN budget, Niger

Click here from Inner City Press' December 12 debate on UN double standards

Click here for Inner City Press' November 25 debate on Somalia, politics

and this October 17 debate, on Security Council and Obama and the UN.

* * *

These reports are usually also available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis.

Click here for a Reuters AlertNet piece by this correspondent about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click here for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali National Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an undefined trust fund.  Video Analysis here

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