Inner City Press

Inner City Press -- Investigative Reporting From the Inner City to Wall Street to the United Nations

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

  Search Search WWW (censored?)

In Other Media-eg Nigeria, Zim, Georgia, Nepal, Somalia, Azerbaijan, Gambia Click here to contact us     .


Home -

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


Subscribe to RSS feed

Mar 1, '11 re Libya, Sri Lanka, UN Corruption

Video (new)

Support this work by buying this book

Click on cover for secure site orders

also includes "Toxic Credit in the Global Inner City"




Bank Beat

Freedom of Information

How to Contact Us

UN Libya Draft Paused on Whether All or Only Military Flights Would be Banned

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, March 15, update -- Which flights would a No Fly Zone over Libya actually ban? All or only military flights?

  Tuesday at the UN after Lebanon distributed a draft resolution that it said based based on the Arab League's decision, German Permanent Representative Wittig came out and told the Press that Germany questioned whether a no fly zone would be inconsistent with the Arab League's opposition to military intervention.

  When Tuesday's Security Council consultations ended, to be resumed on Wednesday, Inner City Press at the stakeout asked Lebanon's Ambassador about Germany's stated concern that a No Fly Zone could be foreign intervention.

  He said no, that “the Libyan people” and the Arab League asked for it, and if the UN Security Council authorized it, it could not be intervention.

  In the course of further reporting, informed Council sources told Inner City Press that issue in closed door consultations was that the Arab League, in Arabic, referred to banning military flights, while the version introduced at the UN in English would ban ALL flights. Lost in translation? Watch this site.

Update of 5:20 pm -- French Ambassador Gerard Araud did not echo his foreign minister Juppe's call to bomb Gadhafi's air fields in Libya, something that Lebanon's Ambassador seemed to speak against at the stakeout, hoping that approving a No Fly Zone would obviate the need to bomb.  Hey: Danish Foreign Affairs minister Lene Espersen has said Denmark stands ready, with four jets and 90 staff....

Update of 5:44 pm: India's Permanent Representative Hardeep Puri came out and told the Press pointedly that the draft would ban ALL flights -- but as Inner City Press first reported, is that what the Arab League has called for? In Arabic?

  Hardeep Singh also said that India might not have the right kind of assets to enforce a no fly zone.

Update of 5:59 pm -- when Chinese Permanent Representative Li Baodong, this month's Council president, came to the stakeout, Inner City Press asked him to confirm the closed door discussion of Arab League referring to military flights, not the "all" in the draft resolution. "You're raised a good question," he replies.  So this is one of the issues Lebanon has to check with the Arab League about overnight...

Update of 6:05 pm -- and now we have asked Lebanon's Mission to the UN, via their Twitter account, to answer when they can. New era? We'll see.

* * *
At UN, Downer on No Fly Zone, Iran Says 2 Sided Coin, Delay Continues

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, March 15 -- Amid predictions that Lebanon would on Tuesday afternoon circulate a draft resolution on Libya, Alexander Downer answered some Press questions about a possible no fly zone on Tuesday morning after briefing the UN Security Council about Cyprus. Downer said with a smile that the current foreign minister (Kevin Rudd) is enthusiastic about such a no fly zone.

   Inner City Press asked, Do you disagree?

    Downer said in essence that with the Arab League now having come out in favor of a no fly zone, some of his past concerns had been assuaged. So now Rudd, Downer and Prime Minister Gillard are all on the same page? Downer has criticize Gillard for “sucking up” to Barack Obama and his concerns about the no fly zone.

   On Tuesday morning outside the Security Council, Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin declined to comment on any draft, saying "I don't have it -- do you?" The US position was unclear. Germany was understood to want to see Arab countries taking part in enforcing any no fly zone.

   Because a Libyan -- but not Gadhafi -- diplomat earlier on Tuesday told Inner City Press that the Germans and other shouldn't be so fixed on Arab countries enforcing a no fly zone with their planes, since “the Arab League does not have an agreement for this” unlike the Saudis' and UAE's agreement with Bahrain, Inner City Press asked Downer if how heavily he'd weigh Arab involvement in enforcing such a no fly zone.

Downer declined comment on that. Later, Inner City Press asked Iran's Permanent Representative about his country's reported opposition to a no fly zone. He stopped and said there are “two sides to the coin.” He said a no fly zone could be a “gateway to military intervention,” but might “stop Gadhafi from killing.”

Gadhafi over Gillard & Rudd, Downer & no fly zone not shown, h/t AdelaideNow

  What about Bahrain? Iran's Permanent Representative said “that's different.” And at Tuesday's UN noon briefing, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's spokesman Martin Nesirky for a second time did not answer if the UN thinks Bahrain's use of outside security personnel from Pakistan and Yemen is a use of mercenaries. If I have anything on that, I'll tell you, Nesirky said. Watch this site.

Footnotes: on Cyprus, Inner City Press asked Downer about the detention of two former members of the European Parliament during a “visit to abandoned Varosha, a fenced-off Greek Cypriot suburb of Famagusta on the island’s east coast that is controlled by the Turkish army.” Downer said that the fenced off status of Varosha shows the need for the Cyprus issue to be solved.

* * *

UN Envoy Al Khatib Is On Board of Jordan Ahli Bank, Links With Libya Central Bank

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive

UNITED NATIONS, March 8 -- In selecting Abdul Ilah al Khatib as the UN's envoy on Libya, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon moved quickly -- maybe too quickly.

 Since serving as the foreign minister of Jordan, describe even some close to Ban as an autocracy, al Khatib has served on the boards of director not only of Lafarge Jordan Cement Company but also of Jordan Ahli Bank.

Jordan Ahli Bank is active beyond that country's borders. A sample connection: along with Libyan Foreign Bank, a fully owned subsidiary of the Central Bank of Libya, Jordan Ahli Bank is a top 20 shareholder of Union de Banques Arabes et Francaises.

   Could there be conflicts of interest? Did the UN's Ban administration even consider these?

Ban & al-Khatib in 2007, directorships not shown: or considered?

   Ban previously claimed that 99% of his officials have made public financial disclosure. But when Inner City Press showed this is not true -- even Ban's close ally Choi Young-jin, his envoy in Cote d'Ivoire, declined to make public financial disclosure -- Ban's spokesman Martin Nesirky said Ban's statement had been “metaphorical.”

Now Ban names and injects al Khatib into a struggle about democracy and free press, when as Inner City Press noted yesterday

"Foreign Minister Abd al-Ilah al-Khatib in January initiated a criminal defamation suit against weekly newspaper al-Hilal's editor-in-chief Nasir Qamash and journalist Ahmad Salama. He [al-Khatib] objected to the content of a January article, and said his tribe had threatened to beat up Salama if he failed to take action. The case remains in the courts at this writing."

  By what process was al-Khatib vetted and selected? Watch this site.

Click for Mar 1, '11 re Libya, Sri Lanka, UN Corruption

 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

Feedback: Editorial [at]

UN Office: S-453A, UN, NY 10017 USA Tel: 212-963-1439

Reporter's mobile (and weekends): 718-716-3540

  Search  Search WWW (censored?)

Other, earlier Inner City Press are listed here, and some are available in the ProQuest service, and now on Lexis-Nexis.

            Copyright 2006-08 Inner City Press, Inc. To request reprint or other permission, e-contact Editorial [at] -