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March 1, 2011: Libya

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Soft UN & Dead Media Replaced By NGOs, Elite Soros Crowd Told at River Club

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, September 26 -- When the UN has gone soft and corporate media is dying, who or what will pick up the slack?

 That was the question Monday night at the River Club ten blocks north of the UN where the non-governmental organization Global Witness hosted George Soros, financiers, journalists and tennis players in an Art Deco space beside a gleaming turquoise pool.

  One of Global Witness' three founders Charmian Gooch told the crowd how they began on Cambodia, then illegal mining and now Gaddafi's Libya investment funds.

  She said proudly, we have no membership, no public relations, no marketing. Then an Alex Soros was introduced to speak, followed by investigative journalist Ken Silverstein.

Silverstein spoke of the death of media, how the Los Angeles Times closed its investigative unit and tried to replace three reporters' 900 bylines a year.

 He now works at Harper's, and did a story on the side for Global Witness but at least initially kept his name off it, he told Inner City Press, in order to get into Cambodia.

  All of this took place close to the UN, during the annual General Debate, but the UN wasn't mentioned once.

Soros looks heavenward at GW event by UN Monday night, publish what you pay

 Inner City Press asked Silverstein about Equatorial Guinea being the head of the African Union, and Gabon on the Security Council. Silverstein said that the son of Equatorial Guinea's long time ruler Obiang leaving the US shows the power of the pen. But to what end?

  Another journalist present cautioned, you cannot change the world. Then what was this event about, with the senior George Soros present, acknowledged from the podium? Tennis players in whites wandered through on their way to indoor courts, the signs outside of which told "Babysitters" to not enter without The Pro.

Footnote: Among the attendees was one Scott Wallace, writing about uncontacted tribes in Brazil. Inner City Press asked him about such tribes impacted by the Belo Monte dam; he said they exist. He said Peru denies the existence of such tribe. He will be in New York at the Explorers' Club in November. And we will try to be there.

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At UN, Deby On TNC's "Hypocrisy, " 400,000 Chadians "Blocked" in Libya, "No Prisoners in Chad"

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, September 19 -- Chad's President Idriss Deby told Inner City Press on Monday that there remain 400,000 Chadian's "blocked" inside Libya.

 He said the vast majority had gone to Libya to work. Some had been recruited to fight but by both sides, he insisted, Gaddafi and the National Transitional Council.

   He said that going forward the international community should help reconcile all Libyans, "including those who worked with Gaddafi." Video here, 1st part of interview.

  Deby accused the leaders of the "New Libya," the National Transitional Council, of hypocrisy as many of them previously worked with Gaddafi. He said there should be greater African Union involvement in the New Libya, and chafed at Inner City Press' statement that South Africa has led on that issue, and on that of African migrants.

  "There are other African countries on the Security Council," he said, naming Gabon and then Nigeria.

  Inner City Press asked Deby for his view of developments in Sudan. Deby spoke of Southern Kordofan and "Nil Bleu," Blue Nile, then said that much remains to be solved between North and South Sudan.

  On this, Inner City Press asked Deby to respond to reports that the publication N'Djamena Bi-Hebdo was told not to compare South Sudan to Southern Chad:

"In the October 14 to 17 edition of the local newspaper N'Djamena Bi-Hebdo, the publishers included an article comparing southern Sudan with southern Chad. The prime minister called the article 'dangerous' and asked the HCC to act on the matter. On October 19, the HCC met with journalists and warned N'Djamena Bi-Hebdo in particular and all media houses in general to "observe ethics rules" by not printing articles that risked inciting hatred, violence, or separatist sentiment."

  Deby said he didn't know about the case. He said "come to Chad" to see the freedom of the press, and also said that "there are no political prisons in Chad." Inner City Press began to ask of one example -- Ibni Oumar Mahamat Saleh -- but Deby didn't answer on it.

Deby and the author, smiles on Libya, other answers not show

  The interview was over, and Inner City Press left the Plaza Hotel. Deby will speak before the General Assembly on Friday, after meeting with Ban Ki-moon the day before. "Mais vous savez de tout," Deby said. Not as much as we'd like to. Watch this site.

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

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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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