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

Video (new)

Reuters AlertNet 8/17/07

Reuters AlertNet 7/14/07

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

At UN, US on START and 123 Agreement with Russia, Iran Sanctions Link?

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, May 11 -- With the UN Security Council's discussion of Iran sanctions stalled by this week's trip to the Congo and this month's NPT meetings at the UN, on May 11 U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Rose Gottemoeller told the Press there is "no link" between the NEW START treaty with Russia and that country's expected vote for at least some Iran sanctions.

  Inner City Press asked Assistant Secretary Gottemoeller if she acknowledged a link between Iran sanctions and both the Senate's consideration of START and the proposed U.S.-Russia Agreement for Peaceful Nuclear Cooperation, called the ‘123’ Agreement.

  Assistant Secretary Gottemoeller said that the 123 Agreement is "getting attention in Washington again" and called this a "good step." Of course, she said, the Senate in its advice and consent will look more broadly at the U.S. - Russia relationship. Video here, from Minute 5:37.

  She didn't mean, she said, "no link" but rather "no direct link." She said the START agreement should have an "important" and apparently positive influence, as an implementation of the "reset button" pushed by Hillary Clinton and Sergey Lavrov.

  Afterwards, Inner City Press asked Assistant Secretary Gottemoeller if she had seen the film "Countdown to Zero." It's on my schedule for next week, she said. Click here for Inner City Press' review.

Rose Gottemoeller and Obama book in Russian, links not shown

Prognosticators on Iran sanctions predict at least two negative votes on the Security Council: Brazil and Turkey. One P-5 member favors waiting to let Brazil and Turkey try to work with Iran, figuring they too will then come to favor sanctions. But the U.S. does not want to wait. We'll see.

Footnote: while the visiting Assistant Secretary Gottemoeller spoke free and easy at the North Lawn building stakeout, getting answers from the US Mission to the UN has become increasingly difficult. On the morning of May 11 as Ambassador Susan Rice entered the Security Council, Inner City Press began to ask for a question about the statement issued in her name the previous day about Sri Lanka.

  She indicated she was busy. Later a genial Mission staffer came to asked what the question was, and said he would go in and get an answer. But leaving the Council he said he'd have to check with the "Sri Lanka people." Hours later in the North Lawn building he again promised an answer. But still as of close of business and deadline, none was provided. Should Assistant Secretary Gottemoeller have been asked?

* * *

At UN, Ahmadinejad Defends Iran's Treatment of Women, Mocks Obama & Ban Ki-moon

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, May 4 -- When Iran dropped its candidacy for a seat on the UN Human Rights Council last month, some described it as restoring at least some credibility to the UN, as when Bosnia stepped in and beat out Belarus for a seat two years ago.

But when Inner City Press asked President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad about Iran's successful replacement candidacy, for a seat on the UN Commission on the Status of Women, despite gender discrimination and repression, Ahmadinejad had a different and lengthy answer.

  He said the switch was procedural, that Iran had always wanted the CSW seat more than the Human Rights Council, which within the Asia Group Pakistan was supposed to run for. Due to a misunderstanding, Ahmadinejad said, Iran temporarily made a grab for the HRC, before returning to the seat promised to it, on the Commission on the Status of Women.

  But how does Iran intend to use the seat, Inner City Press asked, since it has refused to sign the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women? We will never sign that, Ahmadinejad vowed. He went to on paint of picture of "love and complementariness" in Iran.

Women won't do menial jobs in Iran, he said, nothing "like you and me, cleaning the street or driving a truck." He said he had read that 70% of married women in Europe suffer physical abuse, but refuse to complain for fear of losing their families. Women are better off, he concluded, in Iran than in Europe.

UN's Ban and Ahmadinejad, human rights not shown

Ahmadinejad's answers came during a more than one hour long press conference held Tuesday across the street from the UN. The room in the Millennium Hotel was full, with journalists from the Daily News, Washington Post and wires, and even Christiane Amanpour (who was not called on).

The moderator had taken a list of reporters who wanted to ask question, which Inner City Press arrive too late to sign. But having covered Iran's Nowruz receptions -- "be more positive next time," the Iranian mission admonished, leading Inner City Press to ask "or what?" -- the moderator nodded and allowed the question.

In fact, many journalists remarked that Ahmadinejad's press conference was more open and democratic than those of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, or the pre-screened stakeout by Hillary Clinton the previous day. There, the US State Department decided in advance which questions to take. At Iran's event, alongside some very pro Tehran question, questions were taken about for example the reports of North Korean weapons intercepted on their way to Iran.

We don't need weapons from them, Ahmadinejad answered. If America finds and seizes such weapons they can keep them. Regarding Ban Ki-moon, Ahmadinejad said that if the UN were in Tehran and Iran had a Security Council veto, Ban would never have spoken as he did on Monday. Asked repeatedly about sanctions, he said that if they go through, it will mean that US President Obama has "submitted" and been taken control of by a gang. This order, he said, will soon collapse.

But what of those arrested and disappeared after the contested elections? Ahmadinejad did not answer that question, fastening instead on the women's rights part of the question. Whether the Iranian mission will in the future allow such questions to be asked, and even answered, remains to be seen.

* * *

At UN, Hardly Mentioning N.Korea, Did Hillary Meet the Wrong Nigerian Foreign Minister or Just Not Know His Name?

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, May 3, updated May 4 -- When Hillary Clinton came to speak to or at the UN press corps on Monday afternoon, the questions were pre-selected and North Korea was not mentioned. The first two questions were given to CBS and the Wall Street Journal, and both were on Iran.

  The third and it seemed last concerned the US decision to disclose the number of its weapons. By sheet persistence a UN correspondent from South Asia got a question in about India, Pakistan and Israel. But no mention of North Korea. (In full disclosure, Inner City Press said "North Korea" during each lull, each time louder.)

  What explains this seeming blindspot? Why focus so much on Iran, calling it a threat to cross the "red line" to nuclear weapons status, when North Korea is already over the line? On the first day of the NPT Review Conference, Kim Jong-Il was visiting China.

  With Hillary Clinton not addressing North Korea, Inner City Press asked Gareth Evans about it. He said the DPRK has somewhere around 10 weapons, and it is a major concern. A reporter for Iranian media shouted two questions to him about Israel's weapons. Evans scoffed at the second question and turned away. He told a persistent reporter - not this one -- that he had no business cards.

As Hillard Clinton spoke, her counterpart from Indonesia walked by, with an entourage of merely three. Hillary's posse was much larger, similar to that of Ahmadinejad or later in the day, the EU's Lady Ashton. Snarks pegged her outfit as something for last week's Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, and even suggested she could be replaced by David Miliband when Gordon Brown's Labor loses. Miliband keeps Tweeting as if Gordo's gonna win.

Hillary Clinton on May 3, wrong Nigerian foreign minister not shown

The US State Department's tweets, meanwhile, contained a blatant error on Monday. It was announced that Hillary met with Nigeria's foreign minister, but the former ousted one was named.

StateDept #SecClinton just held a bilat with Nigerian Foreign Minister Ojo Maduekwe in New York. #Nigeria

Actually this began in Hillary's Daily Schedule:

1:20 p.m. Secretary Clinton holds a Bilateral Meeting with Nigerian Foreign Minister Ojo Maduekwe, at the TIAA CREFF Building.


  But Maduekwe, whose melt down at the UN Inner City Press covered, is no longer the foreign minister of Nigeria. Nor, last week, did the US Mission to the UN answer a single one of the questions Inner City Press submitted, about Congo and the Sudan -- a topic on which Hillary says she's "disappointed." Well, we're disappointed too.

 Note to Foggy Bottom: there's a new foreign minister of Nigeria, Odein Ajumogobia, and he'll be appearing at Nigeria House on Second Avenue on Wednesday. Watch this site.

Update of May 3, 6:50 p.m. - Zimbabwe's Ambassador, at a Russian reception Monday evening celebrating the end of World War II, told Inner City Press that the event for Nigeria's new foreign minister has been canceled. The plot thickens...

Update of May 4, 11:01 a.m - Inner City Press asked Nigeria's Permanent Representative to the UN Joy Ogwu about the meeting and snafu, and she was seemingly mortified. Ojo is long gone. So why would the Obama Administration and Hillary Clinton, reaching out to the world, not even take the time to keep up with a months-old change in foreign ministers of a major African country that's on the UN Security Council? And what will they say about thiat? Watch this site.

 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] -