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At UN, Landlord Pioli Threatens to Sue ICP for Money, Bogus Report Finalized as Reuters Urged

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, July 3 -- Six days ago, the UN Correspondents Association was notified that its bubbling "Board of Examination" investigating Inner City Press hasn't complied with the most basic forms of due process.

  But on July 3 UNCA president Giampaolo Pioli threatened to sue Inner City Press for money -- "and donate it to UNCA," he claimed -- and accepted the Board of Examination's one-sided report.

  The latter was done in the presence of nine other UNCA Executive Committee members, and one member of the Board of Examination, Ali Barada.

  Margaret Besheer of Voice of America, a US government agency which has formally asked the UN to review Inner City Press' accreditation status in contravention of the First Amendment, sat silent through the meeting but each time voted against Inner City Press.

  Reuters' Lou Charbonneau, last seen on Monday vowing that the Board of Examination report would be released because Inner City Press had dared question his labeling "exclusive" at 5 pm on June 30 a story with similar topic and material as what Inner City Press published in Google News five hours before, likewise hardly spoke in the meeting, but voted against Inner City Press each time. (Reuters' internal incentives for exclusives preliminarily covered here.)

  Timothy Witcher of Agence France Presse, who after a complaint from the French Mission to the UN falsely accused Inner City Press in September 2011 of using information from AFP -- Inner City Press has no need for that -- also said little, just voting again and again against Inner City Press.

  Bloomberg's Flavia Krause-Jackson, who previously claimed the right to take any story on which the UN gives a public comment as long as the taker does not label it exclusive, was again not present.

  Other UNCA Executive Committee members have said she was been urged by Bloomberg management to take a low profile. But she signed the May 25 letter that launched this travesty.

  The other signer of that letter, last seen claiming to Pioli that he broke the Arms Trade Treaty and Palestine story -- that claim was never advanced online, we note -- demanded answers and got some.

  He said his media did not make uncredited use, or any use, of Inner City Press' cocaine in the UN mailroom exclusive. Withou any intent to check, we accept this. But other big media on the UNCA executive committee, and beyond, did. We'll have more on this.

  Inner City Press began by saying Pioli shouldn't preside at the meeting, given his lawyer's July 3 letter (which among other things refers to the UN Correspondence Association -- a letter writing club?)

  But they voted for Pioli to continue. Heck, he's promised money to UNCA, a sort of bounty hunting against an investigative web site.

   What this comes down to is an attempt to muzzle freedom of the press, because the UN is in the US but not of it. The First Amendment stops on First Avenue, as Inner City Press first said.

   But the fight for press freedom, in the face of threats from extremists supports of the Sri Lankan goverment and today's more tawdry threats, will continue.

  Back in the kangaroo court, replacement Examiner / wannabe mediator Ali Barada said, "you accused Bill Reilly of I don't know what." He wouldn't say more. But Inner City Press was clear: William M. Reilly, Pioli's chosen chairman of the Board of Examination, had a conflict of interest. His bogus report proves it -- we'll have more on this. Watch this site.

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Click here for Sept 23, '11 about UN General Assembly

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

Click here for Sept 26, 2011 New Yorker on Inner City Press at UN

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

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