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World Cup Fever, From Delegates Lounge to Vienna, Circus in DRC, Scribes

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, June 17 -- The World Cup in Brazil is close to taking over the UN system. On June 17 a UN Security Council stakeout was scheduled for 4:15 and then 4:30. But down the hall from the Delegates Lounge came cheers and clapping, Mexico and Brazil. Video here.

  Even Security Council president for June Vitaly Churkin headed to the Lounge and watched. (His Russia was slated to play South Korea later in the day: a 1-1 tie).

  International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde, during a press conference about the US economy, gushed about how Les Bleus from France had done. A senior State Department Official briefing the press about the P5+1 nuclear talks with Iran in Vienna said World Cup fever was there too. Click here for Inner City Press story.

  But how does the UN use it? In Eastern Congo, the UN's MONUSCO mission tweeted out a photograph of big screen television it installed in the town square in Goma, leading some to ask if UN envoy Martin Kobler or his boss Herve Ladsous might be trying to run for office?

  It's one thing for the UN to install such a TV in a refugee camp, to make things better. But in the town square in Eastern Congo, or UN-Landia where Kobler has yet to check camps where imprisoned rights defender Mbonimpa says Burundi's ruling CNDD party is arming and training its youth gang? Click here for Inner City Press' coverage.

  Similarly, the UN's Censorship Alliance is saying it will use the big room the UN gives it -- now sitting unused even after the UN evicted the News Agency of Nigeria claiming a need for its space -- to show the later rounds of the Cup. Bread and circuses, censorship and propaganda. And then, the purity of cheering. Watch this site.


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