Monday Headlines

Report: United Nations Knew For Months Madaya Was Starving When United Nations officials entered the town of Madaya last week, they expressed shock and horror upon finding hundreds of residents of the Syrian town on the outskirts of Damascus starving and severely malnourished.

“The people we met in Madaya were exhausted and extremely frail,” Singer said. “Doctors were emotionally distressed and mentally drained, working ’round the clock with very limited resources to provide treatment to children and people in need. It is simply unacceptable that this is happening in the 21st century,” said Hanaa Singer, the head of UNICEF.

But a report from Foreign Policy magazine contends United Nations’ officials were aware of the gravity of the situation for months, only expressing concern in an unpublished internal memo.

According to the report, a “Flash Update” memo sent in early January by the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) expressed worry about “desperate conditions and “severe malnutrition.” However, officials knew “community leaders reported some 1,000 cases of malnutrition in children under the age of 1,” the article reported.

In an open letter published on Jan. 13 on the Huffington Post website, 112 Syrian humanitarian workers alleged the United Nations was “chasing permission [to give humanitarian assistance to Madaya] you do not even need” and that their failure to address the starving Syrians had transformed the United Nations from “a symbol of hope into a symbol of complicity.”

Gulf War May Have Been Pinnacle Of US Military Supremacy
In just 40 days, the United States launched a military campaign that demonstrated its military and technological supremacy as it quickly dispatched invading Iraqi forces from Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.

The administration of George H.W. Bush opted not to continue into Baghdad, nor did it effort to depose Iraq’s dictatorial leader, Saddam Hussein. The victory showed the world American military diplomacy, but it also showed its enemies how not to engage the US, writes David Blair in London’s Telegraph newspaper.

“Every adversary of the West – from Osama bin Laden to the Taliban and from Vladimir Putin to the leaders of China – took careful note. The lesson they learnt was abundantly clear: never, never, never take on America in conventional combat. Army against army, air force against air force, the Americans will always win,” he asserts.

China shifted its line of attack to cyber terrorism, while Islamic radicals embraced asymmetric warfare that relies on guerrilla tactics and disparate terror attacks.

World’s Economic Leaders Set To Meet In Davos
Some of the top global economic leaders and government representatives will meet again in Davos, Switzerland for the World Economic Forum, which this year will focus on the issue of technology.

Among the issues up for discussion are: the current geopolitical situation in the world; economic, social and environmental issues such as how to implement the Paris climate agreement; and the fourth industrial revolution and its impact on governments, business and society.

“We feel we are not prepared sufficiently for this fourth industrial revolution which will come over us like a tsunami, which will change whole systems,” said Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum.

The BBC has a brief guide to the WEF.

The issue of income inequality is certain to be on the agenda, particularly in light of a new report that found less than 100 individuals hold as much wealth as the poorest half of the world.

According to Oxfam, 62 people own as much wealth as the poorest half of the world’s population – a figure that has fallen from 388 just five years ago.

As much as 30 percent of all African financial wealth is estimated to be held offshore, costing an estimated $14 billion in lost tax revenues every year.

 

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