The United States on Monday welcomed the imminent departure of a U.N. human rights investigator for the Palestinian territories whom Washington accused of being biased against Israel and spreading conspiracy theories about the September 11, 2001 attacks. Richard Falk, the outgoing United Nations special rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian territories, told a news conference as recently as last week that Israeli policies bore "unacceptable characteristics of colonialism, apartheid and ethnic cleansing. In a statement to Reuters, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power condemned what she described as "Falk's relentless anti-Israeli bias, his noxious and outrageous perpetuation of 9/11 conspiracy theories." "His publication of bizarre and insulting material has tarnished the U.N.'s reputation and undermined the effectiveness of the Human Rights Council," she said. "The United States welcomes Mr. Falk's departure, which is long overdue." Falk has long been a … [Read more...] about U.S. says glad ‘noxious’ UN rights envoy for Palestine leaving
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Vietnamese State President Nguyen Minh Triet, his wife and his entourage arrived in New York on Monday, during the first leg of his official visit to the United States at the invitation of U.S President George W. Bush and the First Lady. He emphasized that one purpose of his U.S. visit was to update the American Vietnamese community on home affairs and indeed later that day, at the office of the Vietnamese delegation to the United Nations, the president had a meeting with the Vietnamese community that are currently living and studying in New York. He informed them about the situation back home, the Viet Nam - U.S. relations and the goals and significance of his U.S. visit; he commented that 2006 was a good year for Viet Nam's economy and the number of foreign investors continues to increase day by day. One of the contributing factors, he added, is the contribution of overseas Vietnamese. The president said he was delighted to see the overseas Vietnamese community lead a stable … [Read more...] about President Meets Overseas Vietnamese in U.S
Not long ago, a bomb attack on New York City's Times Square would have had intelligence officials and terrorism experts checking off the usual suspects among the sources of terrorist plots against the U.S. - Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Iraq. But these days, says a top counterterrorism official, "when I hear of a terrorist plot, I can count back from 10, and before I get to zero, someone will bring up the P word." That's P for Pakistan. Over the past couple of years, more plots against U.S. targets have emanated from or had a strong connection to Pakistan than any other country. Says the counterterrorism official, who was briefed on the hunt for the Times Square bomber but is not authorized to speak with the media: "It was totally predictable that the smoking Pathfinder would lead to someone with Pakistan in his past." Nor would it come as a surprise if it were revealed that Faisal Shahzad, who has claimed to investigators that he was working alone, was in fact linked to an ever … [Read more...] about Beyond Times Square: Pakistani Terrorism Targets U.S.
Pope Benedict, marking the third anniversary of his election, urged the U.S. Catholic Church on Saturday to overcome its divisions and seek "purification" and the truth following its sexual abuse scandal. Benedict began the penultimate day of his first U.S. papal visit with a solemn Mass in New York's St. Patrick's Cathedral, the Gothic church completed in 1879 with the pennies of immigrants and known as the center of American Catholicism. Pope Benedict XVI celebrates Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York April 19, 2008 … [Read more...] about U.S. Church needs purification, pope says
Five men were convicted on Monday of conspiracy to kill U.S. soldiers in a planned attack on an Army base in New Jersey that prosecutors described as a bid to wage Islamist holy war against America. The U.S. attorney said he would seek life sentences for the five foreign-born defendants, who were also found not guilty on charges of attempted murder after an eight-week trial. A van carrying five men convicted of conspiracy to kill U.S. soldiers in a planned attack on an Army base in New Jersey leaves the federal courthouse in Camden, New Jersey, December 22, 2008. … [Read more...] about Five convicted of conspiracy to attack U.S. army base