` Lebanese and Syrian Nuns who were kidnapped are ` Released ' – Security Source Reports '

#AceWorldNews says the Twelve Lebanese and Syrian nuns, who were kidnapped from the historic Christian town of Maaloula in December, have now been released and are on their way to Syria, Lebanese security source said.

The nuns were transferred to the village of Arsal, western Lebanon, earlier in the week, the source told Reuters on Sunday.

Their whereabouts and condition remained unknown for over three months, with first reports of the abduction emerging in early December as Islamic rebels seized the ancient quarter of Maaloula, a predominantly Christian town and UNESCO heritage site in eastern Syria.

“What the Syrian army achieved in Yabroud facilitated this process,” Syrian Greek Orthodox Bishop Louka Khoury speaking to reporters at the border.

Earlier Post – 14.06 GMT http://wp.me/p165ui-4b1

Previous story of kidnap back in December 2013 – http://on.rt.com/lvdrnu


#rt, #syrian, #lebanese, #reuters, #syria, #unesco

“China Condemns Japan for asking `UN World Heritage Organisation’ to Register Letters by WW2 Kamikaze Pilots”

#AceWorldNews says`China Condemns Japan’s UN bid for Kamikaze Pilot Letters’

China condemned on Monday plans by a Japanese city to ask the UN world heritage organization to register letters by World War Two kamikaze suicide pilots, Reuters reported.

UNESCOThe southern Japanese city of Minami Kyushu asked UNESCO last week to register the wills and farewell letters of the pilots who had carried out attacks on allied ships, alongside documents that include the diaries of Anne Frank and the Magna Carta, to highlight the importance of world peace. 

The design… is very clear, which is to try to beautify the Japanese militarist history of invasion,China’s foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said.


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#aceworldnews, #anne-frank, #china, #japan, #kamikaze, #kyushu, #magna-carta, #unesco, #world-heritage-site, #world-war-ii

#AceNewsDesk : ” World News – Headlines – 31 January 2014″

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Up to 17,000 smuggled into US annually to work in sex trade or as forced labor – report

Some 14,000 to 17,000 people are smuggled illegally into the US every year to work in the sex trade or in factories, farms and bars as forced labour, according to the Alliance to End Slavery and Trafficking. The group is calling for greater government controls on the recruiters who lure vulnerable people to the US, AFP reported. The House of Representatives is preparing to consider legislation seeking to require foreign hirers to be registered with the Labor Department. Foreign labor contractors will also have to provide the names of the employers and recruiters and a signed contract.


3 wounded in northern Lebanon by rocket fire from Syria

Three people were wounded in the northern Lebanese border town of Mashta Hammoud by rocket fire from Syria on Friday, according to security sources. At least four rockets launched from across the border struck the outskirts of Mashta Hammoud in the northern province of Akkar at 6am, the Daily Star newspaper reported. The spillover from Syria’s war has raised tensions in Lebanon.

English: HELMAND PROVINCE, Islamic Republic of...

English: HELMAND PROVINCE, Islamic Republic of Afghanistan – Soldiers from the Afghan National Army relax after a patrol in Marjah, Helmand province, Afghanistan, Feb. 14, 2010.The ANA soldiers and Marines from 3rd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, have been conducting Operation Moshtarak to eliminate Taliban presence and intimidation from the city of Marjah. (Official Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Tommy Bellegarde) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Afghan policeman killed as Taliban attack 3 checkpoints

The Taliban have attacked three police checkpoints overnight in the southern province of Helmand, killing one officer, AP reported. At least 13 insurgent fighters were killed in the gun battles that followed the checkpoint attacks, police chief of Marjah district, Zamaria Zarak, said on Friday.


US cancels funds for Afghan opinion polls as election nears

The US has cancelled funding for opinion polls in the run-up to Afghanistan’s presidential election, Reuters reported. In December, initial poll triggered accusations of US attempts to manipulate the outcome. The US-funded group Democracy International said it and other similar organizations had planned to carry out opinion polls as Afghanistan prepares for the April 5 election. Some electoral authorities and candidates’ camps “suggested that there was… a perception that the polling results were somehow biased,” a US embassy spokesman in Kabul said. In order to avoid any “baseless perception” of US interference, a decision was taken to forgo additional US-funded polling.

English: Logo of the United Nations Educationa...

English: Logo of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


​Over a third of world’s school-age children cannot read – UN report

At least 250 million of the world’s 650 million primary-school-age children cannot read, write or perform basic mathematics, according to a new UN report released Wednesday. The report found about 130 million in primary school have not reached basic learning levels, and around 120 million have spent little or no time in a classroom, including 57 million children who do not attend school at all. The cost of a lack of learning for 250 million children around the world costs governments around US$129 billion per year. The report was conducted by an independent research team for the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).


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#acenewsdesk, #afghan-national-army, #afghanistan, #agence-france-presse, #friday, #helmand-province, #lebanon, #marines, #marja-afghanistan, #operation-moshtarak, #reuters, #syria, #taliban, #unesco

UN: Prompts Concern for Defending Press Freedom and the Violent Suppression of the Media in Iraq



#AceWorldNews says the head of the United Nations agency tasked with defending press freedom expressed alarm today over violent suppression of the media in Iraq, following the killing of news cameraman Alaa Edwar in the northern province of Nineveh.




“I condemn the murder of Alaa Edwar,” Irina Bokova, Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), <“http://www.unesco.org/new/en/media-services/single-view/news/director_general_voices_grave_concern_for_safety_of_media_workers_in_iraq_after_murder_of_cameraman_alaa_edwar/#.UpjC9yd0nAE“>said, calling for measures to improve the safety of media workers in the country.




Mr. Edwar, 41, had resigned from his job as cameraman for Nineveh Al-Ghad Television after receiving threats that he would be killed if he continued in his line of work. He was shot dead on 24 November by unidentified gunmen near his home in the north of Mosul.




English: The Tigris River as it flows through ...

English: The Tigris River as it flows through Mosul, Iraq, as seen from a UH-60 Blackhawk from the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), 9th Aviation Battalion, A Company, June 16, 2003 during Operation Iraqi Freedom. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Michael Bracken. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Intimidation and violence are being used to prevent the Iraqi public from receiving news. It is therefore urgent that the authorities do all they can to bring the perpetrators of Alaa Edwar’s murder to justice,” said Ms. Bokova.




According to UNESCO, 23 journalists, including Mr. Edwar, have been killed in Iraq over the past five years.  All are remembered on the dedicated webpage, UNESCO Condemns Killing of Journalists.








#alaa-edwar, #director-general, #edwar, #iraq, #irina-bokova, #mosul, #murder, #nineveh, #unesco, #united-nations

“Ark of Return” Unveiled as Permanent Memorial to Re-Tell the Stories of 15 Million Slaves

English: African Burial Ground National Monume...

English: African Burial Ground National Monument, New York City Deutsch: African Burial Ground National Monument, New York City (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A Manhattan-based architect of Haitian descent was recently announced as the winner of an international competition to design a memorial that will be permanently on display at United Nations Headquarters in New York to honour victims of slavery and the transatlantic slave trade.

Unveiling Rodney Leon’s “‘Ark of Return”, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the memorial “will serve as a reminder of the bravery of those slaves, abolitionists and unsung heroes who managed to rise up against an oppressive system, fight for their freedom and end the practice.”
The ceremony, held on the eve of the General Assembly’s annual debate, was also attended by the President of the body’s 68th session, John Ashe, who commended all participants in the competition for “being a voice of change and hope” whose ability to create meaningful artwork “deepens our faith in human goodness and decency, and for this, we are all grateful.”

The piece by Mr. Leon, a designer and architect of the African Burial Ground National Monument in lower Manhattan, features a “symbolic spiritual space and object where one can interact and pass through for acknowledgement, contemplation, meditation, reflection, healing, education and transformation,” according to its creator.

Mr. Leon’s work was selected from among 310 design proposals from 83 countries in a competition launched two years ago by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), with support from the UN Department of Public Information’s Remember Slavery Programme, and Member States from the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the African Union. Jamaica, as the Chairman of the Permanent Memorial Committee, was represented at today’s event by Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller.

UNECO Director-General Irina Bokova, who also participated, said she was “moved” to be participating in the event given she just returned from Haiti where the memory of slavery and the slave trade carries precious significance not just of suffering but also of “victorious fight from oppression for freedom”.


Slavery (Photo credit: quadelirus)

The design had to be created around the theme of “Acknowledging the Tragedy; Considering the legacy; Lest we forget “. It was to be not only a symbol, but part of an educational process in memory of slavery and the transatlantic slave trade, and to architecturally embody each affected region of the transatlantic slave trade – Africa, the Caribbean, Europe, and the Americas.
It also had to artistically complement to the landscape of the UN Headquarters, described by UNESCO as “an iconic site that will deepen, both visually and spiritually, the visitor’s experience of this important environment.”

The winning design was unanimously chosen by a committee of five international judges who met at UN Headquarters in August. Ahead of the judging, they spoke with UN Television about how their decisions were shaped.UN Television about how their decisions were shaped.

Ashfar Isahq is the Chairman of the International Children’s Art Foundation. He said he founded the organization to harness children’s imagination for positive change.

“At the end of the day, I and my work with children means that I have to look at an inner voice that tells me that this is what children and future generations will like,” Mr. Isahq said. “I listen to that inner voice to make my choice.”

Curator and artist Dominique Fontaine said she was looking for a certain aesthetic value, one “that will appeal to the viewer.”

From New York University, Michael Gomez, a professor of History and Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies who specializes in the African Diaspora, said he was primarily interested in identifying a piece that spoke directly to the experience of the transatlantic slave trade and the significance of that trade.

“I was interested in finding a project that would in some way give expression to that experience, and would allow those who would visit the memorial to have a good sense of what that experience was about and its ongoing implication for various societies,” Mr. Gomez told UN Producer, Mary Ferreira.

Meanwhile, David Boxer, a former curator at the National Gallery of Jamaica said the real challenge for him was to find a piece that both spoke to the tragedy itself – which he said required a memorial in a “more traditional sense” – and something that is inspirational.

Mr. Boxer said he was looking for a piece “that looks to the future, that deals with the whole question of hope. That things are going to improve, that things are going to become better. So it’s how do you combine those two sentiments into a single monument.”

Completing the jury, Nadia Bakhurji, and architect, women’s empowerment advocate and   former Board Member of Saudi Council of Engineers, said she knew the winning design right away.

“I had emotional reactions to some of the sculptures and I knew which one would be the right one because it has to be the one that will really inspire thought-provoking ideas, make you step back and say – oh my God, is that really what happened and how can we prevent that from happening again,” Ms. Bakhurji said.

She added that she was also looking for a design that bridged educational and spiritual experiences.


#african-burial-ground-national-monument, #atlantic-slave-trade, #caribbean-community, #haiti, #nadia-bakhurji, #national-gallery-of-jamaica, #portia-simpson-miller, #slavery, #unesco, #united-nations-headquarters

United Nations Urges Investigation – into – Murder of Two Iraqi Journalists

The UN headquarters in New York

The UN headquarters in New York (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

New York, Oct  9 2013  2:00PM
The head of the United Nations agency tasked with defending press freedom today denounced the killing of two Iraqi journalists and called for an immediate investigation into their deaths.

“I condemn the murder of Mohamed Karim al-Badrani and Mohamed Ghanem,” <“http://www.unesco.org/new/en/media-services/single-view/news/director_general_urges_investigation_following_murder_of_journalists_mohamed_karim_al_badrani_and_mohamed_ghanem_in_iraq/“>said the Director-General of the UN Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Irina Bokova.

“It is essential that the authorities investigate these cases and bring their culprits to trial. Letting such crimes go unpunished severely undermines journalists’ ability to carry out their professional duties, and societies’ freedom to engage in open and informed debate.”

The two broadcast journalists were shot dead on Saturday while filming a report about a market in Mosul for the independent television channel Al-Sharqiya. Their deaths bring to three the number of journalists murdered in Iraq this year.

Ms. Bokova also denounced the shooting of a Colombian newspaper vendor José Darío Arenas, who was an occasional contributor to the newspaper he sold, EXTRA del Quindí.

Mr. Darío Arenas was killed on 28 September in the city of Caicedonia because of an article he wrote in the newspaper.

“An attack on a vendor because of the content of the media is an attack on press freedom,” the Ms. Bokova said, and called for an investigation into the murder.

“It is important to ensure that the distributors of news enjoy the same safe working conditions we demand for all those working on the gathering of news.”

#aceworldnews, #al-sharqiya, #caicedonia, #iraq, #irina-bokova, #mohamed-ghanem, #mohamed-karim-al-badrani, #mosul, #new-york, #unesco, #united-nations