Israel's UN ambassador on Friday launched a rare criticism of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan for issuing a "vague" statement on a Palestinian policeman who killed 10 Israelis in a suicide bombing. \nAmbassador Dan Gillerman told a news conference that while he respected Annan's efforts toward a Middle East peace, the secretary-general's statement on Thursday signaled bias by failing to mention Israeli victims in the Jerusalem explosion that also wounded 50 people. \n"Vague references to those who resort to violence and terror that have claimed innocent lives in the region are not sufficient," Gillerman said. \nThe ambassador's criticism was unusual as Israel has usually distinguished between Annan, who has spoken frankly against anti-Semitism, and the UN General Assembly, where Arab supporters have a majority. \nDiplomats and UN officials could not remember Israel making such a direct attack against the UN or Annan himself or calling a special news conference to do so. \nSaying Annan's statement made no specific reference to the Jerusalem attack, Gillerman said, "This is in distinct contrast to the tendency of the office of the secretary-general to issue statements of reprimand, with clear and specific detail, when Israel engages in defense measures against terrorist opera-tives." \nAnnan's statement said in part: "Once again violence and terror have claimed innocent lives in the Middle East. Once again I condemn those who resort to such methods." \nApparently anticipating Gillerman's news conference, Annan told reporters in Brussels, "As you know, I have always condemned without reservation suicide bombings that take innocent lives." \nUN spokeswoman Marie Okabe said Annan's Middle East policy should be seen in light of all the statements he had issued on the subject and one statement did not "make a policy." \nGillerman acknowledged that Israel now was taking the offensive in delivering criticism and proposing resolutions and statements in the UN. \nHe said Israel had a hand in asking the US to prepare a Security Council statement condemning the Jerusalem attack by a Palestinian Authority policeman. \nThe council hit an impasse Thursday when Algeria and others argued that any statement should first denounce an Israeli raid that killed eight Palestinians in Gaza on Wednesday and then condemn the suicide bombing, diplomats said. \nGillerman said he had noticed a trend in Annan's secretariat over recent months. He singled out a requested General Assembly report on Israel's security barrier and said the secretary-general's dossier showed a "bias ... that borders on the absurd."
TARNISHED LEGACY: Woodrow Wilson served as the university’s president before becoming the US’ 28th leader, but his racism was ‘significant and consequential’ Princeton University is removing former US president Woodrow Wilson’s name from its public policy school and one of its residential colleges after trustees concluded that the 28th president’s “racist thinking and policies” made him “an inappropriate namesake.” The Ivy League school’s trustees made the decision on Friday, according to a statement on Saturday. It comes at a time of widespread rethinking of the US’ racial legacy. The Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement, energized by a series of high-profile deaths of black Americans, has resulted in the removal of Confederate monuments, flags and symbols of racism across the US. Deleting Wilson’s name at Princeton
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Japan said it opposed changes to the G7 nations as it pushed back against a reform plan by US President Donald Trump that would have rival South Korea this year join in an expanded meeting. Tokyo has told the US it stands against South Korea’s participation on the grounds of differences in policy on China and North Korea, Kyodo News reported this weekend, citing more than one source related to Japanese and US diplomacy. Japan also wants to maintain its status as the only Asian country in the group, the news agency added. Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga yesterday told reporters that
The onset of summer has sparked a rise in incidents of “mask rage” in South Korea as more hot and bothered commuters either refuse to wear face coverings or leave parts of their faces exposed. In South Korea, Japan and other countries in East Asia, widespread mask wearing has been cited as one possible explanation for the region’s relative success in bringing the COVID-19 pandemic under control. South Korea, one of the first countries outside China to be affected by the virus, flattened the coronavirus curve in April, although it is now struggling with dozens of daily cases, mainly in and around