Obama Addresses the UN as Palestinians Seek UN Membership
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At the United Nations today, US and European leaders are working to head off a confrontation over Palestinian demands for statehood. We hear about President Obama’s address to the General Assembly and some frantic diplomacy. Also, while supporters around the world insisted that Troy Davis was innocent of murder, the state of Georgia prepared for his execution.
Banner image: President Barack Obama addresses the 66th UN General Assembly at the United Nations headquarters in New York, September 21, 2011. Photo by Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images
Obama Faces Diplomatic Test at the UN ()
Summarizing recent events worldwide, President Obama told the UN General Assembly today that this has been "a remarkable year." He talked of ending the war in Iraq and "building an enduring partnership with the Afghan people," and applauded international efforts to create the nation of South Sudan and bolster democracy in Cote D'Ivoire. He also cautioned that "peace is hard. Progress can be reversed. Prosperity comes slowly. Societies can split apart." Massimo Calabresi is Washington correspondent for Time magazine.
- Massimo Calabresi: Time
Barack Obama Back at the United Nations ()
President Obama told the UN General Assembly today, this "has been a remarkable year." He also said he's been "frustrated." Despite some positive developments around the world and the Arab democracy movement, last year's hope for a Palestinian state has not been realized. The President indicated US opposition to the plan by Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas to bypass negotiations and ask the UN for statehood now. To a General Assembly thought to favor the Palestinians, the President said, "each side [must] learn to stand in each other's shoes. And, once again, he's caught between Palestinian aspirations and US support for Israel, with Republicans proclaiming that he's letting Israel down. Can he avoid a veto at the Security Council that would antagonize Arab public opinion? What's at state for next year's re-election campaign?
- Colum Lynch: Washington Post, @columlynch
- Mohammed Shtayyeh: Fatah Central Committee
- Aaron David Miller: Woodrow Wilson Intrenational Center for Scholars, @aarondmiller2
- Alon Liel: Israeli Foreign Ministry (formerly)
- Brian Evans: Permanent Observer Mission of Palestine at the United Nations
The Clock Ticks Down for Troy Davis ()
As his execution approached at 7pm tonight in Georgia, Troy Davis refused a special last meal while supporters planned vigils outside the prison and at US embassies in Europe. Despite appeals from former President Jimmy Carter, Pope Benedict XVI and former FBI director William Sessions, Davis appeared to have exhausted all his legal options. Witnesses have recanted their testimony, some jurors say they've changed their minds, but retired District Attorney Spencer Lawton of Chatham County says Troy Davis is guilty of killing a policeman in 1989. Brian Evans is a campaigner for Amnesty International USA's campaign to Abolish the Death Penalty.
- Brian Evans: Amnesty International USA
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