Around the world with Adam Reilly
United Nations Human Rights Council debuts, sucks.Secretary General Kofi Annan wants the new body to avoid the missteps that doomed its predecessor, the UN Human RightsCommission.“Think always of those whose rights are denied,” Annan exhorted. No word on whether the representatives of China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Cuba — all of which won seats on the council — giggled audibly at Annan’s advice.
Taylorarrives at The Hague for war-crimes trial, embarrasses Massachusetts.Before becoming a murderous dictator, ex–Liberian president Charles Taylor was just another Bentley College student on the make. Then he got involved in radical Liberian politics, and bam!—next thing you know, he’s abetting atrocities in Sierra Leone! Sadly, that’s not Chuck’s only Bay State connection: back in 1985, he escaped from the Plymouth County House of Correction while awaiting extradition to Liberia on embezzlement charges. Just wait until Rick Santorum hears about this . . .
North Korea readies missile test, prompts double entendre. “The reports say it may be imminent that North Koreans may test fire a long-range missile, but it is not quite sure they have put fuel in the rocket,” South Korea’s foreign minister Ban Ki-moon said in Geneva earlier this week. Also unclear: is Kim Jong II testing a missile, or just launching a satellite? Hmm?
Bush a “war criminal”? So said Austrian right-winger Joerg Haider late last week. And Haider, it must be said, is not one to rush to judgment: not only is he a close personal friend of Muammar al-Qaddafi, he’s a Hitler apologist, too! (Among other things, Haider has praised Nazi Germany’s “ordinary employment policy.”) Tough break, Mr. President.
Mumbai takes prize as rudest city Last week, the Indian metropolis won the coveted Raspberry Award from Reader’s Digest. Apparently Mumbai used to be called “Bombay.” Am I the only one who missed this?
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