U.N. climate talks make shaky start to year as procedures questioned
U.N. climate negotiations resumed on a shaky footing on Monday as some delegates questioned how the meeting was being run amid calls for more urgency at the talks, which after two years have made scant progress towards a global climate change deal. Diplomats from almost 200 nations gathered in Bonn, Germany, vowed to speed up work towards agreeing a 2015 pact to cut greenhouse gas emissions that U.N.-backed scientists say is causing extreme weather events and rising sea levels. The preliminary talks are the first of a series this year aimed at working out the main elements of an agreement to bind all nations to curb greenhouse gas emissions from 2020 and raise funds to tackle climate change across the developing world. "The challenge is ... to shift from an informal mode of work to a formal, transparent and participatory negotiating process... The time for that is now," said Naderev Sano of the Philippines, speaking on behalf of a negotiating group of developing countries that includes India, China, Iran and Saudi Arabia.
Iranian coffee lovers flock to new wave of cafes
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Shoulder to shoulder, cheek to cheek, young women and men sit next to each other while a thick film of cigarette smoke fills the dimly lit cafe in central Tehran. Bob Dylan's "Knockin' On Heaven's Door" blares from the speakers.
Israel PM blasts world 'hypocrisy over Iran arms ship'
Eilat (Israel) (AFP) - Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused the world of "hypocrisy" over Iran on Monday as he unveiled a shipment of arms allegedly dispatched to Gaza by Tehran. Standing in front of a vast display of weapons seized last week from a vessel in the Red Sea, Netanyahu launched a blistering attack on the West over its apparent disregard for Iran's alleged attempts to supply longer-range rockets to Palestinian militants. In a highly-publicised speech from Eilat port, where the weapons had been unloaded, Netanyahu said he had only heard a handful of "softly-worded condemnations of Iran" over its "murderous delivery" which came to light just days before EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton made a landmark visit to Tehran. "We have been witness to the smiles and the handshakes between representatives of the West and the heads of the Iranian regime in Tehran, even as these missiles were being unloaded here in Eilat," he said.
Israel displays rockets seized in Red Sea raid
EILAT, Israel (AP) — Israel's prime minister on Monday triumphantly toured a display of dozens of rockets that navy commandos intercepted in the Red Sea last week, alleged to be on their way from Iran to the Gaza Strip, and accused the international community of ignoring Iranian support for militant groups and falling victim to a charm offensive by the new leadership in Tehran.
Ban calls for progress as UN commission on women opens
United Nations (United States) (AFP) - UN chief Ban Ki-moon said there is still much progress to be made to advance women's rights, despite recent strides, as he opened an annual conference on women Monday. Among priorities are health needs, maternal and child health, sexual education, contraception and fighting violence against women, including female genital mutilation, Ban said at the opening of the UN's 58th session of the Commission on the Status of Women.