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Podcast: A cybercrime treaty proposed by…Russia?

Listen: Cybercrime is a rapidly growing threat, and one that will require a global effort to combat. But could some of the same measures taken to fight criminals online lead to human rights abuses and a curtailing of freedom?

As the United Nations debates a new and expansive cybercrime treaty first proposed by Russia, we’re examining the details of the plan, how feasible it would be to find consensus, and what potential dangers await if the treaty is misused by authoritarian governments.

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Conundrum: Russian Food Can Prevent Starvation by the World’s Poor | GZERO World

Conundrum: Russian food can prevent starvation by the world's poor

Russia's war in Ukraine has put the international community in a tough spot.

Sanctions against Russia that affect global food commodities will make people go hungry, especially in the Global South. But then the Russians will continue to profit from selling all that food.

So, who should make that call? Ertharin Cousin, who knows a thing or two about the United Nations because she used to run its World Food Programme, says it's time for the UN Security Council to step in.

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Zelensky addresses the UN Security Council in a video message

Anthony Behar/Sipa USA via Reuters Connect

What We’re Watching: Zelensky at the UN, French race tightens, Sri Lankan crisis worsens

Zelensky wants justice over Russian war crimes

In his first address to the UN Security Council, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky on Tuesday said Russians accused of war crimes in Ukraine must be brought to justice, noting that the atrocities in Bucha and elsewhere are the worst Europe has seen since World War II. Prior to Zelensky’s speech, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said the alliance is working with the UN-backed International Criminal Court to investigate the alleged war crimes. The International Court of Justice has already ordered Russia to cease and desist but has no authority to enforce its ruling. But some argue that pursuing indictments during ongoing conflicts can frustrate efforts toward peace agreements, thereby raising the risk of further atrocities. Meanwhile, the mounting allegations are putting more pressure on Western powers to slap harsher sanctions on Moscow — perhaps even targeting Russian oil and coal by the EU.

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Footage released by Ukraine's defense ministry allegedly shows a convoy of Russian military vehicles near Kherson.


Russia takes its first big prize

Russian forces on Wednesday captured their first city since the invasion began, taking control of Kherson. Holding the southern city creates a fresh bridgehead for Putin’s armies to advance north on strategic areas in central Ukraine. Home to 290,000 people, Kherson under Russian military administration could also set the tone for how a wider occupation might go. Fierce fighting continues, meanwhile, around Kharkiv and Kyiv.

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Protest outside UN headquarters during the General Assembly emergency session on Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

REUTERS/Mike Segar

The UN rule you may not know

Maybe you’ve heard that debate is underway at the United Nations about how to respond to Russia’s invasion … and you’re wondering what’s the point ... because you’re remembering that Russia, a permanent member of the Security Council, can veto just about anything it doesn’t like. Like any move to condemn Russia for invading Ukraine, for example. But this is the importance of UN General Assembly Resolution 377(V). Dating from 1950, this so-called Uniting for Peace Resolution offers a way past the veto. It stipulates that, in the case of an act of war, the General Assembly shall “consider the matter immediately with a view to making recommendations to members for collective measures.” In other words, the GA can vote to essentially override Russia’s veto. And since the GA voted in 2014 that the Russian seizure of Crimea violated Ukraine’s territorial integrity, the body will probably take a similar view of Russia’s all-out war on the rest of Ukraine. The GA could order a UN investigation, call for more sanctions on Russia, or even move to kick Russia out of some UN bodies. Whether any of this will amount to more than powerful symbolism or add anything meaningful to the ongoing international response to Russia’s invasion is another matter.

War in Space? Time to Update Space Law | GZERO World

War in space? Time to update space law

The UN wants to prevent an arms race in space. How? By reforming international space law, which hasn't been updated in more than 50 years.

The current treaty was negotiated during the Cold War, when only two countries — the US and the Soviet Union — had viable programs. Ratified by 111 countries, it bans space nukes and grants all countries the right to peacefully explore space — including the Moon.

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Why Yemen’s Doctors and Teachers Work Without Pay | UN's David Gressly | GZERO World

Why Yemen’s doctors and teachers work without pay

Around 1.2 million government employees, including teachers and doctors, show up to work every day in Yemen with unpaid or partially paid salaries, committed to their fellow Yemenis. UN Coordinator David Gressly emphasizes that if their contributions are lost, the state will collapse.

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The Proxy War (Still) Raging in Yemen | GZERO World

The proxy war (still) raging in Yemen

For seven years, regional powers Iran and Saudi Arabia have fought each other... in Yemen. As usual, civilians are paying the price.

The Iranians back the Houthi rebels, who control Sanaa, while a Saudi-led coalition supports the internationally recognized government in Aden.

Unfortunately, neither side seems willing to back down, as recent fighting in Marib suggests. There's no road to peace.

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