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Newsline: North Korea’s deputy UN ambassador warns nuclear war ‘may break out any moment’

North Korea’s deputy UN ambassador warned that the situation on the Korean peninsula “has reached the touch-and-go point and a nuclear war may break out any moment.” Kim In Ryong told the UN General Assembly’s disarmament committee that North Korea is the only country in the world that has been subjected to “such an extreme and direct nuclear threat” from the United States since the 1970s – and said the country has the right to possess nuclear weapons in self-defence. He pointed to large-scale military exercises every year using “nuclear assets” and said what is more dangerous is what he called a U.S. plan to stage a “secret operation aimed at the removal of our supreme leadership.” This year, Kim said, North Korea completed its “state nuclear force and thus became the full-fledged nuclear power which possesses the delivery means of various ranges, including the atomic bomb, H-bomb and intercontinental ballistic rockets.”



Newsline: Egyptian diplomat leads race to be UNESCO head

An Egyptian diplomat is among the favorites to be the next head of UNESCO, the UN’s cultural agency. Moushira Khattab, 73, a former minister of family and population and a leading activist for women’s and children’s rights, is one of four Arab candidates. The others are Vera El-Khoury from Lebanon, Saleh Mahdi Al-Hasnawi from Iraq and former Qatari Culture Minister Hamad bin Abdul Aziz Al-Kawari. If Khattab wins, she would be the first person from Africa to lead UNESCO in its 72-year history. She is a former assistant minister of foreign affairs and ambassador to South Africa, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.


Newsline: UN Ambassador Haley Reprimanded for Political Tweet

U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley has been reprimanded for violating a law limiting government employees’ political activity by voicing support for a South Carolina congressional candidate. Last week, the U.S. Office of Special Counsel notified Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics, a watchdog group based in Washington, that it had issued a warning letter to Haley, a former South Carolina governor, but would pursue no further action. A spokeswoman for Haley didn’t immediately respond to a text message seeking comment. The watchdog group in June wrote to the Special Counsel, accusing Haley of violating the Hatch Act, a 1939 law that allows government officials to personally donate money to political committees or engage in a variety of partisan activities, as long as they do so on their personal time and don’t use government resources. The group said at the time that Haley should not have retweeted one of President Donald Trump’s messages that month in support of Ralph Norman, a Republican who went on to win a special election for the seat formerly occupied by Trump’s budget director, Mick Mulvaney. On June 19, the day before Norman faced off with Democrat Archie Parnell in South Carolina’s Fifth District, Trump sent several tweets praising Norman, a millionaire real estate developer, as someone who would be a help to him in Congress and urging voters to “#VoteRalphNorman tomorrow!” Later that day, according to CREW, Haley retweeted the first message from her verified Twitter account, which lists her as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. At the time, the group said, Haley had at least 356,000 followers, a number that has since grown to more than 516,000. Haley deleted the message after journalists questioned it on Twitter, but the group said Haley should still be investigated and disciplined. In its Sept. 28 letter to CREW, the Special Counsel said it had advised Haley on how to avoid further violations and would consider “such activity to be a willful and knowing violation of the law” if Haley did it again.


Newsline: UN ambassador Nikki Haley warned over Trump retweet

US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley was warned on Tuesday that her retweet of a political message posted by President Donald Trump in June endorsing then-South Carolina congressional candidate Ralph Norman was a violation of the Hatch Act, according a letter posted by a Washington watchdog group. “The Office of Special Counsel issued Haley a warning letter noting that any future engagement in prohibited political activity will be considered ‘a willful and knowing violation of the law, which could result in further action,'” according to a press release from the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics (CREW), which filed the original complaint. The Hatch Act prohibits employees in the executive branch, except the President, vice president and some other high-level officials, from engaging in political activity. Haley did not immediately respond to CNN’s request for comment. CREW’s initial complaint stemmed from Haley’s retweet of a post by Trump that said: “Ralph Norman, who is running for Congress in SC’s 5th District, will be a fantastic help to me in cutting taxes.”


Newsline: Top aides to U.S. ambassador to the United Nations resign

Two top aides to U.S. diplomat Nikki Haley, President Donald Trump’s ambassador to the United Nations, have resigned due to family concerns. Haley announced the departures on her Twitter account. Gone are Haley’s chief of staff, Steven Groves, and Communications Director Jonathan Wachtel, she said. “Both Jonathan & Steve have recently encountered family concerns. They will always be a part of the team & dear friends,” Haley said in a tweet responding to news reports the two men were leaving. Haley’s role at the United Nations received international attention last week when she helped persuade reticent members of the Security Council — particularly China and Russia — to pass tough new economic sanctions against North Korea. Replacements for Groves and Wachtel have not yet been announced.


Newsline: Diplomat blasts attacks on Russian embassy in Damascus

Russia calls on its partners to condemn yet another attack on its embassy in Damascus, Russia’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations Vladimir Safronkov said on Tuesday at a meeting of the UN Security Council. “Russia’s embassy in Damascus came under shelling twice during the past night. We urge partners to condemn these attacks,” he said. Al-Alam television channel reported earlier on Tuesday that four shells had fallen near the Russian embassy in Damascus’ Mazraa neighborhood. According to the television channel, shelling had been conducted by armed groups. Russia has repeatedly demanded the United Nations Security Council pass a press statement condemning attacks on its embassy in Damascus. In some cases, these attempts were blocked by Western countries that insisted on wordings unacceptable for Russia.


Newsline: Trump picks former U.N. spokesman Grenell for ambassador to Germany

President Donald Trump has picked former U.N. spokesman Richard Grenell as U.S. ambassador to Germany, a White House official who spoke on condition of anonymity said. Grenell served as U.S. spokesman at the United Nations from 2001 to 2008, during the administration of Republican President George W. Bush. Currently, Grenell is a contributor to Fox News. His nomination as envoy to NATO ally Germany must be confirmed by the U.S. Senate. Trump has scolded Germany for not reaching NATO’s target for defense spending and complained about its trade surplus with the United States.