UN rights office urges Egypt to free blogger, lawyer, journalist

19 Oct 2019; MEMO: The UN human rights office called on Egypt on Friday to free a prominent blogger, lawyer and journalist allegedly mistreated in custody who are among several thousand people detained since street protests began a month ago, Reuters reports.

Officials at Egypt’s interior ministry were not immediately available for comment. The state prosecutor’s office said in late September that it had questioned up to 1,000 suspects who took part in the demonstrations.

Swiss glaciers shrink 10 percent in five years: study

15 October 2019; AFP: Switzerland's glaciers have lost a tenth of their volume in the past five years alone -- a melting rate unmatched during observations stretching back more than a century, a study showed Tuesday.

Measurements on 20 Swiss glaciers have shown that melt rates this year have reached "record levels", according to the annual study on the state of the glaciers, published by the Cryospheric Commission at the Swiss Academy of Sciences.

Venezuela denounces to UNESCO impacts of illegal US blockade

GENEVA, Oct 15 (NNN-TELESUR) — Venezuelan Ambassador to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization Hector Constant denounced the impacts of the illegal economic, financial, and commercial blockade imposed by the United States on the South American nation.

Constant said that illegal economic measures prevent Venezuela’s development.”It affects the country’s efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development objectives of the U.N. Agenda 2023,” he added.

Trade wars lose US its competitiveness top spot: WEF

GENEVA, Oct 9 (NNN-AGENCIES) — The United States fell to second place behind Singapore in the World Economic Forum’s flagship Global Competitiveness Report, with the slippage linked in part to President Donald Trump’s trade wars.

The WEF, organisers of the glitzy annual gathering of business and political elite in Davos, have released an annual competitiveness report since 1979 that assesses which economies are well placed to see productivity and long-term growth.

WTO stresses central role of cotton in developing countries

GENEVA, Oct. 7 (Xinhua) -- The World Trade Organization (WTO) Director General Roberto Azevedo underlined the importance of cotton to many developing countries at the launch of the first World Cotton Day in Geneva on Monday, hoping to "bring together the cotton, trade and development communities to foster greater value addition and value capture in developing countries."

Equatorial Guinea VP’s supercars sold for $27m at Swiss auction

GENEVA, Oct 2 (NNN-AGENCIES) — Following the seizure of 25 supercars from Equatorial Guinea’s vice president as part of a Swiss money-laundering probe, an auction held by Bonhams fetched nearly $27 million (27 million Swiss francs).

Geneva prosecutors said in February that they had closed an inquiry into Teodoro Nguema Obiang for money laundering and misappropriation of public assets with an arrangement to sell the cars to fund social programmes in the west African state.

Saudi Arabia has sent messages to Iran's president: Iran government

GENEVA (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia has sent messages to Iran’s president through the leaders of other countries, an Iranian government spokesman said on Monday, at a time of heightened tensions between the regional rivals.

“Messages from the Saudis were presented to (Iran’s President) Hassan Rouhani from the leaders of some countries,” spokesman Ali Rabiei said, according to the semi-official ILNA news agency. “If Saudi Arabia is really pursuing a change of behavior, Iran welcomes that,” he added

Rabiei did not give any information on what the messages contained.

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