Feb 26, 2018

UN official: Security Council vetoes contribute to human "slaughterhouses"

Photo by FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images

High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein called out the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council for invoking their veto power in the face of "some of the most prolific slaughterhouses of humans in recent times."

"Second to those who are criminally responsible — those who kill and those who maim — the responsibility for the continuation of so much pain lies with the five permanent members of the UN Security Council.  So long as the veto is used by them to block any unity of action, when it is needed the most, when it could reduce the extreme suffering of innocent people, then it is they — the permanent members — who must answer before the victims."
— High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein

Why it matters: Al-Hussein used one of his last addresses as High Commissioner to condemn the use of the veto power, especially in the wake of continuing devastation in Eastern Ghouta, Syria. This December will mark the 70th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which al-Hussein — citing violations in the DRC, Yemen and Myanmar — proclaimed must be defended "more vigorously than ever before."

Worth noting: Russia and China have vetoed a number of resolutions pertaining to the Assad regime's atrocities in Syria. The U.S. has used its veto on issues pertaining to Israel and Palestine. France and the U.K. have not used their vetoes recently.

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What the coronavirus means for Trump's presidency

Photo Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photo: Chris Graythen/Getty Images

A poor response to the coronavirus could be politically devastating for President Trump, and so far his administration has given the strong impression that it’s still scrambling as the risk of a pandemic mounts.

Why it matters: There’s only so much any president can do to stop a virus from spreading, and for now the coronavirus is still very much under control within the U.S. But if the disease get worse in the months ahead, and if the administration seems to be caught off guard, that spells trouble for public confidence in Trump.

Coronavirus updates: New global case numbers surpass China's

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The novel coronavirus is now affecting every continent but Antarctica and the WHO said Wednesday the number of new cases reported outside China has exceeded those inside the country for the first time.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,800 people and infected over 82,000 others in some 50 countries and territories. As Denmark and Estonia reported their first cases Thursday, Scott Morrison, prime minister of Australia — which has 23 confirmed infections — told a news conference, "The risk of a global pandemic is very much upon us."

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Mass shooting in Milwaukee: What we know

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett in 2012. Photo: John Gress/Corbis via Getty Images

Six people died in a shooting at the Molson Coors Brewing Company in Milwaukee Molson Coors on Wednesday, including the 51-year-old gunman, Mayor Tom Barrett told reporters at an evening press conference with local police.

Details: All of the victims worked at the brewery complex, as did the shooter who died of "an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, police confirmed in a statement late Wednesday.

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