{FD} EPA awarded $540M in cyber contracts without verifying if contractors got proper training, auditors say

The Environmental Protection Agency awarded more than $540 million worth of often-sensitive information security contracts during the last two years of the Obama administration without learning whether the contractors now doing the jobs have gotten special “role-based” training required for their tasks, according to an internal audit report.Continue reading

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{FD} UN launches blitz reform campaign as ‘absolutely essential’ protection against Trump Administration

United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres is on a blitz campaign to streamline the U.N.’s underperforming bureaucracy, give more authority to its outlying branches, and greatly expand his ability to shuffle money around in the U.N.’s regular biennial budget (just part of its total cost)—all in the next 18 months.Continue reading

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{FD} Aid groups bypass UN in joint call to prevent mass starvation

As disease outbreaks raise the danger for as many as 20 million people faced with famine and mass starvation in a clutch of strife-torn African and Middle Eastern countries, some of the world’s largest non-government aid organizations are issuing a rare collective call for private relief donations over the next two weeks, alongside a longer-range, multibillion-dollar United Nations appeal that is so far less than half funded.Continue reading

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{FD} U.N. agency’s dealings with North Korea on nerve gas chemical spark more concern

A United Nations agency’s go-it-alone decision to facilitate an international patent application from North Korea for production of the embargoed chemical sodium cyanide—used in making nerve gas —continues to spark concern among close observers of U.N. sanctions against the rogue regime, nearly a week after the U.N. body dismissed the issue as outside the bounds of  U.N. sanctions resolutions.Continue reading

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{FD} Syria’s conflict: More war crimes, more peace talks-and more radicalization by Russian design

Amid a hailstorm of poison gas attacks, Russian cluster bombings, and displacements of tens of thousands of refugees—all actions judged by the United Nations to be war crimes—Syria’s long-running civil war has returned to extreme levels of brutality, even as U.N. officials continue to place wan hopes on a near-comatose peace process in Geneva.Continue reading

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