Geneva - the best personalized free web-based Email en en Geneva UN envoy in shuttle diplomacy for Cyprus talks' final phase NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — A United Nations envoy on Thursday shuttled between the rival leaders of ethnically divided Cyprus to clinch agreement on holding a summit in Geneva, where it's hoped two years of reunification talks will produce success. Espen Barth Eide said after talks with Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades and breakaway Turkish Cypriot leader ... Thu, 18 May 2017 19:51:00 GMT 2017-05-18T19:51:00Z Heart-shaped diamond sells for $13M, under auction estimate GENEVA (AP) — A heart-shaped diamond billed as the largest of its kind to be auctioned off sold for less than the pre-sale estimate Wednesday, fetching a hammer price of 13 million Swiss francs (about $13.3 million.) The 92-carat "La Legende" was the standout piece among some 250 jewels put on the block during the day at Christie's in Geneva. It had been ... Wed, 17 May 2017 22:39:00 GMT 2017-05-17T22:39:00Z 2 more members leave FIFA governance panel GENEVA (AP) — In a further blow to FIFA's image under President Gianni Infantino, two more respected members of its governance oversight panel have left following the removal of their chairman last week. Navi Pillay, the former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, and corporate human rights expert Ron Popper, have resigned, FIFA said on Wedn... Wed, 17 May 2017 19:45:00 GMT 2017-05-17T19:45:00Z Syrian opposition seeks extension of current Geneva talks GENEVA (AP) — The Syrian opposition will seek an extension of the current round of U.N.-hosted peace talks underway in Geneva, saying Wednesday it needed more negotiating time. Salem Meslet, an opposition spokesman, said it was "not right" that this round is expected to last just four days. The opposition needed time to prepare its response to a "paper" presented by U.N. spe... Wed, 17 May 2017 17:43:00 GMT 2017-05-17T17:43:00Z Sotheby's sells pink, blue diamond earrings for about $51M GENEVA (AP) — Sotheby's sold a pair of pear-shaped diamond earrings at a hammer price of about $51 million Tuesday, though the 14.54-carat flawless Fancy Vivid Blue diamond that was the auction's highlight fell short of the expected range. Sold as separate lots, the "Apollo Blue" and "Artemis Pink" diamonds together cracked the low end of the expected ran... Wed, 17 May 2017 05:09:00 GMT 2017-05-17T05:09:00Z Syria denies US allegations of mass killings, crematorium BEIRUT (AP) — Syria on Tuesday rejected U.S. accusations it carried out mass killings at a prison near Damascus and then burned the victims' bodies in a crematorium, describing the allegations as "lies" and "fabrications." The allegations are a "new Hollywood plot" to justify U.S. intervention in Syria, Syria's Foreign Ministry said, noting what it called... Tue, 16 May 2017 19:17:00 GMT 2017-05-16T19:17:00Z The Latest: UN suspects cruel treatment in Syrian prisons BEIRUT (AP) — The Latest on the conflict in Syria (all times local): 8:45 p.m. The United Nations says the Syrian government has "systematically rejected" repeated requests to visit prisons and detention centers where thousands of prisoners are believed to be subjected to cruel treatment, including torture. U.N. spoke... Tue, 16 May 2017 17:50:00 GMT 2017-05-16T17:50:00Z Syrian activists: Airstrikes on IS-held areas kill dozens BEIRUT (AP) — Air raids on an Islamic State-held village and town in Syria have killed at least 32 civilians over the past two days, activists said Monday, underscoring the risk for hundreds of thousands of residents trapped in areas under the militant group's control ahead of the looming battle for Raqqa. The Syrian military, meanwhile, announced it had ... Mon, 15 May 2017 17:47:00 GMT 2017-05-15T17:47:00Z Kurdish-led forces say they will advance on IS capital BEIRUT (AP) — A Kurdish-led Syrian force backed by the U.S. expects to advance on the Islamic State group's de facto capital of Raqqa in northern Syria this summer, a commander said Friday, following a decision by the Trump administration to supply the force with heavier weapons. The Syrian Democratic Forces have been buoyed by this week's capture of the ... Fri, 12 May 2017 18:02:00 GMT 2017-05-12T18:02:00Z Taiwan not invited to WHO assembly, but negotiations go on GENEVA (AP) — The World Health Organization says it does not plan to invite a delegation from Taiwan to attend its upcoming annual assembly, for the first time since 2009. However, Dr. Tim Armstrong, who heads the department of governing bodies at the U.N. agency, said "negotiations are still going on" to possibly allow Taiwan to attend as an observer at the World Health Ass... Fri, 12 May 2017 08:59:00 GMT 2017-05-12T08:59:00Z UN officials urge India to lift social media ban in Kashmir SRINAGAR, India (AP) — Two United Nations special rapporteurs urged the Indian government Thursday to lift a ban on social media sites and mobile internet service in the Indian-controlled portion of disputed Kashmir. The U.N. special rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression, David Kaye, and the special rapporteur on the situation of human rights de... Thu, 11 May 2017 14:26:00 GMT 2017-05-11T14:26:00Z UN: Up to 245 missing after 2 Mediterranean shipwrecks ROME (AP) — Two wrecks of migrant ships in the Mediterranean have claimed as many as 245 lives, including those of at least five children, according to survivor accounts given to U.N. agencies and authorities in Sicily, where dozens of rescued migrants were taken. Survivors of one wreck, some of them hospitalized in Pozzallo, Sicily, where they were being... Tue, 09 May 2017 17:40:00 GMT 2017-05-09T17:40:00Z Poland faces criticism at UN human rights forum GENEVA (AP) — The United States and other countries criticized Poland at the U.N.'s Human Rights Council on Tuesday for new laws that are seen as limiting the independence of the judiciary and public media. Several Western nations also criticized Poland for its restrictive abortion laws, calling on the mostly Roman Catholic nation to give women the right ... Tue, 09 May 2017 13:55:00 GMT 2017-05-09T13:55:00Z Syria rejects international forces in safe zones BEIRUT (AP) — Syria on Monday dismissed the idea of foreign forces patrolling four so-called de-escalation zones that are to be established under a deal struck by Russia, Iran and Turkey, suggesting Damascus would agree only to Russian "military police" who are already on the ground. Syria planned to abide by the agreement signed in Kazakhstan last week, ... Mon, 08 May 2017 21:53:00 GMT 2017-05-08T21:53:00Z UN Syria envoy to reconvene Geneva peace talks next week GENEVA (AP) — The office of the U.N.'s Syria envoy says he plans to reconvene political talks between government envoys and opposition leaders next week in Geneva. Staffan de Mistura's office said late Monday that he will convene the sixth round of talks since early last year on May 16, and he will brief the U.N. Security Council later this month. ... Mon, 08 May 2017 21:20:00 GMT 2017-05-08T21:20:00Z Aid groups in Central African Republic retreat amid threats GENEVA (AP) — Four international aid groups will temporarily withdraw their workers from parts of northern Central African Republic because of increasing attacks targeting them, the U.N. humanitarian aid coordinator said Friday. Spokesman Jens Laerke said the country is one of the world's most dangerous and difficult for humanitarian work, particularly in... Fri, 05 May 2017 18:09:00 GMT 2017-05-05T18:09:00Z UN rights chief 'watching the US very carefully' under Trump GENEVA (AP) — The United Nations human rights chief says his office is "watching the United States very carefully" under President Donald Trump, even as it watches whether possible U.S. budgetary cuts could affect his agency's ability to monitor crimes like torture, rape and killings worldwide. The comments Monday from U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rig... Mon, 01 May 2017 17:03:00 GMT 2017-05-01T17:03:00Z US seeks to further isolate North Korea over nuclear program GENEVA (AP) — A U.S. ambassador says Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will tell the U.N. Security Council about steps the United States believes are needed to "further isolate" North Korea and "to try to bring it back to its senses" over nuclear issues. Robert Wood, ambassador to the U.N.'s Committee on Disarmament in Geneva, gave a preview of Tillerson's... Fri, 28 Apr 2017 13:51:00 GMT 2017-04-28T13:51:00Z Syrian population transfer stalls over prisoner exchange BEIRUT (AP) — The second stage of a troubled population transfer in Syria stalled on Thursday as rebel and government negotiators argued over the identities of the prisoners to be released as part of the exchange. More than 3,000 people found themselves trapped at the handover point between the two sides on the outskirts of Aleppo city, where a car bomb o... Thu, 20 Apr 2017 16:12:00 GMT 2017-04-20T16:12:00Z Hundreds dress up as Chaplin's 'Tramp' at star's Swiss home BERLIN (AP) — Hundreds of Charlie Chaplin fans dressed as his "Tramp" character have gathered at the silent film star's former home in Switzerland, marking what would have been his 128th birthday. The Chaplin's World museum, which opened a year ago, said 662 people sporting the star's distinctive bowler hat and cane gathered Sunday at the Manoir de Ban in Corsier-sur-Vevey, ... Mon, 17 Apr 2017 14:14:00 GMT 2017-04-17T14:14:00Z Geneva OKs bare-breasted swimming for women GENEVA (AP) — Who needs St. Tropez? A glitzy Swiss city is allowing women to swim topless now, too. Geneva's regional council, modifying a ban that predated bikinis by decades, has ruled that women can again pop off their tops legally in Lake Geneva and Rhone River without running the risk of a fine. It didn't take many petitioners to s... Thu, 06 Apr 2017 16:52:00 GMT 2017-04-06T16:52:00Z No deal in sight as fifth round of UN Syria talks concludes GENEVA (AP) — The U.N. envoy for Syria wrapped up a fifth round of talks between opposition leaders and the government on Friday, pointing to "incremental" progress while acknowledging no peace deal is foreseeable as the country enters its seventh year of war. After eight days of talks in Geneva, Staffan de Mistura says negotiators appeared "keen" on taki... Fri, 31 Mar 2017 18:35:00 GMT 2017-03-31T18:35:00Z UNHCR: Number of Syrian refugees tops 5 million mark GENEVA (AP) — The number of Syrians who have fled their country after six years of civil war has surpassed the 5-million mark, the U.N. refugee agency said on Thursday. UNHCR announced the milestone a year after participating countries at a Geneva conference pledged to "resettle and facilitate pathways for 500,000 refugees" from Syria — but only half of those places have bee... Thu, 30 Mar 2017 14:59:00 GMT 2017-03-30T14:59:00Z Lawyer: Art dealer accepts prized coffin's return to Turkey GENEVA (AP) — Lawyers say a Roman Empire-era coffin depicting the 12 labors of Hercules is set to go home to Turkey, ending a legal battle over a prized artifact that had mysteriously turned up in Geneva's secretive customs-office warehouse years ago. The Inanna Art Services, a private cultural goods importer that had legal possession of the three-ton mar... Tue, 28 Mar 2017 21:21:00 GMT 2017-03-28T21:21:00Z UN experts urge UAE to free detained human rights advocate GENEVA (AP) — A group of U.N. experts is calling on the United Arab Emirates to immediately release a leading human rights advocate, saying his arrest was a "direct attack" on the work of rights defenders Three independent experts with the U.N. human rights office in Geneva also on Tuesday demanded information about the whereabouts of Ahmed Mansoor, sayin... Tue, 28 Mar 2017 08:59:00 GMT 2017-03-28T08:59:00Z Airstrikes across rebel-held Syria kill and wound scores BEIRUT (AP) — Airstrikes hit a women's prison and a clinic in rebel-held parts of Syria on Saturday, killing and wounding scores of people amid clashes on multiple fronts between government forces and insurgent groups in some of the country's worst violence in weeks, opposition activists said. The airstrikes, of which some activists said included Russian ... Sat, 25 Mar 2017 18:22:00 GMT 2017-03-25T18:22:00Z US-backed Syrian fighters reach IS-held dam in north Syria BEIRUT (AP) — U.S.-backed Syrian fighters reached a major dam held by the Islamic State group in northern Syria Friday as Syria's U.N. ambassador said hundreds of American personnel are "invading my country," insisting that any effort to liberate the city of Raqqa — the de facto capital of the Islamic State group — should be done in coordination with the Damascus government.... Fri, 24 Mar 2017 19:36:00 GMT 2017-03-24T19:36:00Z The Latest: Clashes erupt near key IS-held dam in Syria BEIRUT (AP) — The Latest on the conflict in Syria (all times local): 4:30 p.m. A Syrian monitoring group and a spokeswoman for a U.S.-backed force say intense clashes are ongoing near a major dam held by the Islamic State group on the Euphrates river. Cihan Sheikh Ehmed, the spokeswoman for the Syrian Democratic Force... Fri, 24 Mar 2017 14:23:00 GMT 2017-03-24T14:23:00Z UN-mediated Syria talks resume in Geneva GENEVA (AP) — The top deputy for the U.N. Syria envoy is shuttling between Geneva hotels to meet with envoys from the government delegation and opposition groups ahead of the formal start of a fifth round of U.N.-mediated peace talks. The United Nations Special Envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, issued a statement on Thursday noting that all parties hav... Thu, 23 Mar 2017 11:09:00 GMT 2017-03-23T11:09:00Z Aid group says medical assistance needed in Iraq's Mosul BAGHDAD (AP) — A leading international relief organization has appealed for more medical assistance to cope with the increasing numbers of civilians fleeing the intensified fighting between Iraqi government forces and the Islamic State group in western Mosul. Backed by U.S.-led international coalition, Iraqi forces launched an operation in February to dri... Thu, 23 Mar 2017 11:05:00 GMT 2017-03-23T11:05:00Z