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     Click here for Inner City Press' weekday news reports, from the United Nations and elsewhere.  Click here for a recent BBC piece on Inner City Press' reporting from the United Nations  Search This Site    Click for March 1, 2011 BloggingHeads.tv re Libya, Sri Lanka, UN Corruption by Inner City Press.     Click here for Inner City Press front page

  ICP has published a (double) book about a variety of Bronx-relevant topics -- a review in Commonweal magazine of Dec. 5, 2003, opines  that "Predatory Bender... is as vivid an account of life in the Bronx as you are likely to read" -- click here for sample chapters, here for an interactive maphere for fast ordering and delivery, and here for other ordering information.  See also, "City Lit: Roman a Klepto [Review of ‘Predatory Bender’]," by Matt Pacenza, City Limits, Sept.-Oct. 2004. CBS MarketWatch of April 23, 2004, says the the novel has "some very funny moments," and that the non-fiction mixes "global statistics and first-person accounts." The Washington Post of March 15, 2004, calls Predatory Bender: America in the Aughts "the first novel about predatory lending;" the London Times of April 15, 2004, "A Novel Approach," said it "has a cast of colorful characters."   The Pittsburgh City Paper of Dec. 11, 2003, wrote that it "may, in fact, be the first great American lending malfeasance novel" including "low-level loan sharks, class-action lawyers, corporate bigwigs, hired muscle, corrupt politicians, Iraq War veterans, Wall Street analysts, reporters and one watchdog with a Web site."  And all in The Bronx!   Click here for that review; for more information, contact us.
2014: MRL on Beacon Reader

June 18, 2018

World Cup Opens on Big Screens in UN With Russia Trouncing Saudi 5-0 and Ambassadors in Jerseys

By Matthew Russell Lee, Video, Sweden, 1st

UNITED NATIONS, June 13 – To view the 2018 World Cup TV screens have been set up in the Security Council on the UN's second floor down to the Vienna Cafe in its basement. Periscope video here. There are also screens in the UN Delegates' Lounge, where the first game of Russia versus Saudi Arabia was seen by both countries' Ambassadors and others, including the President of the General Assembly. Video here. Many ambassadors of qualifying countries showed up in their country's jersey, all with the number 10 except for Russia's deputy, who wore 9. Morocco's Ambassador Hilale did not wear a jersey. Photos here and here. It was 2-0 Russia by half time (when Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia walked from the Lounge to the Security Council to chair a meeting about the Saudi led coalition's assault on Hodeida in Yemen), and 5-0 Russia by the end. What will be the result of Uruguay and Egypt, whose team with recurperating Salah did its final training in Chechnya? Watch this site. On June 13 Inner City Press, having first reported that Antonio Guterres will be in Moscow to watch his Portugal play Morocco on June 20, asked Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia if his June 14 photo op would include Council members not qualified for the Cup, like the Netherlands and US. Yes, he said. The Deputy Ambassador of qualifier Sweden, Carl Skau, said he is "not very optimistic" about the Swedish team's chances. Inner City Press Periscope video here. Sweden is in Group F with incoming Security Council member Germany, Mexico and denuclearization hopeful South Korea. We'll have more on this - and on the other Groups. Guterres pre-announced his trip on June 2 and then took some softball questions. Video here. After Inner City Press shot the video on Periscope, which Guterres has banned on his 38th floor of the UN, and put it on YouTube, it was picked up and linked to be pro-Morocco media, here. On June 4, Inner City Press asked Guterres' spokesman Stephane Dujarric, UN transcript here: Inner City Press: it seemed to me that the Secretary-General said on… on Friday that he will be in Moscow on 20 June for the Portugal-Morocco game, and he called it an official visit.  Can you give us some more… when does it begin? When does it end?

Spokesman:  No, it begin around the time of the game, and we'll have a bit more of an official announcement for an official visit closer to official time.

Inner City Press: Are there any other stops on the trail?

Spokesman:  There'll be… everything will be announced in due course." More than a week later, without sending any of it to Inner City Press which had asked, Dujarric at the June 12 noon briefing announced that Guterres will be in Moscow for two nights, with one each in Finland and Norway before that, back to New York on June 22. Asked who Guterres will be rooting for, Dujarric first said "guess" then said the UN is for fair play like in the briefing (room) - the briefing room he evicted Inner City Press from while leaving in other correspondents he'd lent it to. Worse than FIFA? 
June 11, 2018

UN Accessed By Diplomat Who Helped Briber Ng Lap Seng Pay Lorenzo and UN Covers It Up Like Ho, CEFC

By Matthew Russell Lee, Video here & here

UNITED NATIONS, August 28– After the UN was exposed as having been bought and corrupted by Macau-based businessman Ng Lap Seng, convicted less than a month ago on six counts of UN bribery, money laundering and Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations, what has changed? Very little: on June 8, Inner City Press saw at the UN General Assembly stakeout the former El Salvador Ambassador Carlos Garcia, who was shown in the Ng Lap Seng trial to have used his diplomatic position to lobby Dominican Republic bank regulators to stop investigating and let through $50,000 from Ng to Francis Lorenza, who pleaded guilty. So an hour later on June 8 Inner City Press asked Stephane Dujarric the spokesman for UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, who has yet to commission an audit into the second, large UN bribery case of Patrick Ho and CEFC, about Garcia, video here, UN transcript here: Inner City Press: at the GA [General Assembly] stakeout, after the… the vote, this is something… I had asked you before once about the… the previous Permanent Representative of El Salvador, Carlos García, took part in some GMO [genetically modified organisms] meeting in ECOSOC [Economic and Social Council].  You may or may not remember that one.  The reason I'm asking you… I saw him… he was there speaking with the current… I believe the current [Permanent Representative] of El Salvador.  My question is, in the Ng Lap Seng trial that took place last summer, they showed on the screen a… a correspondence by him to the Dominican banking authorities, basically saying let this $50,000 go from Ng Lap Seng to Francis Lorenzo.  So, it seemed pretty clear.  Maybe the Government chose not to go after him… to pursue the case because he was an ambassador, but it seemed very clear that he was involved in the… the initiative of South-South with Ng Lap Seng to give money to Francis Lorenzo to obtain these various favours.  So, I guess my question is, is it automatic that a former Permanent Representative keeps a pass to come in, or is he in the building in some other capacity?

Spokesman:  I don't know under what capacity he was in the building.

Inner City Press:  How would one find that out?

Spokesman:  If I can find out, I will." Then no answer; Dujarric's office called end of day and week lid. Back on 25 August 2017
Secretary General Antonio Guterres was listed as a speaker at an absurd event in the ECOSOC Chamber, promoted by the UN Correspondents Association, by a group that had plead-guilty Francis Lorenzo and demonstrated money laundering helper Carlos Garcia at its founding. Here is a video shown at the event making outlandish claims about the only recently founded WOGC group. June 4, 2018

UN Guterres To Travel To See Portugal Play Morocco at World Cup, Refuses Qs on Price Tags

By Matthew Russell Lee, Video

UNITED NATIONS, June 2 – Antonio Guterres has held the position of UN Secretary General for seventeen months, amid few accomplished reforms or political conflicts solved, and ongoing censorship / restriction of the Press. He will, however, be in Moscow to watch his team, Portugal, play against Morocco on June 20. He said this on June 2 and then took some softball questions. Video here. This while he refuses Press questions on what's called his reform of the UN development system.

Inner City Press on May 30 sought to ask Guterres' spokesman Stephane Dujarric a question in advance. But Dujarric, who evicted Inner City Press from the UN Press Briefing Room as it pursued the still unresolved story of UN bribery and keeps it restricted, ran off. Video here. So here is the question: why even for this reform has Guterres not prepared the UN's usual “Program Budget Implication” statement? How much will the reform cost? On May 31, Inner City Press asked Guterres' spokesman Stephane Dujarric who offered an evasive answer and then ran off the podium. From the UN's sanitized transcript: Inner City Press: I wanted to ask you about the development system reform.  In talking to some people on the Fifth Committee, they said that it's strange that there's no Program Budget Implication, PBI, filed in connection with this pretty major proposal.  Like, even for the envoy on Myanmar, there had to be a PBI.  How can it be something this big doesn't have a price tag?

Spokesman:  Well, I mean, I think everything was negotiated with the Fifth Committee, and I think they got all the documents they needed." And then he ran off. So Inner City Press went and asked the question to Guterres, repeatedly, who ignored the audible question (but appeared to give a small wave). Video here. This while Guterres accompanied by Dujarric and Alison Smale wined and dined no-question correspondents with pan seered corvina and restricting Inner City Press which alone asks about these budget issues, and corruption. Today's UN is corrupt - and a censor.
May 28, 2018

UN Security Blocks Inner City Press From 7 - 7:55 pm After Trump, Escorts It To Get Laptop and Leave

By Matthew Russell Lee, Video

UNITED NATIONS, May 23 – After Inner City Press asked UN Spokesman Stephane Dujarric at noon on May 23 questions about Secretary General Antonio Guterres' failure to even start an audit of the Patrick Ho / China Energy Fund Committee UN bribery case pending in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York, and his role in the cover up of sexual harassment by the International Atomic Energy Agency's deputy in charge of the Iran Deal, it was stopped from re-entering the UN from 7 pm until 7:55 pm.

   Then it was escorted in by a UN Security officer who stood over it as it packed up the laptop on which it was writing up the Spokesman's evasive answers.

  Since the UN evicted Inner City Press from its long time UN work space for pursuing the first UN bribery case, that of Ng Lap Seng, John Ashe and Chau Chak Wing, it has been under a 7 pm curfew. This has been maintained, without explanation or response to 5000+ signature petition by Guterres' “Global Communicator” Alison Smale. Inner City Press must get back by that time to be allowed in.

   But on May 23, First Avenue all around the UN was locked down for the visit of US President Donald Trump. Inner City Press would have been back by 6:45 pm but it was blocked for 15 minutes at 50th Street and First Avenue. Tweeted Periscope video here. Coming the other way, just before the blockage, was UN official Hua Jiang, a Smale subordinate who has defended the restrictions on Inner City Press. At 7:01 pm, the UN's gate on 46st was still open. But a UN Security officer told Inner City Press, Go to 42nd Street entrance, they'll let you in no problem.

  They did not. One officer said, No way we're letting you in. Another, characterizing it as a favor, called the Department of Safety and Security office. Whoever first answered there said No, do no let him in. Inner City Press has previously reported on DSS chief Drennan “burying” a report about Irina Bokova - who has Inner City Press exclusively reported this week has quietly been retained on a “dollar a year” contract with immunity by UNESCO.

   Inner City Press began a short Periscope broadcast. The Under Secretary General for Sexual Violence in Conflict expressed sympathy. The Under Secretary General for General Assembly and Conference Management Catherine Polland laughed. A corporate wire service journalist said she would go get Inner City Press' laptop but she was late to an event. A sometimes Morocco state media journalist, sometime UN staff member, expressed sympathy, but...

  Inner City Press' phone battery went critically low and it ended the Periscope broadcast. The UN Security officers let into the building people without checking their IDs, for some event. After fifty minutes another officer came. He would escort Inner City Press in and stand over it while it collected its computer, and then ensure that it left. Inner City Press complied, set up in the park across from the UN and wrote this article.

May 21, 2018

 Here's an absurdity - even when Metro North in The Bronx, the Harlem line, is running 25 minutes late they still tell you that you cannot board the "red" Metro North train to Grand Central, even when it stops with no other train coming for 24 minutes. Inner City Press raised this to the MTA but the absurdity is still in place...

May 14, 2018

UN Guterres Banned Press From His Al Sharpton Meeting, Dujarric Refuses Read Out

By Matthew Russell Lee, Periscope

UNITED NATIONS, May 10 – UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres disclosed the existence of a meeting with Martin Luther King III and Kweku Mandela at 3:30 pm on May 9 - but Inner City Press was not allowed as before to go up to the UN's 38th floor and photograph it. It was told that since it also files written reports, it is not a photo agency. This is the new censorship system of Guterres and his spokesman Stephane Dujarric. So Inner City Press waited as it its right in the lobby, until Martin Luther King II came down - with Al Sharpton. Photo here. Inner City Press asked the two what they discussed with Guterres and was told it is still premature to announce it. Periscope video from here. Tellingly, there was no UNTV camera there, and a lone non-UN paid photographer. Whether he writes, as Inner City Press is accused of, is not known, including to the UN. Another attendee told Inner City Press Guterres was rude and dismissive to some of the attendees, including it seems Kweku Mandela, not shaking his hand - we can't dispute, as we weren't there by the Guterres / Dujarric "rules." On May 10 Inner City Press asked Dujarric about it. He said he didn't know Sharpton had been there, and stonewalled on the censorship "rule" he had put forward. Video here. From the UN's May 10 transcript: Inner City Press:  Yesterday, there was a photo op at 3:30.  I tried to go.  I wasn't allowed to go.  Another photographer did go up, but I did learn that, while it was listed that Martin Luther King III would be there, I didn't learn, except by standing in the lobby at the end of the meeting, that Al Sharpton was also at the meeting.

And, when he came down, he said that something is in the works with the UN, but it's too early to confirm it.  So, I want… one, I also have to say I don't understand the logic of John… my colleague John, the photographer, going up and me being disallowed.  But, two, if you're going to pick and choose who can go to photo ops, can you provide an updated media alert if, in fact, someone like Al Sharpton did attend or someone of the prominence of Al Sharpton did attend the meeting…

Spokesman:  I have to tell…

Inner City Press:  …and do you have a readout…

Spokesman:  I will be fully transparent and let you know that I had no idea Al Sharpton was going to attend.

Inner City Press: So, why can't you just let people go to the photo ops to find for themselves…

Spokesman:  "We've had… we've had this colourful debate yesterday."

 Inner City Press will always debate and oppose censorship. Earlier on May 9 Guterres swore in Rosemary DiCarlo as his head of Political Affairs on May 9 and only "photo agencies" were permitted to cover it. Inner City Press, which arrived more than 30 minutes early, was excluded. Inner City Press previously published a story on DiCarlo's history as the Deputy to Susan Rice and Samantha Power - the swearing in was newsworthy. It asked Guterres' Spokesman Stephane Dujarric why it was being excluded, and what "photo agencies" area. Dujarric replied, "i’m trying to bring a bit more order and sent to how we do photo ops. 'Photo agencies'  are entities whose  imain purpose is photo coverage." Inner City Press noted this must also exclude Reuters, AP and AFP: their main purpose as entities is not photo coverage. But Inner City Press is informed that already a list of Guterres approved coverers is being prepared. The UN under Guterres has hit a new low. We'll have more on this.

In 1st UN Bribery Case, UN Claims Cooperation After Ng Sentenced to 4 Years, 2d Ho Case UNacted On

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, May 11 – Eight months after the UN bribery conviction of Macau-based businessman Ng Lap Seng, on March 30 the prosecution asked for a jail term of over six years and a $2 million fine. Today on May 11 Ng was sentenced to four years in jail, and ironically to pay the legal fees of the UN, which even under the prosecutors' press release he corrupted? The UN, which evicted and still restricts Inner City Press for pursuing the extend of Ng's bribery in the UN, including his payments through South South News to the UN Correspondents Association, gave its UN Censorship Alliance scribes a statement that In a statement after the verdict, the UN said it “had cooperated extensively to facilitate the proper administration of justice in this case, by disclosing thousands of documents and waiving the immunity of officials to allow them to testify at trial." This statement, and the UNCA scribes, ignore that the UN is already embroiled in another bribery scandal, that of Patrick Ho and CEFC. Nothing has been reformed; Secretary General Antonio Guterress hasn't even ordered an audit. The prosecutors said Ng "was sentenced today to 48 months in prison for his role in a scheme to bribe United Nations ambassadors to obtain support to build a conference center in Macau that would host, among other events, the annual United Nations Global South-South Development Expo.  NG was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Vernon S. Broderick. NG was convicted on July 27, 2017, after a five-week trial, of two counts of violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, one count of paying bribes and gratuities, one count of money laundering, and two counts of conspiracy. Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said:  “Billionaire Ng Lap Seng corrupted the highest levels of the United Nations in pursuit of a multibillion-dollar real estate deal in Macau.  Ng exploited a center for international diplomacy as an instrument for his greedy intentions.  This Office is committed to policing official corruption wherever it may be found.” Acting Assistant Attorney General John P. Cronan said:  “Corruption at any level of government undermines the rule of law and cannot be tolerated.  But corruption is especially corrosive when it occurs at an international body like the United Nations.  By paying bribes to two U.N. ambassadors to advance his interest in obtaining formal support for the Macau conference center project, Ng Lap Seng tried to manipulate the functions of the United Nations.  The sentence handed down today demonstrates that those who engage in corruption will pay a heavy price and serves as a reminder that no one stands above the law.” The day before, Judge Vernon Broderick denied Ng's request for a new trial and for an investigation of alleged perjury by former South South News chief Francis Lorenzo (who was seen on First Avenue by the UN just days ago). Broderick filed it under seal: "On September 26, 2017, Defendant Ng Lap Seng (“Defendant” or “Ng”) filed a motion for a new trial under Rule 33 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. (Doc. 653.) Ng also requested that I direct the Government to conduct an independent investigation into Defendant Francis Lorenzo’s (“Lorenzo”) alleged perjury during trial, or in the alternative, to permit Ng to issue a defense subpoena under Rule 17 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. (Id.) Ng has not established a basis for a new trial or for me to direct the Government to conduct an investigation into Lorenzo’s alleged perjury or authorize a defense subpoena. Accordingly, Ng’s
motion is DENIED. An Opinion and Order explaining my decision has been filed under seal because it relies
upon material that has been filed under seal. A copy has also been sent to counsel by email. By May 16, 2018, the parties shall provide the Court with proposed redactions to the Opinion and Order, if any. I will consider the parties’ proposed redactions and will file a redacted version of the Opinion and Order on the public docket." Meanwhile, until the last day Ng has been requesting visits to his apartment on 47th Street by, most recently, his god-son. (In the second UN bribery case, Patrick Ho is still in jail pending trial.)

May 7, 2018

UN Bribery Indictee Patrick Ho Fails To Get Bail, Said China's Belt and Road, CEFC On Trial

By Matthew Russell Lee, Video, Q&A, HK here

UNITED NATIONS, May 2 – Four months after the arrest for UN bribery of Patrick Ho, the head of China Energy Fund Committee full funded by CEFC China Energy, his ultimate boss at CEFC Ye Jianming was brought in for questioning in China. Now on May 2, Patrick Ho and five lawyers argued for more than an hour to try to get bail granted - it was not. Judge Katherine Forrest noted that even if Ho's motions to dismiss some counts, and to suppress evidence collected with his iPad password, are in fact granted, the case will still proceed. She asked his lawyers to research whether the equity in his mother's home in Hong Kong could be transferred to a bank in the United States. Ho's lawyer Andrew Levander quoted him that this is a case not only against Ho, but also against CEFC and China it its "One Belt, One Road." The prosecution's Douglas Zolkind recounted how Ho inside the UN worked with former Senegal foreign minister Gadio to bribe Chadian president Gadio, who "laughingly" referred to Brazilian bribes for another oil concession. Ho's lawyers analogized him to Jeff Bezos of Amazon and to Donald J. Trump. He will be back in court in a forthnight on May 17 at 3 pm - and so will we. Post hearing Periscope video here.

April 30, 2018

The shutting down of the 4 train from Manhattan to The Bronx on the weekend is an outrage. The 6 train conductors play coy in their announcement; the scene at 138th Street and Third Avenue for the "free shuttle bus" is a madhouse. The delay adds up to more than an hour. Taking the Bx 15 up Third Avenue you'll witness the new windows on the long abandoned courthouse on 159th Street, and a house and church being demolished on the intersection with Boston Road. The past is erased; Krinos Foods is not only on Northern Boulevard, it's by the Cross Bronx Expressway. But who gets the jobs? To be continued.

April 23, 2018

UN Briber Patrick Ho of CEFC Asserts "Blame HSBC" Defense, Could Have Wired Other Ways

By Matthew Russell Lee, Video, Q&A, HK here

UNITED NATIONS, April 17 – Four months after the arrest for UN bribery of Patrick Ho, the head of China Energy Fund Committee full funded by CEFC China Energy, his ultimate boss at CEFC Ye Jianming was brought in for questioning in China. Now Patrick Ho is trying to get portions of his indictment dismissed, blaming that fact that the payments to UN General Assembly President Sam Kutesa and Chadian President Deby went through New York only because the bank HSBC decided, not by Ho's choice. Call it the "blame HSBC" defense - and we note that HSBC has been embroiled in scandals of money laundering for Mexican drug cartels and for the Guptas in South Africa, as well as tax evasion worldwide. There truly is no honor among thieves, including the UN. We'll have more on this. Management and day to day operations of CEFC have reportedly been taken over by the Shanghai city government's investment arm, Shanghai Guosheng Group Company. At the UN, Inner City Press asked if this meant that its fundee could not longer be in special consultative status to UN ECOSOC; this has not been answered.

April 16, 2018

On Cameroon, Inner City Press Asked US State Dep't of 47 Illegally Deported By Nigeria, US Statement Here

By Matthew Russell Lee, Periscope, Video

WASHINGTON, April 12 – As Cameroon's 36 year president Paul Biya has cracked down on Anglophones, the UN has largely stayed quiet. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres stopped by in October 2017 and smiled, accepting from Biya a golden statue. His Deputy Amina J. Mohammed was in Abuja when Nigeria illegally refouled 47 people to Cameroon and said nothing.  On April 10  Inner City Press went to the US State Department briefing and asked spokesperson Heather Nauert about it. Video here from 32:59.  She said, I'll take your question and get back to you. And UNlike so often the United Nations, she did. On April 12, this response arrived, from a State Department official: "With respect to your question from the State Department press briefing on Tuesday, the following is attributable to a State Department official: 'On February 5, the Department of State issued a press statement on Cameroonian Anglophone Detainees, in which the United States condemned the ongoing violence in Cameroon’s Anglophone regions.  We called on the Government of Cameroon to respect the human rights, including due process, of the 47 Cameroonians forcibly returned from Nigerian custody to the Cameroonian authorities on January 26.  Many of those forcibly repatriated had reportedly submitted asylum claims in Nigeria.  We continue to urge the Governments of Cameroon and Nigeria to adhere to their obligations under international law to refrain from forcible repatriation of asylum-seekers back to their countries of origin. We expect the Cameroonian government to afford these, and other individuals previously detained, all the rights and protections enshrined in Cameroon’s constitution, consistent with the nation’s international obligations and commitments.  We regularly engage with the Cameroonian government regarding our concerns about the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms, and we urge all sides in the conflict to act with restraint in response to acts of violence when they occur.  We also continue to appeal to all sides to enter into meaningful, broad-based dialogue as the only path toward a resolution of legitimate grievances.'"  On April 12, Inner City Press asked Amnesty Interntional about those of the refoulees facing treason charges being subject to the death penalty. But that's another story. Again, the April 10 video:


From the US' April 10 transcript: Inner City Press:  Matthew Russell Lee.

MS NAUERT:  Okay.

Inner City Press:  Yeah.  So I wanted --

MS NAUERT:  Nice to meet you.

Inner City Press: it’s something that I haven’t seen the Department comment on.  Maybe you’ll have – maybe it’s in your binder, or maybe it isn’t.  But there’s been 47 Cameroonians were in Nigeria and they were picked up and sort of illegally returned, or refouled, back to Cameroon.  And it’s been – it’s been months that people haven’t seen them.  And I’m wondering:  Is the U.S. aware of this?  Are they aware of this conflict, the conflict or tensions in the Anglophone zones of Cameroon, and what do they intend to do about it?

MS NAUERT:  I’ll have to take your question on that and get back with you.  And there are things that are not contained in the binder that we are aware of as well.

  At least some response, hopefully with more to come - on the same day, the UN refused to answer a single one of Inner City Press' three questions, after having evicted and still restricting Inner City Press. We will continue to cover this. For now, this Periscope video just after the State Department briefing. Watch this site.

April 9, 2018

In 1st UN Bribery Case, Vivi Wang Pleads Guilty, Cooperation Deal, UN Corruption Continues

By Matthew Russell Lee, Video, Q&A, HK here

UNITED NATIONS, April 4 – Eight months after the UN bribery conviction of Macau-based businessman Ng Lap Seng, on March 30 the prosecution asked for a jail term of over six years and a $2 million fine. Now on April 4, with no advance notice, Ng's co-defendant Julia Vivi Wang pleaded guilty. Inner City Press requested and obtained the plea agreement and is putting it online on Scribd, here (and here on Patreon, as a back-up). That the deal is reportedly for her to cooperate in the future raises interesting questions; another UN bribery case, involving Patrick Ho and the China Energy Fund Committee which is still in consultative status with UN ECOSOC remains pending. The government's Ng Lap Seng sentencing filing states that "The defendant, a sophisticated, international businessman, repeatedly used his wealth and
power to seek to corrupt decision-making at the United Nations. That was a choice. It warrants substantial and meaningful punishment. The defendant could have sought to persuade the UN and the UN Development Programme (“UNDP”) to support his latest project—a massive real estate development on a
manmade island off the coast of Macau, China, including a conference center, luxury hotel,
residential apartments, and a high-end shopping mall with brands such as Gucci, to be built by
the defendant’s company—on its purported merits. But the merits of such a project are, at the very least, highly debatable. Building luxury hotels, apartments, and retail outlets may be
profitable, but UNDP’s mission is the eradication of poverty and the reduction of inequality through sustainable, environmentally responsible development. However, whether the UN or UNDP would have approved of and supported the defendant’s project, or a portion thereof, on the merits is a question to which one cannot know the answer. Because instead of seeking approval and support on the merits, the defendant cheated. Hiding behind and misusing a nongovernmental organization that he founded and funded allegedly to help developing nations
rather than himself, the defendant orchestrated and led a scheme to pay bribes to two senior UN
ambassadors, one of whom was the elected leader of the UN General Assembly." Note that the next PGA, Sam Kutesa, was allegedly bribed by Patrick Ho of the China Energy Fund Committee, which is STILL in UN ECOSOC.

April 1, 2018


In 1st UN Bribery Case, US Wants 6 Years and $2M From Ng Lap Seng, UN Corruption Continues

By Matthew Russell Lee, Video, Q&A, HK here

UNITED NATIONS, March 30 – Eight months after the UN bribery conviction of Macau-based businessman Ng Lap Seng, on March 30 the prosecution asked for a jail term of over six years and a $2 million fine.

The filing states that "The defendant, a sophisticated, international businessman, repeatedly used his wealth and power to seek to corrupt decision-making at the United Nations. That was a choice. It warrants substantial and meaningful punishment. The defendant could have sought to persuade the UN and the UN Development Programme (“UNDP”) to support his latest project—a massive real estate development on a manmade island off the coast of Macau, China, including a conference center, luxury hotel, residential apartments, and a high-end shopping mall with brands such as Gucci, to be built by the defendant’s company—on its purported merits. But the merits of such a project are, at the very least, highly debatable. Building luxury hotels, apartments, and retail outlets may be profitable, but UNDP’s mission is the eradication of poverty and the reduction of inequality through sustainable, environmentally responsible development. However, whether the UN or UNDP would have approved of and supported the defendant’s project, or a portion thereof, on the merits is a question to which one cannot know the answer. Because instead of seeking approval and support on the merits, the defendant cheated. Hiding behind and misusing a nongovernmental organization that he founded and funded allegedly to help developing nations rather than himself, the defendant orchestrated and led a scheme to pay bribes to two senior UN ambassadors, one of whom was the elected leader of the UN General Assembly."

Note that the next PGA, Sam Kutesa, was allegedly bribed by Patrick Ho of the China Energy Fund Committee, which is STILL in UN ECOSOC. In the UN, Ng's South South News paid money to the UN Correspondents Association, got a photo op with the Secretary General, and remained in long after Inner City Press was evicted for pursuing the story in the UN Press Briefing Room. In fact, South South News people still work in the UN.

March 26, 2018

On Cholera In Haiti, Sen Leahy Calls UN Reckless, $10M in Omnibus Budget, UN Silent

By Matthew Russell Lee, Photos

UNITED NATIONS, March 24 – When Haiti's President Moises spoke in the UN General Assembly on the morning of 21 September 2017, he called for UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres to follow through on his statements and provide funding for both tracks of the so-called New Approach to the cholera the UN brought to the island: that is, to pay reparations. Inner City Press, which accompanied and covered the Security Council's trip to Haiti this year, has repeatedly asked Guterres' spokesman Stephane Dujarric to make the envoy UN envoy on the issue, Josette Sheeran, available for questions. It has not happened. Sheeran but not Dujarric has now commented on the provision in the US' new $1.3 trillion appropriations bill devoting $10 million to the impact of the UN's cholera on Haiti. Senator Pat Leahy is quoted by the Miami Herald's intrepid Jacqueline Charles, of the UN's introduction of cholera that "We’ve never thought it was in any way intentional, but it was reckless and the consequences were immeasurable." The reckless UN, however, is still silent.

Note: "Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. joined more than 150 students from five Bronx high schools as they boarded buses to participate in the “March for Our Lives” against gun violence in Washington, D.C. Borough President Diaz was able to secure charter buses for the students, who come from DreamYard Preparatory High School, The DreamYard Art Center, The Bronx Center for Science and Mathematics, Cornerstone Academy for Social Action and The Pelham Academy for Academics and Community Engagement, to attend the rally. The students gathered in front of The Bronx County Building on the Grand Concourse in the cold to make the 6:00 a.m. trip."

March 19, 2018

Gentrification watch:  In January 2018 "The Bronx saw a 23 percent increase in building volume, but dollar and transaction volume dropped by 33 and 22 percent, respectively. There were seven transactions in the borough across 16 properties in January for $49.3 million overall. The largest was PRB Realty Corp’s $14.14 million sale of a six-building portfolio...
Queens saw just four transactions across eight buildings for $69.4 million. Building volume dropped by 33 percent, while transaction volume dropped by 47 percent. However, dollar volume ticked up by 11 percent to $69.35 million, as three of the four transactions across eight buildings were for more than $20 million, including Steelpoint Property Group’s purchase of 34-04 34th Avenue, 30-44 32nd Street and 31-36 32nd Street for $22.7 million."

March 12, 2018

UN's Ex-Gender Adviser Mayanja Is "Slumlord," Tenants Say, Inner City Press Asks UN

By Matthew Russell Lee, Photos

UNITED NATIONS, March 7 – UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres says he and the UN have a "zero tolerance" policy for harassment, and for retaliation. Inner City Press has asked the UN about harassment complaints at UNHCR when Guterres ran it, and at UNAIDS during the tenure there of Guterres' point person on the issue, Jan Beagle, who has yet to hold a press conference. Worth noting is previous UN gender advisor Rachel Mayanja turns out to be a slumlord, owning a run-down apartment building in Worchest, Massachusetts whose tenants are complaining to the local newspaper. Mayanja, photographed at the UN's "Women Can't Wait!" event with Meryl Streep, owns and collects rent from 205 Millbury Street in Worchester, which from 2015 to 2017 racked up 84 violations of the minimum standards for human habitation under the state sanitary code. Mayanja says she is now involved in charitable work in Africa (she is from Uganda), while the Worchester building is registered to her address at the Manhattan Park complex on Roosevelt Island. As too often with the UN, from Haiti cholera to targeted restrictions on the investigative Press, it's a case of Do what I say, not what I do. On March 7 Inner City Press asked Guterres' deputy spokesman Farhan Haq about this, UN transcript here: Inner City Press: the former gender adviser of the UN, Rachel Mayanja.  There's a report out of Worcester, Massachusetts, that she's the owner of a building with massive violations.  And many people there said it's somehow inconsistent with the ethos of the United Nations.  Does she have any UN role?  And does the Secretary-General have any guidance to former ASGs [Assistant Secretaries-General], how they should run rental property if they own them? Deputy Spokesman:  Well, regarding that, we're aware of these reports.  Rachel Mayanja does not have any role with the United Nations anymore.  She's a former employee.  So, we have no oversight over her.  Of course, we hope that, even when they leave UN service, all of our staff abide by the principles of the United Nations." Right. Guterres through his lead spokesman Stephane Dujarric has tried to answer Press questions about complainants by declaring that sexual harassment is not involved, for example at UNFPA in India, below. That is contradicted by the complainant. Now the UN refugee agency UNHCR which Guterres ran for ten years before his 14 month as far as UNSG is identified as having numerous sexual abuse complaints: "one substantiated case of abuse in 2016, for which a member of staff had been dismissed. It had 19 complaints of sexual exploitation or abuse in 2017, of which six are still being assessed. One alleged victim was 17. Details of two other cases involving under-18s are unknown. Ms Jolie declined to comment but a source close to the actress said she will find the allegations ‘upsetting’ and ‘inexcusable’ and has raised the matter with the agency." Will Guterres answer for these? He's put in charge of his task force Jan Beagle who was the deputy at UNAIDS amid systemic sexual harassment there.

March 5, 2018

On Haiti Cholera, UN Tells ICP "Transformation Retreat" Canceled, Dinner Photo Gone

By Matthew Russell Lee, Photos

UNITED NATIONS, March 2 – When Haiti's President Moises spoke in the UN General Assembly on the morning of September 21, he called for UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres to follow through on his statements and provide funding for both tracks of the so-called New Approach to the cholera the UN brought to the island: that is, to pay reparations. Inner City Press, which accompanied and covered the Security Council's trip to Haiti this year, has repeatedly asked Guterres' spokesman Stephane Dujarric to make the envoy UN envoy on the issue, Josette Sheeran, available for questions. It has not happened. On March 1, Inner City Press found on the UN Photo website two photographs of a UN "Haiti Transformation Retreat" held in the New York suburbs, with among others Guterres, Sheeran and Deputy Secretary General Amina J. Mohammed. It tweeted one of the photos and went to the March 2 UN noon briefing to ask for a read-out of the event. Guterres' spokesman Stephane Dujarric replied that the event was canceled -- Inner City Press immediately returned to UN Photo's most recent shots and the trio and dinner were gone -- but that something has gone forward. Inner City Press asked, Who was there? Beyond Sarah the Dutchess of York? Dujarric declined to give a list. Seems Haiti's recalling its ambassador, after Susan Page's comments, resulted in at least partial cancellation of the Haiti Retreat. Now about that dinner...

February 26, 2018

HBO has for "The Deuce" leased 780 E. 135th Street - can you say, Wedtech?

February 19, 2018

In UN, Weapons Advertised After Florida Shooting, Inner City Press Asked, UN Takes Down

By Matthew Russell Lee, Periscope I, II, III

UNITED NATIONS, February 16 – The UN has been the venue for bribes paid from Macau based operative Ng Lap Seng and now Patrick Ho of the China Energy Fund Committee - but on February 13 the UN allowed an Indonesia based weapons company to advertise not only machine guns and drones but even tanks inside the UN. Periscope video here. Inner City Press began filming the surprising display, and by day's end the mannequin soldier and separate Darfur peacekeeper were covered in white sheets. But is that enough, for the UN? The tank ad was for Pindad, with offices in Bandung and Jakarta. On February 14, with the display still there now with running video, Periscope here, Inner City Press asked UN Spokesman Farhan Haq, who contrary to the later closing of the exhibit said it was entirely up to Indonesia, UN transcript here and below. Later when Inner City Press asked the representatives of the Indonesia mission at the exhibit, they began filming Inner City Press. On February 16, Inner City Press asked Haq's boss Stephane Dujarric, video here, UN transcript here: Inner City Press: I wanted to ask you about the… the… the display, which is now gone that was downstairs, that I had asked you about yesterday.  You said you would look into it.  After that, I noticed that they put up a sign saying ask the organizers.  The UN is not embracing… it was basically showing automatic weapons, okay.  But, I did speak to the organizers as the sign encouraged me to do and as I believe Farhan [Haq] told me to do, and what they said is that the purpose of that… that advertising exhibition was it was all about peacekeeping, that these were items to be sold to countries for peacekeeping.  So, I just wanted to ask you…Spokesman:  "My understanding is that what was agreed upon and what was actually shown were not the same things, and that's why we've asked them to take it down." The UN transcript omits Inner City Prss asking Dujarric what it was that the UN agreed upon, and why Haq claimed there was no UN role. We'll have more on this. After Inner City Press asked lead UN Spokesman Dujarric, a fig-leaf sign was put up, that the UN was "not endorsing." Would the UN accept a child pornography display? Meanwhile Dujarric intoned, "The Secretary-General is writing today to Florida Governor Rick Scott and to Ambassador Nikki Haley, the Permanent Representative of the United States to the United Nations, to express his profound sadness at the horrific gun massacre that took place yesterday in Parkland, Florida." While in the UN automatic weapons were being advertised. (After Inner City Press asked and filmed, it came down on the afternoon of February 15.) It's like Guterres eulogizing Ruud Lubbers, without mentioning his sexual harassment. Today's UN is corrupt. From the UN's February 14 transcript: Inner City Press: Down in the 1B basement of UN, on the… I guess it's some kind of hallway between the GA (General Assembly) and the Vienna Café area, there's a display of armaments, of arm sales.  It's an Indonesian weapons company called Pindad, and they have ads for tanks and machine guns.  They have two peacekeepers now covered by a sheet, at least overnight.  But I was wondering… I mean, maybe it's up to Member States what they do, but given that… that some of these are purely offensive weap… purely, you know, attacking weapons — they're not defensive weapons — like tanks that the UN, I don't think, buys.  What is… who approved that?  And what's the purpose of… of marketing weapons inside the United Nations building? Deputy Spokesman:  Well, as always, regarding exhibits that are sponsored by Member States, you would have to ask… check with the Member States about the exhibit.  That's the responsibility of the Member State." There were photos of VIP aircrafts, while Secretary General Antonio Guterres is out of town again.

February 12, 2018

Dwayne Pritchett, 48, was pronounced dead at New York-Presbyterian The Allen Hospital after police say he lost consciousness in their custody on Jan. 28.  The NYPD says its Force Investigation Division is also looking into the incident. Lawyers for Alotisia Stevens, the mother of Pritchett's 3-year-old son, are praising the independent investigation.  Police had responded to a 2767 Reservoir Ave. home around 4:50 p.m..

February 5, 2018

The trial of police officer Hugh Barry for fatally shooting 66-year-old Deborah Danner, a woman known in the neighborhood as having schizophrenia, inside her bedroom on Oct. 18, 2016 at 630 Puglsey Avenue is full of echoes of Eleanor Bumpurs...

January 29, 2018

From the courts: On January 25, 2018, at approximately 10:00 a.m., HYLTON entered a bank in the Bronx, gained access to the secure teller area, and approached a bank teller.  HYLTON brandished what appeared to be a shotgun and demanded that the teller give him the money the teller was holding.  HYLTON took from the teller over $7,000 in United States currency.  HYLTON then fled and was later apprehended and arrested.

  Ok - but what about the banks robbing The Bronx?

January 22, 2018

Portraits of de-industrialization: "Location: The site is located in an urban area at 414 Gerard Avenue in the Mott Haven neighborhood of the Bronx. The about 12,600-square-foot lot is situated on the southwestern corner of the block bound by East 146th Street to the north, Walton Avenue to the east, East 144th Street to the south, and Gerard Avenue to the west. Site Features: The 12,600-square-foot (0.29 acres) site is developed with a vacant, one-story manufacturing building with a partial cellar. A 3,000-gallon No. 2 fuel oil aboveground storage tank (AST) was installed in the partial cellar in 1953 (New York State Department of Environmental Conservation [NYSDEC] Petroleum Bulk Storage [PBS] Site No. 2-207209). Current Zoning and Land Use: According to the New York City Planning Commission Zoning Map 6a, the site is located within the Lower Concourse Special Mixed Use Paired District (M1-4/R8A). This paired district promotes development and expansion of the longstanding mix of residential, commercial, industrial, and cultural use throughout the area. M1 districts typically include light industrial uses such as woodworking shops, repair shops, and wholesale service and storage facilities, and R8 districts promote residential development. Zoning is consistent with the proposed mixed-use development. The surrounding area is primarily commercial and industrial, but also includes residential buildings, public parks, day care centers, and schools. As part of the June 2009 Lower Concourse Rezoning, the site was E-Designated for hazardous materials and noise (E-227 and City Environmental Quality Review [CEQR] No. 08DCP071X). Past Use of the Site: The site was an undeveloped vacant lot until at least 1928. A diner was located in the southern portion from 1935 to 1944; however, the site again appears vacant from 1946 to 1951. The existing on-site building was constructed in the early 1950s, and the site historically operated as a jewelry box manufacturer (Rocket Jewelry) from at least 1954 to 2016. From the 1950s through the 1970s, Rocket Jewelry manufactured jewelry packaging (including decorative boxes and textile covered metal boxes) and displays. During this time period, metal jewelry boxes were typically constructed using a mixture of metals including cadmium, copper, lead, nickel, and zinc. Lead-based paint may also have been used to decorate the outside of the jewelry boxes. Evidence of heavy machinery and nearby drains was observed throughout the first floor and partial cellar. In the 1980s, Rocket Jewelry moved the manufacturing processes overseas and maintained the Bronx-based warehouse for packaging and distribution until 2016"...

January 15, 2018

RIP Tim Rollins, dead at 62, too young.

January 8, 2018

Hero, from Ghana to The Bronx - and still the UN has said and done nothing: "Private First Class Emmanuel Mensah, who was tragically killed while rescuing four individuals from the massive apartment fire in the Bronx. Pfc. Mensah’s family emigrated from Ghana and was a permanent legal resident who enlisted in the New York Army National Guard in 2016. According to reports, Pfc. Mensah successfully evacuated a family of six and ran back into the inferno four times to save the lives of others."

January 1, 2018

In The Bronx, As Dozen Killed By Fire On Prospect Ave, Of Happy Land & Woodycrest, Blame-Games

By Matthew Russell Lee

BRONX, NY , December 28 – The Bronx has suffered another tragedy, a December 28 fire on Prospect Avenue near 187th Street which killed at least twelve people, including a one-year old. 2363 Prospect Avenue was like any other building in the neighborhood; newspapers search NYC housing databases trying to find in code violations an explanation, someone to blame. This is the pattern.

 2363 Prospect is a short walk from where 87 were killed in the Happy Land Social Club fire on March 25, 1990. Bodies were laid out in a public school just across Southern Boulevard. What is it, about our Bronx and fire? Disinvestment plays a role, but there is more. Further west in The Bronx, 10 died on March 7, 2008 in a fire at 1022 Woodycrest Avenue. Then, despite the victims being from West Africa, as Inner City Press noted the United Nations did nothing. Now, UN Secretary General is on vacation in Portugal, robo-tweeting about the UN's solidarity with the poor. We'll see. Rest in peace.

December 25, 2017

Bronx apartment: "OLIVER SOHNGEN, a/k/a “Helmuth Moss,” a/k/a “Stephan Weierbach,” was sentenced today to 135 months in prison for sex trafficking of minors.  SOHNGEN pled guilty on August 10, 2017, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Ronald L. Ellis, and was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan. Acting Manhattan U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim said:  “Oliver Sohngen, a teacher at a music school for children, was a sexual predator.  He paid to have sex with minor girls at least twice, and attempted to engage in sex trafficking of girls under the age of 14.   His significant sentence will ensure that he is no longer a threat to our community, in particular, our children.  We remain committed to prosecuting all those who, like Sohngen, prey on our most innocent and vulnerable victims.” Between March 2013 and November 2013, SOHNGEN exchanged text messages with a co-conspirator to arrange paid sexual encounters with minor girls ranging in age from 8 to 17.  On at least two occasions, SOHNGEN engaged in sexual contact with minor girls at the co-conspirator’s apartment in the Bronx, New York."

Decemeber 18, 2017

477 Gerard Avenue: "The site was developed with commercial and industrial uses since at least 1908. Specific past uses include a lumberyard, a sign frame company, auto junkyard, and auto repair facility. "

December 11, 2017

Trials we're watching: U.S. v. Kevin Walker – the defendant is charged with participating in a series of armed robberies of employees at commercial establishments in the Bronx

December 4, 2017


On UN Bribery, Patrick Ho Is Denied Bail, CEFC Bribes Cited, Entries Into UN Questioned

By Matthew Russell Lee, Video, letter; ICP in HK, here

UNITED NATIONS, December 1 – On November 20, the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York issued an indictment against former Senegal foreign minister Cheikh Gadio and the head of the UN ECOSOC accredited China Energy Fund Committee Patrick Ho - still pictured on the UN website in an active post - accused together of bribing Chad's President Idriss Deby (as well as, for Ho, of bribing former UN President of the General Assembly Sam Kutesa, now as then the foreign minister of Uganda). On December 1, Patrick Ho appeared in the Arraignment Part, Courtroom 5A at 500 Pearl Street in Lower Manhattan and applied for bail, which Gadio had gotten on November 27. But this time, following a Pre-Trial Services recommendation that bail be denied and Ho continue in detention, Ho was denied bail. His lawyer called the Pre-Trial Services report "knee jerk," and emphasized that Ho would want to stay and the US and defend his reputation. The prosecutor, Daniel Richenthal, active in the Ng Lap Seng trial as well, said Ho's reputation as an NGO leader was an illusion. He took as an example a speech Ho gave, saying that "the Chinese energy conglomerate" -- CEFC -- paid $350,000 to the think tank and $20,000 to its director, personally. He said the US has not extradition treaty with Hong Kong then when one was slapped on the table in front of him pointed out that there is an exception for political cases. He said, Google the press coverage of this case and from Hong Kong you'll find articles saying it's political. Inner City Press has covered the case daily since November 20, and asked the UN Spokesman on each business day (it did a TV interview after the court decision, and Periscope video here) - but it is the UN connection which the UN tries to hide. Ho's lawyer said he's been to the US seven times this years. The prosecution said, five times. But how many times has Ho come into the UN? The UN keeps track of this. But will they disclose? Ho's defense lawyer, after a long oral decision against him, said he will appeal. Watch this site. Hhours before Patrick Ho's bail hearing, Inner City Press asked UN Spokesman Stephane Dujarric about Gadio's bail being paid, in part, by his spouse the UN's Resident Coordinator in Equatorial Guinea. Dujarric bristled that he hoped his spouse would pay his bail, but then when Inner City Press asked how Gadio got into the UN building for the bribe moves described in the indictment, whether it involved his wife's position as a senior UN official, Dujarric said it would be looked into. Really? Then why has Antonio Guterres not even commissioned an audit, as Ban Ki-moon did after the indictment of Ng Lap Seng? We'll have more on this. Inner City Press has zeroed in on a November 21 event, after the indictment, in which UN DESA used $1 million from CEFC. On November 30, after many rounds of questions from Inner City Press, UN Spokesman Stephane Dujarric answered that DESA has suspended work with CEFC pending the outcome of the U.S. case(s). Periscope here

November 27, 2017

In UN Bribery Case, Senegal's Gadio Seeks Bail But Fails, Thanksgiving in MCC Jail

By Matthew Russell Lee, Video

UNITED NATIONS, November 22 – On November 20, the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York issued an indictment against former Senegal foreign minister Cheikh Gadio as well as against the head of the China Energy Fund Committee Patrick Ho. On Thanksgiving eve November 22 at 4 pm in an otherwise empty courthouse at 500 Pearl Street, bail was sought for Gadio, so he could spend Thanksgiving in Maryland. Federal Defender - assigned counsel - Sabrina Shroff lambasted the prosecutors for delaying. She said that unlike Ng Lap Seng, the billionaire Macau-based businessman now still under house arrest despite six guilty verdicts in connection with UN bribery, her client is not a billionaire. Notably, he has said he is financially unable to retain counsel. Judge Marrero did not set him free on bail, setting the matter over for Monday after Thanksgiving. On the elevator down the prosecution was accused of "white man-splaining;" reference was made to Daniel Richenthal, prosecutor in the Ng Lap Seng trial as well, and to the UN International School. We'll have more on this - and another of Gadio's roles that brought him to the UN Press Briefing Room in October 2015, as "Special Envoy of the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC) for the Central African Republic." The UN, increasingly, is corrupt. It is alleged that Chadian president Deby took bribes for oil concessions in Chad, and that 2014-15 UN President of the General Assembly Sam Kutesa took bribes for oil concessions in Uganda. Kutesa's predecessor John Ashe died under indictment; the depths of the UN's corruption extend into 2017 with the signing of dubious rosewood export certificates in Nigeria by Secretary General Antonio Guterres' Deputy Amina J. Mohammed and set-aside UN employment for the German Ambassador's wife, via Guterres' chief of staff. At noon on November 21 Inner City Press asked Guterres spokesman Farhan Haq about the indictment and CEFC and its $5 million grant program with UN DESA, transcript here and below. Guterres had a 5:45 pm photo op with the "Winners of the Annual Award of the UN Grant on Sustainable Energy" - which seems to have been funded by China Energy Fund Committee, under the heading "Powering the Future We Want."  He "canceled," photos here, but his Deputy Amina J. Mohammed was still listed giving remarks for / at the event at 1 pm, though at 5:30 pm those remarks were not on her website unlike later 2:30 pm remarks. On November 22 Inner City Press asked their spokesman Farhan Haq, who argued that the indictment is only of "Doctor Patrick Ho" personally, so it was fine to keep and go forward with CEFC's money. (He said Amina J. Mohammed did not speak.)

Noember 20, 2017

  Rest in Peace Mel Rosenthal, who took some of the best photos ever of The Bronx. Presente!

November 13, 2017

On UN Reform, SG With Rosewood Scandal DSG, Press Confined to Minders

By Matthew Russell Lee, Photos

UNITED NATIONS, November 10 – When UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres presented his proposed “peace and security” reform to the General Assembly in UN Conference Room 2 on November 9, it was initially going to be in a closed meeting. Inner City Press asked about it two days in a row and, an hour before the meeting, it was changed to open “but no UN webcast.” (But see below). Then on November 10, when Guterres and his Deputy Amina J. Mohammed embroiled in the "Rosewood Racket" scandal touching on not only Nigeria but also Cameroon, presented their development reform proposals in ECOSOC, Inner City Press could only cover it with a minder. Other correspondents could go there freely - but did not. Even with the minder still required by the UN Department of Public Information's Alison Smale, the UN Security officer in front of ECOSOC indicated he'd make sure Inner City Press remained "minded," even as tourists wandered freely. This is censorship. Inside ECOSOC, questions included what the role of states would be in appointing Resident Coordinators? Ecuador for the Group of 77 said the process must be transparent - on a day the UN canceled its noon briefing, and did not answer Inner City Press' e-mailed questions. Mexico said it wants ECOSOC to be more of debate or deliberative body. The US spoke (briefly) against duplication and waste. In the middle of this, Mohammed tweeted about the Sahel: a robo-tweet? The duo, set to leave New York, left with UN Security and entourage, no answers. Earlier on November 10 Guterres has gotten even less transparent. When he left a media stakeout for which the day's noon press briefing was canceled after a mere three questions, none on Yemen much less Cameroon, it was not disclosed where he was going. Guterres' public schedule did not list anything after this. But it emerges Guterres is at the Lotte Palace Hotel, in the Villard Ballroom on the second floor. Previously, Guterres' spokesman Stephane Dujarric has refused to tell Inner City Press with whom Guterres had a one on one lunch meeting on the 38th floor of the UN before flying off on the public dime to his home in Lisbon. But how could this one not be on his public schedule? Dujarric, before refusing to answer any follow up questions, told Inner City Press, "The UN70 is a group of member states and they are organizing the retreat. It’s an internal meeting." In the Lotte Palace, tweeted by at least six states? On November 9, Inner City Press told the UN it would Periscope and was led to the photo booth; there due to Kafka-esque threats from the UN, it unilaterally decided only to broadcast what Guterres, paid by the global public, said. It was a mouthful: Guterres called Kenya's Ambassador Kamau “sincerely unfair; as the meeting was gaveled closed he turned on his microphone to tell Djibouti how support to AMISOM in Somalia would be effected. Russia raised many questions; others provided rote support. Reviews afterward were mixed. But Inner City Press remains under restrictions imposed by the UN Department of Public Information 20 months ago for covering UN corruption. It raised the issue again to the head of DPI on November 9; watch this site. When  Guterres held his pre-General Assembly week press conference on September 13, Inner City Press asked him about reform, in light of the Ng Lap Seng UN bribery guilty verdicts and new reports of peacekeepers' sexual abuse. Guterres responded on the latter, see below. Now a month later, Guterres is pitching a reform plan that many do not understand, and others don't agree with. Inner City Press went to cover Guterres' presentation to the UN's Fifth (Budget) Committee on October 11, but was quickly told by UN Security, "No Press." So it went to the photo booth and streamed a Periscope video, here. Guterres sat next to Cameroon's Ambassador, here. There were speeches by Ecuador, Trinidad and Tobago (fresh off its elimination of the US from the World Cup), the EU and Australia. Then Guterres left, before the US spoke. There was nothing else on his schedule for the day. We'll have more on this. Here's a sample Guterres "reform" proposal: "A Standing Principals’ Group of Under Secretaries General (USGs) and the EOSG, to provide leadership for all strategic, political and operational functions and ensure a coherent 'whole-of-pillar' approach... Interaction with the global operational support and management departments would be facilitated at the level of the Standing Principals’ Group as well as through dedicated capacity within the Departments at the strategic and operational levels, including within the integrated operational team [IOT] concept." Sources close to Guterres exclusively complain to Inner City Press this is little more than "Lacroix' DPKO trying to grab the IOTs." They point to the lame duck status of Jeffrey Feltman at the Department of Political Affairs as leading to DPA "losing the turf war with Peacekeeping." Meanwhile, the sources say, there is increasing frustration on the UN's 38th floor at the "message" not getting out, even talk of hiring outside communicators, rather than holding those already getting paid accountable. The new head of Global Communcations, Alison Smale, never responded to a detailed petition to her before the General Assembly week, nor to one after the week - nor since (it was raised to her again on November 9). Ah, Communications, f/k/a DPI which evicted and still restricts Inner City Press which every day asks questions and reports, in favor of no-show state media like Egypt's Akhbar al Yom which has not asked a single question during Guterres' tenure. The UN is UNreformed.

November 6, 2017

At UN $50,000 Charge For Biden Talk, Guterres To Be Sold on Wall St, Public Funds to Lisbon

By Matthew Russell Lee, Photos

UNITED NATIONS, November 3 – Joe Biden appeared at the UN on November 3, and tables were sold for up to $50,000. One might think, after the proved corruption of the UN in the Ng Lap Seng / John Ashe trial for events in this same Delegates Dining Room, charging this kind of money for sitting with  a “senior UN official” would be a thing of the past. But no. Ban Ki-moon allowed the corruption of Ng Lap Seng, and Antonio Guterres has done thing to reverse it. In fact, Guterres left through the same door Biden came in, one hour before, using public funds to fly to his home in Lisbon, using a 15 minutes speech there on Monday to justify a three day UN paid junket. And his spokesman refused to answer questions, even about his one on one lunches on the 38th floor, where Inner City Press' use of Periscope during photo ops has allowed Guterres' DPI under Alison Smale to threaten its accreditation. All of this takes place while Guterres covers up mass killing in Cameroon, and is prepared to be sold himself, on Wall Street no less. We'll have more on this. On November 2, Guterres' spokesman Stephane Dujarric announced that "on Monday, the Secretary-General will be in Lisbon to participate in the Web Summit 2017, which brings together the leaders of key Internet companies with officials from different Governments.  You are aware of the attention the Secretary-General has been devoting to the uses of the Internet." Really? Guterres was silent for example when Cameroon cut off the Internet for 94 days this year; his Department of Public Information has threatened Inner City Press' accreditation for unspecified violation by live-streaming a Guterres photo op using Twitter's Periscope platform. But why did Guterres take this speaking gig, which it turns out is for only 15 minutes at 7:25 pm on the evening of Monday, November 6? Inner City Press asked Dujarric, who refused to state with whom Guterres had a formal lunch meeting in the UN dining room with UN funds on November 3, where Guterres will be on Saturday and Sunday. Dujarric replied: "sg will be in lisbon over the weekend." It sure seems like that's why he took the Lisbon speaking gig. And in fact, even before 5 pm on Friday, November 3, Guterres left the UN with bodyguards, in a three-car convoy. Who is paying for all this? On October 27, after Guterres' spokespeople stonewalled Inner City Press for three days on his plans for a grip and grin meeting in a Cameroon airport with Paul Biya, who has killed hundreds this year as well as cutting the Internet Guterres loves so much, they also refused to say how Guterres personal, or shall we say Lisbon-focused, travel is paid for, and how much it costs.

October 30, 2017

ICP Asked David Kaye About a FOIA for UN, Smale's Threat to ICP, Then Asks UN Which Dodges

By Matthew Russell Lee, Photos

UNITED NATIONS, October 25 – When UN Special Rapporteur David A. Kaye held a short press conference at the UN on October 25, he called for the UN to institute an access to information policy. Inner City Press asked him to specify what the UN Secretariat of Antonio Guterres can and should do on its own, without waiting for or blaming the General Assembly. Inner City Press also asked him about the UN new October 20 threat to review its accreditation, including for ill-defined violations on an unspecified date on the UN's 38th floor. Video here.

Kaye said the Secretariat can act on FOIA, while educating and bringing the General Assembly along. He called unsatisfactory the UN's previous response to his inquiry about the eviction of Inner City Press (for covering an event in the same UN Press Briefing Room Kaye spoke in). Two hours later, Inner City Press asked UN deputy spokesman Farhan Haq about both issues. From the UN transcript: regarding the freedom of information access, this is something that we've been exploring for some years.  There continues to be input from various different departments, including those dealing with our archives and those dealing with legal affairs, to look into the situation.  And so we'll be in touch with the Member States.  So, that is something that is a work in progress that, as time goes on, we always try to reinvigorate and revamp our processes for dealing with situations, and we'll do that in this case, as well. Inner City Press: Same topic?  Yeah, he seemed to say that… that it's as simple as set… it's not about archives.  It's as simple as setting up a procedure in which, rather than just the inform… the UN choosing which information to push forward, that it's set up a procedure in which, based on a re… a request by the press or the public, there's some responsibility on the Secretariat to provide information.  And he said that that can be done… although it would be good to bring Member States along and to get buy-in from the General Assembly that, although it's been said here many times, it doesn't require the General Assembly to… to authorise the Secretariat to make financial and other information available to the public upon request, not just as it's put out.  So, I'm just… I want to be very specific.  It's not about archives or Member States.  Will António Guterres establish, during his… I don't know… in the next three months, six months, a procedure in which requests for information can be made and will be answered as required not voluntarily or by discretion? Deputy Spokesman:  Well, with respect for the envoy's… the Special Rapporteur's views, those are his views.  And we do have, like I said, a process in place, which does include involvement with the Member States, and so we'll continue on that track. Inner City Press: He also called a previous response to one of his inquiries to the UN unsatisfactory.  I don't know if you've seen the press conference, and I don’t want to actually… I'm pretty sure what you'd say if I… so, I'm wondering, you say there's as process, but doesn't the UN encourage Member States to respond to Special Rapporteurs and probably to take into account if the Special Rapporteur who made the inquiry calls the response unsatisfactory maybe to do another response or figure out why it's unsatisfactory? Deputy Spokesman:  Yes, we do.  And, of course, we'll continue to be in dialogue with Special Rapporteurs.  We want to make sure that their various concerns are addressed.  But this is, as I mentioned, a topic on which we've been doing work, and we'll continue." We'll see. Kaye said he looks forward to speaking with new (seven week) head of the Department of Public Information Alison Smale.

Fine - but the October 20 threat was issued under Smale, and she has still not responded to two petitions to her in September to reverse 20 months of restrictions and restore Inner City Press to its long-time shared work space, currently assigned to a no-show, no-question Egyptian state media, Akhbar al Yom, which came in only for "faux pooling" of Guterres meeting with Sisi, here. We'll have more on all that. Kaye field questions about BBC in Iran, Trump and citing a lack of mobility for journalists in Japan, on which we may have more.

October 23, 2017

UN Threatens Review of ICP's Accreditation For Audio Report While Staking Out on Cameroon

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, October 20 –  The UN delivered a threat to Inner City Press to “review” it accreditation on Friday afternoon at 5 pm. The UN official who signed the letter, when Inner City Press went to ask about the undefined violation of live-streaming Periscope video at a photo op by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, had already left, minutes after sending the threat. This comes two days after Inner City Press asked Guterres about the UN inaction on threatened genocide in Cameroon, and the UN claimed Guterres hadn't heard the 15-second long question.

  It also comes after Alison Smale the head of the Department of Public Information which would “review” Inner City Press' accreditation has ignored three separate petitions from Inner City Press in the six weeks she has been in the job, urging her to remove restrictions on Inner City Press' reporting which hinder its coverage of the UN's performance in such crises as Yemen, Kenya, Myanmar, and the Central African Republic where Guterres travels next week, with Smale's DPI saying its coverage of the trip will be a test of its public relations ability. But the UN official who triggered the complaint is Maher Nasser, who filled in for Smale before she arrived.

UN's Letter Threatening to Review Inner City Press' Accreditation for Audio Report While Staking Out on Cam... by Matthew Russell Lee on Scribd


His complaint is that audio of what he said to Inner City Press as it staked out the elevators in the UN lobby openly recording, as it has for example with Cameroon's Ambassador Tommo Monthe, here, was similarly published


A UN “Public Information” official is complaining about an article, and abusing his position to threaten to review Inner City Press' accreditation. The UN has previously been called out for targeting Inner City Press, and for having no rules or due process. But the UN is entirely UNaccountable, impunity on censorship as, bigger picture, on the cholera it brought to Haiti. And, it seems, Antonio Guterres has not reformed or reversed anything. This threat is from an official involved in the last round of retaliation who told Inner City Press on Twitter to be less "negative" about the UN - amid inaction on the mass killing in Cameroon - and who allowed pro-UN hecking of Inner City Press' questions about the cholera the UN brought to Haiti and the Ng Lap Seng /John Ashe UN bribery scandal which resulted in six guilty verdicts. We'll have more on this.

October 16, 2017

Bronx (Zoo) kills in the Congo: A Batwa man has complained to the organization which runs New York’s Bronx Zoo, after his 17-year-old son was shot dead by a park guard. The boy was gathering medicinal plants with his father, Mobutu Nakulire Munganga, in Kahuzi-Biega National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on August 26. An anti-poaching squad opened fire on them. The guards receive logistical support, funding and training from the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), a big conservation body which is the parent organization of New York’s Bronx zoo. WCS was co-founded by notorious eugenicist Madison Grant. WCS has been funding the management of Kahuzi-Biega for over 20 years. According to international law and WCS’s own human rights policy, indigenous peoples’ consent is required for conservation projects on their land...

  The Bronx Zoo was also involved in giving an award to Gabon's Ali Bongo...

October 9, 2017

In Puerto Rico, Disparate Bank Lending, Predatory Investors, UN's Maria Photo Ops

By Matthew Russell Lee

PUERTO RICO, October 3 – The UN system's International Monetary Fund has yet to announce any debt moratorium for countries impacted by the recent hurricanes, and despite photo op trips by those who could speak to and of the IMF, nothing is changing. Most holders of Puerto Rico's debt are doing nothing to help. Even in 2016 before Hurricane Maria, according to Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data just released, Banco Santander Puerto Rico made 88 conventional home purchase loans in upper income tracts in the San Juan MSA, 50 in middle income tracts, seven in moderate income tracts and NONE in low-income census tracts. Citibank made a single large loans in San Juan, for a multi-family apartment building. The UNironically named Whitebox Advisors, which has sued on Puerto Rico debt, has "a policy of not discussing Puerto Rico." We don't. Watch this site. Back on September 18 UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres' spokesman Stephane Dujarric gave the press a mere three minutes to sign up to attend the UN's meeting about Irma, see below. As the meeting began, Inner City Press asked not Dujarric but the spokesman for the President of the General Assembly for the PGA's view of the IMF's position on (no) debt moratorium. From the PGA Office's summary: "Asked for the President’s reaction to comments by an International Monetary Fund (IMF) official, in which the official allegedly said that the IMF would not be open to instituting a debt moratorium for hurricane-hit Antigua and Barbuda, the Spokesperson replied that the President would not want to second-guess the comments of an IMF official in an area of the IMF’s expertise. The Spokesperson reiterated that the President was committed to the recovery of Antigua and Barbuda, which is why he had convened the high-level meeting on Hurricane Irma and invited the Government of Antigua and Barbuda to speak there." In the meeting, Achim Steiner of UNDP told even Caribbean nations they could not speak, so that Robert De Niro could. You talkin' to me? When the IMF re-started its biweekly embargoed press briefings on September 14, Inner City Press submitted a question about Hurricane Irma and moratoria: "On Antigua and Barbuda, and Hurricane Irma impacted countries more generally... will there be no moratoria? What is the IMF doing?" IMF spokesperson Gerry Rice said, "There's a question from Matthew Lee on moratorium... on that, I would refer to what Mme Lagarde said a few days ago, of course the IMF has tremendous sympathy. She also said we stand ready to help. There are a number of options we can look at in that context. At the moment we are still trying to make an assessment. As a factual member, none of our members including Antigua and Barbuda have formally requested assistance from the Fund." Oh. On September 15, when Inner City Press at the UN asked Patti Smith about it, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric cut off the question saying he would answer it at his forthcoming briefing. He did not.

October 2, 2017

The Bronx hosted a donation drive to help the victims of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico and the earthquake in Mexico City on Saturday, September 30, 2017, at the corner of Southern Boulevard and Aldus Street. Donations includedi clothing, non-perishable food and other goods.

Inner City Press Asked Trudeau of Canada Arms Sales to Saudi, He Called The Question Bad Behavior

By Matthew Russell Lee, Periscope; Video

UNITED NATIONS, September 21 – While Canada joins The Netherlands at the UN in Geneva in calling for an investigation of possible war crimes in Yemen including the Saudi-led coalition's killing of civilians, Canada has continued a $15 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia. When Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau held a press conference at the UN on September 21, Inner City Press went early, intending to ask him to explain this incongruity or seeming hypocrisy. Trudeau's spokesman announced that the questioners had been “pre-determined,” but did not explain how. So in a lull after what the spokesman called the last question - would Trudeau be a mediator on Venezuela - Inner City Press asked about Canadian arms sales to Saudi while calling for a probe. At first Trudeau said he was happy to answer the question. Then he said no, he would not reward “bad behavior,” and instead reached out for question in French about day care. (Inner City Press notes that pre-determining questioners is bad behavior. Apparently the CBC journalist who was given the first question agreed to it; the organization only the day before sent an Egyptian state media correspondent as the lone “pooler” in Secretary General Antonio Guterres' meeting with General Sisi.)

September 18, 2017

It's UN General Assembly week in New York City...

UN General Assembly Week Bans Press on Day One on Refugees, UNprepared & UNfair DPI of Smale

By Matthew Russell Lee, Video

UNITED NATIONS, September 16 – The UN is both unprepared and unfair in the run-up to the 72nd General Assembly high level week, now upon us. On September 16 with the UN Media Alert listing a 4:30 pm event about refugees, ostensibly Secretary General Antonio Guterres' signature issue, Inner City Press was stopped from entering the UN, even through the Visitor's Entrance, to cover the event. Two UN Security officers were unaware of the Media Alert or what it was. As the time passed 4:30 pm, their supervisor returned to say that his "boss, Millie McCormack," said the Press could not come in. Video here. No one present from, nor any preparation by, the UN Department of Public Information, now run by Alison Smale who has not responded to numerous petitions to her since September 1, even while attended fashion shows. The UN is both UNprepared and UNfair - including on such issues as Myanmar, Yemen, Burundi and Cameroon. Next up,on September 18, US President Trump, Ambassador Nikki Haley and UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres in the UN's ECOSOC Chamber. September. Guterres' spokesman Stephane Dujarric has repeatedly said he will distribute a list of meetings and bilaterals of his boss, his third Secretary General in a row, Antonio Guterres. As of the evening of Friday, September 15 it has not happened. Dujarric tried to limit his "background" briefing at 10 am on September 15 only to his friends

September 11, 2017

UN Encourages Hecklers of Haiti Cholera, Corruption and Censorship Qs in UN Bookstore Event

By Matthew Russell Lee, Video

UNITED NATIONS, September 7 – For weeks the UN had promoted its book event about New York City and the UN, featuring author Pamela Hanlon.

But when Inner City Press went and asked about the UN having brought cholera to Haiti and paid nothing, and whether Haitians in Brooklyn had been able to get any accountability from the UN, there was no answer.

A heckler in the audience said loudly that the question was not appropriate. Video here. So Inner City Press followed up on Ms. Hanlon's statement that the land under the UN is still US territory. If so, what of John Ashe selling diplomatic posts from inside his UN General Assembly President's office, and Inner City Press for covering the scandal being thrown out onto First Avenue by eight UN Security officers? Audio here. (NYPD told Inner City Press it has no jurisdiction to take criminal complaints, even for assault, for anything east of the First Avenue curb.)


That question wasn't answered, either, including by Penny Abeywardena, Commissioner of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Office for International Affairs.

Instead Maher Nasser, in charge of the UN Department of Public Information from April 1 until tomorrow, said “it's always about you” and ended the event, encouraging those present to buy books for signing. And so it goes at the UN.

September 4, 2017

From the US State Department last week: Q: can you confirm in New York that the facility you are closing, you’re ordering closed, is in the Bronx?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: I can’t – I have to say I’m not a New Yorker. I have no idea where these – where the property is. You’re asking the wrong person.

  And that's how they left it..

August 28, 2017

At NYC City Hall, de Blasio Talks Lisbon & SDGs With Guterres, Mark-Viverito on Columbus

By Matthew Russell Lee, Photos

UNITED NATIONS, August 24 – After UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres' spokesman met New York City's incumbent / candidate for Mayor Bill de Blasio for half an hour on August 24, there was a three-minute photo opportunity at which de Blasio spoke twice. Photos on Alamy, here. Both mentioned climate change; de Blasio noted that Guterres' wife is the deputy mayor of Lisbon. Afterward in the parking lot, City Council Speak Melissa Mark-Viverito was asked about the idea of removing the Colombus statue from 59th Street (she said, ask my press office.) As one Free UN Coalition for Access wag noted, the UN has at least two portraits on its walls of Kurt Waldheim. The subway from Grand Central to City Hall was, predictably, delayed by a stalled train. At the UN noon briefing, Inner City Press asked what seemed an obvious question. Will Guterres be meeting or at least reaching out to de Blasio's debate opponent of the night before, Sal Albanese? The spokesman, Stephane Dujarric, said no. Apparently like in Kenya, Guterres' UN sides with incumbents whether during or just after contested campaigns, with dubious results. More on this to follow. With the UN being asked to take action to ban killer robots, Inner City Press on August 23 asked the UN for Secretary General Antonio Guterres' view of killer robots. Video here, UN transcript here: Inner City Press: Elon Musk and other high-profile, high-tech people have written an open letter to the UN saying that the, what's called killer robots, automated killing machines for the use in war, should be prohibited in some way by the UN.  Does the Secretary-General have any view on the appropriateness of killer robots? Spokesman:  I think it would be easy to say that killer robots are not appropriate, but I think, on, on a broader point, and I think our head of disarmament made that point in a recent speech, is that it's clear that the regulatory framework that exists, the global regulatory framework on weapons, has not caught up with the technology as it exists today.  And it's a discussion that needs to be had at an international, within a multilateral setting. Inner City Press: And, just finally, there was a, there was a swearing in of three officials this morning, including an Under-Secretary-General of DESA.  And, previously, those type of events have been open for… have been photo ops for non-UN photo press.  Today, it wasn't.  What changed between July 11th when an identical… Spokesman:  If you are in need of photos, we can provide them free of charge. Inner City Press:   But what happened? Are we going backwards in terms of access? Spokesman:  We're always going forward.

  Really? When Guterres took five media questions on August 16 after a two week vacation, Inner City Press tried to ask him about the UN bribery verdict against Ng Lap Seng rendered by a jury in lower Manhattan just before he left. Guterres heard the question, but did not answer. Video here.

August 21, 2017

This, in the Bronx, was wrong, https://youtu.be/Dg6cFUjiXhU  just as this south in the UN was and is wrong:


After Ng Bribery Conviction, ICP Asks Of UN Rewarding Ng For SSN Coverage of Ban Trip

By Matthew Russell Lee, Video and audio

UNITED NATIONS, August 18 – Three weeks after the UN bribery verdict of six guilty counts against Ng Lap Seng was delivered by the jury on July 27, on August 16 Inner City Press asked UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres for his response to the verdict. He scoffed and walked off. Video here. On August 17 Inner City Press asked Guterres' deputy spokesman Farhan Haq about trial exhibits it has begun to receive, on Meena Sur and the Global Compact, for first examples. Video here; from the UN transcript here, text below. On August 18, Inner City Press asked Haq about another of the many exhibits, moving closer to home: UN transcript here: Inner City Press: as these exhibits from the Ng Lap Seng trial continue to come in, I wanted to ask you, I was surprised to see it, because it wasn't, at least the days that I went, presented in the trial. There are documents that show that the office, UN Office of South-South Cooperation, wrote a letter supporting the conference centre in Macau, specifically after South-South News covered a Ban Ki-moon trip.  I think they were the only media to cover it, and afterwards, they were congratulated by the Office of South-South Cooperation, and a letter was produced by Mr. Yiping Zhou supporting the conference center. From the document, it appears that the UN system as a whole, whether the Secretary-General knew or not, essentially rewarded positive coverage of this Ban Ki-moon trip with a letter for a conference centre that's now been totally discredited and was not built because it was based on bribery.  And I wanted to know, what is the UN's position on this?  What is… I know Mr. Yiping Zhou has left, but what was the connection between the South-South News travelling with and covering Ban Ki-moon's trip and this letter that was given to the, the Sun Kian Ip Foundation to build a conference centre in Macau?

Deputy Spokesman:  Well, I'm not aware of any connection.

Regarding concerns about South-South News, we've explained to you at the time what our concerns had been about South-South News and its activities.  They are no longer accredited, and the Office of South-South Cooperation, as you know, had undergone different reforms under its new leadership, and I believe they've been in touch with you about that.

Inner City Press: My question really at this point goes to the Secretariat, if you see what I'm saying, because the… the activity of South-South News that UNDP's [United Nations Development Programme] Office of South-South Cooperation was rewarding with this letter was coverage of the Secretary-General's trip.  So was this done with no knowledge by the Secretariat… by the Secretariat?

Deputy Spokesman:  We, we don't, we don't "reward" coverage of trips by Secretaries-General.  I mean, there are many trips.  Many, many outlets cover them.

Deputy Spokesman:  If they were all getting rewarded for them, that would be lots and lots of rewards to hand out. Have a good weekend, everyone.

August 14, 2017

In UN Guinea Bissau Holds Night Event With Chinese Art, MOU With UNCG, Ng Echo

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, August 12 – In the UN on August 11, the Ambassador of Guinea Bissau gave a speech in front of a curved wall of painting by a Chinese artist, praising a Memorandum of Understanding reached between his country and something called “UNCG,” which he did not define.

Inner City Press, evicted and still restricted for covering Macau-based buinessman Ng Lap Seng's purchase of and agreements with various small countries and UN entities, managed to Periscope the event, here


Afterward Inner City Press research found that UNCG is the UN Commutech Group, which on the Internet has a total of two Tweets and a website that is still “UNder construction,” even as the group brags of having penetrated the UN General Assembly high level week in 2015 and 2016. 

That General Assembly week in 2015 is the one in which then Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's nephew Dennis Bahn and brother, still on the lam, used Ban's and the UN's name to try to sell real estate in Vietnam, according to the US Attorney's indictment in the US Court for the Southern District of New York.

Inner City Press is covering that case as well, even as the UN Department of Public Information, soon to be headed by Alison Smale of the New York Times, refuses even after Ng's conviction on all charges to return Inner City Press to regular Resident Correspondent accreditation and its office, for now assigned to an Egyptian state media Akhbar al Yom whose correspondent Sanaa Youssef, a 1984 president of the UN Correspondents Association, rarely comes in and never asks questions.

Has the UN reformed or changed under Ban's successor Antonio Guterres and his deputy Amina J. Mohammed, in power more than seven months? Will its DPI "Global Communications," under Smale, who will replace Cristina Gallach who according even to a UN audit first published by Inner City Press allowed Ng, with no due diligence, to buy events in the UN and even the UN slavery memorial?

There is a structural conflict of interest that Inner City Press and now the Free UN Coalition for Access have pointed out: the people in charge of pro-UN propaganda are also allowed to rule on the accreditation and access of independent press covering the UN more critically, with no content-neutral rules, or rules of any kind. What could do wrong?

The August 11 event had free cans of (warm) beer, duck and chicken feet, and the banner of ECOWAS, the mission of Sierra Leone and the Cote d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast) consulate. But only a few hours later, while the painting remained up, the identifying paraphernalia was gone.

The UN provided support services to the event, and Inner City Press has the document, as it awaits further documents from the Ng Lap Seng trial. The UN is corrupt. We'll have more on this.

August 7, 2017

UN Allows Censorship by N Korea of Art Show, Leaves It & Press Restrictions UNexplained

By Matthew Russell Lee, video here

UNITED NATIONS, August 5 – The day after an art exhibit in the UN had four paintings removed by North Korea, the acting head of "Global Communications" for the UN declined address the UN's role in this and other censorship. Maher Nasser who took over on April 1 from Department of Public Information chief Cristina Gallach, named in the UN's own pre-guilty verdict audit of Ng Lap Seng's lawless purchase of another art show in the UN, was asked about continuing Gallach's restrictions on Inner City Press, and about North Korea banning the paintings.  He did not even purport to respond on the later, and dissembled on the restrictions on Inner City Press. First he said "You have same access for accredited media." But this is false: for example, the Egyptian state correspondent Sanaa Youssef his DPI is trying to give Inner City Press' long time office to could stake-out General Assembly meetings without having the minder Inner City Press is now required to be accompanied by (this also cuts into what questions can be and are asked, the purpose of minders.) Youssef, purportedly representing Sisi's Akhbar al Yom, didn't even come in for Egypt's August 2 press conference, nor the August 5 Security Council meeting under Egypt's presidency. It is a fraud. While Nasser cited a policy about the UN Bookstore - where numerous dubious pro-UN books are for sale - he refused to state what "policy" results in a critical media present and asking questions after day being restricted, without hearing or appeal, and a no-show state media that asks no questions having its office and full access. Youssef is a former president of the pro-UN (and Ng Lap Seng funded) UN Correspondents Association; another former UNCA president Giampaolo Pioli hosted Nasser at his Hamptons shindig. Earlier on August 5 Nasser lavished praise on a pro-UN piece by yet another former UNCA president, here. So Nassar hob-nobs with people who vowed to get Inner City Press evicted for its coverage, while continuing the restrictions on Inner City Press. Global Communications, indeed. We'll have more on this. The show that opened in the UN Delegates Entrance on Friday night promised to have four paintings by North Korean artists, without the approval of their government, set for further sanctions the next day. But when Inner City Press attended the show, all four paintings were gone and pages 49 through 52 had been ripped out of the show program it picked up.

   The co-host with Vanuatu of the exhibition, who was quoted in the July 31 New York Post that “the initiative is under the table — very low key,” told Inner City Press exclusively on August 4 that the four paintings had been removed and that at some later date a single approved work would be submitted by the government of North Korea -- the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, in UNese.

July 31, 2017

The scam continues, in the DNA: "The Crescendo is being billed by Carnegie Management as 'a residential complex built to commemorate the history of an area once filled with musical references.' In October 2015, a billboard went up near the Third Avenue Bridge declaring Port Morris to be the Piano District. The sign was installed by Somerset Partners and The Chetrit Group, the developers that joined together to buy two properties along the Harlem River, at 2401 Third Ave. and 101 Lincoln Ave., for $58 million with plans to turn them into a residential community featuring retail. The backlash was swift, spurring use of the hashtag #WhatPianoDistrict on social media."

July 24, 2017

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has received Brownfield Cleanup Program (BCP) applications, Draft Remedial Action Work Plans and Final Investigation Reports from Concourse Village West Owner LLC for the following sites:

Concourse Village West Apartments - North, site ID #C203091. This site is located in the Borough of Bronx, within the County of Bronx, and is located at 180 East 156th Street.
Concourse Village West Apartments - South, site ID #C203092. This site is located in the Borough of Bronx, within the County of Bronx, and is located at 741 Concourse Village and 702 Grand Concourse.
Copies of the applications, Draft Remedial Action Work Plans, Final Investigation Reports and other relevant documents are available at the document repositories located at NY Public Library – Melrose Branch, 910 Morris Ave, Bronx, 10451 and Bronx Community Board 4, 1650 Selwyn Ave, Suite 11A, Bronx, 10457.

As Reuters Live-streams Spicer's House, Got Press Evicted From UN For Streaming Formal Meeting

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, July 21 – With Reuters getting trashed from the right and left for live-streaming Sean Spicer's family residence in Virginia, it's the hypocrisy that jumps out to the Press. At the UN, Reuters and the UN Correspondents Association on which it has a permanent seat got Inner City Press evicted from the UN Press Briefing Room and UN for live streaming a formal meeting in the UN Press Briefing Room, see here and here. Reuters later got the UN Spokesperson's office to allow it to deny corruption on UNTV. Now Reuters live-streams a private residence. Hypocrisy much? On July 16 Reuters reported a letter to FIFA from what it called the "boycott states" demanding that Qatar be stripped of the 2022 World Cup. There's only one problem: FIFA denies receiving the letter, and Reuters doesn't even claim to have "seen" it. This is the same Reuters which for example at the UN has used its "Palais" (insider) status to lobby to get smaller investigative Press thrown out. Here was a message with Reuters signature block to the UN's Stephane Dujarric, which Inner City Press not only saw but published, only to have Google grant a