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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

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 frivolous Digital Millennium Copyright Act complaint (that an anti-Press email could be copyrighted) and banned from Search. The complainant's successor has continued the campaign, using Reuters' permanent seat on the board of the UN Correspondents Association, and followed up with a false complaint to UN Security, which subsequently ousted Inner City Press. We'll have more on this.

July 17, 2017

Bronx shelters, per Daily News: "A caseworker at a Bronx homeless shelter faces sex abuse charges after befriending a family and molesting their 10-year-old son, authorities said Thursday.Amin Laboriel, 37, was apprehended last month in Miami as he tried to flee the country, prosecutors said. He had a one-way ticket to Honduras on him when he was put in handcuffs.
 Prosecutors said he met his victim’s mother at his job at the Bridge Haven Family Transitional Residence and quickly gained the family’s trust. On June 2, he offered to take her 10-year-old boy to his Jackson Heights, Queens, home for a night. During the sleepover, Laboriel sexually abused and sodomized the child, prosecutors said. Police were alerted to the crime a few weeks later — just as Laboriel was about to fly out of Miami International Airport."

July 10, 2017

NYC court beat: In 1st UN Bribery Case, Lorenzo Admits $20,000 a Month from Ng's South South News, in UNTV

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, July 7 – In the UN bribery case against Macau-based businessman Ng Lap Seng, for which jury selection ran from June 26 through June 28 (Periscope here), on July 6 former Dominican Republic Deputy Ambassador and South South News chief Francis Lorenzo started to describe the corruption at the United Nations. He was making $72,000 a year from his country, when Ng Lap Seng started paying him $20,000 a month and put him in charge of South South News despite, Lorenzo testified, having never done journalism in his life. (The UN Department of Public Information, with now-spokesman Stephane Duajrric in charge of television, put Ng's and Lorenzo's South South News' content in the UNTV archives; Dujarric repeatedly refused to explain to Inner City Press how this happened.) Lorenzo described how UN General Assembly President John Ashe, since mysteriously killed by his own barbell, became part of the push for Ng's company Sun Kian Ip Group to procure UN Secretariat documents to build a multi-billion dollar convention center in Macau. Ng's lawyers, who are preparing to cross-examine Lorenzo, have said they may use in his defense some UN documents which they have not yet specified. The prosecution has argued "defense counsel stated, 'We also have another document that is from the UN that we are going to introduce which is the secretary delegation members list.” (Tr. 138.) In addition, when sharing proposed opening slides, the Government learned that the defendant had printed out or downloaded two excerpts from UNOSSC websites that have never been produced or identified to the Government, but that the defendant asserted he intends to introduce at trial. The Government does not have a copy of the pertinent webpages, nor does it know whether the website from which they came is currently available or whether, in any event, the excerpts fairly and accurately capture the website." Inner City Press which has covered this inside the UN (and been thrown out by the UN for seeking to cover, in the UN Press Briefing Room, an event by a group funded by Ng's South South News, which will now host Secretary General Antonio Guterres' deputy Amina J. Mohammed) notes that the Office of South South Cooperation has refused to hold a press conference. On July 6, Inner City Press asked UN holdover Spokesman Stephane Dujarric about, video here, UN transcript here

July 3, 2017

At Bronx Lebanon Hospital,  Henry Bello shot  and killed 32-year-old Dr. Tracy Sin-Yee Tam, who grew up in Queens...

June 26, 2017

 We agree: bring bike-share to The Bronx. "The Bronx currently suffers from the worst health outcomes in New York State, and initiatives that support active transportation, such as Citi Bike, should be made available to all residents of the borough. As it improves access to farmers markets, shopping districts and other forms of transit, our communities deserve the same access to Citi Bike as other parts of the city. We call on Mayor De Blasio to extend this valuable city resource to the Bronx now." - Father Ricardo Fajardo, Pastor, Holy Spirit Church.

June 19, 2017

A brownfield at 1888 Bathgate Ave is slated for redevelopment - with Low Income Housing Tax Credits, recently scrutinized by Frontline and NPR. So, two things to look at...

June 12, 2017

If you're going to replace the Sheridan Expressway, it should be with parks, not another truck road...
June 5, 2017

   MetroNorth's service to The Bronx gets worse and worse. On June 3 the 2:54 pm train stopped for more than 20 minutes at 125th Street, with misleading announcements about a delay of 5 to 10 minutes, then a blaming of “congestion” in The Bronx. We'll have more on this.

May 29, 2017

Just south of the Bronx:

At Cameroon "National" Day, UN DSG & CdC, French Delattre, Toasts to Biya's Wife, No Internet

By Matthew Russell Lee, New Platform

UNITED NATIONS, May 24 – While the UN Security Council visited Cameroon during the 94 day Internet cut off and said nothing publicly about it (but see below), Inner City Press has obtained and has exclusively published on Patreon and now Scribd, here Cameroon's "Urgent and Confidential" letter to the UN Security Council, about weapons. On May 23, Inner City Press went to the New York event for Cameroon's "National" Day, which was boycotted in the Anglophone regions of the country. In New York, however, UN Deputy Secretary General Amina J. Mohammad and Antonio Guterres' Chef de Cabinet Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti attended, along with French Permanent Representative to the UN Francois Delattre, Burundi's Albert Shingiro and others. Video here.


 Periscope inside was not possible due, ironically, to a lack of Internet. There were toasts in French for Chantalle Biya and for the UN officials; on the way out UN staffers told Inner City Press it was sure to criticize them. What matters, as always, is what happens going forward. Italy is a member of the Security Council this year, and on the morning of May 18 including in light of Italian President Mattarella's meetings this year with Cameroon's 34 year president Paul Biya, Inner City Press asked Italy's Mission to the UN: "your Mission was part of the Security Council's trip including to Cameroon earlier this year, during the country's 94-day Internet shut off to millions of people in the Northwest and Southwest (or Anglophone) regions. The IMF, for what it's worth, told Inner City Press the government's Internet cut off is among other things a financial risk in 2017. Could you comment on your Mission's aware of the issue, during the Security Council visit to Cameroon and since, and on whether you believe the Secretary General and DPA, as a matter of prevention of conflict, may have a greater role to play in this long-standing, UN-related conflict or dispute?" Eight hours later, the Italian Mission's spokesperson Giovanni Davoli replied on Cameroon that "the situation you are mentioning was not in the agenda of the UNSC visit." To his credit, Swedish diplomat Carl Skau tells Inner City Press, "I can confirm that the issue was raised by the delegation in meetings." Now Italy's spokesman insists, "I confirm: it was not in the agenda of the visit. Whether it was raised, it is another matter on which I have no elements." Meanwhile, party in interest France has yet to respond, while Emmanuel Macron is in Mali. We'll have more on this.

May 22, 2017

UN Credit Union Solicits N Korean & UNA-USA Funds, After NK Missile, Nikki Haley Says Tighten Screws

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive follow up

UNITED NATIONS, May 14 – The UN Federal Credit Union, regulated by the US National Credit Union Administration, openly solicits the business of both North Korean employees of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea's mission to the UN and the members of the UN Association of the USA (UNA-USA), amid questions of immunity and a previous UNFCU settlement for sanctions violations.

 UNFCU's website lists under “Missions to the UN in New York eligible to join UNFCU” that of “North Korea (DPRK).” Now, after the latest North Korean launch, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley on May 14 told ABC's This Week that the screws will be tightened on North Korea, to isolate them. So, at the UN, what about the (US regulated) UN Federal Credit Union?

Inner City Press asked UNFCU's Senior Manager of Media Relations Elisabeth Philippe questions including “why some UN member states' missions to the UN are eligible to join UNFCU, including the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, and others are not, why members of UNA-USA became eligible to join UNFCU, what regulatory filings in any UNFCU made for this change in field of membership, and any restrictions on the use of these UNA-USA members' funds, and what services UNFCU offers to UN agencies and country teams, in which countries, and if there are any restrictions or safeguards.”

  On deeming the North Korean mission and all of its employees eligible, UNFCU's Ms. Philippe told Inner City Press, “The employees of any mission to the United Nations based in New York are eligible to apply for UNFCU membership. The employees of all missions are eligible to join once their mission has submitted an application and been approved.” The website says the mission itself can join UNFCU. On May 10, Inner City Press asked the chairman of the UN Security Council's North Korea Sanctions Committee Sebastiano Cardi about North Korea's embassy in Berlin renting out space as a hostel, video here. What safeguards does UNFCU, with UNA-USA's members in its field of membership, have?

May 15, 2017

Not good: the beating of Souleymane Porgo of Burkina Faso, on the Grand Concourse - even the US Embassy in Burkina has had to apologize...


At UN, Press Coverage of Biz Event Praising Goldman Sachs Hindered by DPI Censorship

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, May 11 – When the UN hosted an event and press conference about small businesses, they made it nearly impossible for Inner City Press which actually covers the topic, to access the speeches which praised, among others, Goldman Sachs and Facebook. (A surreal tango reception, however, was accessible as Inner City Press was invited and DPI wasn't around to exclude it: Periscope here.) The event was in the ECOSOC Chamber, which Inner City Press cannot access, unlike other correspondents who didn't bother to cover the issue, or even to come in to the UN. More than fourteen months ago, acting against Press coverage of Ban Ki-moon's links to UN corruption cases, the UN Department of Public Information had Inner City Press physically ousted from the UN.  Audio here.

  Since then an UNrelenting campaign of harassment by UN Security and the requirement that Inner City Press unlike other media have minders to stake-out public events in the UN has continued. On May 11 to try to cover an almost empty press conference about small businesses, Inner City Press had to wait more than twenty minutes in the metal detector line, even as DPI shepherded other correspondents to the front of the line and through. This while acting DPI chief Maher Nasser publicly says Inner City Press has fine access, and Margaret Novicki said on UNTV that DPI and the UN are fully committed to free press. It is a scam, and censorship. The Egyptian state media to which DPI is trying to give Inner City Press' long time shared office, Akhbar al Yom, is almost never in the UN, never asks questions. This is censorship.

May 8, 2017

At UN's World Press Freedom Event, ICP Asks of UN Censorship, WIPO & FAO, 1-Line Response

By Matthew Russell Lee, Video here

UNITED NATIONS, May 4 – At the UN's World Press Freedom Day event, the hypocrisy of the UN was on display. After a UN panel gave speeches praising the UN's work, the floor was opened for questions. Inner City Press raised its hand throughout. First the Department of Public Information's Margaret Novicki called on a non governmental organization; then she switched to pre-selected questioners. A DPI staffer told Inner City Press Novicki erred in calling on the NGO, but to keep its hand raised. Inner City Press waited and then asked about the UN's own commitment to press freedom, using as examples the World Intellectual Property Organization's use of criminal defamation laws against a Swiss radio station, FAO going after a website for reporting on corruption, and the UN's lack of due process protections for journalists. All Novicki said, to the three questions, was that "as you know," DPI is committed to freedom of the press. Video here.

Really? Contrary to Secretary General Antonio Guterres calling for an end to crackdowns on the press, more than fourteen months ago, acting against Press coverage of Ban Ki-moon's links to UN corruption cases, the UN Department of Public Information had Inner City Press physically ousted from the UN.  Audio here.

 Since then an UNrelenting campaign of harassment by UN Security (DSS) and the requirement that Inner City Press unlike other media have minders to stake-out public events in the UN has continued. 

May 1, 2017

History in the soil, 198 East 135th Street: "Prior site uses include a railroad freight yard, coal yard, warehousing, and various industrial uses (some of which included oil storage). Historic fill is also present at the site. "

April 24, 2017

At UN, DPI Prejudice Against Critical Press UNanswered, Bello Wiffs on Haiti and Roma

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, April 21 – The UN which evicted Inner City Press 14 months ago after it sought to covering UN corruption in the UN Press Briefing Room has on April 20 responded that it is fine to continue to confine it to minders, while giving much more access to pro-UN or state media like Akhbar al Yom and others which never ask questions, or challenge incompetence. This mendacious answer continued, by default, at an event in the UN Bookstore on April 21, video here.

 Maher Nasser, for the second time the "Officer in Charge" of the UN Department of Public Information, was the moderator but did not even purport to answer Inner City Press' question about his prejudice against critical media. Nasser responded three weeks after Inner City Press' formal request by saying "U have same access as 3000 other journalists." This while his DPI has given the Resident Correspondent accreditation Inner City Press had for 10 years to entities which just arrived at the UN, or those like a Moroccan correspondent who in fact work FOR the UN. It is disgusting censorship. To become the new head of DPI under Antonio Guterres, candidates Inner City Press has reported on include Michele Montas, the Ban Ki-moon spokesperson who participated in meetings about excluding Inner City Press from Google News and threatening it along with Fox News and the Wall Street Journal, and a correspondents for a Saudi media openly lobbying Guterres officials. Both are, it's said, Americans. Will the US Mission, so recently bragging about transparency in the NGO Committee, allow a censor to head DPI? Allow the lawless, no due process regime of censorship of anti-corruption reporting to continue? Watch this site. The UN, demonstrating hypocrisy on both press freedom and transparency, evicted Inner City Press as it covered UN corruption in the Ng Lap Seng bribery case and restricts it even now, after the evicting official is gone from the UN's unaccountable Department of Public Information. A formal request for reversal

April 17, 2017

At UN, Request To Explain Censorship of Press Yields 1-Line, Spox Says Criticism Is Harassment

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, April 13 – The UN, demonstrating hypocrisy on both press freedom and transparency, evicted Inner City Press as it covered UN corruption in the Ng Lap Seng bribery case and restricts it even now, after the evicting official is gone from the UN's unaccountable Department of Public Information. A formal request for reversal, below, was filed 13 days ago. So far only a Kafka-esque one line response, followed by an accusation by the UN's lead spokesman Stephane Dujarric that Inner City Press' criticism of the UN and some of its officials is "harassment." Video here. When Dujarric was in charge of media accreditation at the UN, he summoned Inner City Press about a mere tweet, here. This, then, is censorship. And those who took over accreditation after Dujarric, in what's being revealed as the DPI of UN bribery indicted Ng Lap Seng can't even explain the basis of minders and metal detectors for Inner City Press while, for example, Egyptian state media Akhbar al Yom was nowhere to be seen, hasn't asked a single question in ten months. The UN is Corrupt - we'll have more on this.

   Having no response other than a forward to yet more UN DPI officials, Inner City Press asked and was told, Didn't [a particular] DPI official talk to you? Well, no.

So Inner City Press put it in writing again: "Eleven days ago I wrote with several requests to the Department of Public Information, including regarding the ongoing restrictions in reporting that I face due to a no due process eviction ordered by the former USG of DPI. Other than a notification that my request was being forwarded to still others in DPI, Inner City Press has received no response, except today to be told that one of the addresses was supposed to, or supposedly, told Inner City Press 'there is no change at this time.' This is totally unacceptable. Only in the past few days, I was prevented from staking out the Rwanda genocide memorial as I have in previous years (the DPI escort or minder told me, very quickly, that I had to leave); as I have told DPI, I would have gone to cover the USG of DPA's counter-terrorism briefing today but for the requirement of a minder....This is a reiterated request for reversal or a written explanation of what the UN has done and is doing with regard to Inner City Press." The UN's response? A single line: "upon review of the situation there is no change in the current status." This was copied to UN DPI officials Maher Nasser, Hua Jiang, Hak-Fan Lau, Gallach-aide Darrin Farrant - and then others, on which we'll have more.

April 10, 2017

  The fight for freedom of the Press, from the Bronx has spread south to Manhattan's Turtle Bay, with this filed: "
At UN, Formal Request Made To End Restrictions on Press, Is Officer in Charge, In Charge?

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, April 5 – The UN, demonstrating hypocrisy on both press freedom and transparency, evicted Inner City Press as it covered UN corruption in the Ng Lap Seng bribery case and restricts it even now, after the evicting official is gone. (A formal request for reversal, below, as been filed). After the UN's head of Communications Cristina Gallach was given a strange farewell toast on March 30, the UN told Inner City Press that the "position will be filled by an Officer-in-Charge... while the process to find a new Under-Secretary-General for Public Information continues."

 On April 3, Inner City Press wrote to this Officer in Charge, who copied the request to several others to be named:

"Four hundred and five days ago, without any hearing or opportunity to be heard, I was ordered out of the United Nations for having sought to covering a meeting in the UN Press Briefing Room that was nowhere listed as closed to some journalists and not others. Inner City Press, still without any hearing and no appeal since, was then evicted from its shared office S-303 which has sat largely unused since. I have been forced, for more than a year, to only enter through the metal detectors at the Visitors Entrance, and my pass has not worked on the second floor turnstile, precluding me from covering events on the second floor as other correspondents could. There are other restrictions and double standards, hindering reporting, of which DPI has been made aware.

 Yesterday was the last day atop DPI for the official who without speaking to me once signed the February 19, 2016 letter, and for the April 2016 eviction. The Deputy Spokesperson told me yesterday, in a noon briefing where I asked six questions (earlier the week there was a noon briefing where from the entire rest of the accredited press corps there were only three questioners), I was told that you are the Officer in Charge of DPI. In that capacity, this is a formal request that Inner City Press be restored to the office it was ousted from without due process... and that I be restored to Resident Correspondent accreditation immediately... I also incorporate this link to the Special Rapporteurs for Freedom of Expression and Human Rights Defenders letter: and, again, this petition."

 Days later, no ruling, attempted jokes while Inner City Press worked to write up the Syria UN Security Council meeting from a bench in the UN lobby. We'll have more on this.

On March 28, forwarded not sent to Inner City Press, this: "UNCA will host a farewell reception in honor of Under-Secretary-General of DPI, Cristina Gallach, on Thursday, March 30th at 5:30 pm in the UNCA room (3rd floor, UN Secretariat Building, room 310). Food and wine will be served. Please join us for a farewell toast!" Toasting what? Allowing into the UN with no due diligence the Macau-based businessman Ng Lap Seng, as detailed in the UN's own audit at Paragraphs 37-40 and 20b? Evicting the Press without any hearing or appeal? The decline in media access? On March 29, Inner City Press asked among other things, "yesterday your Office replied, regarding the USG of DPI, 'We will announce arrivals and departures as they occur.' Now that your partner has arranged a farewell for this USG for March 30, what is the rationale for your Office refusing to confirm her departure and the status of recruiting a replacement?" The UN spokesman replied, "Regarding Under-Secretary-General Cristina Gallach, her position will be filled by an Officer-in-Charge upon her departure while the process to find a new Under-Secretary-General for Public Information continues." We'll have more on this.

  In early 2016, covering the UN corruption scandals which have resulted in two sets of indictments for bribery involving the UN, Inner City Press was ordered to leave the UN Press Briefing Room by then Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's spokesman Stephane Dujarric.

  Other correspondents were allowed to stay in the briefing room, which Dujarric had "lent" them. But he insisted that Inner City Press leave. Video here."

April 3, 2017

Gentrification watch: Treetop Development has announced plans for a $160 million, dual-tower development in the South Bronx. The 12-story rental towers will be part of a mixed-use project of roughly 360,000 square feet. The developer is also planning a 260,000-square-foot residential project with retail on the ground floor, as well as a 100,000-square-foot rental development, nearby....

March 27, 2017

There's a fight-back against closing Junior High School 145 in Morrisania. In the 2015-2016 school year, only eight percent of students at JHS 145 passed state reading exams, and only three percent passed state math tests....

March 20, 2017

  The (lack of) respect for the Bronx was exemplified by the stairs down to the D Train on Tremont during and after the snow storm...
March 13, 2017

Excess and gentrification to come: Chetrit Group and Somerset Partners are laying out their vision for the future buildings at 101 Lincoln Ave. and 2401 Third Ave....

March 6, 2017

Last week, Bronx Borough President Diaz said he supports Queens Assembly Member Andrew Hevesi's Home Stability Support plan, which would give rent subsidies to those in danger of losing their homes...

February 27, 2017

  When an Amber alert went off all over New York on February 24, it mentioned The Bronx. Afterward, this: "Cops initially tracked Hernandez to Louis Nine Blvd. in the Foxhurst section of the Bronx — about 53 miles from Bridgeport — after Hernandez was spotted in the area, and his cell phone pinged there."

 Who calls that Foxhurst? Call it Hagstrom hangover.


February 20, 2017

Slumlord or vivero? "details are being released about the victims who contracted a rare disease transmitted by rat urine, including a link to a Bronx business just a block away from the building that has become the main target of both tenants and the city. In the last two months, three people along a single block have contracted leptospirosis, a rare bacterial infection. Two of the victims, including one man in his 30s who died last year, at one point worked at a nearby live poultry shop."

February 13, 2017

Bronx Catholic schools hit hard: The Archdiocese of New York has  announced that St. Ann School in Norwood, Visitation School in Kingsbridge and St. Mary School in Wakefield will close, along with St. Gregory the Great School on the Upper West Side and St. Peter's Regional School in Sullivan County. Sts. Peter and Paul School in Morrisania will turn into a universal pre-K program starting in September...

February 6, 2017

Electeds to the Postmaster:

"Since late November, the Bronx Post Office has been removing mailboxes all throughout the borough in order to replace them with new boxes that will prevent mail fishing. We appreciate the post office’s concern with the safety of our constituent’s mail and are pleased to see them taking a proactive approach to combatting this issue. However, most of the mailboxes that have been removed still have not been replaced, and the Bronx Post Office has either been incapable or unwilling to give us a timeline as to when these new mailboxes will be installed.

We represent a large constituency of people who are elderly and living in apartment buildings that are not easily accessible to our local post office branches. These people rely on the mailboxes on their block to pay their bills and send their correspondences. After more than 2 months of these mailboxes missing, we find it completely unacceptable that the Bronx Post Office still has not replaced them and cannot give us an answer as to when, if ever, they will all be replaced.

We would appreciate it if your office would look into this matter immediately and provide any possible assistance to help resolve the problem. The USPS should also consider dispatching mobile collection units in the affected communities as a temporary measure."

January 30, 2017

RIP Wayne Barrett - and ex-Rep Bobby Garcia...

January 23, 2017

UN Again Bans Staff From Women's March, ICP Questions, Gallach at Power's Elex Party

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, January 21 – UN system officials told their staff not to attend the "Global Women's March" on Saturday, January 21. From the NYC march, Periscope I and II, photos here, here and here.

After Inner City Press asked, the directive was reversed - then reinstated at 6 pm the night before the march. Below is UN email first published by Inner City Press. Meanwhile senior UN officials like Under Secretary General Cristina Gallach violate the stated UN rules. Below is an email from the UN World Food Program.

  After Inner City Press published and Periscoped about it and asked four WFP spokespeople about it, by email and phone, UN deputy spokesman Farhan Haq at the January 20 noon briefing answered Inner City Press that WFP's Ertharin Cousin, from Chicago, reversed her agency's Ethics Officer and said staff can march. YouTube video here.

But then just before 6 pm on January 20, the eve of the March, another UN "Broadcast" email went out, further muddying the waters before the Women's March and showing again that Cristina Gallach (and some other USGs) have violated the UN's rules. That email is below; here are the questions Inner City Press has submitted to the UN's top three spokespeople for clarification:

"These are two Press questions asked before the Women's March (in DC, and in front of the UN, as well as elsewhere) starts, in light of the unsigned, unclear Ethics Office broadcast email below sent out yesterday evening after, and contradicting, the answer given to my question at the noon briefing about the UN's position on the March.

Given that, and many questions Inner City Press has received from confused (and angry) UN staff - and the unprecedented request for the extradition of the just-former Secretary General's brother - these questions should be responded to immediately:

Who is responsible for the Ethics Office broadcast email below? Is Elia Armstrong still the head of / involved in the Ethics Office?

Why is it unsigned? Who is accountable for it? Was it cleared with the Office of Legal Affairs? Are there two different instructions for Secretariat staff and Ertharin Cousin's WFP staff?

Separately, please comment on the US government formal request to South Korea to extradite Ban Ki Sang, and again, was the UN ever contacted by prosecutors about Ban Ki-moon or his family members?

   There are still the majority of the questions below [only two and a half of 22 have been answered.] On deadline." Watch this site.

 The UN's 6 pm, January 20 email:

"To: OAH, DPKO, UN Funds Programs & Tribunals, HQ NY Secretariat
From: BROADCAST-UNHQ/NY/UNO
Date: 01/20/2017 05:57PM
Subject: Message from the Ethics Office: Public Pronouncements and Political Activities

Recently, there have been a number of questions regarding public pronouncements including participating in political activities and social media discussions.  The questions include participation in tomorrow’s Women’s March on Washington. Are such activities in line with our status as international civil servants? 

In this respect, we would like to remind staff of their obligations as international civil servants.

The private activities of UN staff members must remain within the limits of the Organization’s core values as reflected in Staff Regulation 1.2 and Staff Rule 1.2.  While the Organization respects the inviolability of your personal views and convictions, including your political and religious convictions, as well as your right to freedom of expression, we must ensure that the expression of those views and convictions do not adversely reflect on our status, or on the integrity, independence and impartiality that are required by that status.

As international civil servants, we are called upon to uphold and respect the principles set out in the Charter, including faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person and in the equal rights of men and women.  Nonetheless, as international civil servants, our Standards of Conduct (para 9 and 33) make clear that we do not have the freedom of private persons to take sides or to express our beliefs publicly on sensitive political matters, either individually or as members of a group nor can we criticize or try to discredit a Government.

Public pronouncements, which could have an impact on our independence and impartiality as international civil servants, come in many forms including but not limited to:

-marches, protests, demonstrations;
-online petitions:
-social media activity:
-group walks/activities.

Accordingly, participating in certain activities, especially those with political overtones, may be viewed as incompatible with our status as international civil servants."

 Haq would not answer if UN Under Secretaries General on Samantha Power's election night "party" complied with the impartiality even Cousins claimed. We'll have more on this.

January 16, 2017

ICP Asks Samantha Power of Ban Ki-moon's Family Indicted, She Says Doesn't Involve UN

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, January 13 – There are those in the UN who like Samantha Power for what they think she stands for. By the same token, Power and the Obama administration were unrelentingly defenders of the UN for what they said it stood for. But were either right?

  On January 13 Samantha Power took up the UN Press Briefing Room for more than an hour to extol her and Obama's virtues. Her outgoing spokesman called early on two US Voice of America affiliates.

 Between questions, Inner City Press asked, What about the indictment of Ban Ki-moon's brother and nephew? Tweeted video here.

  Power looked over and said, “I don't have any comment. It's not something that involves the UN.”

  Well, no. The indictment by the US Attorney's Office says Ban's nephew repeatedly cited his family's access to the Amir of Qatar to help selling a building in Vietnam. Ban knew of this for at least a year and a half. Any UN OIOS investigation? But Samantha Power was never about reforming the UN.

   Inner City Press asked, What about Haiti cholera? Power smirked / shrugged, and her spokesman moved on. So the UN bringing cholera to Haiti and killing 10,000 people, not paying a penny - that "is not something that involves the UN?" We'll have more on this.

ICP asked @AmbassadorPower about indictment Ban Ki-moon's family. She: doesn't “involve UN.” Smirked at UN's #Haiti cholera pic.twitter.com/VwjH9rVMxT

— Inner City Press (@innercitypress) January 14, 2017

   When the UN killed 10,000 plus people in Haiti by bringing cholera, what did the Obama administration do? The issue wasn't even mentioned in Power's 8000 plus word Exit Memo. Nor was Burundi or Yemen, where US-made cluster bombs have been dropped on schools and hospitals. A problem from hell, indeed.

   Power and her Deputy Permanent Representative for Management and Reform Isobel Coleman have said nothing about the indictment for bribery of Ban Ki-moon's brother and nephew for using the UN, nor about the John Ashe / Ng Lap Seng UN briefing case about to come to trial.

They did nothing when  the Press which asked the UN about this corruption was thrown in the street and remains restricted still today, ten months later, despite a request from the Government Accountability Project.

  Specifically, Power, Coleman and the Mission / Administration did nothing when Ban and his holdover head of communications Cristina Gallach had investigative Inner City Press thrown out onto First Avenue. They were asked in writing (by the Government Accountability Project), at the UNSC stakeout (Power) and in Washington (Kirby). Nothing. The UN is trying to give its office to an Egyptian state media which rarely comes in, never asks questions.

   The failure to reform during a UN-sympathetic Administration in Washington will make the coming scrutiny all the more painful. Call it a Problem From Hell.

January 9, 2017

So what will be the displacement impacts of the NY Times calling the South Korea a must-visit place for tourists?

January 2, 2017

  So Ban Ki-moon dropped the ball, one last time, over Times Squares on New Year's Eve, promoting Planet Fitness...

Ban Ki-moon Used UN to Run For S Korea Prez As Early at 2010

By Matthew Russell Lee, Seventeenth in a Series

UNITED NATIONS, December 31 -- In the final days of Ban Ki-moon's decade as UN Secretary General, covering up genocides in Sri Lanka, Burundi and Yemen and evicting the Press which asked about (t)his corruption, Inner City Press is reviewing Ban's end, year by year. See also this Twitter Moment.

In 2009, Ban misspoke about his history in Sri Lanka, the mass killing in which he ignored to attend his son Woo-hyun's wedding, and where his son in law Siddharth Chatterjee had previously played an active, killing role.

While Ban would later evict and still restrict Inner City Press, in 2009 his strategy was to get it removed from Google News - and it happened (though it was later reversed). Here's Inner City Press' report from June 3, 2009.

 And now Ban threatens to sue, for ambition.

Ban hyped up his appearance in Times Square - where he only stood with De Blasio like a sidekick, waving inanely and promoting a corporation, Planet Fitness. It was a fit ending.

December 26, 2016

Brownfield, 198 E 135 Street "is vacant and used to store vehicles associated with a storage/moving company located adjacent to the property. The Harlem River is located approximately 600 feet to the southwest. Current Zoning and Land Use: The site is currently inactive, and is zoned for mixed-use high-density residential and commercial use. Past Use of the Site: Prior site uses that appear to have led to site contamination are railroad freight yard, coal yard, warehousing, and various industrial uses (some of which included oil storage). The site also appears to be contaminated with historic fill." We'll have more on this.

December 19, 2016

UN Thugs Attack ICP Outside Ban Ki-moon's $1200 Wall Street Event, Throw Phone

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, December 17  -- Outgoing UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon headlined a $1200 a ticket event on Wall Street on Friday night.

Inner City Press went to cover the event, and while live-streaming Periscope video outside was physically attacked by thugs exiting the UN event. Video here. This is what the UN has come to.

   Shortly before, Inner City Press spoke with Ban Ki-moon, now Antonio Guterres official Kyung-wha Kang. She said, of Inner City Press' eviction from the UN and nine months and counting of minders, “There must be a process.” But there is no process, no rule, no appeal right. And, it is now confirmed, there are thugs.

Call it, now, the Dark Side of the Moon (music).

   Outgoing Deputy Secretary General Jan Eliasson, who has received a petition on the matter, to his credit came over and greeted Inner City Press -- before the attack. Representatives of the US Mission to the UN, who did nothing about the earlier eviction despite a request by the Government Accountability Project, did not.

Not seen was UN Under Secretary General Cristina Gallach, who by her no due process eviction, audio here, and allowing UNCA chief Pioli to at the televised UN Security Council stakeout call Inner City Press a*hole, audio here, created this atmosphere.

   But where is the Committee to Protect Journalists, ostensibly now concerned about press freedom inside the terroritorial United States?

Where is Human Rights Watch, whose UN representative in fact tried to get Inner City Press thrown out of the UN, here, then got Google to censor from Search his request, misusing the Digital Millennium Copyright Act?  The only solution is, at a minimum, to restore Inner City Press to where it was before the no due process eviction. Then to work from there. Watch this site.
December 12, 2016

After NYC Praises UN, ICP Asks Ban's Spox of Gallach's Violations of Free Press & Due Process

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, December 7 -- When Mayor Bill de Blasio's Commissioner for International Affairs Penny Abeywardena took questions about the United Nations' impact on New York City, she answered Inner City Press' question about Legionaires disease by saying the UN works with the City to comply with applicable local laws.

On December 7, Inner City Press asked the UN's deputy spokesman if this compliance extends to the US First Amendment and due process guarantes, both of which Abeywardena's co-panelist Cristina Gallach of the UN appears ot have violated. From the UN transcript:

Deputy Spokesman: I would refer you back to what Penny Abeywardena said yesterday in her role as the New York City Commissioner for International Affairs about the more than $3.3 billion, I believe it was…

Inner City Press: I asked her whether the UN is subject to New York City health rules like on Legionnaires' disease and on self-inspection, and she sort of said, oh, we work very closely, the UN basically kind of philosophically accepts all of these things even if it's not legally required.

So I'd wanted to know, one, things like the First Amendment, as to the freedom of the press or due process, is there… can you say that the UN is… is… is accepting, in the same way she described as Legionnaires' disease and health regulations, of freedom of the press and due process provisions of its host country? 

Deputy Spokesman:  It's not about the laws of the host country.  Of course, the UN also upholds the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and as you know, that includes the freedom of the media, freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and many other key rights.

  Then how could the UN's Gallach order Inner City Press out of the UN, for seeking to cover an event in the UN Press Briefing Room, without once speaking to it - i.e. providing any due process at the time, with no right to appeal in the nine months since?

Gallach has been written to by the UN's own Special Rapporteurs on Freedom of Expression and Human Rights Defenders and, after a three month day, misled them about a non-existent "altercation." The UN and Gallach do not comply with locally-applicable laws.

  On December 6, there was an initial joke about parking tickets, as if that would be the extent of issues New Yorkers might care about.

But while the City's study enumerates people directly employed by the UN Community, their lack of labor and other rights due to immunity was not acknowledged in the study.

   Inner City Press covers both the UN and its headquarters city, New York, and routinely receives complaints from diplomats' domestic workers and drivers about work place abuse and lack of benefits, and the lack of any recourse. Due to immunity, not only defrauded workers but those subject to physical abuse are left without rights.

  Inner City Press asked Abeywardena what the de Blasio administration proposes to do about that - for example, diplomat Joachim Haubrichs punched his wife Henna Johnson, 35, in the face and was not subject to arrest at all. Abeywardena said, in essence, that Johnson could get counseling. Video here.

   What about the UN having brought cholera to Haiti and killed 10,000 people, leaving sorrow and economic harm in many New York City communities - does the de Blasio administration have a position on that? Abeywardena did not answer, leaving the question for the UN moderator Cristina Gallach.

    But Gallach, as mentioned even in the New York Times, is responsible for the ouster and eviction of the investigative Press from the UN, and its confinement to minders to cover events on the UN's second floor for the past nine months and for the foreseeable future.

Gallach is giving Inner City Press' longtime shared UN office to an Egyptian state media, Akhbar al Yom, which rarely comes into the UN and never asks any questions.

@globalnyc @PAbeywardena at UN presser; ICP has questions on security, impunity, UN censorship: https://t.co/bDyNnnlkgW pic.twitter.com/bFkuOA5DF9

— Inner City Press (@innercitypress) December 6, 2016

    Abeywardena answered Inner City Press' second round of questions by saying the City works with the UN on such issues as testing for Legionnaires Disease - something legally required for (other) buildings in New York.  

We question whether the City administration is doing or should do anything to ensure that the UN lives up to the basic principles, applicable right outside the UN's gates, of press freedom and due process.

Gallach's pretext for throwing Inner City Press out and restricting it since was Inner City Press' attempt to cover an event in the same UN Press Briefing Room on January 29, as part of its coverage of the ongoing Ng Lap Seng UN bribery case set for trial in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York in January 2017.

Inner City Press left the briefing room - which had no “closed” sign on it - as soon as a single UN Security officer said to, at the request of UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric. But three weeks later, without once speaking with Inner City Press, Gallach ordered it out on two hours notice.

  When Inner City Press was physically thrown out onto First Avenue on Gallach's orders on February 19, 2016 (audio here) and its laptop thrown onto the sidewalk, it called the New York Police Department, which said it had no recourse at all, the UN controls even the sidewalk in front of it.

December 5, 2016

We're for public access to North Brother Island - and Hart Island, too....

November 28, 2016

Sin City fall out: http://bronxboropres.nyc.gov/pdf/2016-11-21-odell-beckham-letter.pdf

November 21, 2016

Ban Ki-moon NYU Speech Has Prerequisites While $100,000 Speech Withheld

By Matthew Russell Lee, Follow Up on Exclusives

UNITED NATIONS, November 18 -- As Ban Ki-moon's time at the UN winds down and he prepares coyly to run for President in South Korea, his packaging of his legacy has become a vanity amateur operation, see below.

It is now even worse that we thought. While Ban Ki-moon on October 14 gave a speech in Washington DC for which $100,000 sponsorships were sought but a copy of which was never released, now for a speech at New York University, an Inner City Press request, twice, to cover it has been rebuffed.

There are, it seems, prerequisites to cover this Ban Ki-moon speech. The solicitation stated:

"In his final weeks as UN secretary-general, Ban will deliver a keynote address [at] NYU School of Professional Studies (NYUSPS) Center for Global Affairs (CGA)... If you are a member of the press who wishes to cover it, please contact Cheryl Feliciano."

  And so, covering Ban Ki-moon closely, and his promoted son in law at the UN in Kenya, and brother Ki-ho mining in Myanmar, Inner City Press wrote to NYU's Feliciano: "Hi, I cover the UN and would like to cover Ban Ki-moon's Nov 22 speech. This is my RSVP. Please confirm."

  But what came back was a strange request: "Hi Matthew, Do you have an official UN press credential?"

  Inner City Press replied, cc-ing the Free UN Coalition for Access (FUNCA), that "I do. But why would that be a prerequisite to cover a speech by Ban Ki-moon not inside the UN? Please let me know."

  It is particularly strange given that in Washington, at least on October 14, for nothing but money one could hear Ban Ki-moon speak.

  NYU's response came from its director of Media Relations Christopher James:

"The prereq. Is NYPD press Creds or UN press creds. Security being what it is, these are the ONLY acceptable forms of I.D. for journalists. If you are on assignment, please have you editor email us to this effect."

  That is, yet another prerequisite to hear this sure to be groundbreaking speech by Ban "$100,000" Ki-moon... Other attendees include Waheguru Pal Singh Sidhu and Kim Won-soo a/k/a Ban's Brain or now, shaman. To this has the end of the Ban Ki-moon era at the UN sunk.

November 14, 2016

In The Bronx, it seems on November 8 in Assembly District 84, ED 79 (Mott Haven-Port Morris) only 2 votes were cast: 1 for Clinton and 1 for Trump...

November 7, 2016

Call it read-lining: Barnes & Noble is closing its store in The Bronx...

October 31, 2016

Gentrification: "the South Bronx’s Melrose/Morrisania co-ops jumped 17 percent to $236,000. Nearby in Mott Haven/Port Morris/Hunts Point, one-to-three family home prices jumped 70 percent to $520,000." REBNY report

October 24, 2016

On the killing of Deborah Danner, where is the UN and its human rights Special Rapporteurs?

October 17, 2016

Tour de Bronx, October 23: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/tour-de-bronx-2016-tickets-26789955478

October 10, 2016

We agree: "Since 1981, the Belmont Library has sat adjacent to Arthur Avenue, offering key services to the vibrant community while enjoying the energy, uniqueness, and spirit of the Bronx's own Little Italy," said New York Public Library Chief Operating Officer Iris Weinshall. "The dedicated staff at this branch can certainly attest to the greatness of this storied street and the people that bring it to life."

October 3, 2016

Rare Bronx - UN connection: the head of the Clay Avenue Tenants Association is headed to Quito for  the HABITAT conference. We hope to have more on this.

September 26, 2016

South Bronx gentrifying http://furmancenter.org/thestoop/entry/new-report-analyzes-new-york-citys-gentrifying-neighborhoods-and-finds-dram

September 19, 2016

While the UN General Assembly meets, click here for that, there's this (Maduro) in The Bronx:

Thursday September 22, 2016
6:00 p.m.
 
Location:
Latino Pastoral Action Center
14 West 170th Street Bronx NY, 10452

September 12, 2016

This footage of the killing of Reynaldo Cuevas is troubling...

September 5, 2016

Glad to see LinkNYC wi-fi coming into The Bronx: "The program has so far installed 25 kiosks in The Bronx, although nine do not have wireless access yet, and the borough will see a total of more than 700 kiosks installed over the next few years."

August 29, 2016

Old school: "The papers were apparently left by workers at the Langston Hughes Young Explorers Academy, also called PS 236. They are from the 2007-2008 school year, but many contain up to date addresses and phone numbers of students and parents, and potentially embarrassing medical information along with social security numbers."

August 22, 2016

Last week, Inner City Press / Fair Finance Watch challenged People's United - Suffolk County National Bank. Now: "Elizabeth Montgomery, a People’s United spokeswoman, said the bank does not comment on pending litigation, but noted that it feels “comfortable” with its lending practices. “We’re a highly regulated institution and we’re very proud of our history of residential lending and we’re comfortable with our practices,” she said. Suffolk did not return a call for comment."
 
 Comfortable?
In the the New York City MSA in 2014, the most recent year for which Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data is publicly available, People's United made 82 home purchase loans to whites and NONE to African Americans or Latinos. That's NONE. We'll have more on this.

August 15, 2016

Another Inner City Press nominee for the Bronx (and Brooklyn and Queens and Harlem and Washington Heights) Hall of Shame: People's United. ICP has filed: "
in the the New York City MSA in 2014, the most recent year for which Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data is publicly available, People's United made 82 home purchase loans to whites and NONE to African Americans or Latinos. This is redlining; this proposed acquisition could not legitimately be approved and People's United should be referred for prosecution for redlining by the Department of Justice and CFPB.

For refinance loans in the New York City MSA in 2013, People's United made 24 loans to whites, 1 to an African American and four to Hispanics. For home improvement loans in the New York City MSA in 2013, People's United made eight loans to whites, and NONE to African Americans or Latinos."

August 8, 2016

We favor forward-looking relief - and standing - in Trowbridge v. Cuomo, 16-cv-3455, about the unacceptable delays in Bronx Criminal Court...

August 1, 2016