21 May 2007United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today expressed concern about the fighting Lebanon and called on all sides to protect civilians. Mr. Ban “is gravely concerned about the fighting in the last two days between Fatah el-Islam gunmen and the Lebanese army,” his spokesperson said in a statement.“The actions of Fatah al-Islam are an attack on Lebanon’s stability and sovereignty,” Michele Montas told reporters in New York.The Secretary-General welcomed the “united stand taken by Palestinian factions in Lebanon denouncing these attacks on the Lebanese army” and called on all sides to do their utmost to protect innocent civilians. “The Secretary-General also strongly condemns yesterday’s terrorist bombing in Beirut,” the statement said, urging the Lebanese “to unite in the face of threats to their stability and security.” read more

GENEVA — From towering giraffes to bottom-feeding sharks and many species in between, endangered species have received new protections under an agreement finalized by most of the world’s countries at a conference on saving plants and animals from the ravages of international trade.The World Wildlife Conference aims to ensure trade doesn’t threaten the survival of endangered fauna and flora. It adopted measures about elephants, otters, turtles, saiga antelope and rosewood among other species as its 11-day conference neared its end Wednesday.The conference occurs every three years and took on added importance this year in the wake of a U.N. report on biodiversity in May warning that extinction looms for over 1 million species of plants and animals.There are growing concerns that policymakers aren’t acting quickly enough to stop it.The Associated Press read more