UN focuses on refugees - will it be enough?

A woman walks past hundreds of refugee life jackets collected from the beaches of Chios, Greece, on the edge of the East River, to call attention to the refugee crisis in Brooklyn, New York, USA, 16 September 2016 Image copyright EPA
Image caption A woman walks past hundreds of refugee life jackets collected from the beaches of Chios, Greece, on the edge of the East river in New York to call attention to the refugee crisis

This week the centre of attention for the global refugee crisis shifts from the beaches of Greece, the refugee camps of Jordan, the shoreline of Libya, the fatal waters of the Mediterranean and the battlefields of Syria to the riverside home of the United Nations in New York.

The worst human displacement problem the United Nations has ever confronted will be the focus of two major events here aimed at galvanising worldwide action. As this film shows, the scale of the problem is immense:

Media captionMillions of people have been displaced - more than at any time since World War Two

The first event, held on Monday, is a UN refugee and migration summit. The following day Barack Obama will convene his own refugee event on the fringes of the UN general debate, the annual diplomatic jamboree held in New York that draws leaders from all over the world.

At the UN event, world leaders will adopt the New York Declaration, a document enshrining certain principles, such as a commitment to share responsibility for the refugee crisis more equitably between member states and to combat racism and xenophobia.

Despite its grandiose title, however, the "outcome document" is a classic UN fudge. To secure the backing of UN member states, it has been written in often vague and generalised language and lacks binding, concrete commitments.

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From reverential to strident... the two Donald Trumps

Donald Trump in Mexico City (left) and Phoenix (right) Image copyright Getty Images/Reuters

The Donald Trump who appeared in Mexico on Wednesday was vastly different from the Donald Trump we have grown used to seeing on the campaign trail.

And he was certainly unrecognisable from the candidate who roared his way through his long-awaited immigration speech the same day in Arizona.

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The states Trump can't afford to lose

Media captionNick Bryant reports: "No Republican has ever become president without winning Ohio"

This election could be decided on the banks of the Ohio River.

It meanders through two of the most hotly contested battleground states, both prime targets for Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

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US election: Has Donald Trump already blown it?

Donald Trump Image copyright Getty Images

Last summer, Donald Trump could do no wrong. What a difference a year makes.

The summer of 2015 saw Trump generate so much early momentum behind his candidacy that he became almost unstoppable in his march towards the Republican presidential nomination. By Labor Day in early September, he had established a lead in the polls that rarely he relinquished.

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US election: Understanding media addiction to Donald Trump

Donald Trump speaks at a news conference at Trump Tower Image copyright Spencer Platt/Getty Images
Image caption Donald Trump attacked reporters during a news conference at Trump Tower, calling one reporter "sleazy"

Co-dependency is commonly defined as "an emotional and behavioural condition that affects an individual's ability to have a healthy, mutually satisfying relationship".

Another term for it is "relationship addiction". People form and persist with relationships "that are one-sided, emotionally destructive and/or abusive".

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US election: The man hurting Clinton in her fight with Trump

Bill and Hillary Clinton Image copyright Getty Images

Adding another unanticipated sidebar to this topsy-turvy election, Kenneth Starr has lavished praise on Bill Clinton, citing his "genuine empathy for human beings", calling him "the most gifted politician of the baby boomer generation" and commending his post-presidential philanthropy, which he noted was Carteresque in its benevolence.

Starr, a former independent counsel, was the author of what's probably the most expensive piece of pornography ever published, the Starr Report which chronicled, in graphic sexual detail, Bill Clinton's affair with a 21-year-old White House intern, Monica Lewinsky.

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US election: Will normal rules ultimately apply?

Donald Trump Image copyright Getty Images

Voters everywhere are in a mutinous mood. They seem hell-bent on defying conventional wisdom and making a mockery of orthodox punditry. They do not want to be bound by customary rules or behavioural norms.

That rebellious spirit has been glaringly evident during this American election season. It is seen most obviously in the rise of Donald Trump, the failure of establishment conservatives like Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio, the time it has taken Hillary Clinton to close the deal, and the unexpectedly strong showing of her rival, Bernie Sanders, who won in Indiana this week.

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Have New York's struggles shaped the Trump campaign?

Media captionDonald Trump is expected to is expected to win by a big margin in New York.

His name is emblazoned all over the city. On luxury condominiums, high-rise residential buildings, office blocks and hotels, and at some of New York's most prestigious addresses, Fifth Avenue, Wall Street, Park Avenue, the United Nations Plaza and even the ice rink in Central Park.

TRUMP, often spelt out in gold capital letters in a font called Stymie Bold, is ubiquitous.

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UN secretary-general: The other New York race

New Year's Eve celebrations in Times Square, New York City Image copyright AFP
Image caption The turn of the year will mark the beginning of the new UN secretary general's term

As the hoopla of the presidential campaign comes to New York, featuring the political all-stars seeking to become the world's most powerful leader, another race is also under way in the city - a contest of the largely obscure.

It involves candidates hoping to become the world's most prominent diplomat.

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Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton and the 'None of the Above' era in politics

Donald Trump Image copyright Getty Images

As the world looks on askance at the freakishness of the US presidential election, it is worth bearing in mind that a large number of Americans feel much the same sense of unease.

To outside eyes, the rise of Donald Trump especially looks like the ultimate "Only in America" story, but many of his compatriots wish it was a "Not in America" phenomenon.

Read full article Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton and the 'None of the Above' era in politics