International News

After US says it will withdraw from Unesco, Israel follows suit

Washington accused the UN agency of anti-Israel bias, and said it would pull out of it by December 31.

The United States will withdraw from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation on December 31, 2017, the US State Department said in a statement on Thursday.

“This decision was not taken lightly and reflects US concerns with mounting arrears at Unesco, the need for fundamental reform in the organisation, and continuing anti-Israel bias at Unesco,” the department said, adding that the US will, instead, seek to establish a permanent observer mission to Unesco.

Unesco Director-General Irina Bokova expressed “profound regret” at the US’ decision, Reuters reported. “After receiving official notification by the United States Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, as Unesco director-general, I wish to express profound regret at the decision of the United States of America to withdraw from Unesco,” she said. Bokova said the withdrawal was a loss for multi-lateralism and the United Nations family.

The US, under the Barack Obama administration, had cancelled a substantial percentage of its budget contribution to the Unesco in 2011 to protest against the organisation granting Palestine full membership. The US had withdrawn from the Unesco once before, in 1984, to protest what it called an “anti-Western bias”, and rejoined in 2003.

Israel follows the United States out of Unesco

Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesperson Emmanuel Nahshon said on Thursday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had asked the country’s foreign ministry to prepare to leave Unesco along with the US. “Unesco, as it is now, is biased and distorts history,” he said. Netanyahu on Thursday described the US’ decision to quit Unesco as “brave and moral”.

The Israeli prime minister had cut $1 million (Rs 6.5 crore) from the country’s Unesco budget on July 7 after the global cultural body declared the Old City of Hebron in the West Bank an endangered Palestinian world heritage site.

We welcome your comments at
Sponsored Content BY 

Advice from an ex-robber on how to keep your home safe

Tips on a more hands-on approach of keeping your house secure.

Home, a space that is entirely ours, holds together our entire world. Where our children grow-up, parents grow old and we collect a lifetime of memories, home is a feeling as much as it’s a place. So, what do you do when your home is eyed by miscreants who prowl the neighbourhood night and day, plotting to break in? Here are a few pre-emptive measures you can take to make your home safe from burglars:

1. Get inside the mind of a burglar

Before I break the lock of a home, first I bolt the doors of the neighbouring homes. So that, even if someone hears some noise, they can’t come to help.

— Som Pashar, committed nearly 100 robberies.

Burglars study the neighbourhood to keep a check on the ins and outs of residents and target homes that can be easily accessed. Understanding how the mind of a burglar works might give insights that can be used to ward off such danger. For instance, burglars judge a house by its front doors. A house with a sturdy door, secured by an alarm system or an intimidating lock, doesn’t end up on the burglar’s target list. Upgrade the locks on your doors to the latest technology to leave a strong impression.

Here are the videos of 3 reformed robbers talking about their modus operandi and what discouraged them from robbing a house, to give you some ideas on reinforcing your home.


2. Survey your house from inside out to scout out weaknesses

Whether it’s a dodgy back door, a misaligned window in your parent’s room or the easily accessible balcony of your kid’s room, identify signs of weakness in your home and fix them. Any sign of neglect can give burglars the idea that the house can be easily robbed because of lax internal security.

3. Think like Kevin McCallister from Home Alone

You don’t need to plant intricate booby traps like the ones in the Home Alone movies, but try to stay one step ahead of thieves. Keep your car keys on your bed-stand in the night so that you can activate the car alarm in case of unwanted visitors. When out on a vacation, convince the burglars that the house is not empty by using smart light bulbs that can be remotely controlled and switched on at night. Make sure that your newspapers don’t pile up in front of the main-door (a clear indication that the house is empty).

4. Protect your home from the outside

Collaborate with your neighbours to increase the lighting around your house and on the street – a well-lit neighbourhood makes it difficult for burglars to get-away, deterring them from targeting the area. Make sure that the police verification of your hired help is done and that he/she is trustworthy.

While many of us take home security for granted, it’s important to be proactive to eliminate even the slight chance of a robbery. As the above videos show, robbers come up with ingenious ways to break in to homes. So, take their advice and invest in a good set of locks to protect your doors. Godrej Locks offer a range of innovative locks that are un-pickable and un-duplicable. To secure your house, see here.

The article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Godrej Locks and not by the Scroll editorial team.