Top of the Morning: UNGA to Vote on Palestine Upgrade Today; HIV Rates in China on the Rise

Top stories from DAWNS Digest.

General Assembly to Vote on Upgraded Status for Palestine at the United Nations Today

The UN General Assembly will vote later today to upgrade Palestine’s status from “Permanent Observer Entity” to “Non-Member State Permanent Observer.” This seemingly banal change in nomenclature will not change much at the United Nations–Palestine will be granted no new rights or responsibilities. It may, however, have profound effect in the West Bank and Israel as Israel has pledged to retaliate against the move. The Palestinian authority may also face a cut-off of aid from the United States, which strenuously objects to this move. Most of Europe will likely vote in favor of the upgrade. The vote will take place this morning after an address by PA President Mahmoud Abbas. (Reuters

HIV Cases on the Rise in China, But Government Warms to NGO Intervention

The number of new HIV/AIDS cases in China jumped in the first 10 months of the year. But the good news is the premier-in-waiting Li Keqiang promised to work with iNGOs to combat HIV. “Li, at a meeting with non-governmental groups working on HIV/AIDS, said the government would let them play a more active role in battling the disease. “You have a greater understanding of what sufferers want … the government will continue to offer support and pay even greater attention to and listen more closely to the voices of civil society groups and you will be given greater space to play your role,” state television cited him as saying. It also showed pictures of Li shaking hands with sufferers, in a country where discrimination against people with HIV/AIDS is rampant, even in the healthcare community. (Reuters