Blog Roundup #14 Peter Daou May 20, 2005 A sampling of United Nations related blog commentary LEFT COASTER: "US computer billionaire Bill Gates yesterday accused rich countries of turning their back on deadly diseases affecting millions of poor people, as he announced an additional $250 million (BD94.5m) (euro198 million) ($A330.73 million) (NZ$639 million) contribution for health research in developing countries." FIRST DRAFT: "Paging Norm Coleman - Norm Coleman to the White Courtesy Phone Please: "U.S. officials are now unsure whether billions of dollars dispatched to Iraqi ministries to fund reconstruction projects ever reached their final destinations. Schools and hospitals refurbished with hastily issued contracts have again fallen into disrepair. The oil and power industries are in worse shape than during the Saddam Hussein regime." WARREN ELLIS: "More than half of all humans will soon be living in cities, according to a prediction by the United Nations. "Psychologically it is an important step for mankind," Hania Zlotnik, director of the United Nations Population Division, told the BBC. "It's an increasing trend that is becoming more obvious. People do not realise how rural the world was until recently. That is changing." In 1900, only 14% of humanity lived in cities. By the century's close, 47% of us did so. This change is revealed in the growth of the number of medium-sized cities. In 1950, there were 83 cities with populations exceeding one million; but by 2000, this had risen to 411."