Stephanie's Feed
Apr 24, 2015

U.N. invites Syrian parties to peace talks in Geneva in May

GENEVA (Reuters) – United Nations Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura has invited Syria’s government and opposition groups for separate talks in Geneva next month in the latest bid to end the four-year-old civil war, a U.N. spokesman said on Friday.

De Mistura, who is due to brief the U.N. Security Council later on Friday, plans for “low-key” talks with each of the main stakeholders over four to six weeks in the Swiss city, Ahmad Fawzi told a news briefing.

Apr 24, 2015

U.N. welcomes EU migrant plan, says test is whether lives saved

GENEVA (Reuters) – The United Nations on Friday welcomed the European Union’s plan to triple the size of its naval search mission in the Mediterranean, but said the key test was whether lives were saved and those fleeing war had a chance of gaining asylum.

The EU’s assurances meant the operation would have capacity, resources and scope comparable to Italy’s Mare Nostrum, which was ended six months ago, the U.N. refugee agency (UNHCR) said.

Apr 22, 2015

ICRC says Yemen situation is disastrous, seeks better access and funding

GENEVA (Reuters) – The humanitarian situation in Yemen is “catastrophic”, with deep divisions fuelling the conflict there despite a declared halt to Saudi-led air strikes, the International Committee of the Red Cross said on Wednesday.

Saudi Arabia’s announcement on Tuesday that it was stopping its month-long bombing campaign offered a “glimmer of hope”, but had yet to be confirmed, said Robert Mardini, ICRC regional director for North Africa and the Middle East.

Apr 21, 2015

U.N. urges Europe to put asylum at centre of migrant debate

GENEVA (Reuters) – The U.N. refugee agency on Tuesday urged European leaders to put the protection of migrants at the centre of debate over the crisis in the Mediterranean and to do more to help Greece and Italy cope.

After as many as 900 people drowned in a ship off the coast of Libya this weekend, EU ministers on Monday called an extraordinary summit for Thursday and made an action plan.

Apr 21, 2015

U.N. urges Europe to put asylum at center of Mediterranean debate

GENEVA (Reuters) – The U.N. refugee agency on Tuesday urged European leaders to do more to help Greece and Italy cope with the migrant crisis in the Mediterranean and to put protection of people at the center of debate.

After up to 900 died in the worst known shipwreck yet, European Union ministers on Monday set out a 10-point action plan and called an extraordinary summit of EU leaders for Thursday.

Apr 16, 2015

Italy’s migrant crisis intensifies with murder arrests, drownings

GENEVA/PALERMO, Italy (Reuters) – Italian police arrested 15 African men suspected of throwing about a dozen Christians from a migrant boat in the Mediterranean on Thursday, as the crisis off southern Italy intensified.

Forty-one more deaths were reported in a separate incident.

Police in the Sicilian capital Palermo said they had arrested the men, from Ivory Coast, Mali and Senegal, after survivors reported they had thrown 12 people from Nigeria and Ghana to their deaths and threatened other Christians.

Apr 16, 2015

Lady Gaga, Sam Smith booked at Montreux jazz festival

LAUSANNE (Reuters) – Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett headline the 2015 Montreux Jazz Festival and Brazilian legends Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil will appear in a rare double billing.

The line-up for the July 3-18 event also includes veterans Santana, Herbie Hancock, Lionel Richie and Lenny Kravitz as well as Grammy-winning newcomer Sam Smith, the organizers said.

Apr 15, 2015

Panic on Med migrant boat pitched hundreds to their deaths -IOM

GENEVA, April 15 (Reuters) – Hundreds of people desperate to
be rescued from a packed migrant boat in the Mediterranean
pushed to one side when they saw a ship approach, capsizing the
craft and pitching everyone into the sea where hundreds died, an
official said on Wednesday.

Survivors’ accounts suggested at least 500 people were on
the boat when it sank on Monday evening, some 120 km (75 miles)
off the Italian island of Lampedusa. With 145 people rescued
that leaves at least 350 unaccounted for, probably drowned.

Apr 14, 2015

U.N. asks Kenya to rethink closure of Somali refugee camp

GENEVA (Reuters) – The United Nations refugee agency urged Kenya on Tuesday to reconsider an order to close the teeming Dadaab refugee camp, saying it would not be part of any transfer of Somalis back to their homeland that violated international law.

Kenya said on Saturday it had given the United Nations three months to remove the camp housing hundreds of thousands of Somali refugees, as part of a get-tough response to the killing of 148 people in Garissa. Kenya has in the past accused Islamist militants of hiding out in Dadaab camp.

Apr 10, 2015

Risk of Ebola spreading to other countries appears to be falling – WHO

GENEVA (Reuters) – West Africa’s Ebola epidemic still poses a threat to other countries but the risk of it spreading internationally appears to be diminishing as the areas affected shrink, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday.

The U.N. agency declared in August 2014 that the world’s worst Ebola outbreak, which began in December 2013, represented a “public health emergency of international concern” that forced health officials worldwide to shore up defences.