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Feb 12, 2015

U.N. urges Europe to start major migrant rescue mission in Mediterranean

GENEVA (Reuters) – The European Union must establish a full search-and-rescue operation in the Mediterranean following the death this week of hundreds of migrants who were trying to reach Italy, the U.N. refugee chief said on Thursday.

More than 300 people are feared to have died off the Libyan coast after they set sail in inflatable dinghies in rough, wintry conditions.

Feb 10, 2015

Aid agencies see many more migrant deaths in Mediterranean

GENEVA/ROME, Feb 10 (Reuters) – Inadequate naval patrols
means ever more migrants from Africa and the Middle East will
die trying to cross the Mediterranean, aid agencies warned on
Tuesday, as Italy appealed for a “more vigorous” European
response to tackle the crisis.

In the latest tragedy involving migrants, 29 people died of
hypothermia on Monday on the exposed deck of a small Italian
naval vessel after it rescued them in rough seas from a dinghy
adrift near Libya. ID:nL5N0VJ3QV]

Feb 10, 2015

Europe must save lives of people fleeing war – aid agencies

GENEVA, Feb 10 (Reuters) – Inadequate European naval patrols
in the Mediterranean will lead to ever more deaths from an
increasing tide of desperate people fleeing wars in Africa and
the Middle East, aid agencies say.

Twenty-nine migrants died of hypothermia on Monday on the
exposed decks of a small Italian naval vessel, which had rescued
them in rough seas from a boat adrift near Libya. ID:nL5N0VJ3QV]

Feb 6, 2015

High rates of child deaths from Ebola, special care needed: WHO

GENEVA (Reuters) – Authorities fighting Ebola must do more to tackle a high death rate among young children whose isolation from parents also causes great distress and deprives them of the extra care they need, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday.

Reporting on a meeting of clinicians from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, it said there was a consensus that the strict “no touch” policy for Ebola patients could be lifted if good measures are in place to protect health workers from infection.

Feb 5, 2015

Secret burials thwarting efforts to stamp out Ebola – U.N.

GENEVA, Feb 5 (Reuters) – Efforts to stamp out West Africa’s
Ebola epidemic are being thwarted by villagers touching and
washing the infectious bodies of dead victims at secret burials
and difficulty in tracing those exposed to the virus, U.N.
officials said on Thursday.

The number of new cases rose for the first time this year in
the past week, coinciding with a looming funding shortfall and
the approach of the rainy season that will hamper aid efforts
from April, they warned. [ID: nL6N0VE530]

Feb 4, 2015

Ebola cases on rise for first time this year, WHO says

GENEVA (Reuters) – The number of new cases of Ebola rose in all three of West Africa’s worst-hit countries last week, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Wednesday, ending several weeks of encouraging declines across the region.

Suspicion of aid workers, especially in Guinea, and unsafe local practices were continuing to hamper efforts to halt the deadly virus, the United Nations agency said.

Feb 4, 2015

Islamic State selling, crucifying, burying children alive in Iraq – UN

GENEVA (Reuters) – Islamic State militants are selling abducted Iraqi children at markets as sex slaves, and killing other youth, including by crucifixion or burying them alive, a United Nations watchdog said on Wednesday.

Iraqi boys aged under 18 are increasingly being used by the militant group as suicide bombers, bomb makers, informants or human shields to protect facilities against U.S.-led air strikes, the U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child said.

Feb 3, 2015

U.N. Gaza war crimes inquiry to pursue work under new chair

GENEVA/JERUSALEM (Reuters) – A U.N. inquiry into possible war crimes in the Gaza conflict will produce its report on time next month, officials said on Tuesday, brushing aside a demand from Israel’s prime minister to shelve it after the chairman resigned.

It marked the latest chapter in fraught relations between Israel and the main U.N. rights forum, which the Jewish state and its ally Washington accuse of bias against Israel. Activists voiced concern that Israel was trying to derail the inquiry.

Feb 2, 2015

Parents of murdered Mexican students seek justice at UN watchdog

GENEVA (Reuters) – The parents of Mexican students believed murdered by a drugs gang appealed to the United Nations on Monday for help in seeking justice, saying they had no faith in the government’s ability to investigate the crime.

President Enrique Pena Nieto’s government said last week that the 43 trainee teachers who disappeared four months ago were killed on the orders of a drug cartel who mistook them for members of a rival gang.

Jan 30, 2015

Ebola likely to persist in 2015 as communities resist aid – Red Cross

GENEVA (Reuters) – West Africa will be lucky to wipe out Ebola this year, as the local population remains suspicious of aid workers, especially in Guinea, the Red Cross said on Friday.

The virus is “flaring up” in new areas in the region and not all infections are being reported, said Birte Hald, who leads the Ebola coordination and support unit of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.