GENEVA, Dec 3 (Reuters) – The United Nations said on Monday
it was suspending its aid operations in Syria and withdrawing
all non-essential international staff due to the worsening
Up to 25 of about 100 foreign staff could leave this week,
it said, adding that more armoured vehicles were needed after
attacks in recent weeks on humanitarian aid convoys and the
hijacking of goods or vehicles.
GENEVA, Nov 30 (Reuters) – Two people who died in Jordan in
April have been found to have been infected with the new virus
from the same family as SARS which sparked a global alert in
September, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Friday.
The coronavirus, previously unknown in humans, has now been
confirmed in a total of nine people in three countries in the
Middle East region, including a Saudi who had severe acute
respiratory illness last month, the United Nations agency said.
GENEVA, Nov 30 (Reuters) – Syrian refugees are being shot at
as they flee to neighbouring Jordan and many have to be treated
in hospital on arrival, the United Nations said on Friday.
In its latest briefing on the Syria crisis, the UN refugee
agency also said 250,000 people were living in temporary
shelters in the flashpoint city of Homs, without adequate food,
clothing or medicine as winter added to the misery of civil war.
GENEVA, Nov 29 (Reuters) – Syria has strewn landmines along
its borders with Lebanon and Turkey, making it the only country
worldwide to use the weapons this year, and is increasingly
dropping cluster munitions on civilian areas, campaigners said
Nearly two dozen Syrians, many of them children, are known
to have been killed or maimed by Soviet-made mines in border
crossing areas so far this year, but the true number of
casualties is probably higher, they said.
GENEVA/RAMALLAH, West Bank, Nov 28 (Reuters) – More European
states joined France on Wednesday in backing a Palestinian bid
for limited statehood, but Britain held back, saying it wanted
an assurance that the Palestinians would not pursue Israel
through the International Criminal Court.
Germany said it was opposing the diplomatic upgrade for the
Palestinians at the United Nations, joining Israel and the
United States which say the only genuine route to statehood is
via a peace agreement made in direct talks with Israel.
GENEVA/RAMALLAH, West Bank (Reuters) – Switzerland and Denmark on Wednesday joined a growing list of European countries that back an upgrade for Palestinians to non-member status at the United Nations, a victory that would be a diplomatic boost to their aspirations for statehood.
With overwhelming support from the developing world, the Palestinians appear certain to earn approval in the 193-member U.N. General Assembly for a status upgrade to “observer state” on Thursday.
GENEVA (Reuters) – The U.N.’s human rights chief pressed Israel on Tuesday to avoid strikes on civilian structures in Gaza, and UNICEF said children in the enclave were showing signs of severe trauma after direct hits on dwellings that have killed dozens of civilians.
The International Committee of the Red Cross also reminded both parties – Israel and the Islamist Hamas movement – to the week-old conflict of their obligation to comply with humanitarian law to minimize civilian casualties.
GENEVA (Reuters) – Lacoste has been bought by Swiss family-held group Maus Freres in a deal which valued the French sportswear and fashion maker at 1 billion euros ($1.3 billion), Maus Freres said on Thursday.
The deal, which follows a Lacoste family feud over management, aims to ensure the longevity of the Lacoste brand, Maus Freres said. Founded in 1933 by French tennis champion Rene Lacoste, the brand took its logo from his nickname “The Crocodile” which he earned for his tenacity on the court.
GENEVA (Reuters) – A flawless deep-blue diamond sold at auction on Wednesday night for 10.27 million Swiss francs ($10.86 million), a world record for a blue diamond per carat and more than twice its pre-sale estimate, Sotheby’s said.
London luxury jeweler Laurence Graff, bidding by telephone, bought the drop-shaped stone which weighs 10.48 carats and is about the size of an almond, it said.
GENEVA (Reuters) – A huge, internally flawless diamond from India’s fabled Golconda mines was sold at auction in Geneva on Tuesday night for a record 20.355 million Swiss francs, Christie’s said.
The rare, colourless stone weighing 76.02 carats, and roughly the size of a large strawberry, once belonged to Archduke Joseph August of Austria (1872-1962), a prince of the Hungarian line of the Habsburgs.