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Jun 20, 2014

UN steps up aid to those uprooted by Iraq conflict

GENEVA, June 20 (Reuters) – The United Nations said on
Friday it was expanding aid to a million people driven from
their homes as Islamist militants seized wide tracts of northern
and western Iraq.

Many families are living in the open, in urgent need of
food, water, shelter and latrines, said Jacqueline Badcock, the
United Nations resident and humanitarian coordinator in Iraq.

Jun 20, 2014

U.N. stepping up aid to one million uprooted by Iraq insurgents

GENEVA (Reuters) – The United Nations said on Friday it was expanding aid operations in Iraq to help 1 million people driven from their homes by fighting as Islamist militant forces have seized wide tracts of the country’s north and west this year.

Many families are living in the open, in urgent need of food, water, shelter and latrines, said Jacqueline Badcock, the United Nations resident and humanitarian coordinator in Iraq.

Jun 20, 2014

More than 50 million displaced worldwide, U.N. says

GENEVA (Reuters) – More than 50 million people were forcibly uprooted worldwide at the end of last year, the highest level since after World War Two, as people fled crises from Syria to South Sudan, the U.N. refugee agency said on Friday.

Half are children, many of them caught up in conflicts or persecution that world powers have been unable to prevent or end, UNHCR said in its annual Global Trends report.

Jun 18, 2014

Venezuelan and Cuban activists lobby U.N. on human rights

GENEVA (Reuters) – Venezuelan and Cuban activists lobbied the United Nations on Wednesday to investigate the deaths of dozens of student protesters in Caracas and the jailing of Cuban dissidents.

The two Latin American powers, led by socialist Presidents Nicolas Maduro and Raul Castro, are members of the 47-member U.N. Human Rights Council.

Jun 17, 2014

U.N. investigators warn of wider sectarian war across Iraq, Syria

GENEVA (Reuters) – The Middle East appears on the brink of wider sectarian war engulfing Iraq and Syria with radical Islamist insurgents wantonly kidnapping, torturing and killing civilians, U.N. human rights investigators said in a report on Tuesday.

Militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)group have routed Baghdad’s army and seized the north of Iraq in the past week, linking it with a major swathe of territory previously taken in eastern Syria during the civil war there.

Jun 16, 2014

Schumacher out of coma, shifted to Swiss hospital

PARIS/LAUSANNE Switzerland (Reuters) – Seven times Formula One racing champion Michael Schumacher, who suffered severe head injuries in a ski accident last year, has come out of a coma and was transferred to a Swiss medical center on Monday, officials said, but gave no details of his condition.

Schumacher, the most successful Formula One racer of all time, has had several brain operations since his accident in the French Alps in late December. He was moved for further treatment early on Monday to Lausanne’s CHUV hospital, a sprawling modern glass-fronted complex above Lake Geneva.

Jun 16, 2014

Motor racing-Schumacher out of coma, shifted to Swiss hospital

GENEVA/LAUSANNE, Switzerland, June 16 (Reuters) – Seven times Formula One racing champion Michael Schumacher, who suffered severe head injuries in a ski accident last year, has come out of a coma and was transferred to a Swiss medical centre on Monday, officials said, but gave no details of his condition.

Schumacher, the most successful Formula One racer of all time, has had several brain operations since his accident in the French Alps in late December. He was moved for further treatment early on Monday to Lausanne’s CHUV hospital, a sprawling modern glass-fronted complex above Lake Geneva.

Jun 13, 2014

African elephants at risk, record ivory seizures -CITES

GENEVA (Reuters) – More than 20,000 African elephants were killed for their ivory in 2013, driven by demand in China and Thailand, and some local populations face an immediate threat of extinction, a U.N.-linked wildlife conservation agency said on Friday.

Criminal gangs and rebel militias hunt dwindling herds for tusks that fetch many thousands of dollars per kilo, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species said.

Jun 12, 2014

Fourth year of drought hits Djibouti: U.N.

GENEVA (Reuters) – Djibouti is suffering from a fourth straight year of drought, which has driven a huge exodus of people from rural areas to the capital and caused a surge in disease and malnutrition, the top U.N. official there said on Thursday.

Robert Watkins, U.N. resident coordinator in Djibouti, was meeting officials from donor countries to seek funds for a U.N. appeal of $74 million for Djibouti this year, launched in May. The United Nations has received $9.5 million from donors so far.

Jun 11, 2014

Pact to halt forced labor snubbed by Thailand, Gulf: ILO

GENEVA (Reuters) – Perpetrators of forced labor, which affects 21 million people globally, will be punished in most countries under a U.N. treaty clinched on Wednesday, despite being snubbed by Thailand and nearly all Gulf countries.

More than half of the estimated 21 million caught up in forced or compulsory labor are women and girls and the practice reaps an estimated $150 billion in illegal profits across agriculture, fishing, mining, construction, domestic services and the sex industry, among others, the International Labour Organisation, a United Nations agency, said.