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Jun 5, 2013

Syria talks may be in July, work still to do: Brahimi

GENEVA (Reuters) – A conference on ending the Syrian war could take place in July but there is still a lot of work to do, international envoy for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi said on Wednesday after preparatory talks with U.S. and Russian officials.

“We have come to the conclusion today that it will not be possible to hold this conference in June. We will be continuing our consultations with Russia and the United States to see about windows of opportunity to hold the conference as soon as possible – hopefully in July,” he told reporters in Geneva.

Jun 5, 2013

Syria conference may be in July, work still to do – Brahimi

GENEVA (Reuters) – A conference on ending the Syrian war could take place in July but there is still a lot of work to do, international envoy for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi said on Wednesday after preparatory talks with U.S. and Russian officials.

“We have come to the conclusion today that it will not be possible to hold this conference in June. We will be continuing our consultations with Russia and the United States to see about windows of opportunity to hold the conference as soon as possible – hopefully in July,” he told reporters in Geneva.

Jun 4, 2013

U.N. believes chemical weapons used in Syria

GENEVA, June 4 (Reuters) – United Nations investigators said
on Tuesday they had “reasonable grounds” to believe that limited
amounts of chemical weapons had been used in Syria in a conflict
where brutality was now a tactic of war.

In their latest report, human rights investigators said they
had received allegations that Syrian government forces and
rebels had used the banned weapons, but most testimony related
to their use by forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad.

Jun 4, 2013

U.N. rights team believes chemical weapons used in Syria

GENEVA (Reuters) – United Nations human rights investigators said on Tuesday they had “reasonable grounds” to believe that limited amounts of chemical weapons had been used in Syria.

In their latest report, they said they had received allegations that Syrian government forces and rebels had used the banned weapons, but that most testimony related to their use by state forces.

Jun 3, 2013

Red Cross pushing for access to Syria’s besieged Qusair

GENEVA (Reuters) – The International Committee of the Red Cross said on Monday it was still seeking a formal Syrian response to its request for urgent access to the besieged town of Qusair after a minister said aid efforts should wait until the fighting was over.

Humanitarian groups say as many as 1,500 wounded people may be trapped in Qusair by fighting between rebels and President Bashar al-Assad’s forces, who are backed by fighters from Lebanon’s militant Shi’ite group Hezbollah.

Jun 3, 2013

Red Cross still pushing for access to besieged Qusair in Syria

GENEVA (Reuters) – The International Committee of the Red Cross said on Monday it was still seeking a formal Syrian response to its request for urgent access to the besieged town of Qusair after a minister said aid efforts should wait until the fighting was over.

Humanitarian groups say as many as 1,500 wounded people may be trapped in Qusair by fighting between rebels and President Bashar al-Assad’s forces, who are backed by fighters from Lebanon’s militant Shi’ite group Hezbollah.

May 31, 2013

Britain must investigate torture in Iraq, Afghanistan: U.N

GENEVA (Reuters) – The United Nations torture watchdog called on Britain on Friday to widen and speed up investigations into allegations that British forces tortured detainees in Iraq and Afghanistan and prosecute those responsible.

British inquiries into alleged abuses by its forces in Iraq since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003 have been slow and there have been no prosecutions for torture or complicity in abuse, although there have been courts martial, the U.N. body said.

May 29, 2013

U.N. rights chief urges halt to flow of arms, fighters to Syria

GENEVA (Reuters) – The United Nations’ human rights chief urged countries on Wednesday not to supply Syria with weapons and to press both sides to find a political end to the war, to prevent more massacres and the threat to regional stability.

“If the current situation persists, or deteriorates further, increased inter-communal massacres are a certainty, rather than a risk,” Navi Pillay told the U.N. Human Rights Council.

May 24, 2013

WHO to help Saudi Arabia investigate coronavirus before haj

GENEVA, May 24 (Reuters) – The World Health Organisation
(WHO) said on Friday that it would help Saudi Arabia dig deeper
into deadly outbreaks of a new SARS-like virus to draw up advice
ahead of the annual haj pilgrimage, which attracts millions of
Muslims.

The U.N. agency, which is not currently recommending any
restrictions on travel to the kingdom or screening of passengers
at airports or entry points, will sent a second team of experts
in the coming weeks, WHO director-general Margaret Chan said.

May 23, 2013

WHO warns countries not to hoard secrets of coronavirus

GENEVA (Reuters) – The World Health Organization (WHO) warned countries with possible cases of the SARS-like novel coronavirus on Thursday that they must share information and not allow commercial labs to profit from the virus, which has killed 22 people worldwide.

Saudi Arabia, where the first case occurred, has said the development of diagnostic tests for the disease has been delayed by a foreign laboratory’s patent rights on the SARS-like virus.