GENEVA (Reuters) – Spikes in radiation caused by the Fukushima nuclear disaster were below cancer-causing levels in almost all of Japan, but infants in one town appear to be at a higher risk of developing thyroid cancer, the World Health Organization said on Wednesday.
In a preliminary report, independent experts said that people in two locations in Fukushima prefecture may have received a radiation dose of 10-50 millisieverts (mSv) in the year after the accident at the power station operated by TEPCO.
GENEVA, May 22 (Reuters) – The tobacco industry is providing
legal advice to Ukraine and Honduras in their challenges to
Australia’s new tobacco packaging rules at the World Trade
Organization, Australian Health Secretary Jane Halton said on
“We know that the tobacco companies, because they have
admitted it, are providing legal advice to WTO members in order
to encourage them to take action against Australia,” she said.
GENEVA (Reuters) – The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has stopped most of its work in Pakistan following the murder of a staff doctor in Quetta, pending a risk assessment of its operations in the country, the agency said on Thursday.
The body of Khalil Rasjed Dale, who ran a health program in the southwestern city of Quetta in the Baluchistan province, was found on April 29 with a note that said the Red Cross’s failure to pay ransom was the reason he was killed.
GENEVA (Reuters) – Fighting has been so intense in parts of Syria that at times the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad has qualified as a localized civil war, the head of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said on Tuesday.
Jakob Kellenberger said that Homs earlier this year, and the northwestern province of Idlib more recently, have met the humanitarian agency’s three criteria for defining a non-international armed conflict – intensity, duration and the level of organization of rebels fighting government forces.
GENEVA (Reuters) – Iran is cracking down on activists and their lawyers, meting out harsh sentences in an effort to quash pro-democracy activities, United Nations human rights experts said on Friday.
In a joint statement, the independent experts called for the immediate release of human rights defenders including Narges Mohammadi, whom they said was rearrested on April 21 to serve a six-year prison sentence handed down by an appeals court.
GENEVA (Reuters) – Nearly 3 million Afghan refugees in Pakistan and Iran must be encouraged to go home to help stabilize their country and boost prospects for peace, the United Nations said on Wednesday, calling for $1.9 billion in aid to help it happen.
The U.N. refugee agency presented a Geneva conference with a 3-year plan – backed by all three countries – for the voluntary repatriation and reintegration of Afghanis, some of whom have spent decades in exile.
GENEVA (Reuters) – Fiscal austerity and tough labor reforms have failed to create jobs, leading to an “alarming” situation in the global employment market that shows no sign of recovering, the International Labour Organization said on Sunday.
In advanced countries, especially in Europe, employment is not expected to return to pre-crisis levels of 2008 until the end of 2016 — two years later than it previously predicted — in line with a slowdown in production.
GENEVA, April 27 (Reuters) – Fifteen more ceasefire monitors
of a total advance team of 30 are expected to be in Syria by
Monday and every effort is being made to deploy the full mission
of up to 300 observers, the spokesman for international mediator
Kofi Annan said on Friday.
“We expect the 30 will be on the ground by the end of April,
on Monday,” Annan spokesman Ahmad Fawzi told Reuters in Geneva.
GENEVA (Reuters) – Syria’s infrastructure has been significantly damaged in more than a year of conflict, water and electricity supplies have been disrupted and many families cannot meet their basic daily needs, a United Nations mission has found.
A confidential U.N. plan for responding to humanitarian needs, based on a joint assessment carried out with Syrian officials from March 18-26, was obtained by Reuters on Thursday.
BEIRUT/GENEVA (Reuters) – Syria has failed to comply with a pledge to withdraw weapons from cities, and citizens who meet U.N. truce monitors may have been killed, international mediator Kofi Annan will tell the Security Council on Tuesday, his spokesman said.
As violence flared in the Syrian capital Damascus, spokesman Ahmad Fawzi said Annan would ask for a “stronger presence” of monitors to watch over the country’s ragged ceasefire.