Stephanie's Feed
Jun 10, 2013

Gaza’s viability at stake, U.N. rights envoy says

GENEVA (Reuters) – A United Nations human rights investigator accused Israel on Monday of imposing collective punishment on 1.75 million Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip and said that the enclave’s viability was at stake.

Both Israel and its close ally the United States boycotted the debate at the Human Rights Council where Richard Falk presented his latest report. It also calls for an inquiry into alleged torture of Palestinian detainees in Israel’s custody.

Jun 10, 2013

MERS coronavirus has potential to cause pandemic – WHO

GENEVA, June 10 (Reuters) – The World Health Organisation on
Monday urged health workers around the world to be on the alert
for symptoms of the deadly Middle East respiratory syndrome
coronavirus (MERS), which has the potential to circle the globe
and cause a pandemic.

The United Nations agency, which issued new, long-awaited
guidance to countries on influenza pandemics, said the world was
also in the same “alert phase” for two human strains of bird flu
- H5N1, which emerged a decade ago, and H7N9, first detected in
China in March.

Jun 5, 2013

North Korean defector’s “impossible” dream of closing prison camps

GENEVA (Reuters) – North Korea’s best-known defector, Shin Dong-hyuk, dreams of making the “impossible” happen one day – ridding his secretive homeland of the kind of brutal prison camps he says he was born and raised in before a dramatic escape in 2005.

Shin met senior human rights officials in Geneva this week to discuss a United Nations investigation into alleged crimes against humanity in North Korea, and said he would bear witness to the horrors of his life in Camp 14 to help build an eventual criminal case against North Korea’s leadership.

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.