GENEVA (Reuters) – North Korea said on Wednesday that it would not give up its nuclear deterrent until the United States ends its “hostile policy” towards Pyongyang, but that it was ready to revive international talks on its nuclear program frozen since 2008.
The United States and its allies believe North Korea violated a 2005 aid-for-denuclearization deal by conducting a nuclear test the following year and pursuing uranium enrichment that would give it a second path to a nuclear weapon in addition to its plutonium-based atomic program.
GENEVA (Reuters) – International health experts began urgent talks on the Middle East coronavirus (MERS) on Tuesday amid concerns about larger numbers of milder infections possibly going undetected, the World Health Organization (WHO) said.
The United Nations agency announced last Friday that it was forming an emergency committee, to convene this week, to prepare for a possible worsening of the SARS-like virus.
GENEVA (Reuters) – United Nations human rights investigators will go to South Korea and Japan next month to interview North Korean exiles about alleged crimes against humanity in the secretive state.
Michael Kirby, a former judge of Australia’s top court and chairman of the panel, said the team would hold public hearings and interview witnesses on alleged rights violations, including kidnappings of foreign nationals, torture and a gulag system.
MONTREUX, Switzerland (Reuters) – American singer-songwriter Sixto “Sugar Man” Rodriguez, virtually unknown a few years ago, opened the Montreux Jazz Festival on Thursday, which American producer and its former co-director Quincy Jones calls the “Rolls Royce of music festivals.”
Fresh from the Glastonbury festival in Britain last weekend, Rodriguez gave a Fourth of July concert in the Swiss resort, mixing songs from his two albums that never made the charts with borrowed tunes including the classic rock’n'roll hit “Fever.”
* Tobacco control measures studied in 41 countries
* Raising taxes on cigarettes, smoke-free areas save lives
* Measures are “win-win” for health, public coffers – WHO
By Stephanie Nebehay
GENEVA, July 1(Reuters) – Anti-smoking measures including
higher taxes on tobacco products, bans on adverts and controls
on lighting up in public places could prevent tens of millions
of premature deaths across the world, researchers said on
Similar steps taken by Turkey, Romania and 39 other
countries between 2007 and 2010 were already saving lives, the
independent study published by the World Health Organization
GENEVA (Reuters) – The Red Cross said on Thursday it was planning humanitarian operations for an extended conflict in Syria in the absence of any sign of a political solution and military stalemate between rebels and government troops.
Peter Maurer, president of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)led that the aid agency had urged major powers to try to stop all sides from committing violations of international humanitarian law, including war crimes.
GENEVA (Reuters) – A United Nations human rights body accused Israeli forces on Thursday of mistreating Palestinian children, including by torturing those in custody and using others as human shields.
Palestinian children in the Gaza and the West Bank, captured by Israel in the 1967 war, are routinely denied registration of their birth and access to health care, decent schools and clean water, the U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child said.
GENEVA (Reuters) – The U.N. Human Rights Council on Friday condemned the use of all foreign fighters in Syria’s civil war, including Lebanese Hezbollah militants backing the government, but stopped short of calling for a halt to the flow of arms.
The Geneva forum adopted a resolution brought by Arab and Western powers, urging all parties to refrain from contributing to a further escalation of a conflict in which at least 93,000 people had been killed by the end of April.
GENEVA (Reuters) – The death toll in Syria reached at least 93,000 at the end of April, but the true number of victims from the violence now in its third year may be much higher, the United Nations human rights office said on Thursday.
Navi Pillay, U.N. Commissioner for Human Rights, voiced fears that the bloodshed in recent battles for the Syrian border town of Qusair would be repeated in the northern city of Aleppo.
GENEVA (Reuters) – The United Nations human rights investigator for the Palestinian territories said on Tuesday he would not resign and accused critics of calling him as anti-Semitic to divert attention from his scrutiny of Israeli policies.
Richard Falk said U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon had “joined in the attacks”.