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Aug 26, 2014

WHO urges stiff regulatory curbs on e-cigarettes

GENEVA, Aug 26 (Reuters) – The World Health Organization
(WHO) on Tuesday called for regulation of electronic cigarettes
as as well as bans on indoor use, advertising and sales to
minors.

In a long-awaited report that will be debated by member
states at a meeting in October in Moscow, the United Nations
health agency also voiced concern at the concentration of the $3
billion market in the hands of transnational tobacco companies.

Aug 25, 2014

U.N. rights boss condemns ‘widespread’ Islamic State crimes in Iraq

GENEVA (Reuters) – United Nations human rights chief Navi Pillay on Monday condemned “appalling, widespread” crimes being committed by Islamic State forces in Iraq, including mass executions of prisoners and “ethnic and religious cleansing”.

The persecution of entire communities and systematic violations by the al-Qaeda offshoot, documented by U.N. human rights investigators, would amount to crimes against humanity and war crimes under international law, she said in a statement.

Aug 25, 2014

U.N. accuses Islamic State of mass killings

GENEVA/BAGHDAD (Reuters) – The United Nations condemned on Monday “appalling, widespread” crimes by Islamic State forces in Iraq, including mass executions of prisoners that could amount to war crimes.

U.N. human rights chief Navi Pillay condemned “grave, horrific human rights violations” being committed by Islamic State, a Sunni Muslim group which has seized large areas of Iraq and Syria to the alarm of the Baghdad government and its allies in the West.

Aug 25, 2014

U.N. rights boss condemns ‘widespread’ Islamic State crimes

GENEVA (Reuters) – United Nations human rights chief Navi Pillay on Monday condemned “appalling, widespread” crimes being committed by Islamic State forces in Iraq, including killings, slavery, sexual crimes and targeting people on ethnic or religious grounds.

The persecution and systematic violations, documented by U.N. human rights investigators, would amount to crimes against humanity and war crimes under international law, she said in a statement.

Aug 22, 2014

WHO warns of ‘shadow zones’ and unreported Ebola cases

GENEVA/MONROVIA (Reuters) – Families hiding infected loved ones and the existence of “shadow zones” where medics cannot go mean the West African Ebola epidemic is even bigger than thought, the World Health Organization said on Friday.

Some 1,427 people have died among 2,615 known cases of the deadly virus in West Africa since the outbreak was first identified in March, according to new figures released by the WHO on Friday.

Aug 22, 2014

UN says Syria death toll tops 190,000, rights envoy raps world powers

GENEVA (Reuters) – More than 191,000 people were killed in the first three years of Syria’s civil war, a U.N. report said on Friday, and the world body’s human rights envoy rebuked leading powers for failing to halt what she branded a “wholly avoidable human catastrophe”.

U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said war crimes were still being committed with total impunity on all sides in the conflict, which began with initially peaceful protests against President Bashar al-Assad’s rule in March 2011.

Aug 22, 2014

WTO rules against Argentina in import restrictions case

GENEVA/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A World Trade Organization dispute panel ruled against Argentina on Friday in a 2012 case brought by the United States, European Union and Japan against the South American country’s licensing rules used to restrict imports.

The three economic powers argued that Argentina did not automatically grant licenses to importers as required by WTO rules, allowing it to shield its vulnerable economy.

Aug 22, 2014

Documented death toll in Syria war at least 191,369 through April 2014: U.N.

GENEVA (Reuters) – At least 191,369 people have been killed in Syria’s conflict through April, more than double the figure documented a year ago and probably still an under-estimate, the United Nations human rights office said on Friday.

The U.N. report, based on data from four groups and the government that were cross-checked, reflects a reality of killing and torture while the civil war has “dropped off the international radar”, U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said.

Aug 21, 2014

Lack of leadership hurts Ebola fight in West Africa: MSF

GENEVA (Reuters) – Efforts to curb the deadly Ebola epidemic that swept across four West African states are being undermined by a lack of leadership and emergency management skills, the international head of Medecins sans Frontieres (MSF) said on Thursday.

In an interview, Joanne Liu also said the world’s worst ever outbreak of Ebola has caused widespread panic and the collapse of health care systems particularly in Liberia, where pregnant women have lost babies while seeking a safe place to deliver.

Aug 19, 2014

Missouri racial violence recalls apartheid, U.N. rights chief says

GENEVA (Reuters) – Clashes between police and protesters in the U.S. town of Ferguson are reminiscent of the racial violence spawned by apartheid in her native South Africa, the top U.N. human rights official said on Tuesday.

Navi Pillay, who is due to step down at the end of the month after six years in the U.N. hotseat, urged U.S. authorities to investigate allegations of brutality and examine the “root causes” of racial discrimination in America.