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Sep 5, 2014

Drug and vaccine makers in race against Ebola

GENEVA, Sept 5 (Reuters) – Drug and vaccine companies are
racing to conduct clinical trials of potential treatments for
Ebola but it will be 2015 before there are any initial results
and much later before significant quantities could be available,
executives said on Friday.

In interviews on the sidelines of a meeting hosted by the
World Health Organisation (WHO), they said that efforts would
focus on developing safe and efficient products for human use
that could win fast-tracked regulatory approval.

Sep 4, 2014

WHO urges drug companies, regulators to speed Ebola work

GENEVA, Sept 4 (Reuters) – The World Health Organisation
(WHO) called on Thursday for pharmaceutical companies and
regulatory agencies to work together to accelerate development
of safe and efficient drugs and vaccines against Ebola.

Ten experimental treatments – eight drugs and “two promising
candidate vaccines” – have shown potential against the virus but
remain under investigation, the WHO said in a document
distributed at the start of a two-day meeting in Geneva.

Sep 4, 2014

Nigeria monitoring 400 contacts of doctor who died of Ebola

GENEVA, Sept 4 (Reuters) – Nigerian authorities are
monitoring nearly 400 people for signs of Ebola after they came
in contact with a Port Harcourt doctor who died of the disease
but hid the fact that he had been exposed, a senior Nigerian
health official said on Thursday.

Dr. Abdulsalami Nasidi, project director at Nigeria Centre
for Disease Control, said there was a sense of “hopelessness”
due to the lack of proven drugs or vaccines to treat Ebola that
has infected 18 people in Africa’s most populous nation.

Sep 4, 2014

Iran, U.S. meet as search for nuclear deal intensifies

GENEVA (Reuters) – Iran and the United States met in Geneva for bilateral talks on Thursday as international diplomacy intensifies to end a decade-old dispute over Tehran’s atomic activities by a new deadline in late November.

The office of European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton confirmed Iran and six world powers would hold their first negotiating round since they failed to meet a July 20 target date for an agreement in New York on Sept. 18.

Sep 3, 2014

Doctor with Ebola treated patients in Nigeria, left dozens at risk: WHO

GENEVA (Reuters) – A Nigerian doctor with Ebola carried on treating patients and met scores of friends, relatives and medics before his death, leaving about 60 of them at high risk of infection, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Wednesday.

Members of his church visited him in hospital in the oil hub Port Harcourt and performed a healing ceremony “said to involve the laying on of hands”, said the U.N. agency.

Sep 2, 2014

More than 1 million Ukrainians displaced by conflict – UNHCR

GENEVA (Reuters) – More than one million people have been uprooted by the conflict in Ukraine, including 260,000 within the country where further mass displacement is feared due to ongoing fighting, the United Nations said on Tuesday.

Some Ukrainian nationals have fled by motorcycle to Russia, while others have escaped the crisis by spending the summer months at European spas or visiting grandparents, it said.

Sep 1, 2014

U.N. to send team to investigate Islamic State crimes in Iraq

GENEVA (Reuters) – The United Nations agreed on Monday to send investigators to Iraq to examine crimes being committed by Islamic State militants on “an unimaginable scale”, with a view to holding perpetrators to account.

“We are facing a terrorist monster,” Iraq’s human rights minister, Mohammed Shia’ Al Sudani, told the U.N. Human Rights Council which adopted a resolution tabled by Iraq and France at an emergency sitting of the 47-member state forum in Geneva.

Sep 1, 2014

Both sides guilty of atrocities in Iraq fight: U.N. debate

GENEVA (Reuters) – Both Islamist fighters and Iraqi government forces have killed civilians and committed atrocities in three months of fighting, senior U.N. officials said in an emergency debate on the conflict on Monday.

There was “strong evidence” that fighters from Islamic State and linked groups had carried out targeted killings, forced conversions, abductions, sexual abuse and torture, U.N. Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights Flavia Pansieri told the session.

Aug 29, 2014

U.N. urges U.S. to stop police brutality after Missouri shooting

GENEVA (Reuters) – The U.N. racism watchdog urged the United States on Friday to halt the excessive use of force by police after the fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager by a white policeman touched off riots in Ferguson, Missouri.

Minorities, particularly African Americans, are victims of disparities, the U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) said after examining the U.S. record.

Aug 29, 2014

Syrian refugees top 3 million, half of all Syrians displaced: U.N.

GENEVA (Reuters) – Three million Syrian refugees will have registered in neighboring countries as of Friday, an exodus that began in March 2011 and shows no sign of abating, the United Nations said.

The record figure is one million refugees more than a year ago, while a further 6.5 million are displaced within Syria, meaning that “almost half of all Syrians have now been forced to abandon their homes and flee for their lives”, it said.