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Aug 15, 2014

African Ebola outbreak like “wartime”, will take 6 months to control – MSF

GENEVA, Aug 15 (Reuters) – It will take about six months to
bring under control the Ebola epidemic, the head of Medecins
Sans Frontieres said on Friday, saying the outbreak in West
Africa felt like “wartime, is moving, advancing.”

Joanne Liu, international president of MSF (Doctors Without
Borders), speaking after a 10-day trip to West Africa, said more
experts were needed on the ground and was critical of the World
Health Organisation (WHO) for declaring Ebola a “public health
emergency of international concern” only on Aug 8.

Aug 14, 2014

Senior ICRC official in Kiev for talks on aid convoy

GENEVA (Reuters) – A senior official of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) arrived in Kiev on Thursday for talks on the delivery of Russian aid to eastern Ukraine, an ICRC spokeswoman said.

Laurent Corbaz, head of ICRC Operations for Europe and Central Asia, will meet Ukrainian authorities on Friday and also discuss a separate Ukrainian-led aid convoy heading to the eastern region before he goes to Moscow, ICRC spokeswoman Anastasia Isyuk said.

Aug 13, 2014

U.N. experts grill U.S. on racial discrimination

GENEVA (Reuters) – United Nations experts grilled U.S. officials on Wednesday about what they said was persistent racial discrimination against African-Americans and other minorities in jobs, housing, education and the criminal justice system.

“Stand Your Ground” laws, a controversial self-defense law in some 22 U.S. states, use of force by police against migrants, and FBI racial profiling were also raised by the U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD).

Aug 13, 2014

WHO backs use of experimental Ebola drugs in West Africa

LONDON/GENEVA (Reuters) – People infected in the West African Ebola outbreak can be offered untested drugs, the World Health Organization said on Tuesday, but the scarcity of supplies has raised questions about who gets priority access to treatment.

Liberia said it planned to treat two infected doctors with an unproven Ebola medicine called ZMapp. They would become the first Africans to receive the drug, which has been given to a Spanish priest who later died and two U.S. aid workers.

Aug 12, 2014

WHO backs use of experimental Ebola drugs in West Africa epidemic

LONDON/GENEVA (Reuters) – People infected in the West Africa Ebola outbreak can be offered untested drugs, the World Health Organization said on Tuesday, but scarce supplies raise questions about who gets priority in the epidemic of the virus, which has no proven treatment.

Liberia said it planned to treat two infected doctors with an unproven Ebola medicine called ZMapp, the first Africans to receive the drug, while a Spanish priest, who the Health Ministry in Madrid said had also been given ZMapp, died.

Aug 12, 2014

WHO backs use of experimental Ebola drugs in West Africa outbreak

LONDON/GENEVA (Reuters) – It is ethical to offer unproven drugs or vaccines to people infected or at risk in West Africa’s deadly Ebola outbreak, a World Health Organization panel of medical ethics experts ruled on Tuesday, but cautioned supplies will be limited.

The panel said any provision of experimental Ebola medicines would require “informed consent, freedom of choice, confidentiality, respect for the person, preservation of dignity and involvement of the community”.

Aug 12, 2014

U.N. names panel to probe war crimes in Gaza; Israel slams it

GENEVA (Reuters) – The United Nations on Monday named experts to an international commission of inquiry into possible human rights violations and war crimes committed by both sides during Israel’s military offensive in the Gaza Strip.

Israel, however, dismissed the inquiry as a U.N. Human Rights Council “kangaroo court”.

Aug 11, 2014

ICRC lays down principles for delivering Russian aid to Ukraine

GENEVA (Reuters) – The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said it held talks on Monday with Ukrainian and Russian authorities on delivering Russia’s proposed aid to eastern Ukraine, but laid down strict guidelines to uphold its neutral role in conflicts.

Thousands of people are believed to lack access to water, electricity and medical aid, the independent aid agency said in a statement.

Aug 11, 2014

U.N. names panel to investigate war crimes in Gaza

GENEVA (Reuters) – The United Nations on Monday named three experts to an international commission of inquiry into possible human rights violations and war crimes committed by both sides during Israel’s military offensive in the Gaza Strip.

William Schabas, a Canadian professor of international law, will head the panel whose other members are Doudou Diene, a veteran U.N. human rights expert from Senegal, and Amal Alamuddin, a British-Lebanese lawyer engaged to be married to Hollywood actor George Clooney.

Jul 31, 2014

U.N. concerned by U.S. plans for child migrants

GENEVA (Reuters) – The United Nations’ human rights chief expressed concern on Thursday at what she said were plans by the U.S. government to deport tens of thousands of unaccompanied children who entered the United States in recent months.

Around 57,000 children from Central America were detained at the U.S.-Mexico border after crossing the frontier without their parents in the nine months to June 30.