Tom's Feed
Nov 25, 2014

Kazakhstan on brink of WTO membership deal, Afghanistan in line

GENEVA (Reuters) – The 160-member World Trade Organization is in active discussions with 10 countries aiming to become members, including Kazakhstan and Afghanistan, WTO Director General Roberto Azevedo said in a report on Tuesday.

Seychelles is set to take the 161st spot, since its membership is sewn up and only needs domestic ratification. But several bigger countries are queuing up, led by Kazakhstan.

Nov 20, 2014

U.N. spins off humanitarian news service after $25 million investment

GENEVA (Reuters) – The United Nations will spin off its humanitarian news service IRIN as an independent Swiss-based foundation after getting a $25 million (15.94 million pounds) 15-year investment from a Hong Kong-based philanthropist.

The deal aims to leave the United Nations to concentrate on core humanitarian work while allowing IRIN, which began by faxing news about Africa in the aftermath of the 1994 Rwandan genocide, to expand with offices in Geneva, New York and London.

Nov 20, 2014

UN spins off humanitarian news service after $25 mln investment

GENEVA (Reuters) – The United Nations will spin off its humanitarian news service IRIN as an independent Swiss-based foundation after getting a $25 million 15-year investment from a Hong Kong-based philanthropist.

The deal aims to leave the United Nations to concentrate on core humanitarian work while allowing IRIN, which began by faxing news about Africa in the aftermath of the 1994 Rwandan genocide, to expand with offices in Geneva, New York and London.

Nov 20, 2014

U.N. probing alleged Eritrea rights abuses blamed for migrant exodus

GENEVA (Reuters) – The United Nations has begun to investigate suspected human rights abuses in Eritrea blamed for an exodus of migrants from the Horn of Africa country, U.N. officials said on Thursday.

Eritrea, one of Africa’s poorest nations, dismissed the allegations and said the commission was “politically motivated”.

Nov 18, 2014

Bird flu spread likely, human cases unlikely but possible: WHO

GENEVA (Reuters) – New cases of bird flu detected in Europe will likely hit other bird populations and may infect a few people, though the virus is highly unlikely to spread in the human population, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Tuesday.

The H5N8 form of the virus has hit a Dutch chicken farm and a German turkey farm and is suspected – but not yet confirmed – as the strain that infected ducks on a British farm.

Nov 18, 2014

EU says Russian oil export duties break WTO rules

GENEVA, Nov 18 (Reuters) – The European Union has told
Russia that its system of oil export duties breaks World Trade
Organization rules by discriminating in favour of China and
against European buyers, diplomats with knowledge of the
situation said on Tuesday.

The EU’s longstanding concerns over Russia’s oil duties,
raised at a WTO committee meeting on Monday, could be the
subject of a legal challenge at the WTO, one trade official
said.

Nov 14, 2014

WHO starts survey of Ebola treatments, says none proven so far

GENEVA (Reuters) – The World Health Organization (WHO) has begun assessing more than 120 potential treatments for Ebola patients, it said on Friday, but so far has found none that definitely work, and some that definitely do not.

One drug used to treat HIV patients, lamivudine, had started to catch on as a potential Ebola treatment after one doctor used it and others followed, WHO scientist Martin Friede told a news conference.

Nov 10, 2014

Mali due to declare 108 Ebola-free after quarantine

GENEVA (Reuters) – Mali is preparing to release 108 people from Ebola quarantine in a tentative step toward declaring it has contained an outbreak.

Mali became the sixth West African country to report a case of Ebola when a 2-year-old girl died last month, leading to an urgent search for anyone who may have been infected during her 1,200-km bus trip from Guinea to the Malian town of Kayes.

Nov 7, 2014

Change of Ebola pace may be reflected in burial practices

GENEVA (Reuters) – A slowdown in Liberia’s Ebola outbreak and the continued rampant rate of infection in Sierra Leone may reflect contrasting ways the two countries are dealing with burials, the World Health Organization said on Friday.

Ebola victims are most infections right after death, which means that traditional West African funerals, where families often touch the bodies, can cause the disease to spread rapidly.

Nov 7, 2014

UN’s Zeid questions Sri Lanka’s integrity over war crimes probe

GENEVA, Nov 7 (Reuters) – Sri Lankan attempts to “sabotage”
a war crimes inquiry raise questions about the government’s
integrity and are an affront to the U.N. body that set it up,
U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein
said in a statement on Friday.

“A wall of fear has been created that has undoubtedly served
to deter people from submitting evidence,” Zeid said.