Daily Archives: June 1, 2015

News in Brief 1 June 2015 (PM)

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Toby Lanzer, UN Humanitarian Coordinator of the UN Mission in South Sudan. Photo: UNIFEED

Expulsion of UN Humanitarian Coordinator in South Sudan condemned by UN

The Government of South Sudan’s decision to expel the UN Humanitarian Coordinator of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) has been condemned by the Secretary-General.

In a statement on Monday, Ban Ki-moon said Toby Lanzer has been instrumental in addressing the increasing humanitarian needs of conflict-affected communities in South Sudan.

The UN chief is calling on the Government of the newest African country to reverse its decision immediately.

“Grave consequences” of ISIL’s actions for civilians in Iraq

A total of 1,031 Iraqis were killed and more than 1,600 were wounded in acts of terrorism, violence and armed conflict during the month of May, according to casualty figures released by the UN Assistance Mission in Iraq.

Jan Kubiš, the head of the Mission, said current developments in and around the city of Ramadi and in Anbar Governorate once again show what he called “grave consequences” of the actions of the ISIL terrorist group.

He added that more than 237,000 people have been displaced from and within Anbar Governorate to date.

US$15 million released to support Burundian refugees

Some US$15 million has been released from the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) to support life-saving relief work for thousands of Burundian refugees in Rwanda and Tanzania.

The announcement was made by the UN humanitarian office, OCHA.

More than 70,000 people, many of them children, have fled to Burundi’s neighbouring countries since political violence and civil unrest broke out in the capital Bujumbura in April.

Some 46,000 Burundians found refuge in Tanzania and 26,000 in Rwanda.

Report released on discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity

The second ever official report on discrimination and violence against individuals based on their sexual orientation and gender identity has been presented to the UN Human Rights Council.

It presents evidence of continuing, pervasive, violent abuse, harassment and discrimination affecting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons in all regions.

The report contains 20 recommendations directed at national governments, including the legal recognition of same-sex relationships and the end of abusive therapies and treatments.

Stephanie Coutrix, United Nations.

Duration: 2’18″

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OSCE Chairperson-in-Office stresses the importance of dialogue during his visit to Azerbaijan

 

BAKU, 1 June 2014 – OSCE Chairperson-in-Office and Serbia’s Foreign Minister Ivica Dačić started his official trip to the South Caucasus today with a visit to Baku.

He was received by President llham Aliyev and discussed with him the potential for progress towards a comprehensive peace agreement for the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, as well as co-operation between the OSCE and Azerbaijan.

During his visit, Dačić also had meetings with Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov, Speaker of Parliament Ogtay Asadov, as well as representatives of political parties and of the Azerbaijani community of Nagorno-Karabakh.

Dačić expressed concern about the unprecedented number of service personnel and civilians reported killed and wounded in the first four months of the year, and stressed the need for all involved to honour the ceasefire agreement. “There is no alternative to a peaceful settlement,” he said. “Serbia’s own experience confirms that it is only through dialogue that a sustainable, peaceful solution can be found, one which would put the region on the path of co-operation, the only way forward in our increasingly interconnected international community,” he said.

Dačić emphasized his full support for the efforts of the Co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group and his Personal Representative, Ambassador Andrzej Kaspryzk, directed towards promoting dialogue between the parties.

He stressed that, besides offering tools for advancing democratic reforms in its participating States, the OSCE is a good platform for joining forces in addressing transnational threats. “The Organization stands ready to continue to work with Azerbaijan to help boost the country’s capacities to combat such threats,” Dačić said, “as well as to pursue its domestic reform agenda.”

Dačić also visited the premises of the OSCE Project Co-ordinator’s in Baku, where he discussed with mission members ongoing programmatic activity.

The Chairperson-in-Office was accompanied by Ambassador Kaspryzk and his Special Representative for the South Caucasus, Ambassador Angelo Gnaedinger.

Later today, Dačić will depart for Tbilisi where he will hold high-level talks tomorrow. He will conclude the visit to the region on 3 June in Yerevan.

Latest from OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine based on information received as of 19:30 (Kyiv time), 31 May 2015

Latest from OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine based on information received as of 19:30 (Kyiv time), 31 May 2015 | OSCE

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Devastating Toll From Indian Heat Wave

The intense heat will persist for a few more days at least.”Andhra Pradesh has been hit the hardest, with 1,636 people dying from the heat over the past month and a half, a government statement said. A further 561 people have died in neighbouring Telangana, said Sada Bhargavi, a state disaster management commissioner. “Cooling monsoon rains are expected this week in southern India before advancing north. The monsoon season will last until the end of September. Forecasting service AccuWeather warned last week of prolonged drought conditions in India, with the monsoon likely to be disrupted by a more active typhoon season over the Pacific.” (Guardian http://bit.ly/1K3hIue)

John Kerry Breaks a Leg. Literally…”U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry broke his leg in a bicycle crash Sunday after striking a curb and scrapped the rest of a four-nation trip that included an international conference on combating the Islamic State group. He planned to return to the United States on Monday.” (NYT http://nyti.ms/1K3hvHc)

Stat of the weekend: More than 5,000 migrants trying to reach Europe have been saved from boats in distress in the Mediterranean since Friday and operations are in progress to rescue 500 more, European Union authorities said on Sunday. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1eKjWT6

Africa

A bomb went off in the Gamboru market in Nigeria’s northeastern city of Maiduguri on Sunday, a resident and a military source said. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1BAalDw)

The Burundian government said it was open to heeding a call by East African leaders Sunday to delay upcoming parliamentary and presidential polls by at least a month and a half amid violent protests sparked by President Pierre Nkurunziza’s bid for a third term. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1HYwUt4)

The United Nations human rights chief urged several countries to intensify their investigations of alleged sexual abuse of young children in the Central African Republic by French and African soldiers posted in the conflict-torn nation. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1HYx8Al)

At least 35 people, most of them civilians, have been killed in a week of clashes in villages near Somalia’s border with Ethiopia, officials and traditional elders said Sunday. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1eKkkkx)

A South African football official on Sunday admitted the country had paid out $10 million dollars in 2008 but denied that it was in any way a bribe to FIFA for the 2010 World Cup. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1FNmyIK)

South Africa today will impose tough new entry rules for minors aimed at preventing child trafficking, which airlines and travel agents say could hurt the important tourism industry. (VOA http://bit.ly/1HYx8R0)

MENA

At least 2,600 people were killed in violence in the 18 months after the military overthrew Egypt’s president in 2013, nearly half of them supporters of the Islamist leader, the head of a state-sanctioned rights body said Sunday. (AP http://yhoo.it/1BAakPR)

Human Rights Watch on Sunday published new evidence alleging a Saudi-led coalition is using internationally banned cluster bombs in Yemen, urging it to stop such attacks that were harming civilians. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1eKiUGO)

Several Americans have been detained in Yemen, a State Department official said Sunday, amid reports that at least four US citizens are being held by Shiite rebels. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1eKk855)

An Egyptian appeals court sentenced a lawyer and award-winning activist to 15 months in jail for breaking into a police station and assaulting officers in 2013, a court official said. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1HYx5EF)

Asia

Myanmar rejected as unbalanced comments made by several Nobel Peace Prize winners calling for an end to the persecution of Rohingya Muslims. (AP http://yhoo.it/1HELqAx)

Thousands of children affected by last month’s earthquake in Nepal returned to schools on Sunday, a working day in the Himalayan nation, five weeks after the disaster killed more than 8,600 people and destroyed many homes. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1HYuNpb)

North Korea has updated farming methods and switched crops that could help soften the blow of drought and avert a disastrous food shortage, an aid worker and an analyst said on Sunday, after a U.N. official warned of another “huge food deficit”. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1HEMd4A)

South Korea’s health minister apologised on Sunday for failing to halt an outbreak of the MERS virus, vowing “utmost efforts” to curb the disease’s spread as the number infected rose to 15. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1eKiQab)

Myanmar’s navy briefly detained journalists who tried to reach a remote island Sunday where more than 700 migrants were being held after their giant wooden ship was found drifting off the country’s southwestern coast. (AP http://yhoo.it/1eKkiJD)

The Americas

Thousands of demonstrators took to Caracas’ streets on Saturday to press for the release of imprisoned foes of President Nicolas Maduro’s government. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1HELpwH)

Thousands gathered in the main square of Guatemala’s capital on Saturday to protest against corruption after a wave of graft scandals prompted a Cabinet shake-up and the resignation of the vice president. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1HELqk4)

Rain caused flooding on roads in parts of Texas on Saturday, an official said, after severe weather killed at least 23 people during the week and prompted U.S. President Barack Obama to declare a disaster in the state. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1KGi5vV)

…and the rest

Opinion/Blogs

What if growth had been as good for the poor as everyone else? (ODI http://bit.ly/1BAbYRu)

Who’s Addicted To What? The First Worldwide Guide (NPR http://n.pr/1KGhQB7)

Buhari’s Tough Challenge in Nigeria (African Arguments http://bit.ly/1KGi4rR)

Aid as entertainment (AidSpeak http://bit.ly/1AGSzDh)

Development work & the myth of the “warm fuzzies” (WhyDev http://bit.ly/1eKpDk1)

Power generation alone won’t deliver energy to Africa’s poor (ODI http://bit.ly/1KGmtLw)

A Theory of Community-Supported Agriculture (Marc Bellemare http://bit.ly/1HEX0ff)

Targeted aid can make a positive difference (Devex http://bit.ly/1M1I8eY)

How does Gender change the way we think about Power? (From Poverty to Power http://bit.ly/1M1Ian0)

Visualizing Strike Activity in China (Dart-Throwing Chimp http://bit.ly/1M1IgLr)

Good intentions and mixed results: Two sides of ‘voluntourism’ (How Matters http://bit.ly/1KGmLln)

Drinking an ethical cup of coffee: how easy is it? (Guardian http://bit.ly/1M1IpP0)

Discussion

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