US 

Why the USA is NOT about to attack Iran

Dr. Seyed Mohammad Marandi, professor extraordinaire of Iran, said it best when asked on Al Jazeera if the USA was going to attack Iran. He stated something so obvious that you would think western journalists would have already come to this realization, that “as long as the USA is sending its military to the Persian Gulf they are not about to attack Iran. It is when the USA starts to pull it forces out is when we should start to be worried.” Why does this make so much old-fashioned common…

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Pacific 

As monsoon rains pound Rohingya refugee camps, UN food relief agency steps up aid

“Those in the most vulnerable living situations have been relocated to safer, newly developed land in the camps”, WFP Spokesperson Herve Verhoosel told the regular news briefing in Geneva, noting that 5,600 people had been displaced. Telling reporters that additional rainfall is forecasted for the weekend, he underscored that “the destruction is caused by the most significant weather event in over a year, and it was triggered by monsoon weather systems in the Bay of Bengal”. Heavy rains have flooded parts of the world’s largest refugee camp in #Bangladesh. Our…

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Pacific 

A quarter of Pacific islanders live below ‘basic needs poverty lines’, top UN development forum hears

“Of the four countries globally that are without women parliamentarians, three are in the Pacific,” she asserted. Turning to non-communicable diseases (NCDs), she pointed out that regarding diabetes, seven Pacific countries are in the top 10 globally. And in 10 SIDS, five out of 10 Pacific islanders are overweight.  “Moving forward, Pacific leaders are committed to more targeted support to enhance opportunities for women, youth, and persons with disabilities; addressing gender gaps in employment and decision making; enhancing sustainable tourism and fisheries while conserving the Pacific’s rich biodiversity; tackling NCDs…

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Pacific 

Scores of Rohingya refugee shelters in Bangladesh destroyed by flooding

Refugees volunteers assist in emergency relief Refugee volunteers trained by UNHCR and partners, worked throughout the night on Wednesday in heavy rain, to help families in urgent need. In some cases, this involved rescuing refugees from shelters destroyed by the 26 reported landslides.  Three days of heavy downpour. More than 270 shelters destroyed. Monsoon rains brought extensive damage to Cox’s Bazar, home to the world’s largest refugee settlement. Our teams are on the ground providing urgent aid, rescue, and relocation. Read more: https://t.co/7CLZNAH0aC pic.twitter.com/H0cmO6lsjg — UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency…

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Pacific 

Livelihoods of millions in East and Southeast Asia at risk from Swine Fever epidemic

Small scale farmers account for a significant proportion of pig meat production in the vast region, and the outbreak is of particular concern for these producers, who may lack the expertise and funds necessary to protect their herds from the disease. Higher prices, lower incomes FAO has received reports that ASF has led to income losses in the affected countries, where tens of millions of households are engaged in pig farming – in China, the world’s largest pig meat producer, the figure is some 130 million – both because of…

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Europe 

FROM THE FIELD: facing up to the extreme mental health pressures of conflict

During much of his 30-year career as a humanitarian with the UN, Fabrizio Hochschild, today a senior UN official reporting directly to the Secretary-General, struggled with mental health issues associated with his work. Mr. Hochschild, who has risen through the ranks to become the Assistant Secretary-General for Strategic Coordination, suffered post-traumatic stress disorder following a posting in Bosnia and Herzegovina, at the time of the conflict in the former Yugoslavia, early in his career. In this episode of the award-winning podcast series Awake At Night, produced by the UN refugee agency, UNHCR,…

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Pacific 

UN chief welcomes possibility of resumed talks between US and North Korea

The UN chief “welcomes the meetings in Panmunjom involving the leaders of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the Republic of Korea and the United States”, his spokesperson said in a statement, adding “particularly the announcement that the DPRK and the United States will resume working-level dialogue”.  For the first time since their last summit in the Vietnamese capital, Hanoi, broke down in February, both countries agreed to resume stalled nuclear talks. Before crossing over, US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, posed for photographers in the…

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Pacific 

Government internet ban leaves parts of Myanmar ‘in a blackout’, UN expert calls for immediate lifting

The Government shutdown mobile data networks in nine conflict areas townships of Rakhine and Chin States, risking serious implications for human rights and humanitarian monitoring, warned UN Special Rapporteur Yanghee Lee. Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Myanmar Yanghee Lee. UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré, by UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferre “The entire region is in a blackout,” she said. “I fear for all civilians there, cut off and without the necessary means to communicate with people inside and outside the area.” According to recent reports, over the last six months, both…

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Pacific 

UN chief accepts independent report on Myanmar, highlighting ‘systemic’ failure surrounding Rohingya crisis

The report by former Guatemalan Foreign Affairs Minister, Gert Rosenthal, a former UN Ambassador and top executive at the UN’s Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), said that the UN System overall had been “relatively impotent to effectively work with the authorities of Myanmar, to reverse the negative trends in the areas of human rights, and consolidate the positive trends in other areas.” The review, published on Monday, covers the period 2010-2018, encompassing the UN’s response to the systematic and brutal abuse of hundreds-of-thousands of mainly-Muslim Rohingya…

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Europe 

Tragedy of Mediterranean deaths continues, as seven drown, 57 rescued: UN migration agency

IOM Greece reported that the deaths bring the total this year to 41, on the so-called Eastern Mediterranean route linking Africa and the Middle East to Europe, which is one of the busiest routes for migrants. The agency said that more than half the passengers on the boat had come from three Sub-Saharan African countries: The Democratic Republic of the Congo, Cameroon and Angola. The seven-meter rubber dinghy they were travelling in, is believed to have left the Ayvalık region of the Turkish coast after midnight on Tuesday morning. According…

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