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UCLA demographer produces best estimate yet of Cambodia's death toll under Pol Pot

The death toll in Cambodia under Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot was most likely between 1.2 million and 2.8 million -- or between 13 percent and 30 percent of the country's population at the time -- according to a forthcoming article by a UCLA demographer.

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Organized Crime in Wildlife, Gold and Timber, Worth Over One Billion USD, Further Fuels Conflict in Eastern DR Congo - UN Report

Organized crime and the illegal trade in natural resources continues to increasingly fuel the conflict in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) , according to a new report from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and partners.

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Yemen: Saudi-led, US-backed airstrike killed 31 civilians

Airstrikes by the Saudi Arabia-led coalition that hit a dairy factory in Yemen on March 31, 2015, killed at least 31 civilians and wounded another 11. The governments that participated in the attacks should investigate the airstrikes, which may have been indiscriminate or disproportionate, in violation of the laws of war.

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Dwindling bird populations in Fukushima

This is the time of year when birds come out and really spread their wings, but since a disastrous day just before spring's arrival four years ago, Japan's Fukushima province has not been friendly to the feathered. And as several recent papers from University of South Carolina biologist Tim Mousseau and colleagues show, the avian situation there is just getting worse.

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Chinese claims about Tibet lack credibility without access for international observers

After decades of spending billions of dollars on subsidies and pursuing the hyper-securitization of Tibet, China’s 2015 White Paper on Tibet is an acknowledgement that Chinese government policies have failed to win the hearts and minds of the Tibetan people.

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World not delivering on Gaza reconstruction promises, new report warns

Six months since donors pledged $3.5 billion towards Gaza's recovery, many people are worse off and not a single one of the 19,000 destroyed homes has been rebuilt. 100,000 people are still homeless and many are living in makeshift camps or schools.

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Nigeria: Abducted women and girls forced to join Boko Haram attacks

At least 2,000 women and girls have been abducted by Boko Haram since the start of 2014 and many have been forced into sexual slavery and trained to fight, said Amnesty International on the first anniversary of the abduction of the Chibok school girls.

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New Japanese "scientific" whale hunting plan rejected by IWC experts

Experts representing the International Whaling Commission (IWC - the organisation that regulates whale hunting) have rejected Japan’s latest plan to resume its so-called scientific whale hunts in the Southern Ocean.

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Ebola vaccine trial begins in Sierra Leone

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in partnership with the Sierra Leone College of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences (COMAHS) and the Sierra Leone Ministry of Health and Sanitation (MoHS), is now enrolling and vaccinating volunteers for the Sierra Leone Trial to Introduce a Vaccine against Ebola (STRIVE). This study will assess the safety and efficacy of the rVSV-ZEBOV candidate Ebola vaccine among health and other frontline workers.

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2050: Water supplies to dwindle in parts of the world, threatening food security and livelihoods

In 2050 there will be enough water to help produce the food needed to feed a global population expected to top nine billion, but overconsumption, degradation and the impact of climate change will reduce water supplies in many regions, especially developing countries, FAO and the World Water Council (WWC) have warned in a paper published today.

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Yemen: Zeid calls for investigations into civilian casualties

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein on Tuesday reminded all sides to the conflict in Yemen to ensure that attacks resulting in civilian casualties are promptly investigated and that international human rights and international humanitarian law are scrupulously respected during the conduct of hostilities in the country.

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Doha: UN conference stresses grave need to combat wildlife crime

With wildlife and forest crimes on the rise, yielding enormous profits for criminal networks, United Nations high-level officials at a major anti-crime meeting under way in Doha, Qatar, stressed the gravity of the scourge, saying that it fuels violence, corrupts supply chains and undermines the rule of law.

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Nigeria: One year on, UN and African experts call for decisive steps to bring back abducted children

A group of United Nations and African human rights experts* deplored the continued captivity of girls abducted one year ago in Chibok, and called on the Boko Haram armed group to immediately release them as well as the numerous other children who have since been captured in Nigeria.

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Keeping Iraq polio free: immunization campaign targets 5.8 million children

A 5-day nationwide polio immunization campaign targeting 5.8 million children under 5 years of age will begin in Iraq on Sunday 12 April. The campaign will be marked by launch events on 12 April in Baghdad, organized by the Ministry of Health, and on 13 April in Erbil organized by the Kurdistan regional Ministry of Health. Representatives of WHO and UNICEF will attend both events with Rotary International attending the launch in Erbil. It is over a year since the last case of polio was reported in Iraq, and the new campaign aims to vaccinate every child under 5 throughout the country.

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UNESCO Director-General condemns destruction at Nimrud

UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova today denounced further destruction at the archeological site of Nimrud in Iraq, shown in graphic detail on a video circulating on social media channels.

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Greenpeace Climbers Leave Arctic Oil Drilling Rig

The six climbers who safely intercepted, scaled, and set up camp on an Arctic-bound Shell oil drilling rig in the Pacific have come down today after spending almost a week on the 38,000 tonne platform.

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Global agencies call for urgent action to avoid irreversible groundwater depletion

FAO, UNESCO, the World Bank, GEF and the International Association of Hydrogeologists have today called for action by the global community to manage the increasingly urgent depletion and degradation of limited groundwater resources.

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Tibetan nun sets fire to herself in Kardze

A Tibetan nun in her forties called Yeshi Kandro set fire to herself on April 8 in Kardze (Chinese: Ganzi) and is believed to have died, according to Tibetan sources. She called for the long life of the Dalai Lama, for the Dalai Lama to be invited to Tibet, and for freedom for Tibet as she set herself alight, according to the same sources.

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World Wide Views Announce Launch of Largest Ever Global Citizen Consultation on Climate and Energy

On June 6, beginning at dawn in the Pacific Islands and ending at dusk in the West Coast of the United States, citizens around the world will take part in the largest ever public consultation on climate change and energy.

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Corruption and impunity in the Americas require urgent actions, not just rhetoric, says Transparency International

Weak institutions and countries where governments are corrupt or vulnerable to corruption are jeopardising democracy in the Americas, warned Transparency International, the global anti-corruption movement, at the start of the VII Summit of the Americas which is taking place in Panama City this week.

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Obama Administration Downgrades Supposed Threats Posed by Cuba, Venezuela Ahead of Summit of the Americas

The Obama administration is attempting to “salvage the Summit of the Americas” and avert another summit disaster by removing Cuba from its list of “state sponsors of terrorism,” Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) Co-Director Mark Weisbrot said today. This latest sign of a softening of U.S. policy toward Cuba “falls far short” of the change in relations that had been a U.S. goal before the summit: the reopening of embassies. Obama’s announcement is expected to come as early as tomorrow.

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Serbia: Forcibly evicted Roma still awaiting resettlement despite EU millions

Three years after the forced eviction of more than one hundred Roma families from the Belvil settlement in Belgrade, a toxic combination of bureaucratic incompetence, inertia and discrimination has resulted in the failure of a multi-million euro European Commission (EC) funded project to resettle them. The majority of these families are still living in squalid racially segregated metal containers and around 50 may never be resettled, a new briefing from Amnesty International has found.

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Global Alliance calls for quality criteria for 100% Renewable Energy Targets

An increasing number of local governments is setting ambitious renewable energy targets to combat human induced climate chaos. In a joint statement, members of the Global 100% RE campaign, an international alliance of organizations, associations and research institutions, highlight, however, that an energy transformation can only succeed if benefits are shared across society, including citizens and communities. At the ICLEI World congress in Seoul, Korea, the group warns that future energy markets built on 100% renewable energy have to be ‘people centered’ and ‘community driven’.

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Wiretap Transcripts Raise Troubling Questions About Vancouver-Based Tahoe Resources' Militarized Security in Guatamala

Wiretap transcripts ordered by Guatemala’s Public Prosecutor of Tahoe Resources’ former head of security, Alberto Rotondo, in connection with an April 27, 2013 shooting outside its Escobal mine provide strong evidence that he targeted peaceful protesters, then tried to cover up the crime and flee the country. The Public Prosecutor ordered the telephone intercepts roughly two weeks before this incident occurred, in apparent connection with suspicions over earlier violence at the mine site. The intercepts were originally presented in a public hearing in Guatemala in May 2013 at which Rotondo was charged with assault and obstruction of justice.

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Western Canada to lose 70 percent of glaciers by 2100

Seventy per cent of glacier ice in British Columbia and Alberta could disappear by the end of the 21st century, creating major problems for local ecosystems, power supplies, and water quality, according to a new study by University of British Columbia researchers.

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“Water Man of India” makes rivers flow again

School textbooks in India have been telling children for generations that Rajasthan is an inhospitable state in the northwest of the country, constrained by the hot, hostile sands of the Thar Desert.

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Trace Amounts of Fukushima Radioactivity Detected Along Shoreline of British Columbia

Scientists at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) have for the first time detected the presence of small amounts of radioactivity from the 2011 Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant accident in a seawater sample from the shoreline of North America. The sample, which was collected on February 19 in Ucluelet, British Columbia, with the assistance of the Ucluelet Aquarium, contained trace amounts of cesium (Cs) -134 and -137, well below internationally established levels of concern to humans and marine life.

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UN disaster risk chief highlights existential threat facing small island States

The head of the United Nations office dealing with disaster risk mitigation has today underlined her concerns about the future development of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in the face of extreme weather events.

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Barrick Settlement on Rapes and Killings in Papua New Guinea Proof that Victims Need Independent Legal Counsel

Today, eleven of at least 120 women who claim to have been raped and gang raped by security guards at Barrick Gold’s Porgera Joint Venture mine in Papua New Guinea, and three of many more men and their families who claim to have been the victims of violence and killing by security guards, finally got equitable settlements. These fortunate claimants were the clients of lawyers with US-based EarthRights International, who was prepared to file legal cases on their behalf.

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French Court Investigating U.S. Torture: Summon Former Gitmo Commander

Today, in a case seeking to hold U.S. officials accountable for the torture and other serious mistreatment of three French citizens formerly detained at Guantánamo, the Chambre de l’instruction de la Cour d’appel de Paris ordered a lower court to summon former Guantánamo Commander Geoffrey D. Miller to explain his role in the abuse. Miller went on to work at the notorious Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, having previously expressed wanting to “Gitmo-ize” the prison.

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