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UN's Top Climate Change Official Calls on Health Ministers to Support Effective Paris 2015 Agreement

Speaking to an international conference organized by the World Health Organization on 27 August, UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres called on Health Ministers to support an effective universal climate change agreement in Paris in 2015.

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Higher profile for climate change in new Sustainable Development Goals

Following months of lobbying by poor island states and NGOs, action on climate change is to be a stand-alone goal among the 17 newly agreed Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

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High-carbon future being locked in by world's capital investments in future coal-fired and natural-gas power plants

The world's accounting system for carbon emissions, run by the United Nations, disregards capital investments in future coal-fired and natural-gas power plants that will commit the world to several decades and billions of tons of greenhouse gas emissions, according to a new study from Princeton University and the University of California-Irvine published Aug. 26 in the journal Environmental Research Letters.

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Trash Burning Worldwide Significantly Worsens Air Pollution

Unregulated trash burning around the globe is pumping far more pollution into the atmosphere than shown by official records. A new study led by the National Center for Atmospheric Research estimates that more than 40 percent of the world's garbage is burned in such fires, emitting gases and particles that can substantially affect human health and climate change.

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Iraqi civilians suffering "horrific" widespread and systematic persecution - Pillay

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay on Monday condemned the appalling, widespread and systematic deprivation of human rights in Iraq by ISIL (the self-proclaimed "Islamic State") and associated forces. The violations include targeted killings, forced conversions, abductions, trafficking, slavery, sexual abuse, destruction of places of religious and cultural significance, and the besieging of entire communities because of ethnic, religious or sectarian affiliation. Among those directly targeted have been Christians, Yezidi, Shabaks, Turkomen, Kaka'e and Sabaeans.

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'Free riders' undermine climate treaty hopes

An effective treaty to reduce greenhouse gas emissions will probably remain elusive, according to a new research study, because the steps likely to win political agreement would be ineffective, while those that could produce results would be politically unfeasible.

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Magnitude 7.0 Central Peru

A magnitude 7.0 earthquake has occurred CENTRAL PERU at:
14.64S 73.53W Depth 60km 24/08/2014 at 23:21:42 (Universal Time)

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Oxfam: World must suspend arms sales to protect civilians as Gaza violence escalates again

After ceasefire talks collapsed and violence erupted yet again, Oxfam today called on all states to immediately suspend transfers of arms or ammunition to Israel and any Palestinian armed group while there is serious risk that they could be used to violate international humanitarian law.

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Analysis: Iraq's forgotten displaced

In recent weeks the world's attention has fixed on the plight of the Christians and Yezidis of northern Iraq as hundreds of thousands have fled advancing Islamic militants to the semi-autonomous Kurdistan. Yet across the country the same number again of Iraqis have fled their homes since January to other regions, receiving far less attention and support. While the UN and NGOs are trying to reach them with aid, many feel forgotten and complain of preferential treatment.

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Thailand: Junta Leader Named Prime Minister; Repression Continues 3 Months After Military Coup

The appointment of Thailand's junta leader as prime minister by the military-picked legislature does not advance human rights or a return to democratic rule, Human Rights Watch said today.

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Humane world cannot let West Africa suffer 'on such extraordinary scale' - UN health chief

The newly-appointed United Nations System Coordinator for Ebola today began his visit to countries affected by the deadly disease, as the head of the UN World Health Organization (WHO) appealed for "massive, coordinated and targeted assistance" in the months ahead, saying "a humane world cannot let the people of West Africa suffer on such an extraordinary scale."

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Pillay castigates "paralysis" on Syria, as new UN study indicates over 191,000 people killed

An updated analysis carried out by data specialists on behalf of the UN Human Rights Office has led to the compilation of a list of 191,369 cases of individuals reported killed in Syria between March 2011 and the end of April 2014, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay announced Friday.

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Gaza: UN says over 370,000 Palestinian children in need of 'psycho-social first aid'

The top UNICEF field officer in Gaza reported today that at least nine more Palestinian children have been killed there in the last 48 hours, bringing the total to 469 since early July, saying that there is not a single family in the tiny enclave that has not been touched by the current violence.

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Syria: Journalist's Execution a War Crime

The apparent execution of the freelance journalist James Foley on August 19, 2014 in Syria by the Islamic State would be a war crime if confirmed. Groups detaining journalists should immediately and unconditionally release them.

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Call for action to curb attacks on environmental campaigners

Amid increasing documentation of attacks on people engaged in environmental activism, experts are calling for a global protection regime to defend and support campaigners subjected to harassment and abuse.

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Committee to Protect Journalists condemns killing of American journalist James Foley

The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the murder of James Foley, a U.S. freelance journalist, who was abducted in Syria in November 2012. In a video posted online, the Al-Qaeda splinter group Islamic State claimed to have executed Foley, saying the act was retribution for U.S. military intervention in Iraq.

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Over 100,000 Elephants Killed in 3 Years

An average of 33,630 elephants per annum are calculated to have been lost over those three years, with preliminary data indicating unsustainable levels continued in 2013. The number of elephants remaining in Africa is uncertain, but these losses are driving declines in the world's wild African elephants on the order of 2-3% a year.

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MIT Study: Climate Talks on Path to Fall Far Short of Goals

Experts at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology using a sophisticated computer model examined what they think is the most likely outcome of UN climate treaty negotiations and found that the talks are likely to come up short.

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Fleeing Yezidi Iraqis seek safety in Turkey

As soon as he crossed the border into southeastern Turkey, Khudeda Khalaf downed a bottle of water and called his aunt's cell phone, praying that she and her family had made it to safety.

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Greenpeace urges fair and transparent vote on protection of India's Mahan forest

Greenpeace International today joined Greenpeace India's call for Indian authorities to protect democracy and ensure a fair and transparent village council vote in the Mahan forest, over a proposed coal mine development by Essar and Hindalco, where Essar is the majority beneficiary.

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World Humanitarian Day: WHO calls for protection of health workers in conflicts, disasters

As major emergencies around the globe increase in scale, complexity and frequency, the World Health Organization is calling for an end to the targeting of health workers in conflicts and other humanitarian crises, which represent a breach of the fundamental right to health.

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Study: World's Primary Forests on the Brink

An international team of conservationist scientists and practitioners has published new research showing the precarious state of the world's primary forests.

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WHO: Air travel is low-risk for Ebola transmission; Ebola is not airborne

The World Health Organization (WHO) today reiterated its position that the risk of transmission of Ebola virus disease during air travel remains low.

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Oxfam: Lifting blockade crucial to Gaza recovery

Full recovery from the humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza will be impossible unless Israel's blockade is lifted permanently, Oxfam warned today as it held a demonstration in Parliament Square to highlight the suffering the blockade causes.

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Fukushima's legacy: Serious biological effects of Fukushima radiation on plants, insects, and animals

Following the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear power plant meltdown, biological samples were obtained only after extensive delays, limiting the information that could be gained about the impacts of that historic disaster. Determined not to repeat the shortcomings of the Chernobyl studies, scientists began gathering biological information only a few months after the disastrous meltdown of the Fukushima Daiichi power plant in Japan in 2011. Results of these studies are now beginning to reveal serious biological effects of the Fukushima radiation on non-human organisms ranging from plants to butterflies to birds.

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Mexican reporter shot dead in Oaxaca state

The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the murder on Monday of Mexican reporter Octavio Rojas Hernández in the state of Oaxaca and calls on authorities to investigate the killing, identify the motive, and bring those responsible to justice.

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'Barbaric' sexual violence perpetrated by Islamic State militants in Iraq - UN

Two senior United Nations officials today condemned in the strongest terms the "barbaric acts" of sexual violence and "savage rapes" the armed group Islamic State (IS) has perpetrated on minorities in areas under its control.

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Iraq: "Immediate action needed to protect human rights of Yazidis in grave danger" – UN experts

A group of United Nations human rights experts today expressed their grave concern at the imminent danger of massacre faced by the Yazidi population forced to flee Sinjar in northern Iraq and other minority communities currently exposed to attacks by members of the ‘Islamic State' (IS, (formerly known as ISIS).

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Gaza: Widespread Impact of Power Plant Attack

The apparent Israeli shellfire that knocked out the Gaza Strip's only electrical power plant on July 29, 2014, has worsened the humanitarian crisis for the territory's 1.7 million people. Damaging or destroying a power plant, even if it also served a military purpose, would be an unlawful disproportionate attack under the laws of war, causing far greater civilian harm than military gain.

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Afghanistan: No justice for thousands of civilians killed in US/NATO operations

The families of thousands of Afghan civilians killed by US/NATO forces in Afghanistan have been left without justice, Amnesty International said in a new report released today. Focusing primarily on air strikes and night raids carried out by US forces, including Special Operations Forces, Left in the Dark finds that even apparent war crimes have gone uninvestigated and unpunished.

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