News in Brief – 06 June 2016

Aedes Mosquitoes that transmit viruses such as dengue fever, chikungunya, and zika. (Photo: D.Calma/IAEA)
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  • IAEA chief praises efforts fighting Zika, promote development goals

    Efforts by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to help countries fight the Zika virus and promote sustainable development were highlighted by Director General Yukiya Amano on Monday.

    In his introductory statement to the agency’s Board of Governors, Mr Amano said that more than 35 participants from 26 countries had been trained by the IAEA in using a nuclear-derived technique for detecting Zika.

    The virus, which has been linked to brain defects in newborns, has been detected in 26 countries across the Americas.

    Last month the same strain was reported off the coast of Africa.

    Mr Amano also promoted the agency’s work in developing peaceful applications of nuclear science and technology to help Member States achieve their development goals and enhance nuclear safety.

    Filipino president-elect urged to stop “incitement to violence”

    The president-elect of the Philippines has been urged to stop inciting violence against journalists after telling them “you won’t be killed if you don’t do anything wrong.”

    Two independent UN experts said that Rodrigo Duterte’s statements amounted to “instigating deadly violence”.

    Mr Duterte, according to reports, told a news conference that most journalists killed in the Philippines had done something wrong.

    Cristof Heyns, UN special rapporteur on summary executions, said that “a message of this nature amounts to incitement to violence and killing in a nation already ranked as the second-deadliest country for journalists”.

    And the UN expert on freedom of expression and opinion, David Kaye, said that his words were a “permissive signal to potential killers that the murder of journalists is acceptable.”

    Another Syrian health facility attacked, leaving 48 injured

    A health facility in Syria serving 30,000 people has been attacked in the city of Aleppo, leaving 48 injured.

    The World Health Organization (WHO) condemned the attack on Al Ihsan charity hospital which took place 2 June, and said that out of 12 public hospitals and 50 health centres in the city, more than two-thirds had been closed or partially-shuttered.

    Elizabeth Hoff, WHO representative in Syria, said that the capacity of health facilities and their staff across the country was “nearing a total collapse” which could lead to a “calamity of unimaginable magnitude”.

    WHO once again urged all parties in the five-year Syrian conflict to respect the safety and neutrality of health workers, and respect international humanitarian law.

    Janie Cangelosi, United Nations.

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