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News in Brief 19 February 2021

  • Violence engulfs South Sudan, ‘Children all have guns’ 
  • Vital humanitarian air links at risk, humanitarian operations under threat, warns WFP
  • UN human rights office alarmed by ‘attacks’ on judicial independence in Haiti
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Podcast - UN Catch-Up Dateline Geneva – COVID and despair in Syria’s camps  

This week we cover the top stories from across the UN, including: an update on COVID-19 variants from the World Health Organization (WHO), an alert over a new Ebola outbreak in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and a the first-ever woman chief of the World Trade Organization (WTO) who hails from Africa – another groundbreaker. 

Stay with us too for an interview with top rights expert Fionnuala Ni Alouain, who throws light on the miserable situation for thousands of mainly women and children with links to ISIL extremists who are stuck in camps in Syria’s northeast ... and not forgetting a very welcome appearance from regular guests Solange Behoteguy-Cortes and Alpha Diallo.  

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Podcast: Escape from Warsaw’s Ghetto - Memories of a Child Witness

When Halina Wolloh was four, her grandfather hid her from the Nazi regime – behind a stack of textiles. 

When her father decided to move the family from the Warsaw Ghetto, she learned The Lord’s Prayer in Polish, in case her identity was questioned.

Having previously participated in a UN Holocaust remembrance event, Mrs. Wolloh sat down with Natalie Hutchison to detail her testimony in this edition of In Their Words: Surviving the Holocaust. Finding Hope about how, even in the darkest of times, expressions of humanity emerge.

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News in Brief 18 February 2021

  • ‘Very high’ risk of Guinea’s Ebola outbreak spreading: WHO 
  • Call to end instrumentalization of aid for Syrians after 10 years of war:  Commission of Inquiry report 
  • UN chief condemns attack on school in Nigeria 
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News in Brief 17 February 2021

  • UNICEF chief calls for equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines for most vulnerable 
  • COVID infections register 16 % fall worldwide in a week, variants spreading: WHO 
  • ‘Extreme food insecurity’ threatens Somalia, warns FAO 
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UN’s education agency lauds world’s most exceptional teacher  

From India’s Maharashtra state, super educator Ranjitsinh Disale was awarded a $1 million Global Teacher Prize for his exceptional impact on the lives of hundreds of students, especially girls.  

Recognized for going above and beyond, he changed the way parents perceive education and innovated classrooms to engage students and spark their interests. This extraordinary teacher even had a hand in helping to call off underage marriages.  

Speaking to UN News’ Anshu Sharma, Mr. Disale began by telling what it means for him to have received this accolade.

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Rights expert appeals to countries to return nationals from Syria’s squalid camps 

Thousands of women and children who remain in “arbitrary detention without end” in camps in northeast Syria must be helped home to their countries of origin, a top independent rights expert has insisted. 

In an appeal to well over 50 countries whose nationals are languishing in Al Hol and Roj centres because of their alleged links to ISIL extremists, Special Rapporteur Fionnuala Ní Aoláin told UN News’s Daniel Johnson that many western Europeans countries could do more to bring them home. 

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News in Brief 16 February 2021

  • Myanmar: ‘World is watching’, UN Special Envoy tells military
  • Atrocities in eastern DR Congo complicate work of tackling new Ebola outbreak 
  • Desperate daily quest for food stalks people of South Sudan   
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News in Brief 15 February 2021

  • Afghanistan: 65 media workers, rights defenders killed since 2018
  • Three die in Ebola outbreak in southern Guinea   
  • WTO appoints first female and first African leader
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PODCAST: Fighting climate change, one building at a time

The role that buildings have to play in climate change rarely gets the same level of attention as issues such as energy production or transport, but they are a significant part of the problem. The UN estimates that, in 2019, emissions from buildings hit an all-time high, accounting for more than a third of all energy-related greenhouse gases.

In New York, home to UN Headquarters, these techniques are now being put into practice, and older buildings are being “retrofitted” with the latest materials, for the benefit of residents, and the environment.

Conor Lennon went to visit some New York projects that could help the City and State to achieve its strict and ambitious climate goals.

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