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Orlando Nightclub Shooting: Mass Casualties After Gunman Opens Fire

At least 50 people were killed and more than 50 others were wounded when a gunman opened fire and took hostages at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, early Sunday morning.

The shooter, identified by several law enforcement sources as Omar Mateen, 29, was killed in a shootout with law enforcement after a three-hour siege.

The massacre — the worst mass shooting in the history of the United States — began when the gunman stormed the Pulse Nightclub about 2 a.m. ET with an AR-15 type rifle and a handgun, officials said.

CLICK HERE - Tampa Bay Times - LIVE - BREAKING COVERAGE OF THE PULSE NIGHTCLUB SHOOTING IN ORLANDO, FLORIDA

CLICK HERE - NBC News

CLICK HERE - CNN - LIVE Blog

CLICK HERE - CNN - Timeline of Orlando nightclub shooting

CLICK HERE - The New York Times - Mass Shooting at Pulse Florida Nightclub: Live Updates

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World Humanitarian Summit

                                            

The first-ever World Humanitarian Summit, set to take place in Istanbul on 23-24 May 2016, is a global call to action by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

The Summit has three main goals:

  1. To re-inspire and reinvigorate a commitment to humanity and to the universality of humanitarian principles.
  2. To initiate a set of concrete actions and commitments aimed at enabling countries and communities to better prepare for and respond to crises, and be resilient to shocks.
  3. To share best practices which can help save lives around the world, put affected people at the center of humanitarian action, and alleviate suffering.

https://www.worldhumanitariansummit.org/

 

 

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Thousands of Civilians Reported Fleeing as Battle for Aleppo, Syria, Intensifies

           

Fierce fighting in Aleppo forces thousands to flee

Innocent civilians 'running for their lives' - A sense of panic among those fleeing

cnn.com by - Nick Paton Walsh and Don Melvin - February 5, 2016

(CNN) The battle for the devastated city of Aleppo -- once Syria's commercial heart -- is intensifying, and video has surfaced appearing to show thousands of civilians streaming out of the city. . . .

. . . But the latest video appears to show a sense of panic among the thousands of people streaming out of the city, fleeing for their lives -- bound, most probably, for the Turkish border, 60 miles (97 kilometers) to the north.

. . . And from there, they will push onward, perhaps, to Europe, which is experiencing one of the most significant waves of migration in recent decades.

A United Nations official, citing U.N. estimates made for emergency relief planning, told CNN that 321,000 civilians are thought to be in a rebel-held area east of Aleppo.

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Failed EU Relocation Plan Leaves Refugees in Limbo

           

Aral Kakl (right), a Kurdish Iraqi journalist, his Syrian wife Shevin, his brother Rewan and some other refugees who have applied for the relocation programme, kill time in the cafeteria of their Athens hotel.  Photo: Nicola Zolin/IRIN

irinnews.org - by Andrew Connelly

ATHENS, 18 January 2016 (IRIN) - “Relocation does not work.”

With these words on Thursday, EU Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos finally admitted that the bloc’s September agreement to relocate 160,000 asylum seekers from the frontline states of Greece and Italy to other EU states over two years has been a dismal failure. After the Commission revealed recently that only 272 asylum seekers had been relocated in the past four months, few could deny it.

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A Billion in Pandemic Prevention Is Worth a Trillion in Cure

          

Photographer: Waldo Swiegers /Bloomberg

The world is warned to prepare now for health crises such as the Ebola outbreak, or pay a lot more later.

CLICK HERE - LINK TO REPORT AND OTHER IMPORTANT INFORMATION - The Neglected Dimension of Global Security - A Framework to Counter Infectious Disease Crises 

bloomberg.com - by John Tozzi - January 13, 2016

The world needs a . . . transformation to prevent outbreaks of infectious disease that threaten security and economic stability, according to a report sponsored by several major foundations. Pandemics—epidemics that spread across the globe—could cost humanity $6 trillion in the 21st century, or $60 billion a year, the authors estimate. They argued for investing $4.5 billion a year—or 65 cents for every resident of the planet—to prepare.

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The Neglected Dimension of Global Security - A Framework to Counter Infectious Disease Crises

nam.edu - January 13, 2016

CLICK HERE - National Academy of Medicine - Global Health Risk Framework - The Neglected Dimension of Global Security: A Framework to Counter Infectious Disease Crises

CLICK HERE - REPORT - The Neglected Dimension of Global Security: A Framework to Counter Infectious Disease Crises (144 page .PDF report)

The Global Health Risk Framework (GHRF) initiative will build on lessons from the current Ebola outbreak and other major outbreaks to develop a comprehensive framework for improving our response to future global public health threats. The Commission will rigorously analyze options for improving governance, finance, health system resilience, and research and development for global health security. To foster trust internationally with various levels of government, civil society, academia, and industry, the Commission intends to keep the framework from being influenced by politics or the interests of any one country or organization.

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Nigeria: 2016 Humanitarian Response Plan (January - December 2016)

reliefweb.int - UNOCHA - January 11, 2016

Overview of the crisis

Violent attacks on civilians by Boko Haram since 2009 have left widespread devastation in the north-east of Nigeria. With attacks continuing to occur on a regular basis, the crisis is directly affecting more than 14.8 million people in Adamawa, Borno, Gombe and Yobe States. More than 2.2 million people have fled their homes and 7 million people are estimated to be in need of humanitarian assistance. The security situation remains volatile and with the military and paramilitary response ongoing, millions of people remain displaced, host community resources are becoming exhausted and an estimated 3 million people living in areas that have been inaccessible for most of 2015 have unknown needs.

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'Projectile' Hits Medecins Sans Frontieres Clinic in Yemen, Killing Four: MSF

         

File photo of workers unloading emergency medical aid from Medecins Sans Frontieres from a plane at Sanaa airport, April 13, 2015.  Reuters/Mohamed al-Sayaghi

CLICK HERE - MSF - Yemen: Another MSF supported hospital bombed

reuters.com - reporting by Noah Browning; editing by William Maclean and Mark Heinrich - January 10, 2016

A "projectile" struck a clinic supported by international medical group Medecins Sans Frontieres in north Yemen on Sunday, killing four people, MSF said, another in a series of attacks on its facilities in the war-torn country.

MSF said it was not clear who was behind the attack that also wounded 10 other people in Shiara Hospital in the Razeh district, where the group has worked since November last year.

In a statement on its Twitter account, MSF did not identify who was killed in the attack but said that three of the wounded were staff members, of whom two were in critical condition.

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Fleeing Boko Haram - NOWHERE TO RUN, NOWHERE TO HIDE

newirin.irinnews.org - 2 November 2015

The Boko Haram insurgency has claimed more than 25,000 lives in the past six years.

Since 2014, it has escalated and splintered across a wider swathe of West and Central Africa, uprooting millions of people in the process. Where should they go? This special feature examines the options and explores what the future holds. . . .

. . . Millions of Nigerians have fled Boko Haram, but the violence follows them.

Scores of people have been killed in the last few weeks in a string of suicide bombings in the main northeastern cities where they seek refuge. Border areas where refugees flee in Cameroon, Chad, and Niger are increasingly under attack. So pervasive is the insurgency, it is even starting to strike the displacement camps where the most desperate seek help.

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Five Key Challenges for New UN Refugee Chief

The UN's new High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi.  
Photo: Amanda Voisard/UNHCR

irinnews.org - BY Kristy Siegfried

OXFORD, 5 January 2016 (IRIN) - Getting back to work following the end-of-year break can be tough. But spare a thought for Filippo Grandi, who arrived in Geneva this week to begin his five-year term as head of the UN’s refugee agency.

Not only is he replacing António Guterres, who held the office of High Commissioner for the past 10 years and was widely revered, but he is doing so at a time when record numbers of people around the world are fleeing persecution and conflict and in need of UNHCR’s protection and support. . . .

. . . Here are five of the greatest challenges likely to preoccupy him in the coming months:

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