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Doctors Without Borders Expelled from Myanmar


Myanmar protesters hold placards and shout slogans during a rally against the Doctors Without Borders (MSF) aid agency in Sittwe, Rakhine state, on February 22, 2014 (AFP/File) - by Margie Mason - February 28, 2014

YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — Doctors Without Borders said Friday it has been expelled from Myanmar and that tens of thousands of lives are at risk. The decision came after the humanitarian group reported it treated nearly two dozen Rohingya Muslim victims of communal violence in Rakhine state, which the government has denied.

The humanitarian group said it was "deeply shocked" by Myanmar's decision to expel it after two decades of work in the country.



CLICK HERE - MSF - Myanmar: MSF concerned about the fate of thousands of patients after being ordered to cease activities

Growing Disease Burden in South Sudan Conflict


Lucky delivery: A south Sudan refugee mother takes a meal after successfully delivering her newborn at Nzjaipi health center III. A number of expecting mothers in limbo due to inadequate health facilities at refugee transit and sattlement sites in Adjumani.  Charles Akena/IRIN

GULU-NAIROBI, 27 January 2014 (IRIN) - Disease burden is growing among people who fled their homes following the outbreak of conflict in South Sudan.

The mid-December eruption of fighting between army forces loyal to President Salva Kiir and those supporting former vice-president Riek Machar has adversely impacted the already weak health system.

“Even before this crisis, South Sudan’s health system was extremely fragile - 80 percent of the health services were provided by international organizations," Raphael Gorgeu, the Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) head of mission for South Sudan, told IRIN in an email. “So for MSF, the current conflict exacerbates an already dire situation.”


People Surge Swells

Their grief turned into anger the following day when they joined a march that they now want to replicate in different areas across the country.

Series of protests vs Aquino govt set nationwide - by Ronald Reyes
January 28, 2014

SURVIVORS of super typhoon Yolanda and their supporters on Monday vowed to stage more protests to express their indignation at the slow government response to their needs, after last Friday’s “People Surge” demonstration gathered more than 12,000 people in Tacloban City.

“This is a People Surge – a swelling of the people demanding justice for Yolanda victims and asserting their right to food, housing, livelihood and social services,” said Sister Edita Eslopor, OSB, chairperson of People Surge, an alliance working for the victims of typhoon Yolanda.

. . . This is just the first of a series of protests that will fill the streets of major cities across the country in indignation of the Aquino administration,” Eslopor added.


Report: Freedom Declined Worldwide in 2013 - by Jeff Seldin - January 22, 2014

WASHINGTON — The Washington-based group Freedom House said the cause of freedom around the globe took another hit in 2013, as the group released its Freedom in the World 2014 report Thursday. The authors warned of serious setbacks in some of the world’s more influential countries.


CLICK HERE - Report - Freedom in the World 2014

10 Greatest Threats Facing the World in 2014 - - by Kim Hjelmgaard - January 16, 2014

The World Economic Forum on Thursday released its Global Risks 2014 report.

"Taking a 10-year outlook, the report assesses 31 risks that are global in nature and have the potential to cause significant negative impact across entire countries and industries if they take place," is how the WEF describes the report in a statement accompanying its release.

"The risks are grouped under five classifications — economic, environmental, geopolitical, societal and technological — and measured in terms of their likelihood and potential impact," the statement says.


CLICK HERE - Global Risks 2014 report

South Sudan Coup Attempt: Disgruntled Soldiers and Politicians Tried To Overthrow Government, Official Says


Sudanese anti-government protesters chant slogans during a demonstration in Khartoum, Sudan, Sunday, Sept. 29, 2013. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra) - AP - by CHARLTON DOKI and RODNEY MUHUMUZA - December 16, 2013

JUBA, South Sudan (AP) -- South Sudan's president on Monday ordered a dusk-to-dawn curfew in the capital after soldiers loyal to the former deputy attempted to seize power by force, leading to clashes between military factions that highlight the growing instability of the world's youngest nation.

Flanked by government officials, President Salva Kiir --who put on fatigues with an army general's epaulets inside of his usual gentleman's suit -- said Monday in a televised address to the nation that the military had foiled a coup orchestrated by "a group of soldiers allied with the former vice president." The soldiers had attacked the South Sudanese military headquarters near Juba University late Sunday, sparking sporadic bursts of gunfire that continued Monday, he said.


Removing Fuel Rods Poses New Risks at Crippled Nuclear Plant in Japan


Members of the media inside the Fukushima Daiichi plant on Thursday. The plant’s operator plans to start moving radioactive fuel to safer storage.  Pool photo by Tomohiro Ohsumi - by Hiroko Tabuchi - November 10, 2013

TOKYO — It was the part of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant that spooked American officials the most, as the complex spiraled out of control two and a half years ago: the spent fuel pool at Reactor No. 4, with more than 1,500 radioactive fuel assemblies left exposed when a hydrogen explosion blew the roof off the building.

In the next 10 days, the plant’s operator, the Tokyo Electric Power Company, is set to start the delicate and risky task of using a crane to remove the fuel assemblies from the pool, a critical step in a long decommissioning process that has already had serious setbacks.

Just 36 men will carry out the tense operation to move the fuel to safer storage; they will work in groups of six in two-hour shifts throughout the day for months.



The impacts of mineral exploitation on the environment and people in Thai Nguyen

Case study: Khanh Hoa coal mine, Thai Nguyen, Viet Nam


Philippines Trying to Learn Lessons from Typhoon Haiyan

But between residents who don't understand the dangers and political infighting, that may be difficult.


Pel Tecson, mayor since May of Tanauan town, Leyte island, the Philippines, looks out from his battered town hall balcony over Tanauan, smashed by a Typhoon Haiyan. The city council passed a resolution Monday making a non-build zone from the shoreline to 50 meters inland. The need for relocation of vulnerable communities is the big lesson to be learned from the experience, Tecson said.  (Photo: Calum MacLeod, USA TODAY) - by Calum MacLeod - November 23, 2013

. . . Despite small signs that this area is recovering, life remains far from normal for countless Filipinos who have struggled through days of horror and hunger. More than 5,000 people died in the typhoon, and hundreds more are missing. The survivors are wondering when they'll have their lives back. . .



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