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February 6, 2014
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Syria misses shipment deadline for chemical weapons
Syria has failed to meet Wednesday's deadline to relinquish its stockpile of chemical weapons, and Western officials said no shipments are scheduled. Russian authorities repeated statements that Syria would ship more materials soon. United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he believes Syria will meet the June 30 deadline for destruction of its stockpile. Reuters (2/5), Pakistan Today (2/6)
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Quote of the Day
@UNFoundation: .@QueenRania meets w/ "Mark a Difference" youth volunteers, a campaign to promote the "My World" survey @myworld2015 trib.al/FLntDCG
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UN Dispatch
"Ban Ki Moon regularly speaks out on LGBT issues. The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights has compiled a list of no fewer than 25 speeches and statements on the issue since the 2010 launch of the UN's 'Free and Equal' campaign to end discrimination based on sexual preference and gender identity." UN Dispatch (2/6)
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United Nations
Ban: World must oppose violence, discrimination against LGBT people
Addressing the International Olympic Committee in Sochi, Russia, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon noted that the Olympic charter bars any form of discrimination and called upon everyone to speak out "against attacks on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or intersex people." Ban repeated his call for a halt to conflict during the Olympics, allowing humanitarian aid to reach suffering populations. Yahoo/The Associated Press (2/6)
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Health & Development
Expert: Agriculture innovations must focus on farmers in Sahel
Breakthroughs in agriculture must be scaled for small farmers tilling poor soils in the Sahel region, writes William Dar, director general of the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics. At a future of farming conference, Dar writes, experts are discussing such innovations as underground drip-irrigation systems, drought-resistant seeds, fertilizer "microdosing," special seeds and improved marketing opportunities. Thomson Reuters Foundation (2/4)
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Women & Girls
Liberia contends with secret society that practices FGM
Today marks the International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation, but in Liberia, the practice remains widespread as part of an initiation rite for girls. Groups such as the Women of Liberia Peace Network are campaigning against FGM, but the government has not made the practice illegal. Thomson Reuters Foundation (2/6), Voice of America (2/6)
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Peacekeeping and Security
Russia opposes UN humanitarian resolution on Syria
Russia's ambassador to the United Nations, Vitaly Churkin, said that the timing is wrong for a Security Council resolution demanding greater humanitarian access in Syria, although he did not commit to a veto of such a resolution. In Syria, rebel groups began an offensive in the Aleppo region, overrunning parts of the central prison there and freeing several hundred prisoners, according to the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. The Daily Star (Lebanon) (2/6), ABC News/The Associated Press (2/6), USA Today/The Associated Press (2/6)
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More than 40,000 displaced in western Iraq as fighting rages
As many as 45,000 families have been displaced from their homes in western Iraq during the the last four weeks, according to the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq. More than 265,000 people total are internally displaced. Separately, a U.S. State Department official said that the Iraqi army plans to cordon off the city of Fallujah and let local Sunni tribes lead the assault to recapture it. IRINNews.org (2/5), The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (2/5), Al Jazeera (2/6)
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Ban commends the "amazing" power of sports to unite people UN Radio (2/6)
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