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April 29, 2014
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Groups seek end to deadlock over aid access to Syrian civilians
Non-United Nations aid agencies are growing frustrated with the lack of access to needy Syrian civilians and are urging the UN to do more to enable aid deliveries. Meanwhile, 35 top legal professionals have signed a public letter contending that the UN has legal rights to supply humanitarian aid to rebel-held areas without Syrian-government approval. Reuters (4/28), The Guardian (London) (4/28), The Guardian (London) (4/28), Yahoo/Agence France-Presse (4/29)
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Above the Fold
 
Quote of the Day
@UNFoundation: Desmond Tutu says if enough of us forgive we can heal the world. Join the #ForgivenessChallenge. forgivenesschallenge.com
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UN Dispatch
"Palestine Poised to Join UN Bodies" UN Dispatch (4/28)
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United Nations
Polio spread prompts WHO emergency meeting
The United Nations World Health Organization began an emergency meeting of experts on Monday in Geneva to discuss the cross-border spread of polio in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. The meeting is expected to determine "whether this increasing international spread of polio is a public health emergency of international concern and, if so, whether temporary recommendations are needed to reduce the risk and consequences of international spread," according to WHO. Reuters (4/28)
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Health & Development
WFP's Brown on top priorities in the Central African Republic
The World Food Programme is giving special emphasis to three top priorities in the Central African Republic -- helping farmers boost food production and revenues, partnering with UNICEF to fight childhood malnutrition and assisting remote areas -- says Denise Brown, WFP's West Africa regional director, in this interview. "We are in a very difficult situation in the CAR because of the conflict," she says. Devex.com (free registration) (4/28)
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Women & Girls
Debate gets heated over equal inheritance rights in Morocco
A proposal to grant equal inheritance rights to women and men in Morocco is turning into a battle between modernists and traditionalists. The debate has incited death threats by extremists opposed to the possible change. Inter Press Service (4/29)
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Technology
UNESCO: Mobile devices are boosting literacy
Mobile devices are helping spread literacy around the world, with women and girls especially benefiting, says a report by UNESCO and Nokia. "In places where physical books are scarce, mobile phones are plentiful. And while mobile phones are still used primarily for basic communication, even the simplest phones are a gateway to long-form text," the report says. TechCrunch (4/23)
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Peacekeeping and Security
Pro-Russian separatists continue takeovers as EU, U.S. apply more sanctions
Pro-Russian separatists claimed the regional government building in the eastern Ukraine city of Luhansk today. The seizure comes as the U.S. and EU announced additional sanctions against Russia. Voice of America (4/29), Reuters (4/29)
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UN Radio
Safety and security of everyone is at stake with WMDs: Ban UN Radio (4/28)
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