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Posted February 21, 2013

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AlertNet Weekly Digest

Thomson Reuters - Humanitarian agencies seek more access to rebel-held northern Syria, aid workers threatened in Myanmar, and Red Cross spotlights silent disasters.

MIDDLE EAST 

SYRIA: The rebel-held north of Syria remains largely out of reach to aid operations, even though they have been stepped up elsewhere in the country torn by civil war, U.N. humanitarian chief Valerie Amos says.

PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES: Egypt's campaign to shut down smuggling tunnels running under its border into the Gaza Strip threatens to throw thousands of Palestinians out of work in the Hamas-run enclave.

AFRICA

MALI: Mali will hold a presidential election on July 7, a key step aimed at stabilising the country following the French-led military intervention that has ousted Islamist rebels from the main northern towns, the government says.

SUDAN: Fighting has broken out in a Sudanese border state between the military and rebels trying to overthrow President Omar Hassan al-Bashir, both sides say, and the government says its forces have killed scores of insurgents.

KENYA: Kenya's High Court clears the way for Uhuru Kenyatta to run in next month's presidential election, dismissing arguments that his looming trial on charges of crimes against humanity makes him ineligible.

ASIA

MYANMAR: The Myanmar government s failure to protect aid workers from threats and intimidation by extremists in Rakhine State is unconscionable , Human Rights Watch tells AlertNet, following reports that the harassment has been impeding efforts to help tens of thousands of displaced people.

SRI LANKA: Sri Lanka is failing to investigate alleged atrocities committed by government forces in defeating a Tamil insurgency, and activists and opposition politicians are still being killed or abducted, the United Nations says.

AFGHANISTAN: Afghan women and girls are increasingly victims of violence with a 20 percent rise last year in the number killed or injured even though the number of civilian casualties fell for the first time in years, the United Nations said.

PAKISTAN: Pakistani Shi'ites furious over a sectarian bombing that killed 85 people have demanded that security forces protect them from hardline Sunni groups.

AMERICAS

COLOMBIA: Colombia's FARC rebels have killed seven soldiers and injured five in combat, the military says, in the worst blow against security forces since peace talks began late last year.

GLOBAL

SILENT  DISASTERS: The Red Cross and the European Commission have launched a media campaign to raise public awareness about the many "silent" disasters around the world that are under-reported, under-funded and often forgotten, from disease outbreaks and hunger to earthquakes and floods.

FOOD WASTE: Environment ministers, diplomats and U.N. delegates were planning to feast on food that is rejected by European supermarkets at a dinner in Nairobi. The event, organised by the U.N. Environment Programme (UNEP) and the activist group Feeding the 5000, aimed to use a landmark meeting of the UNEP Governing Council in the Kenyan capital to spur global action against food waste.

READ MORE ON ALERTNET

Somalia eyes development but urgent humanitarian needs remain - MSF  Katie Nguyen, AlertNet

Solomons tsunami survivors short of water - Red Cross  Megan Rowling, AlertNet

UNDP's Clark: balancing water, food, energy key to post-2015 goals  Julie Mollins, AlertNet

New data tool tracks emerging conflict trends in Africa  Astrid Zweynert, AlertNet

Insurgent attacks on civilians in south Thailand amount to "war crimes" - HRW  Thin Lei Win, AlertNet
BLOG: Is Haiti at risk of becoming a permanent failed state?  Anastasia Moloney, AlertNet

BLOG: What will it take to get a fair press for refugees in the UK?  Katie Nguyen, AlertNet

BLOG: ON THE AGENDA: Ten questions we ll answer this week  Tim Large, AlertNet

BLOG: From crisis to recovery: Lost in transition - Lynn Yoshikawa, InterAction

Ivory Coast's Gbagbo in Hague court over poll violence  Reuters

INSIGHT-"Triangle of death" looms over Congo's south  Reuters

Libyans put aside woes to celebrate uneasy anniversary  Reuters

Gunmen kidnap seven foreigners in north Nigeria  Reuters

After years of toil, book names Bosnian war dead - Reuters 

Sudanese Lost Boy returns home bearing gifts  UNHCR

Cell phones can speed up malaria treatment in remote areas  SciDev.Net

Reformed UN formula for making planet greener to get first test - Reuters

Arctic needs protection from resource rush as ice melts - UN body  Reuters

BLOG: Preventing partnerships: Timber companies & indigenous groups grapple over land  CIFOR

BLOG: Understanding the role of forest income in rural livelihoods: Insights from China  CIFOR

BLOG: Making climate money work  Alice Harrison, Transparency International

Nepali farmers abandon rice as monsoon shifts  Saleem Shaikh and Sughra Tunio, AlertNet Climate

Warming seas frustrate Zanzibar's seaweed farmers  Danstan Kaunda, AlertNet

Uganda centre aims to boost clean development projects in Africa  Megan Rowling, AlertNet

Drop in Cameroon's cocoa production blamed on severe weather - Elias Ntungwe Ngalame, AlertNet   

Sahel hunger stalks Cameroon  Plan International

Hepatitis E affects thousands, kills 111 in South Sudan refugee camps  UNHCR

'Sand dams' bank water for dry season in semi-arid Kenya

Sri Lanka rolls out plan to reduce flood losses in Colombo

VIDEOS

TWO-MINUTE TALKING POINT: Funding dries up for Philippine's typhoon survivors by Thin Lei Win - AlertNet

The Week in Pictures, February 7-13, 2013  AlertNet/Reuters

Clashes in Bangladesh over war crimes trial - Reuters 

Libyans celebrate uprising anniversary - Reuters


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