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NGOs press drug firm Gilead over potential virus treatment

Geneva - More than 150 organisations and individuals on Monday urged US biotechnology firm Gilead not to enforce exclusivity over a drug that might be used to treat COVID-19 patients.

UN panel urges halt to Syria fighting as virus strikes

Geneva - Warring parties in Syria must stop fighting "to avoid further catastrophe", UN investigators said on Saturday, as the first cases of the COVID-19 epidemic are recorded in a country already torn apart by nine years of war.

Switzerland virus cases top 10,000

Geneva - Switzerland on Thursday joined the small group of countries to declare more than 10,000 officially-recorded cases of COVID-19, as it launched plans to start tracking crowd build-ups through mobile phone data.

COVID-19 pandemic puts WHO back in hot seat

Geneva - The UN's health agency has faced criticism in the past for overreacting and for moving too slowly in fighting epidemics, but it has rarely faced as much scrutiny as with the coronavirus pandemic.

Pharma chiefs expect coronavirus vaccine in 12-18 months

Geneva - The pharmaceutical industry expects it will take 12 to 18 months to roll out a coronavirus vaccine, executives said Thursday, as they jointly pledged to make it available worldwide based on need.

Europe now 'epicentre' of COVID-19 pandemic: WHO

Geneva - The World Health Organization said Friday that Europe was now the "epicentre" for the global coronavirus pandemic -- and warned it was impossible to know when the outbreak would peak.

High time for UN to act over Khashoggi killing, says fiancee

Geneva - The lack of action by the United Nations after the brutal slaying of the dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi raises questions about the organisation's credibility, his fiancee said.

Top Swiss prosecutor has salary cut over FIFA case lies

Geneva - Switzerland's top prosecutor will have his pay docked after a disciplinary investigation found Wednesday that he lied repeatedly when questions were raised about his handling of a corruption investigation targeting FIFA.

UN probe highlights Russia, Turkey roles in Syria 'war crimes'

Geneva - Moscow has participated in war crimes connected with deadly air strikes in Syria, UN investigators said Monday, warning that Ankara could also be responsible for similar crimes against Kurds there.

Virus death toll tops 3,000 as WHO warns of global spread

Geneva - The World Health Organization voiced concern Monday about the spread of the new coronavirus outside China as the global death toll topped 3,000.

WHO raises global virus risk to maximum level

Geneva - The World Health Organization on Friday raised its global risk assessment of the new coronavirus to its highest level after the epidemic spread to sub-Saharan Africa and financial markets slumped.

Virus spreads to new countries as top official warns world 'not ready'

Geneva - New coronavirus cases surged outside of China on Tuesday, leaving an Iranian deputy minister among the stricken and triggering mass disruption as a top health official warned the world is not prepared for containing the epidemic.

Human rights under assault worldwide: UN chief

Geneva - UN chief Antonio Guterres launched a "call to action" on Monday against rising attacks on human rights, highlighting the persecution of minorities and "alarming levels of femicide".

Virus 'peaked' in China but could trigger global pandemic: WHO

Geneva - The World Health Organization on Monday said the new coronavirus epidemic had "peaked" in China but warned that a surge in cases elsewhere was "deeply concerning" and all countries should prepare for a "potential pandemic".

WHO says window of opportunity to stem virus 'narrowing' as cases soar

Geneva - The World Health Organization warned Friday that the window to stem the deadly coronavirus outbreak was shrinking, amid concern over a surge in cases with no clear link to China.

Iranian headscarf campaigner calls for vote boycott

Geneva - Anti-headscarf campaigner Shaparak Shajarizadeh once believed in the potential for change in Iran but is now so despondent she is calling for a boycott of Friday's parliamentary elections in the Islamic Republic.

Deaf Argentine abuse survivors target pope with defiant message

Geneva - Three deaf survivors of clerical sexual abuse from Argentina say they want Pope Francis finally to live up to his promises of reform -- and they are taking their call directly to the Vatican this week.

More Cameroonians enter Nigeria to flee violence: UN

Geneva - Almost 8,000 people have fled into Nigeria from Cameroon in the past two weeks to escape clashes between the security forces and armed separatists, the UN refugee agency said Thursday.

UN identifies 112 firms linked to Israeli settlements

Geneva - The UN has released a list of 112 companies with activities in Israeli settlements, which are considered illegal under international law, including Airbnb, Expedia and TripAdvisor.

Beyond the UN: The conflict mediators who go where others fear to tread

Geneva - David Gorman knew early on he wanted to help resolve conflicts and make peace, but he was wary of becoming a diplomat tethered to the interests of a single country.
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