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Disaster-linked losses in 2018 hit $155 billion: Swiss Re

Geneva - Losses from natural and man-made disasters are estimated to total $155 billion (136 billion euros) this year, down sharply from a hurricane-plagued 2017, the reinsurance giant Swiss Re said Tuesday.

Russia, Turkey, Iran renew push for new Syrian constitution

Geneva - Russia, Turkey, Iran and the United Nations voiced hope Tuesday that a committee charged with writing a new Syrian constitution will start work early next year.

Britain, Switzerland reach post-Brexit aviation deal

Geneva - Switzerland and Britain signed an agreement Monday guaranteeing that flights between the two countries can continue uninterrupted even if London opts to leave the European Union without a deal with Brussels.

5.3 million people will have fled Venezuela by end of 2019: UN

Geneva - The United Nations on Friday forecast that 5.3 million Venezuelans will have fled the country by the end of next year, an exodus that amounts to "a humanitarian earthquake".

UN condemns violence against opposition ahead of DRC vote

Geneva - The UN rights chief on Friday denounced violence targeting the opposition by DR Congo's security forces, just days before a vote marred by an increasingly tense campaign.

Under-fire UNAIDS chief offers to resign in June

Geneva - Scandal-plagued UNAIDS head Michel Sidibe offered Thursday to resign in June, following an expert report that said his "defective leadership" had plunged the agency into crisis.

Rights groups call for UN action on Egypt 'reprisals'

Geneva - Rights groups on Wednesday called for a "robust" response to a UN expert's allegations that people she met during a visit to Egypt faced harassment, intimidation and other reprisals afterwards.

Calls mount to sack UNAIDS chief

Geneva - The fate of UNAIDS chief Michel Sidibe hung in the balance on Tuesday as he faced the agency's oversight body after an expert report blasted his leadership and called for his removal.

Some migrants trapped in Bosnia may not survive winter: Red Cross

Geneva - Thousands of migrants trapped near the Bosnian border with Croatia are ill-equipped to survive freezing temperatures and some might not make it through winter, the Red Cross said Monday.

Could a machine replace a doctor?

Whether an artificial intelligence could replace a medical doctor is both a matter for future conjecture and a hotly contested subject. According to one scientist, technology may have the potential to be more accurate than doctors at making diagnoses.

UNAIDS plagued by 'failed' leadership: expert report

Geneva - The crisis engulfing UNAIDS deepened Friday with the release of an expert report that found the agency's leaders, including executive director Michel Sidibe, systematically failed to address bullying, abuse and sexual harassment.

UN urges more Med rescue capacity after Aquarius pullout

Geneva - The UN voiced concern Friday at the MSF charity's decision to retire its Aquarius rescue ship amid alleged obstruction by some European countries, saying more capacity was needed to save migrants stranded in the Mediterranean.

Road accident deaths swell to 1.35 million each year: WHO

Geneva - Road accidents kill someone every 24 seconds, with a total of 1.35 million traffic deaths around the world each year, the World Health Organization said Friday, demanding global action.

At 70, universal rights declaration facing uncertain future

Geneva - As the Universal Declaration of Human Rights turns 70, there are signs that the goals outlined in the text are facing unprecedented threats, from rising nationalism to a worldwide assault on multilateral institutions.

Renewed push for peace as Western Sahara talks open in Geneva

Geneva - The first UN-backed discussions on the disputed Western Sahara region since 2012 opened in Geneva on Wednesday, but expectations remained low, with the meeting seen as just a first step towards resuming dialogue.

Swiss president and two new ministers elected

Geneva - Switzerland's parliament on Wednesday elected the country's hardline finance minister to serve in the largely symbolic position of president next year, and also picked two women to fill vacant ministerial spots.

Renewed push for peace as Western Sahara talks open in Geneva

Geneva - The first UN-backed discussions on the disputed Western Sahara region since 2012 open in Geneva Wednesday, but expectations remain low, with the meeting seen as just a first step towards resuming dialogue.

UN experts decry Egypt 'reprisals'

Geneva - A United Nations rights expert voiced alarm Tuesday over Egypt's clampdown on people she met with during a recent visit, saying their homes were demolished while others were forcibly evicted or arrested.

WTO to rule in more spats over US tariffs

Geneva - The World Trade Organization agreed Tuesday to hear complaints from Switzerland and India over US steel and aluminium tariffs, bringing the total number of such complaints it is reviewing to nine.

UN sees 'severe increase' in Yemen hunger rate

Geneva - The UN warned Tuesday of a "severe increase" in Yemen's hunger rate and cautioned the situation would deteriorate further in 2019, when four million more people are expected to need food aid.
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