Center for Peace and Democracy (CPD)

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

InterWorld Radio News Bulletin

Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo has declared three days of national mourning for the passengers of a commercial airliner which crashed on Saturday night. The aircraft, which was on its way to the capital, Abuja, crashed and burst into flames shortly after take-off from Lagos. All 117 people on board the Bellview Airlines Boeing 737 were killed.
The European Commission is to consider an outright ban on live bird imports after a parrot died of the deadly H5N1 bird flu virus in UK quarantine. The parrot was imported from South America where there has been no reported cases. Currently imports into the EU are banned only from countries which have bird flu cases, such as Romania, Thailand and Turkey. More than 60 people have died from the deadly bird flu strain in Asia after coming into contact with infected birds. Some experts fear it could mutate to transfer between humans, resulting in a global flu pandemic. Britain and Germany are pushing for the ban.
Brazilians soundly rejected a proposal to ban the sale of guns in a referendum on Sunday. Sixty-four percent of those who voted rejected a ban. The proposal was backed by the government and the United Nations and opposed by the gun ownership lobby. Brazil has the world’s highest death toll from firearms with someone shot every 15 minutes. The UN has said that guns are the biggest cause of death among young people in Brazil. Under existing laws, any Brazilian over the age of 25 can buy a firearm, provided they pass background checks.
A senior UN official says the international community has failed to grasp the scale of the recent earthquake in Pakistan. Rashid Khalikov was speaking more than two weeks after disaster struck the region. Only 90 million dollars of international aid has been pledged which falls short of the 312 million dollars needed for immediate relief operations. The quake which hit the capital of Pakistani Kashmir killed more than 50,000 people and left more than three million homeless.
A senior UN official has urged states sending troops to peacekeeping operations to root out sexual abuse and exploitation. Addressing a meeting in New York last week the Under-Secretary General for Peacekeeping Jean-Marie Guehenno described recent reported cases of UN officials solicitating sex workers as shameful. Over the past 20 months, more than 221 peacekeepers have been investigated, 10 civilians fired and over 88 uniformed personnel repatriated. Earlier in the year a United Nations inquiry found that UN peacekeepers working in DR Congo sexually abused girls as young as 13.
A leading scientist has warned that extra aid for Africa, pledged by the G8 nations, could be cancelled out by the effects of global warming. The President of the Royal Society, Lord May said he feared the extra money would need to be spent dealing with the impact of climage change on poor people. World leaders have promised to tackle climate change and agreed a series of measures but failed to set any targets or deadlines. Lord May’s concerns were expressed ahead of a conference on climate change due next week in London.
END of NEWS Bulletin


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