News in Brief 25 February 2015 (AM)

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In Lesotho, A woman holds the AIDS anti-retroviral treatment medicine for her granddaughter. Photo: IRIN/Eva-Lotta Jansson (file)

New trials show antiretroviral drugs prevent new HIV infections

Recent scientific trials show further proof that antiretroviral drugs prevent new HIV infections among men who have sex with men, the UN says.

One of the studies demonstrated a 96 per cent efficacy in preventing infections where one partner is living with HIV and the other is not.

The UN Joint Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS) called the findings a "significant breakthrough" that will help advance global efforts to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030.

Asia and Pacific lose over US$59 billion to disasters in 2014

A new UN report is calling on countries in Asia and the Pacific to cooperate more to build resilience to floods and landslides.

In 2014, over half of the world's 226 natural disasters occurred in that region, according to the UN Economic and Social Commission for the Asia and the Pacific.

Economic losses incurred also amounted to more than US$59 billion and close to 80 million people across the region were affected.

The region was found largely unprepared in its response to cross-border floods and landslides.

Arson attack and mosque desecration in West Bank condemned

The torching and desecrating of a mosque in the village of Al Ja'aba near Bethlehem in the West Bank has been condemned by a senior UN official.

A mosque is a house of worship for followers of Islam.

The Special Envoy for the Middle East Peace Process released the statement on Wednesday and called for a thorough investigation.

Robert Serry expressed concern over this attack as well as all other attacks motivated by religion that could further inflame an already volatile situation.

Duration: 1’48″

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