News in Brief 10 August 2015 (AM)

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A wide view of the Security Council in session. UN File Photo/Devra Berkowitz

Security Council condemns Afghanistan terrorist attacks

Violent or terrorist acts cannot reverse Afghanistan's path towards peace, democracy and stability, the UN Security Council has said.

The 15-member chamber condemned a recent spate of terrorist attacks in the country which killed upwards of 70 people and injured hundreds more.

Council members also reaffirmed that acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable, regardless of their motivation.

Mauritania urged to reject anti-civil society bill

Mauritania's parliament is being urged to reject a draft law on civil society groups.

The call comes from UN human rights expert Maina Kiai who said the bill threatens fundamental freedoms, including the right to freedom of association.

It also contains what he described as "vaguely worded provisions" that would limit non-governmental organizations to the field of development work.

Mr Kiai was further concerned that civil society groups in the North African country had not been consulted on the draft law.

Gaza: "Unprecedented" rise in infant mortality

Infant mortality in Gaza has risen for the first time in five decades, the UN agency that assists Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) has reported.

In 1960, Gaza's infant mortality rate was 127 per 1,000 live births, dropping to 20.2 in 2008.

However, in 2013, the rate had risen to 22.4 per 1,000 live births.

UNRWA described the increase as "unprecedented."

While the agency said the exact causes for the rise are unknown, it expressed concern about the impact of the blockade on Gaza, particularly as it relates to health facilities and access to medical supplies.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 1'46"

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