News in Brief 19 August 2015 (PM)

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Stephen O’Brien, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, briefs the Security Council at its meeting on the situation in Yemen. Credit: UN Photo/Loey Felipe

Scale of human suffering in Yemen "almost incomprehensible"

The scale of human suffering in Yemen has been described by the UN's top relief official as "almost incomprehensible".

Steven O'Brien, who recently returned from the Middle Eastern war-torn country, was briefing the Security Council on what he saw during his visit.

He said he witnessed the anguish of the Yemeni people – men, women and children alike – unsure where their next meal would come from.

Many, he added, are also uncertain about whether they will ever be able to return to their homes.

Increase in typhoid cases in Syria's Yarmouk refugee camp

The number of typhoid cases treated in the Yarmouk refugee camp in Syria has nearly doubled, according to the UN agency supporting Palestinian refugees, UNRWA.

Medical teams in the neighbouring district of Yalda reported six cases on Tuesday, followed by five new cases on Wednesday.

Given the conditions in Yarmouk, UNRWA said it fears this is just the "tip of the iceberg".

The agency has not had access to the besieged camp of Yarmouk since 28 March, just days before it was taken over by the terrorist group ISIL.

Greater transparency needed in China in wake of tragic Tianjin explosion

The government of China and relevant businesses are being called on by a UN human rights expert to ensure complete transparency in the investigation of the chemical disaster which tore through the port city of Tianjin on 12 August.

Baskut Tuncak, the Special Rapporteur on human rights and hazardous substances and wastes, said China has an obligation to assess and disseminate information about hazardous substances.

He added that the chemical disaster serves as a tragic example of the need for information about hazardous substances in order to protect human rights.

According to media reports, 114 people died and 64 people remain missing.

Stephanie Coutrix, United Nations.

Duration: 1’48″

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