News in Brief 24 August 2015 (PM)

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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe (file)

Agreement to restart inter-Korean dialogue welcomed 

A new agreement between the Republic of Korea and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea to reduce tension on the Korean peninsula has been welcomed by the UN Secretary-General.

Ban Ki-moon expressed hope that the two nations' promise to hold a regular dialogue would lead to the resumption of talks on the nuclear issue.

Mr Ban stressed the importance of fully implementing the agreement.

The Secretary-General also strongly encouraged permitting humanitarian steps such as reuniting separated families on a regular basis without preconditions.

According to media reports, a tense standoff has prevailed since the countries exchanged artillery fire on Thursday.

Teacher strikes delay opening of schools for Palestinian refugee children 

Strikes in Gaza by staff of the UN agency that supports Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, have delayed the opening of its schools in the enclave.

Classes at UNRWA schools throughout the Middle East began on Monday after the agency alleviated an unprecedented financial crisis that threatened to delay the start of the school year.

But 250,000 children in Gaza stayed home as UNRWA teachers and administrative staff protested against overcrowding at the schools and unpaid vacations.

UNRWA media advisor Adnan Abu Hasna said the strikes send "contradictory messages to donors at a time when UNRWA is working hard to bridge the fiscal deficit".

Rules for addressing Ebola outbreak scrutinized

The World Health Organization (WHO) has begun a review of its rules on preventing and responding to the Ebola outbreak.

WHO Director-General Margaret Chan said the review aims to identify improvements that would leave the world better able to respond to the next inevitable outbreak.

The global response to last year's Ebola epidemic— which claimed the lives of almost 11,300 people, mainly in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone—was largely viewed as inadequate.

Stephanie Coutrix, United Nations.

Duration: 2’01″

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