News in Brief 25 August 2015 (PM)

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Chris Gunness. Photo: UNTV

Armed clashes displacing Palestinians at refugee camp in Lebanon

Heavy fighting between armed rival groups at the Ein el Hilweh refugee camp in southern Lebanon has displaced as many as 3,000 people, according to the UN agency that assists Palestinian refugees, UNRWA.

UNRWA spokesperson Chris Gunness said the agency lacks full access in and around the camp and does not have confirmed figures for the number of dead and injured.

Mr Gunness said that a ceasefire between the rival groups went into effect on Tuesday, but the situation remains extremely volatile.

The agency is calling for restraint to prevent the situation from deteriorating further and is urging all parties to respect the neutrality of the UN and its installations.

Dismay over first executions in Iraq's Kurdish region in seven years

The execution of a man and his two wives in the Kurdish region of Iraq has been met with dismay by the UN human rights office, OHCHR.

The three people, convicted in April last year for the kidnapping and murder of two girls, were hanged on 12 August.

These are the first executions since the Kurdish regional government established an informal moratorium seven years ago on the use of the death penalty.

OHCHR spokesperson Rupert Colville said the agency is "deeply disappointed by this new development" and has urged Kurdish authorities to recommit to its informal moratorium.

The death penalty was reintroduced in the rest of Iraq in 2004 and since then it has been used on more than 600 people.

Recommendations issued on improving preterm birth

Recommendations on ways to improve the chance of survival and the health of premature babies have been issued by the World Health Organization (WHO).

WHO said key interventions such as steroid injections and antibiotics before birth for the mother and safe oxygen use for the baby can prevent complications.

The recommendations are part of WHO's new global strategy for ending preventable deaths and improving the health of women and children.

Complications of preterm birth are the leading cause of death among children under the age of five.

Maria Carlino, United Nations.

Duration: 2’04″

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