News in Brief 17 September 2015 (AM)

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Meeting of the Human Rights Council. UN File Photo/Pierre Albouy

Concern following efforts to dissolve civil society group in Ecuador

A group of rapporteurs from the United Nations and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights have expressed grave concern over the Government of Ecuador's move to dissolve a prominent civil society organization.

Fundamedios, which works to promote the freedom of expression and media, is accused of disseminating messages with what have been described as "political overtones".

In condemning the move by the Government, the rapporteurs emphasized that freedom of association is a fundamental tool for human rights defenders.

Chile commended for disaster risk reduction efforts

The United Nations has congratulated the Government of Chile for its disaster risk reduction efforts, saying they minimized the number of casualties from Wednesday's 8.3 magnitude earthquake and tsunami.

Margareta Wahlström, the head of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, said Chile's investment in resilient infrastructure, early warning systems and urban planning resulted in lower-than-expected casualty numbers, given the intensity of the earthquake.

New app to help with cancer treatment

It will soon be easier for doctors to identify what stage a person's cancer is in, thanks to a new smartphone application developed by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

The free app will be particularly useful in developing countries where health care professionals are often still using handbooks due to a lack of access to computerized cancer staging tools.

The app will also be operational offline, allowing doctors to use it in remote locations without internet access.

Veronica Reeves, United Nations.


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