News in Brief 21 October 2015 (AM)

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Myanmar's children. Photo: UNICEF Myanmar/2015/Myo Thame

Support Myanmar's children through religious tolerance

The leaders of Myanmar's four main religions have issued a statement calling for greater religious tolerance, for the sake of the country's children.

It's been welcomed by the UN.

The joint statement released by spiritual leaders from the Buddhist, Christian, Hindu and Muslim communities, said that respect for religious freedom and tolerance was essential for children growing up.

Religious divisions between ethnic groups and political parties have surfaced during Myanmar's current election campaign, and the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) said that it applauded the joint declaration.

It is the first statement issued by the Interfaith for Children organization, which brought religious leaders from the four faiths together last year, for the first time in Myanmar's history.

Violence and insecurity disrupts flow of aid to Yemen

Ongoing violence and insecurity continues to disrupt the flow of vital humanitarian aid to civilians in Yemen, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

The UN agency said on Wednesday, that it needs US$60 million in aid, in order to continue its life-saving operations across the country until the end of the year.

WHO said that the situation in the province of Taiz was especially critical.

More than three million people there are in need of health services, and just over 300,000 have been forced to leave their homes.

Food shortages have led to significant price increases, with many now unable to afford basic items.

Concern grows over fate of imprisoned legislators

The fate of two former Iraqi Members of Parliament, is causing grave concern to fellow MPs around the world, the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) said on Wednesday.

One of the legislators, who was a prominent critic of the former Iraqi Prime Minister, faces a death sentence and is reportedly, in solitary confinement.

The other Iraqi MP is being held in prison, despite being acquitted of a series of charges, according to the IPU.

Matthew Wells, United Nations.


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