News in Brief 27 October 2015 (AM)

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Smoke fills the sky above the Yemeni capital Sana'a after a series of airstrikes (12 May). File Photo: Almigdad Mojalli/IRIN

More than 2,600 killed in Yemen since March

Conflict in Yemen continues to take a devastating toll on civilians, with an estimated 2,615 people killed since March, the UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR) has reported.

Yemen has been engulfed in fighting between government forces and Houthi rebels.

The UN Human Rights Office said of those killed, 814 allegedly died as a result of attacks by the rebels and their allies, while 1,641 civilians were reportedly killed due to air strikes.

Additionally, more than 5,000 civilians have also been injured.

More action needed to save world's audio-visual heritage

Negligence, destruction, lack of resources and even bad luck have caused a large share of the world's audio and film recordings to be lost forever, the head of the UN cultural agency, UNESCO, has said.

In a message on the World Day for Audio-visual Heritage, observed this Tuesday, UNESCO chief Irina Bokova described these materials as "both living things and delicate and vulnerable."

She said this heritage is an "incomparable source" for understanding the 20th and 21st centuries, and called for more joint action on preservation.

Ms Bokova estimated that the world only has about 10 to 15 years to transfer available audio-visual recordings to digital media to prevent their loss.

New standards for more sustainable rice cultivation

The launch of the first global standard for more efficient rice cultivation will benefit people, communities and the planet, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) has said.

The standard uses benchmarks aimed at maintaining yields while reducing the environmental impact of rice cultivation and also meeting consumer needs for food safety and quality.

More than 140 million people in developing countries work in rice cultivation which UNEP said uses as much as 40 per cent of the world's freshwater.

Furthermore, inefficient use of agrochemicals also presents a challenge to long-term sustainability, the agency added.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 2’08″

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