News in Brief 11 November 2015 (AM)

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Nicholas Haysom. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

Murder of Afghan civilians "may amount to war crimes"

The murder of seven civilians abducted by militants in Afghanistan last month, may amount to war crimes.

That's according to the head of the UN mission in the country, Nicholas Haysom.

The seven were all members of the Hazara religious minority, and included two women, a girl and two boys.

Their bodies were found last weekend, prompting several thousand people to protest against the killings in the Afghan city of Ghazni.

Mr Haysom said the murder of civilian hostages was "particularly abhorrent" and that the killers, whose identity is so far unknown, needed to be brought to justice as soon as possible.

3D printing, nanotechnology and robotics are driving innovation

3D printing, nanotechnology and robotics are driving innovation, led by a small group of countries, according to a UN frontier technology report, published on Wednesday.

The World Intellectual Property Report 2015: Breakthrough Innovation and Economic Growth, highlights the cutting-edge technologies that are likely to boost growth around the world.

It's published by the World Intellectual Property Organization.

The UN agency's Director General, Francis Gurry, described the main findings:

"Breakthrough innovation remains geographically-concentrated. Six countries accounted for 75% of all-time patent filings in the areas of 3D printing, nanotechnology and robotics, the three potential breakthrough areas. Japan, United States, Germany, France, United Kingdom and the Republic of Korea."

Lebanese staffer of UN mission denied immunity over spying allegations

A Lebanese national working for the UN mission in Lebanon, UNIFIL, has been denied immunity from possible prosecution over allegations of spying for Israel.

UNIFIL asked UN headquarters to determine whether a local staff member, one of the people accused of being part of an alleged spy ring, could claim immunity.

But on Wednesday the Secretary-General's office ruled that the allegations did not appear to be related to any official functions.

The UNIFIL staffer is now in custody in Lebanon, and the UN said it would continue to provide whatever help it could to the authorities.

Investigation urged into killing of Philippines journalist

The killing of a radio journalist in the Philippines at the end of last month has been condemned by the UN's cultural organization, UNESCO.

José Bernardo was killed in Quezon City, and was part of a group of media workers covering the police beat in and around the capital, Manila.

UNESCO's Director-General condemned the killing "as an attack against freedom of expression and the rule of law."

Matthew Wells, United Nations.

Duration: 2’25″

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