News in Brief 08 December 2015 (AM)

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Peacekeepers of the MONUSCO Force Intervention Brigade patrol the town of Pinga as part of a mission to secure the area, earlier in November. Photo: MONUSCO/Marie Frechon

Report documents human rights violations ahead of DRC elections

A clampdown on opposition, media and civil society in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) could compromise the credibility of elections slated for next year.

That's according to a UN human rights report which documents more than 140 human rights violations linked to the electoral process that have occurred since the beginning of the year.

They include summary executions, death threats and arbitrary arrests and detention, as well as the excessive use of force by security forces.

The majority took place in areas where opposition parties and civil society are prominent.

The report warns that this trend "indicates a shrinking of the democratic space likely to compromise the credibility of the electoral process."

Brazil urged to provide water and sanitation following deadly dam collapse

The Brazilian government is being urged to secure access to safe drinking water and sanitation for hundreds of thousands of people in two states who have been affected by the collapse of a dam last month.

The appeal was made by Léo Heller, a UN human rights expert on the issue of safe drinking water and sanitation.

He said people are still suffering interruptions to the water supply and reportedly have to queue for hours to get small quantities of water that are being distributed as an emergency measure.

The crisis was sparked after a dam burst at an iron ore mine in the state of Minas Gerais, causing a huge flow of toxic mud which destroyed nearby towns, caused several deaths and left hundreds homeless.

Renewable energy projects in developing countries could contribute to reduced C02 emissions

It's the second week of the Paris climate change talks where one objective is to get countries to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, including carbon dioxide (CO2), which contribute to global warming.

A study of nearly 6,000 renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in developing countries shows they could help narrow the emissions gap by 1.7 gigatons a year over the next five years, according to the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).

The report lists examples from countries such as Rwanda, where a solar power plant is showing how it is possible to transition from charcoal, firewood and other biofuels which pollute the air and affect human health.

Arnold Schwarzenegger, former governor of the state of California and star of the 'Terminator' movies, is also at the conference, which concludes on Friday.

“It is important to come to an agreement because the world deserves it and we have to stop having seven million people die every year because of pollution.”

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 2’42″

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