News in Brief 22 December 2015 (PM)

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Ban Ki-moon. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

Secretary-General expresses solidarity with China following massive landslide

The UN Secretary-General has extended condolences to the families of victims of a landslide in the city of Shenzhen in southern China.

More than 80 people have been reported missing as a result of the landslide which happened on Sunday, affecting more than 30 buildings in an industrial park.

Ban Ki-moon expressed hope that more survivors will be found as rescue efforts continue.

Security Council condemns deadly attack in Afghanistan

A suicide bombing in Afghanistan that killed six United States service members and wounded several people has been condemned in the strongest terms by the UN Security Council.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack which took place on Monday near Bagram Air Field located in Parwan province.

In a statement, Council members reiterated their "serious concern" at threats posed by groups such as the Taliban, Al-Qaida and ISIL, also known as Daesh.

They underlined the need to bring to justice those who commit, organize, finance and sponsor what they described as "these reprehensible acts of terrorism."

Secretary-General calls for dialogue in Haiti

The UN Secretary-General is calling for the "urgent intensification of dialogue" in Haiti following growing political uncertainty in the wake of the publication of results from the 25 October elections.

Ban Ki-moon noted that steps have been taken to address opposition concerns and to ensure the successful and timely conclusion of the presidential vote.

He urged all sides to discourage violence and promote a spirit of unity.

El Niño affecting agricultural production in Southern Africa

Low rains and increased temperatures brought on by the El Niño weather phenomenon have led to a weak outlook for crop and livestock production in Southern Africa, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

The UN agency reports reduced agricultural output could affect access to food next year as it would follow a poor season in 2014 that has contributed to a rise in food costs.

FAO is working with governments and partners across the region by scaling up efforts to minimize any impact.

This includes providing farmers with drought tolerant crops, seeds and livestock feed, rehabilitating irrigation systems and supporting wider use of agricultural technologies that are "climate-smart."

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 2'18

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