News in Brief 05 January 2016 (AM)Listen /
Security Council condemns attacks against Saudi embassy in Iran
A statement condemning "in the strongest terms" the attacks against Saudi Arabia's embassy and consulate in Iran at the weekend has been issued by the UN Security Council.
The attacks, which reportedly caused serious damage, were in protest at Saudi Arabia's execution of a prominent Shia cleric, and have led several Arab countries to break off diplomatic relations with Iran.
The Security Council called on the Iranian authorities to protect "diplomatic and consular property and personnel."
The statement also calls on "all parties" to keep talking, and take steps to reduce rising tensions.
On-going Yemen conflict taking a "terrible toll" on civilians
The on-going conflict in Yemen continues to take a "terrible toll" on civilians and civilian institutions.
That's according to the spokesperson for the UN Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), speaking in Geneva on Tuesday.
Rupert Colville said that between March and the end of 2015, 2,795 civilians had been killed, and more than 5,000 wounded.
He said the situation inside the large city of Taizz, where rival forces are fighting for control, was particularly grave.
"The city has been the scene of violent clashes for more than eight months, virtually without interruption. Strict control of all entry points into the city by the Popular Committees Affiliated with the Houthis has resulted in limited access to essential items, including food, and made conditions extremely difficult for the civilian population."
New Year appeal for US$80m in humanitarian relief for South Sudan
At least US$80 million of life-saving assistance is needed for the most vulnerable people of South Sudan.
That's the appeal being made on Tuesday by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), which said that at least 2.3 million people have fled their homes since civil war erupted more than two years ago.
More than a third of the country is facing "severe food insecurity", almost double the number at the end of 2014.
The UN estimates that 6.1 million South Sudanese will need help in 2016.
Funds raised by the IOM, a UN partner agency, will go towards providing health, shelter, and water facilities, as well as camp management.
Matthew Wells, United Nations.