News in Brief 27 January 2016 (PM)

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UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. UN Photo/Amanda Voisard

UN chief "categorically" condemns targeting of civilians in Israel and Palestine

The UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has"categorically" condemned any targeting of civilians by both sides in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

Speaking at the opening session of the Committee on the Exercise of Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, Mr Ban said the people of Palestine had lived through half a century of occupation, and a two-state solution should not be abandoned.

"Let me be clear, nothing justifies the targeting of innocent people. I condemn all such acts categorically. If we hope to see an end to this violence, security measures will not be enough. We must address the underlying frustration and failure, to achieve a political solution."

His remarks to the Committee came a day after he addressed the Security Council on the Middle East, and he was accused by Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, of "justifying terrorism".

The Secretary-General's spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric, told reporters that "nothing could be further from the truth" and that Mr Ban "stands by every word that he used in the Security Council."

Security Council renews sanctions on Central African Republic

The UN Security Council has renewed sanctions against individuals responsible for violence and undermining stability in the Central African Republic (CAR).

The sanctions will remain in effect until February next year, and include a renewed arms embargo, a travel ban, and an asset freeze.

Nearly half the population of the CAR face food shortages, following three years of conflict and insecurity.

The country's Constitutional Court has annulled the parliamentary elections which took place at the end of December, citing irregularities in the vote.

Fresh elections must be held within 60 days.

17 per cent of world's farm-animal breeds in danger of extinction

Seventeen per cent of the world's farm-animal breeds are in danger of extinction, according to a new UN report on the state of animal genetics in farming.

The Food and Agriculture Organization's report (FAO) on the State of the World's Animal Genetic Resources published on Wednesday, says that although there's increasing interest in animal biodiversity to improve production and the environment, many breeds are simply dying out.

Between 2000 and 2014, nearly 100 breeds became extinct, and the status of many more is in doubt. Due to lack of data, it's impossible to know the full extent of the threat, says the report.

Matthew Wells, United Nations.

Duration: 2’10″

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