News in Brief 18 March 2016 (AM) – Geneva

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Since conflict escalated in Yemen a year ago, the UN Human Rights Office has recorded just under 9,000 civilian casualties. Photo: OCHA/Charlotte Cans.

Coalition airstrikes blamed for "carnage" in packed Yemen market

A double airstrike on a crowded marketplace in Yemen which killed more than 100 people earlier this week has been condemned by the UN's human rights chief.

In a statement issued on Friday in Geneva, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein described the targeting of the Al Khamees market in the north-west of the country as one of the deadliest incidents of the conflict so far.

He said Saudi-led Coalition forces have repeatedly targeted public places and are responsible for twice as many civilian casualties as all the other forces involved in the fighting.

Here's Rupert Colville from the UN Human Rights Office, OHCHR:

"They've hit markets, hospitals, clinics, schools, factories, wedding parties and hundreds of private residences in villages, towns and cities including the capital Sana'a."

No less than 24 children died in the latest attack which reportedly happened during the afternoon rush-hour.

More than 3,000 civilians were killed in the last year by conflict between forces loyal to president Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi and the Houthi opposition.

Ebola flare-up confirmed in Guinea

Ebola is back in rural Guinea and authorities need to be on high alert against it spreading, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday.

Two new cases of the deadly disease have been identified in Koropara in the south of the country, and there have been three unexplained deaths there in recent weeks.

Working with the authorities, WHO is investigating reports that relatives of those who died have Ebola-like symptoms.

The UN agency, which has just declared the end of the latest Ebola flare-up in neighbouring Sierra Leone, says that a mother and her five-year-old son who confirmed positive for the virus are now getting treatment.

And WHO also stressed that recurrences of the disease "should be anticipated" because of so-called "virus persistence" in survivors.

February temperatures "hottest by widest ever margin": WMO

And finally, if February felt unseasonally mild to you, then you were right.

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has just announced that global average surface temperatures last month broke the monthly record by the widest ever margin.

To put it into numbers, temperatures rose 1.21 degrees Centigrade (or 2.18 degrees Fahrenheit) above the 20th century average.

Here's WMO spokesperson Clare Nullis:

"It smashed records, you know, normally we talk about fractions of a degree, February was absolutely off the charts."

The UN weather agency also announced an exceptional surge in temperatures from December 2015 to February 2016, which it says was the highest yet recorded.

The worrying findings extended to the Arctic, where WMO says that the amount of sea ice for February was the smallest since records began in 1979.

Daniel Johnson, United Nations, Geneva

Duration: 2'43"

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