News in Brief 30 March 2016 (AM)

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Family in Southeast Asia. File Photo: UN OCHA

Make "universal health coverage" a reality across South East Asia

Countries across South East Asia need to make "universal health coverage a reality".

That's the message coming at the start of a three-day meeting organized by the World Health Organization (WHO), taking place in India.

The conference on health and sustainable development heard that an estimated 130 million people in the region lack proper access to essential health services.

WHO regional director, Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, said that universal coverage was vital to ensure that "no one is left behind."

Health ministers and experts from across South East Asia will discuss ways to accelerate health coverage for all, and reach the Sustainable Development Goal of ensuring healthy lives and well-being for all ages, by 2030.

Human Rights chief "extremely concerned" over killing of Palestinian

The "apparent extra-judicial killing" of a Palestinian man by an Israeli soldier in the Occupied West Bank is a matter of extreme concern, the UN Human Rights Office has said (OHCHR).

OHCHR spokesperson, Rupert Colville, said on Wednesday that the incident took place on March 24, involving two Palestinian men who allegedly stabbed and wounded an Israeli soldier.

The men were shot in the attack, leaving one of the assailants wounded on the ground. Video emerged of him being shot in the head, while the wounded soldier was taken away by ambulance.

Mr Colville said that it was "particularly chilling" that no bystanders at the scene including medical personnel, attempted to help the wounded Palestinian.

He called for a "thorough, transparent and independent investigation" of the killing, adding that OHCHR was concerned it was not a lone incident.

Killing of journalists condemned by UN chief

The killing of a senior community radio director and journalist in El Salvador earlier this month, has been condemned by the Director-General of UN Cultural organization, UNESCO.

Nicolás Humberto García was murdered in the town of Tacuba, in western El Salvador, by unknown assailants.

He worked for the radio station Expresa Voces al Aire.

UNESCO chief Irina Bokova said that "acts of violence can never be tolerated" against journalists, adding that targeting them had a "far-reaching effect on society as a whole."

Ms Bokova also released a statement on Wednesday deploring the killing of the journalist Mohammed al-Yemini, in south-west Yemen.

The freelance cameraman was killed on March 21, while on assignment covering military clashes in the city of Taiz.

She called on all parties to "respect the civilian status of journalists in keeping with the Geneva Conventions."

Matthew Wells, United Nations.

Duration: 2'20"

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