News in Brief – 10 June 2016 (PM)

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Mosquito prevention and control in Salto, Uruguay. Photo: PAHO

People in areas at risk from Zika should "consider delaying pregnancy"

People living in areas where local transmission of Zika is known to occur, should "consider delaying pregnancy."

That's the latest advice from the World Health Organization (WHO) in response to the continuing spread of the virus, which is linked to birth defects in newborns.

There are 46 countries across the Americas where Zika transmission is occurring or likely to occur, and the strain of the virus that has led to brain defects was recently detected off the African mainland.

Five governments have issued similar advice to delay pregnancy, but the Centre for Disease Control in the United States had decided against issuing a blanket warning.

Rocket and mortar attacks on Yemini city of Taiz condemned by UN

A series of rocket and mortar attacks on residential areas of the Yemini city of Taiz which left 18 civilians dead, including seven children, have been condemned by the UN.

The Office for the High Commissioner of Human Rights (OHCHR) said that the attacks which took place over five days in early June, left more than 60 injured, and several markets full of shoppers were hit.

OHCHR strongly condemned the assaults and said it was unclear which side was responsible.

Houthi rebels have been battling government forces for control across the country, displacing millions, and 3,539 civilians have been killed since fighting escalated in March last year.

Extra US$40 million to fight illegal trafficking of wildlife

UN partner organization, the Global Environment Facility (GEF), has approved an extra US$40 million in funding to expand the fight against illegal wildlife trafficking in Asia and Africa.

The funds will go to the Global Wildlife Program (GWP), a global partnership established to address the growing poaching crisis: a trade which it's estimated is worth between US$10-US$23 billion each year.

This makes wildlife crime the fourth most lucrative illegal business after narcotics, human trafficking and arms, according to the UN Environment Programme, which partners with the GEF.

GEF's chief executive, Naoko Ishii, said it had launched a major US$131 million programme to "help tackle the supply, trade and demand" for wildlife products.

"This project is not only about stopping the slaughter of animals in the forests and savannas of Africa" he added. "It also aims at reducing the demand in Asia".

Last month, GEF joined other partners for the launch of the UN's Wild For Life campaign, aimed at drawing global attention to the illicit trade.

Matthew Wells, United Nations.

Duration: 2’06″

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