News in Brief 11 July 2016 (PM)

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Destruction in Salah Ed Din neighbourhood of Aleppo, Syria. File Photo: OCHA/Josephine Guerrero

"Deep concern" over increased fighting in and around Aleppo in Syria

Increased fighting in and around Aleppo city in Syria is of "deep concern" according to the UN.

The intensification of hostilities since 7 July between government forces and non-state armed groups has blocked access in and out of eastern Aleppo.

An estimated 300,000 people residing in the area depend on the Castillo road for trade, free movement and the flow of humanitarian supplies, which most people rely on.

Aid workers are concerned that increased violence throughout the city is putting the lives of thousands of civilians at risk.

Stephane Dujarric the UN spokesperson has more.

"We continue to receive distressing reports of aerial bombardment and the shelling on civilian locations in both western and eastern Aleppo. The UN reiterates the call on all parties to the conflict to take all measures to protect civilians and facilitate humanitarian access to all civilians in Aleppo city, as required under international humanitarian law. This includes enabling the rapid, safe and unhindered evacuation of all civilians who wish to leave."

Illegal fishing treaty marks "dawn of new era"

"The dawn of a new era:" that's how a UN official has described an international treaty aimed specifically at tackling illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.

The Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) made the remarks during an event to celebrate the new agreement.

The Port State Measures Agreement requires foreign vessels to submit to inspections at any port of call and for port governing states to share information on violations.

The treaty is also designed to raise the cost of IUU fishing because it blocks improperly caught fish from being brought to land and sold in markets.

Here's José Graziano da Silva.

"Illicit fishing may account for up to 26 million tonnes as we estimate of fish yearly and more than 50 per cent of the world's total annual capture of fish output. The agreement provides an innovative and practical way to tackle this problem."

The treaty went into force on 5 June and more than 30 nations as well the European Union on behalf of its 28 members have acceded to the treaty.

More countries have initiated the accession process.

Gambia bans child marriage

The Islamic Republic of Gambia has banned child marriage following a month-long national campaign, the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) has confirmed.

Authorities launched the African Union's (AU) End Child Marriage Campaign on 16 June.

Nationwide tours, convoys coupled with rigorous traditional and social media interventions have helped raise awareness about the issue and encouraged people to actively participate in efforts to end the practice.

Forty-one per cent of girls and young women in Gambia were married or in union before they turned 18.

Child marriage can have adverse effects on the health, education and general development of a girl, UNICEF says.

And becoming pregnant early puts girls at risk of complications and even death during the delivery.

If not immediately curbed at the global level, nearly one billion girls will be married by 2030, the agency adds.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 3’28″

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