News in Brief 28 July 2016 (PM)

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Al-Riad shelter, Aleppo, Syria. Photo: OCHA/Josephine Guerrero

Safety "critical" in any measures to help Aleppo

Any measures to assist people in eastern Aleppo in Syria must bear the safety of civilians in mind, the head of the UN Humanitarian Affairs office, OCHA, has said.

In a statement on Thursday, Stephen O'Brien said he was aware of a Russian proposal to set up "humanitarian corridors" to the city, where a quarter of a million people are trapped.

He said all options to provide humanitarian access there "must be considered."

However, Mr O'Brien underlined that it is "critical" that all parties guarantee the safety of such measures, and that people are able to use them voluntarily.

"No one can be forced to flee, by any specific route or to any particular location. Protection must be guaranteed for all according to the principles of neutrality and impartiality," he stated.

Mr O'Brien had spoken in the Security Council on Monday where he called for a 48-hour "humanitarian pause" in fighting around Aleppo.

This, he said, would allow aid workers to see the people and assess their needs where they are now.

Human rights experts deplore media crackdown in Turkey

Two international human rights experts have condemned the media crackdown in Turkey in response to the failed military coup earlier this month.

Turkey has implemented a state of emergency in the wake of the attempted coup.

The experts cited reports indicating that the Government has shuttered 16 TV channels, 23 radio stations, 45 newspapers and 15 magazines.

Arrest warrants have been issued against 89 journalists, some of whom have already been detained, while more than 20 websites have been blocked, among other measures, they added.

Schools and civil society groups have also been affected.

Top team highlights 'The Power of Football to Change the World'

Players and executives from one of the world's top soccer teams were at the UN this Thursday to highlight 'The Power of Football to Change the World.'

The club, Inter Milan, runs a global programme for young players, some of whom were also on hand.

UN Envoy on Youth Ahmad Alhendawi has witnessed how investing in sports is changing the lives of young people at the Mathare slum in Nairobi, Kenya.

He first visited the area two years ago.

At the time, a local youth group had asked for support so that they could transform a piece of land used as a garbage dump into a place where they could play sports.

"When I visited them last week, they were celebrating in that same area that used to be a garbage, a place where young people from that community which has 250,000 are coming together to play football. They showed me a documentary about how they were cleaning and how they built a court. And you will be inspired. Google them!"

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 2’50″

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