News in Brief 21 November 2016 (PM)

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Two girls walk home from school in eastern Aleppo in the Syrian Arab Republic. Photo: UNICEF/Rami Zayat

"Horror now usual" in Syria

"Horror is now usual" in Syria; that's the stark message the United Nations humanitarian chief brought to the UN Security Council on Monday.

The war in Syria has been going on for over five years.

Some 400,000 people have been killed and almost five million more have been forced to flee the country.

Stephen O'Brien, the UN humanitarian chief told the Council that the international community should feel shame for not acting to stop what he called the annihilation of eastern Aleppo city, a recent focus of the conflict.

And he said violence had become the new normal.

"Horror is now usual; it is a level of violence and destruction that the world appears to consider normal for Syria and normal for the Syrian people. Month after month I have reported to this Council that the level of depravity inflicted upon the Syrian people cannot sink lower, only to return the following month with hideous and, with shocking disbelief, new reports of ever-worsening human suffering."

"Peaceful" elections in Haiti welcomed by UN chief

The holding of elections on Sunday in Haiti in which voters "peacefully expressed their democratic right to vote" has been welcomed the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon.

The elections were delayed for more than a year following allegations of widespread fraud in an October 2015 vote which was ultimately discounted.

Here's the UN Spokesperson, Stéphane Dujarric.

"The Secretary-General stresses that this electoral process is crucial to ending the current governance vacuum in Haiti. He urges all parties involved, in particular Presidential candidates and political party leaders, to show the utmost statesmanship at this critical time for the country. He calls on them to reject and discourage all forms of violence and intimidation and place the national interest above any other consideration."

Proposed Israel law "gives green light to theft of Palestinian land"

A proposed Israeli law enabling the confiscation of privately owned Palestinian land would deal another severe blow to hopes of a lasting peace, a United Nations human rights expert has warned.

Special Rapporteur Michael Lynk said he was deeply concerned at the proposal to authorize more than 100 illegal parcels of land in the occupied West Bank.

The proposal passed its first reading in the Israeli parliament on 16 November.

Mr. Lynk said the retroactive "legalization" of the outposts on private Palestinian land which are located deep within the occupied West Bank would "give the green light to theft."

Daniel Dickinson, United Nations.

Duration: 2’31″

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