News in Brief 07 November 2017 (PM)

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Farmer in Hawassa, Ethiopia, feeds stalks to his cows. The World Health Organization (WHO) is concerned
about the overuse of antibiotics in livestock.  Photo: FAO/IFAD/WFP/Petterik Wiggers

Stop using antibiotics on healthy animals as preventive measure: WHO

Farmers and the food industry should stop using antibiotics on healthy animals to prevent disease outbreaks.

That's the advice on Tuesday coming from the World Health Organization (WHO), which is also concerned about the overuse of antibiotics to boost livestock growth.

The guidelines say that using too many antibiotics in both humans and animals is contributing to the rising threat of antibiotic resistance.

Some types of bacteria that cause serious human infection, have already developed resistance to most or even all of the available treatments, and there's little sign of any breakthroughs that would reverse that trend, said WHO.

"A lack of effective antibiotics is as serious a security threat as a sudden and deadly disease outbreak", said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of WHO.

He added that "strong, sustained action across all sectors is vital if we are to turn back the tide of antimicrobial resistance and keep the world safe."

"Deep concern" for nearly 400,000 trapped in besieged Eastern Ghouta

Around 400,000 Syrian civilians trapped in Eastern Ghouta are facing "deteriorating" humanitarian conditions, UN agencies reported on Tuesday.

The rebel-held area close to the capital Damascus has been surrounded by Syrian government forces for four years, and the people trapped represent nearly 95 per cent of the entire remaining besieged population within the country.

Recent World Food Programme (WFP) assessments say there are severe shortages of food and a sharp increase in basic commodity prices.

More details from UN Spokesperson, Stéphane Dujarric.

"The cost of a standard food basket in October [was] almost 10 times higher than the national average. The UN is also concerned over a recent escalation of airstrikes in Aleppo and Idleb governorates. Over the past 48 hours, multiple and sustained airstrikes were reported in the southern countryside of Aleppo Governorate and parts of Idleb Governorate. We call on all parties to the conflict to take all measures to protect civilians, as required under international humanitarian law."

Attacks "soar" against places of worship and religious leaders in Afghanistan

Afghanistan has suffered a "disturbing increase" in attacks against places of worship, religious leaders and worshippers; particularly those targeting Shi'a Muslim congregations.

That's the worrying trend highlighted in the latest report on protection of civilians in armed conflict, issued by the UN Mission in the country, UNAMA.

Since January last year, UNAMA has recorded 850 civilian casualties in 51 attacks targeting places of worship, religious leaders and worshippers.

UNAMA said the figures were double the total casualties documented for the same group between 2009 and 2015.

The report found that so-called "anti-government elements" were responsible for nearly all the attacks.

Tadamichi Yamamoto, the head of UNAMA, urged protection of civilians in places of worship.

"Respect the law" and "stop targeting worshippers and religious leaders," he said.

Matt Wells, United Nations.

Duration: 2'44"

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