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United Nations

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article 20 April 2015 World, Somalia
UN van targeted by Al-Shabaab in Garowe, Somalia
Four Unicef staff killed in Somalia bomb attack

At least nine people, including four Unicef staff, are killed in an attack that has been claimed by militant group al-Shabaab in Somalia.

post 09 March 2015
Read more from Lindsey Hilsum on her blog Stephen O'Brien: UN opts for 'pretty good candidate for important job'

Too often UN appointments are made entirely on political patronage and not at all on competence. This time the former has been tempered by the latter.

article 20 February 2015 World, Israel
News
Trapped in rubble: Gaza's housing crisis

More than 100,000 homes remain damaged or destroyed in Gaza six months after a conflict with Israel, as lack of funds and a blockade continue to hamper reconstruction.

post 18 February 2015
Read more from Lindsey Hilsum on her blog Ceasefire in Aleppo: best option for civilians but proof of rebel despair?

The Syrian government knows it's in a strong position. If the rebels don't agree the ceasefire, they may be crushed. Previous 'local ceasefires' have been a euphemism for surrender.

article 18 February 2015 World, Syria
Aleppo
Syria: 'hope' but 'no illusions' over Aleppo ceasefire

The Syrian government has said it is willing to suspend its aerial bombardment and artillery shelling of the northern city of Aleppo so a local ceasefire can be tested, a UN mediator says.

post 09 February 2015
Read more from Lindsey Hilsum on her blog Crunch time at the UN as candidates vie for top job

The UN is frequently accused of waste and incompetence. Maybe if they started appointing senior people on merit that might change.

post 30 December 2014
How 2014 unfolded - in tweets

In Britain, 2014 was the year of the floods, Ukraine saw a revolution, Scotland almost went indy and the deadly Ebola struck west Africa.

article 27 November 2014 UK
Andrew Lansley
Would you give Andrew Lansley the UN's top humanitarian job?

If Andrew Lansley were to submit a CV for the top humanitarian role at the UN - which David Cameron is nominating him for - what would he write under "relevant experience"?

post 31 October 2014
Read more on Simon Israel's blog Hostages for fortunes: why governments still pay terror ransoms

Terrorist kidnapping and extortion is now a multi-million pound industry, according to a UN report - and the average value of a foreign hostage is 1.7m.