Up to 160 may be lost at sea off Libya (update)

UNHCR warns “we need to wake up”, with 2,500 drownings this year GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Yet another large boat carrying families who are fleeing Syria capsized in the Mediterranean over the weekend, with 37 people rescued out of an estimated 200 on board the vessel. The accident just off the coast of Libya was one […]

News roundup: UNHRC boss, designer, cow attacks, Jungfraubahn


GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – The new UN Human Rights Commissioner stepped into office this week: Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein from Jordan, takes over from Navi Pillay, who completed six years in the job. Zeid has served in a number of high diplomatic posts, most recently as Jordan’s ambassador to the United Nations in New York. He […]

Record gas emissions in 2014 says WMO

Lake Geneva French Alps_080914

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – “The amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere reached a new record high in 2013, propelled by a surge in levels of carbon dioxide”, says the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in a statement issued Tuesday. The measurements are published as part of the annual Greenhouse Gas Bulletin, which reports on atmospheric concentrations, […]

Swiss top competitiveness rankings again

Rolex Learning Centre-EPFL-1

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Switzerland has been named the world’s most competitive nation by the World Economic Forum, for the sixth year running. Singapore is again in second place. Rankings The WEF’s Global Competitiveness Report 2014-2015, which surveys 144 economies, says the “global economy seems to be finally leaving behind the worst and longest-lasting financial and […]

Nearly half of Syrians have fled home


Number of refugees reaches daunting 3 million as situation deteriorates GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – The news from Syria has been so dismal for so long that you begin to think the numbers can’t shock anymore, but they do: nearly than half of all Syrians have now fled their homes because of the fighting and the number […]

Indian Ocean refugees: 20,000 so far this year

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – More than 20,000 people have risked their lives as refugees trying to cross the Indian Ocean, often paying $50 to 300 each to human smugglers – who then, in some cases, herded them into camps where they were forced to contact relatives back home for ransoms. The figures are part of a […]

Weather forecasts, climate predictions come together


GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – One thousand world specialists in the two fields of meteorology (weather) and climate change met in Montreal, Canada 16 to 21 August for the first World Weather Open Science conference. The meeting was designed to advance the use of science in the field of weather forecasting, but it also underscored a significant […]

Monkey, man and copyright: the debate in Geneva

"Macaca nigra self-portrait full body" by Self-portrait by the depicted Macaca nigra female - Daily Mail. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Macaca_nigra_self-portrait_full_body.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Macaca_nigra_self-portrait_full_body.jpg

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND / EDITOR’S NOTEPAD – One of the most surprising digital debates of the moment is the case of photographer David Slater and a photo taken by a Macaca monkey, which became an online hit thanks to Wikimedia. Geneva-based IP Watch carries a wonderful review of the legal issues, by two lawyers, who don’t […]

Record number humanitarian workers victims of violence

Days before the sudden influx, monitors reported that people were arriving by bus and setting up makeshift camps on the Syrian side of the Peshkhabour border crossing.  UNHCR / G. Gubaeva

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Humanitarian workers appear to be at growing risk in several parts of the world, based on figures being released today by the United Nations, with 460 people victims of violence in the line of work in 2013. In 2012, the figure was 274. The figures include deaths, injuries and kidnappings for the […]

WHO approves untested Ebola treatments

WHO headquarters in Geneva

Death toll reaches 1,000 and first European death occurs in Madrid GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Drugs that have not yet been approved may be used to treat the virulent Ebola virus, the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva said in a statement issued Tuesday. The disease has killed 1,000 people in West Africa in recent weeks […]