Stories written by James Reinl

Syria Regime Detains, Tortures Doctors in ‘War on Health’

Syria’s government has arrested, detained and tortured large numbers of medics in a systematic effort to cut off treatment to swaths of the turbulent country’s population and swing the civil war in its favour, according to a new report.

UN Warns of ‘Screen Teens’ not Getting Enough Exercise

It is a common complaint of parents globally that their children and teenagers spend far too many hours sprawled on couches playing video games, sharing selfies with online friends and giggling over TikTok videos.

Saudi UNESCO Win Riles Khashoggi Standard-Bearers

Human rights campaigners have reacted angrily to the election of Saudi Arabia to the United Nations cultural agency UNESCO’s top board, highlighting the kingdom’s ongoing crackdowns on political freedoms and critics.

As Donors Ramp up Polio Funding, Worries of Comeback Persist

Efforts to wipe polio off the face of the planet took a step forward this week, with a multibillion-dollar fundraiser in the Middle East helping eradication schemes tackle a virus that disproportionately kills and cripples children in poor countries.

World’s Sewage Workers ‘Underpaid, Sidelined and Risking their Lives’

People who empty out sewage tanks and scrub down latrines doubtless perform a vital, thankless and even undesirable task. A new report, however, shows that doing such jobs could also cost workers their lives.

Campaign Targets UNESCO’s Tie-up with ‘Saudi Spies’

The United Nations faces renewed criticism over its partnership with Saudi Arabia’s Misk Foundation amid revelations that the charity is headed by the mastermind of a recent Twitter spying operation.

UN Agency for Palestinians in Crisis as Chief Quits

The United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees was in “crisis mode” on Wednesday after director Pierre Krahenbuhl resigned amid a misconduct probe over whether he fast-tracked his girlfriend into a top aid job, analysts said.

Online Trolls, Bots, Snoopers Imperil Democracy: Report

Using armies of online fans, trolls and, automated ‘bots’, the world’s authoritarians and populists are increasingly using the web to drown out opponents and swing public opinion and elections their way, a new study says.

Insurance Scheme Offers Hope for Drought-stricken African Farmers

A partnership between United Nations and African Union (AU) agencies will help African economies insure themselves against the droughts and other extreme weather events that plague the continent, organisers say.

Europe Should Rethink Assumptions about African Migrants: UN

Sub-Saharan African migrants who risk perilous sea crossings to Europe are often assumed to be illiterate, jobless chancers in desperate bids to flee stagnation and rampant corruption in their home countries. But a survey of some 2,000 irregular African migrants in Europe found them to be more educated than expected, while many of them were leaving behind jobs back home that paid better-than-average wages.

Agro-tech Offers Answers for African Farmers at Iowa Meet

Experts vaunted new strains of seeds, drone aircraft and other technological breakthroughs as solutions-in-the-making for farmers in Africa, where hunger, drought and food price hikes are continent-wide problems.

Election Death Toll Underscores Afghanistan’s Fragile Democracy

A wave of bloody Taliban attacks aimed at derailing Afghanistan’s recent elections killed and maimed hundreds of people, including children, the United Nations mission to the country said on Tuesday.

Aid Groups Warn of Humanitarian Crisis from Turkey’s Assault on Syria

Aid groups operating in northeastern Syria have been raising the alarm about civilian casualties and an impending humanitarian crisis this week, as Turkey began a military assault on the turbulent region’s Kurdish militants.

Hollywood and Business Luminaries Spotlight World’s ‘Stateless’ Woes

Movie star Cate Blanchett and businessman Richard Branson spoke up this week for the millions of people around the world who cannot get passports and other papers because they lack an official nationality.

Afghan War Deadly for Children Despite Peace Process: UN

The United Nations has warned that the past four years were among the deadliest for children in Afghanistan since the United States-led invasion of 2001, with nearly 13,000 youngsters killed and injured in that period.

Wall Street can Free the World’s 40 Million Modern-Day Slaves

Financiers in Wall Street, the City of London and other banking centres should play a bigger role in freeing the millions of people who endure slave-like working conditions globally, according to a new study.

Watchdog Pushes U.S. to Publish ‘Duty to Warn’ Khashoggi Files

A media watchdog has asked United States intelligence agencies to reveal whether they knew about an assassination plot against Jamal Khashoggi and failed to warn the Saudi journalist he was in mortal danger.

Investments to Cushion African Countries against Climate Shocks Not Enough

African Development Bank (AfDB) President Akinwumi Adesina unveiled millions of dollars of new pledges at the United Nations this week amid growing fears of climate change ravaging the continent and derailing anti-poverty targets.

NYC Library Ditches Controversial Saudi Royal MBS’ Event

A New York library appeared to bow to pressure this week when it canceled an event that was being co-hosted by Saudi Arabia’s crown prince Mohammad bin Salman, who is accused of a range of human rights abuses.

Petition and Critics of Khashoggi Killing Heap Pressure on U.N.-Saudi Event

The United Nations faces growing public opposition to an event it is co-hosting with a Saudi Arabian charity only days before the anniversary of the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Leaders Must Start Taking Science Seriously – U.N.

World leaders attending this month’s United Nations General Assembly should listen harder to scientists if they want to tackle climate change and meet global anti-poverty targets, U.N. experts warned this week. 

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