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UN chief highlights need for climate action, pandemic response, in commemorating 75th anniversary of the General Assembly

In his first major speech of the year, the UN Secretary-General underlined the need for global cooperation to address today’s challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change.

António Guterres was speaking on Sunday during a virtual event to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the first meeting of the UN General Assembly, which was held in London.

Callamard calls for ‘clear, explicit and unambiguous standards’ to protect civilian planes during conflicts

Urgent measures are needed to protect civilian aircraft flying over conflict zones or other areas where military tensions are high, a UN independent human rights expert said on Thursday. 

Agnès Callamard, the UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, made the appeal ahead of the first anniversary of the downing of Ukraine International Airlines (UIA) Flight PS752. 

Shock waves: Months after a devastating explosion, Beirut residents are still recovering

“The Beirut port explosion was an explosion of hearts,” says 40-year-old Farah. “This explosion burnt our hearts.” Farah is speaking of the massive explosion that rocked Beirut, the capital of Lebanon, on 4 August. Over 200 people died, and thousands more were injured. The source of the blast was a large quantity of ammonium nitrate—a compound used to make explosives—that had been stored in unsafe conditions. 

The colossal explosions sent a mushroom cloud into the air and a blast wave through the city, leveling buildings next to the port and turning houses into rubble. 

Deadly car bomb attacks ‘tragic reminder’ of price civilians pay in Syria

The killing of civilians in separate car bomb attacks in northern Syria on Saturday has been condemned by top UN humanitarian officials for the country. 

The first blast occurred in Ras al-Ain, when a car bomb exploded in a market area on a main road, killing two children and injuring their mother and several others.  At least three shops were also damaged. 

The second incident took place near a bakery in Jinderis, located in northwest rural Aleppo.  One person was reportedly killed, while two children were among the casualties.