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Syria reaches 'worst case scenario' on feeding displaced civilians: UN

OTTAWA - The United Nations says the food crisis facing displaced Syrian civilians has now reached the worst-case scenario, with no end in sight. That is forcing the UN World Food Program to cut food distribution by 16 per cent this month to millions of internally displaced people and refugees after a 20-cent-cut in March, said Muhannad Hadi, the agency's emergency co-ordinator for Syria.

U.N. sees 4 million more Syrians fleeing homes or country in 2014

By Tom Miles GENEVA (Reuters) - The United Nations expects another 2 million Syrians to become refugees in 2014 and 2.25 million more to be displaced within the country, according to a document seen by Reuters on Monday. U.N. agencies are preparing to launch a new appeal for aid to help victims of the conflict, which began in March 2011 and shows no sign of ending. Officials from 10 U.N. agencies, the International Organization for Migration and 18 other aid groups met in Amman on September 26 to plan their strategy for 2014.

Rehtaeh Parsons' father says she wanted to go to media before her suicide

MONTREAL - The father of a Nova Scotia teen whose suicide brought the issue of Internet bullying to the forefront says she tried to convince him they should go public on the matter. Glen Canning said the plan to go to the media was hatched by his daughter, Rehtaeh Parsons, in the months leading up to her death this past April. Canning told a news conference in Montreal on Thursday that both he and Parsons' mother decided at the time that going public was not the right thing to do, even though the former photojournalist could have easily made it happen.

Opposition calls for changes, court reference for Manitoba anti-bullying bill

WINNIPEG - Manitoba's Opposition Progressive Conservatives are calling for a court review of the province's new anti-bullying bill. Education critic Kelvin Goertzen is putting forward several amendments to Bill 18 — a proposed law which includes a requirement for schools to accommodate students who want to set up gay-straight alliances. Some religious leaders have said the idea violates the religious freedoms of faith-based schools, and Goertzen says the bill should be referred to the Manitoba Court of Appeal for an opinion before it takes effect.

U.N. refugee agency renews call for dialogue in Myanmar over clash

The U.N. refugee agency repeated Tuesday its call on the Myanmar government and displaced Muslims in the western state of Rakhine state to hold dialogue following fresh violence. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees "is reiterating its call for peaceful dialogue and confidence building" between the internally displaced persons and the government, UNHCR spokesperson Adrian Edwards said. "We believe this is key to avoiding further violence."

US doubles aid to world's burgeoning refugees

The United States on Thursday doubled its aid to the UN refugee organization to some $890 million, as officials warned one person every four seconds flees their home to escape war and strife. "We blink our eyes 15 times every minute, so every time you blink there is one new more person forced to flee," said UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres, adding it showed "how dramatic the displacement problem is."

UN says refugees, displaced at two-decade high

War and other crises drove one person from their home every 4.1 seconds last year, the UN refugee agency said Wednesday, pushing the number of people forcibly displaced to a two-decade high of 45.2 million. Conflict in countries including Syria, Afghanistan and Somalia created millions of new refugees in 2012. The UNCHR's annual figures showed 1.1 million people fled across international borders last year, while 6.5 million were displaced within their homelands.

UN says refugees, displaced at two-decade high

War and other crises drove one person from their home every 4.1 seconds in 2012, the UN's refugee agency said Wednesday, pushing the number of people forcibly displaced to a two-decade high of 45.2 million. All told, the UNCHR's annual figures showed 1.1 million people fled across international borders in 2012, while 6.5 million were displaced within their homelands. "This means one in each 4.1 seconds. So each time you blink, another person is forced to flee," Antonio Guterres, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, told reporters.

UN urges Greece to host more Syrian refugees

The United Nations' refugee agency on Wednesday urged Greece to host more Syrian refugees, saying it needs to pull its weight, despite its financial woes, in order to avoid a humanitarian crisis. Greece -- a key entry point to the European Union -- has been criticised by several rights groups for its lack of humanitarian response to a crisis that has created an estimated 1.35 million refugees and displaced a further four million people since the conflict erupted over two years ago.

ECP urged to enhance efforts for marginalized voters

Social sector organizations have urged Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to adopt special measures for ensuring safety of marginalized voters, especially in areas where they may face intimidation and violence.“District Election Commissioners (DECs) should take all possible steps to facilitate marginalized voters and carry out mobilization activities to encourage their participation in the electoral process,” recommended by Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) to the Commission in a statement issued Wednesday.
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