The United Nations has appointed three human rights experts to lead an investigation of killings in the Democratic Republic of Congo, despite the country's insistence that it will lead the investigation. The UN Joint Human Rights Office in Congo has accused elements of Congolese military forces of digging at least 42 mass graves following recent clashes with rebel forces.
The number of suspected cholera cases in Yemen hit 400,000 this week, but the spread of the epidemic has slowed and the number of fatalities has dropped, according to the World Health Organization. Directors of WHO, UNICEF and the World Food Programme visited the country this week and say that nearly 80% of Yemeni children are in immediate need of humanitarian aid.
Violent conflict in South Sudan is taking the lives of many parents and forcing children to flee across the border to Uganda on their own, leaving them vulnerable to exploitation and abuse, aid agencies say. "There are not enough social workers, meaning one social worker is currently responsible for 70 refugee children," says UN Refugee Agency spokesman Charlie Yaxley.
A group of teenage girls in Kenya have developed a mobile phone application aimed at ending the practice of female genital mutilation, a common occurrence in the country despite being banned. The girls are hoping to win funds to develop the app further at Technovation, a competition sponsored by Google, Verizon and the United Nations.
Officials from the People's Bank of China are working with United Nations Environment officials on an exportable finance model that would support sustainable development and climate change initiatives. Simon Zadek, co-director of the UN Environment Inquiry into the Design of a Sustainable Financial System, says many countries are moving toward green finance and applauds China's efforts to promote international cooperation.
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has condemned suicide bomb attacks on two Nigerian camps for internally displaced persons that killed four and wounded 15 more. Guterres expressed concern at attacks targeting people who had already fled violence and promised the UN's full support in fighting terrorism and extremism in the country.
The House of Representatives should remove a spending bill rider that would make it more difficult for the Internal Revenue Service to enforce the Johnson Amendment, writes the Los Angeles Times' editorial board. The board argues that religion and political campaigns should remain separate, and that even if there were a case for repealing or revising the Johnson Amendment, "the change shouldn't be accomplished by erecting procedural roadblocks through the back door of the appropriations process."
Nonprofit universities can more effectively attract major gifts by finding out what prospective donors are passionate about and showing how it relates to one of the university's projects, according to Paul Elstone of the University of Oregon. He noted that major gifts are a "field-based, visit-driven program."
Though the Sierra Club, American Civil Liberties Union and other organizations have seen an increase in donations since the November election, it may not signal a long-term change in American giving habits, writes Una Osili, lead researcher on the Giving USA report. Historically, she writes, charitable giving in the US is shaped by the GDP, personal consumption and other economic factors, the evolving priorities of the American public and the rapid growth of new causes.
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