President Donald Trump on Wednesday called on Saudi Arabia to end its Yemen blockade immediately, citing humanitarian concerns.
“I have directed officials in my Administration to call the leadership of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to request that they completely allow food, fuel, water, and medicine to reach the Yemeni people who desperately need it,” Trump said in a statement.
A Saudi-led coalition has been fighting to defeat the Iran-backed Houthis — at one point allied with ex-President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s forces in Yemen — since March 2015. The coalition has imposed a blockade on the country, with the aim of reinstating the internationally recognized government of Saleh’s successor, Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi.
Saleh was killed Monday by his former Houthi allies after moving to switch allegiances in the bloody conflict.
Yemen’s stalemated war has killed over 10,000 civilians and displaced 3 million. On Tuesday, the U.N. Security Council warned of “the dire and deteriorating humanitarian situation in Yemen,” saying the country “stands at the brink of catastrophic famine.”
The question Indonesian volcanologist Devy Kamil Syahbana gets most is the one he cannot answer—when, or if, rumbling Mount Agung on Bali island will blow up in a major eruption.
The 3,000 meter (9,800 ft) Agung—a so-called strato-volcano capable of very violent eruptions—has recorded a sharp rise in activity that has raised worries.
In 1963, pyroclastic flows of lava and rocks poured out of the volcano, killing more than 1,000 people and razing dozens of villages. According to survivors, that eruption was preceded by earthquakes, volcanic mudflows, and ashfall—all signs that Mount Agung is showing again now, said Syahbana.
Authorities raised the alert status to the maximum after the volcano started erupting last month, spewing out ash over the holiday island and causing travel chaos by closing its airport for three days last week. While hot magma has produced an eerie orange glow just above the crater, and thousands of villagers have fled from their homes on the mountain’s slopes, Agung has, this time, yet to explode violently.
Syahbana, who studied volcanology in Brussels and Paris, said his team’s main job was to “increase the preparedness of the communities here in the event of a major eruption”.
Indonesia has nearly 130 active volcanoes, more than any other country.
One hundred days after the start of the Rohingya refugee crisis, the Inter-Sector Coordination Group (ISCG) has released a report on the overall status of the humanitarian response.
There are more than 830,000 Rohingya refugees in Cox’s Bazar: 625,000 of them have poured over the border since 25 August. These refugees are now living in ten different camps, and among Bangladeshi host communities. One of the camps has become the largest and fastest growing refugee camp in the world, where approximately half a million people are living extremely close to each other without access to basic services such as toilets or clinics.
The Government of Bangladesh is working in cooperation with humanitarian partners who are working to provide relief services for the refugee population and Bangladeshi host communities. Of the 1.2 million people in need, around half have been reached with assistance. There is not enough land to provide adequate living conditions for the more than 830,000 refugees that now crowd Cox’s Bazar. The risk of disease outbreak is high, and the impact of a cyclone or heavy rain would be massive.
Only 34% of the $434 million needed to provide assistance to 1.2 million people has been raised.
[International Organization for Migration]
Today is World AIDS Day.
The number of worldwide deaths from AIDS has gone down by 50 percent since 2005, though there are still more than 36 million people around the world who are living with AIDS, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
Only half are receiving appropriate treatment, which makes the NGO’s global theme for the 30th World AIDS Day particularly fitting. This year, WHO declared the theme is “right to health.” Specifically, the organization hopes to draw attention to the need for universal health coverage.
“Under the slogan ‘everybody counts,’ WHO will advocate for access to safe, effective, quality and affordable medicines, including medicines, diagnostics and other health commodities as well as health care services for all people in need, while also ensuring that they are protected against financial risks,” the organization stated on its website.