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as a white helmet, i ask for safe passage from ghouta | humanitarian crises


for 24 days i hoped that the people of ghouta would soon be able to take a breath of fresh air without smelling the stench of death that has taken over every street, every corner, every home for over a month. i hoped that in passing the un security council resolution 2401, which asked for a 30-day cessation of hostilities, the world's most powerful countries would finally manage to protect civilians in syria. but yet again the resolution proved to be nothing more than a waste of ink. the attack on ghouta - a suburb of the capital damascus - has been ongoing for over a month. more than 1,300 civilians have been killed and another 4,000 have been injured. all kinds of weapons have been used against civilians: barrel bombs, cluster munitions, incendiary weapons, missiles. undoubtedly the most






eastern ghouta bombardment: 674 syria civilians killed in 13 days | syria news


as many as 674 civilians have been killed in nearly two weeks by the continuous air attacks on the damascus suburb of eastern ghouta, a syrian volunteer group has said.the syrian civil defense, also known as the white helmets, said on friday that more than 670 people have been killed since the syrian government, aided by russian, launched an air offensive on the largely rural area outside of the capital on february 18.eastern ghouta, home to nearly 400,000 people, has been besieged by the syrian government since opposition groups took control of the area in the mid-2013.the aerial bombardment has drawn international condemnation, but a 30-day ceasefire unanimously voted for by the members of the united nations security council last saturday has largely failed to hold up, as air strikes hav






daily cease-fire ordered by putin near damascus


the plan for pauses in the fighting in an area near syria’s capital is intended to allow safe passage for humanitarian assistance and allow civilians to get out through prescribed corridors.amman, jordan — russian president vladimir putin on monday ordered a daily cease-fire in eastern ghouta, the syrian rebel-held enclave near the capital damascus and the target of a ferocious government assault that has turned life in the area, according to the u.n., into “hell on earth.”“as ordered by the russian president, a daily humanitarian pause from (9 a.m. to 2 p.m.) is being introduced starting feb. 27 to avoid civilian casualties in east ghouta,” the russian defense ministry said in a statement released monday, according to a translation by the english-language news broadcaster russia today.rus






humanitarian crisis in eastern ghouta worsening | news


saturday marks the fifth day of a russian-led partial ceasefire in eastern ghouta.it has once again failed to produce aid deliveries or evacuations of the critically ill.more than 100 people have now been killed in the rebel enclave since the un voted for a ceasefire one week ago.the un's humanitarian commissioner says syrian government air raids on the rebel enclave probably constitute war crimes.al jazeera's zeina khodr reports from beirut, lebanon.






syria army intensifies fight against rebels in eastern ghouta | news


rebels in syria's eastern ghouta have reiterated they will defend the area and will not accept a negotiation for a russian-proposed withdrawal, a military spokesperson of one of the rebel groups in the enclave said.reuters news agency on wednesday reported that the spokesperson said, "there are no negotiations about this subject," referring to russia's offer to provide rebels and their families safe passage out of eastern ghouta."the factions of ghouta and their fighters and its people are holding onto their land and will defend it," hamza birqdar told reuters in a text message. meanwhile, the government has said it will send reinforcements, including 700 fighters, to join the battle in an effort to defeat the rebels in their last major stronghold, the syrian observatory for human rights (






'survive or die together': more than 400 killed in eastern ghouta | news


more than 400 people have been killed in eastern ghouta, a monitoring group said, on the fifth day of the continuing onslaught of aerial bombardment by syrian government forces backed by russian warplanes.the syrian observatory for human rights said at least 403 people were killed in the "hysterical attack" that began on sunday, including 150 children. almost 2,120 others were wounded.un special envoy for syria, staffan de mistura, stressed the urgent need for a ceasefire in comments made ahead of thursday's un security council meeting."the humanitarian situation in eastern ghouta is appalling and, therefore, we need a ceasefire that stops both the horrific heavy bombardment of eastern ghouta and the indiscriminate mortar shelling on damascus," he said.he added the ceasefire needs to be fo






syria: aid convoy enters besieged eastern ghouta | syria news


a 46-truck convoy carrying humanitarian aid has begun entering eastern ghouta through the government-controlled wafideen checkpoint for the first time in nearly a month."at last ... a convoy ... carrying desperately-needed aid for tens of thousands is on its way to eastern ghouta, syria," robert mardini, the head of the middle east operations for the international committee of the red cross, said in a tweet on monday.the convoy includes surgical and medical items, as well as 5,500 food and flour bags enough for 27,500 people, a spokeswoman from the icrc said.ali al-za'tari, a senior united nations official with the convoy, told reuters news agency that it would take "many hours" to offload the aid in the rebel-held enclave and that it might be "well after nightfall" before it could leave e






'survive or die together': more than 400 killed in eastern ghouta | news


more than 400 people have been killed in eastern ghouta, a monitoring group said, as syrian government forces backed by russian warplanes continued their aerial bombardment of the rebel-held area.the syrian observatory for human rights said on thursday that at least 403 people were killed in the "hysterical attack" that began on sunday, including 150 children. almost 2,120 others were wounded.un special envoy for syria, staffan de mistura, stressed the urgent need for a ceasefire in comments made before thursday's un security council meeting."the humanitarian situation in eastern ghouta is appalling and, therefore, we need a ceasefire that stops both the horrific heavy bombardment of eastern ghouta and the indiscriminate mortar shelling on damascus," he said.he added the ceasefire needs to






'survive or die together': more than 400 killed in eastern ghouta | news


more than 400 people have been killed in eastern ghouta, a monitoring group said, as syrian government forces backed by russian warplanes continued their aerial bombardment of the rebel-held area.the syrian observatory for human rights said on thursday that at least 403 people were killed in the "hysterical attack" that began on sunday, including 150 children. almost 2,120 others were wounded.un special envoy for syria, staffan de mistura, stressed the urgent need for a ceasefire in comments made before thursday's un security council meeting."the humanitarian situation in eastern ghouta is appalling and, therefore, we need a ceasefire that stops both the horrific heavy bombardment of eastern ghouta and the indiscriminate mortar shelling on damascus," he said.he added the ceasefire needs to






'survive or die together': more than 400 killed in eastern ghouta | news


more than 400 people have been killed in eastern ghouta, a monitoring group said, as the syrian government forces backed by russian warplanes continued their aerial bombardment of the rebel-held area.the syrian observatory for human rights said on thursday that at least 403 people were killed in the "hysterical attack" that began on sunday, including 150 children. almost 2,120 others were wounded.un special envoy for syria, staffan de mistura, stressed the urgent need for a ceasefire in comments made ahead of thursday's un security council meeting."the humanitarian situation in eastern ghouta is appalling and, therefore, we need a ceasefire that stops both the horrific heavy bombardment of eastern ghouta and the indiscriminate mortar shelling on damascus," he said.he added the ceasefire ne






syria war: residents flee eastern ghouta bombardment


media playback is unsupported on your devicemedia caption"at least in heaven there's food": the children caught up in eastern ghouta air strikesresidents are reported to be fleeing the rebel-held eastern ghouta enclave in syria as the situation there was described as "beyond critical". syria's military appears to be advancing on several fronts as it tries to retake the enclave just to the east of the capital, damascus. government forces have now taken 25% of the area, uk-based syrian observatory for human rights monitors say.a un aid convoy planned for sunday has not been able to enter the enclave. the fighting since 18 february has left more than 600 people dead, many of them children. how bad is the humanitarian situation?neither a daily five-hour truce ordered by the russians - syria's






russia-sponsored truce begins in syria's eastern ghouta | russia news


a five-hour "humanitarian pause" called by russia has come into effect in syria's eastern ghouta to allow civilians to evacuate the area that has been under continuous aerial bombardment.russia's president vladimir putin had ordered a truce from 9am-2pm (7:00-12:00 gmt) on tuesday, as air strikes and ground operations killed more than 550 civilians in the last eight days, according to the syrian observatory for human rights (sohr).on monday, a suspected chemical attack killed one child, according to syria's civil defence rescue team, also known as the white helmets.the reported chlorine gas attack injured at least 18 others when it hit eastern ghouta's al-shifaniyah town close to the front lines, where rebels are fighting syrian ground forces who have been trying to penetrate into the besi






car tops list of 'world's most neglected' crises | news


the conflict in the central african republic (car) is the world's most neglected displacement crisis, according to the norwegian refugee council. unveiling its annual index, the aid agency said on thursday that the world pays the least attention to humanitarian crises when they force africans from their homes, dashing hopes of peace and raising the risk of escalated conflict.in the nrc's list of the world's 10 most neglected displacement crises, car was followed by the democratic republic of congo (drc), sudan, south sudan, nigeria, yemen, palestine, ukraine, myanmar and somalia."the fact that most of these people do not turn up at our doorsteps gives us no right to close our eyes to their suffering, and does not remove our responsibility to assist," jan egeland, the nrc's secretary genera






eastern ghouta bombardment: 674 syria civilians killed in 13 days | syria news


as many as 674 civilians have been killed in nearly two weeks by the continuous air attacks on the damascus suburb of eastern ghouta, a syrian volunteer group has said.the syrian civil defense, also known as the white helmets, said on friday that more than 670 people have been killed since the syrian government, aided by russia, launched an air offensive on the largely rural area outside the capital on february 18.eastern ghouta, home to nearly 400,000 people, has been besieged by the syrian government since opposition groups took control of the area in mid-2013.the aerial bombardment has drawn international condemnation, but a 30-day ceasefire unanimously voted for by the members of the united nations security council last saturday has largely failed to hold, as air raids have continued u






syria war: aid convoy heads to eastern ghouta


a united nations convoy of 46 trucks is bringing urgently needed humanitarian aid to syrian people in the rebel-held region of the eastern ghouta. the bbc's jeremy bowen has been following the convoy's progress, particularly as it waited for nearby shelling to ease.






syria conflict: putin orders eastern ghouta 'humanitarian pause'


media playback is unsupported on your devicemedia captiona doctor in eastern ghouta says there is still shelling, but "the level is less than before"russia's president vladimir putin has ordered a daily five-hour pause in the syrian government's assault on the rebel-held eastern ghouta area.it will start on tuesday, and include the creation of a "humanitarian corridor" to allow civilians to leave.the rebel enclave near damascus, where 393,000 civilians are trapped, has been under intense bombardment by government forces with russian support.more than 560 people have been killed in eight days, a monitoring group says. russian defence minister sergei shoigu made the announcement about the "humanitarian pause", saying it would run from 09:00 until 14:00 local time (07:00-12:00 gmt) daily. in






syria conflict: putin orders eastern ghouta 'humanitarian pause'


media playback is unsupported on your devicemedia captiona doctor in eastern ghouta says there is still shelling, but "the level is less than before"russia's president vladimir putin has ordered a daily five-hour pause in the syrian government's assault on the rebel-held eastern ghouta area.it will start on tuesday, and include the creation of a "humanitarian corridor" to allow civilians to leave.the rebel enclave near damascus, where 393,000 civilians are trapped, has been under intense bombardment by government forces with russian support.more than 560 people have been killed in eight days, a monitoring group says. russian defence minister sergei shoigu made the announcement about the "humanitarian pause", saying it would run from 09:00 until 14:00 local time (07:00-12:00 gmt) daily. in






russia-sponsored truce begins in syria's eastern ghouta | russia news


a five-hour "humanitarian pause" called by russia has come into effect in syria's eastern ghouta to allow civilians to evacuate the area that has been under continuous aerial bombardment.russia's president vladimir putin had ordered a truce from 9am-2pm (7:00-12:00 gmt) on tuesday, as air attacks and ground operations killed more than 550 civilians in the last eight days, according to the syrian observatory for human rights (sohr).on monday, a suspected chemical attack killed one child, according to syria's civil defence rescue team, also known as the white helmets.the reported chlorine gas attack injured at least 18 others when it hit eastern ghouta's al-shifaniyah town close to the front lines, where rebels are fighting syrian ground forces who have been trying to penetrate into the besi






un: is russia stalling a resolution on eastern ghouta? | news


as people in eastern ghouta continued to die, the united nations security council continued to argue.the un humanitarian chief has been urging the security council to call for a desperately needed ceasefire to deliver food and medicine to eastern ghouta.members of the security council gathered to vote on the resolution, but it was clear russia wanted amendments and would not let the resolution pass in its current form.al jazeera's diplomatic editor james bays reports from the un.






is russia stalling a un resolution on eastern ghouta? | news


as people in eastern ghouta continued to die, the united nations security council continued to argue.the un's humanitarian chief has been urging the security council to call for a desperately needed ceasefire to deliver food and medicine to eastern ghouta.members of the security council gathered to vote on the resolution, but it was clear russia wanted amendments and would not let the resolution pass in its current form.al jazeera's diplomatic editor james bays reports from the un.






aid delivered to syria's ghouta amid renewed violence


beirut — an aid convoy crossed into the embattled rebel-held suburbs of damascus friday, delivering desperately needed aid despite heavy fighting that broke out "extremely close" to the convoy and renewed airstrikes by the syrian government.the international committee of the red cross said the close-range fighting came despite security guarantees from the parties involved in the conflict that humanitarian aid could enter the town of douma, in eastern ghouta."we were taken aback by the fighting that broke out despite guarantees from the parties involved in this conflict that humanitarians could enter douma, in eastern ghouta," said icrc regional director robert mardini."as more aid is needed in the coming days, it is absolutely critical that these assurances be renewed and respected in the






syria conflict: putin orders eastern ghouta 'humanitarian pause'


media playback is unsupported on your devicemedia captiona doctor in eastern ghouta says there is still shelling, but "the level is less than before"russia's president vladimir putin has ordered a daily pause in the assault by its ally, the syrian government, on the rebel-held eastern ghouta area.it will start on tuesday, and include the creation of a "humanitarian corridor" to allow civilians to leave.the rebel enclave near damascus, where 393,000 civilians are trapped, has been under intense bombardment by government forces with russian support.more than 550 people have been killed in eight days, a monitoring group says. russian defence minister sergei shoigu made the announcement about the "humanitarian pause", saying it would run from 09:00 until 14:00 local time (07:00-12:00 gmt) dail






syria war: residents flee eastern ghouta bombardment


image copyrightafpimage caption more than 600 people have been killed in the past week in the eastern ghouta residents are reported to be fleeing the rebel-held eastern ghouta enclave in syria as the situation there was described as "beyond critical". syria's military appears to be increasing pressure on several fronts to try to retake the enclave just to the east of the capital, damascus. government forces have taken 10% of the area, syrian observatory for human rights monitors say. a un aid convoy planned for sunday has not been able to enter the enclave. the un said it had failed to obtain permission from syrian officials for 40 trucks carrying humanitarian supplies for the key town of douma."instead of a much-needed reprieve, we continue to see more fighting, more death, and more distu






hunger at the doors of damascus, as government blocks aid


beirut — at the doors of the syrian capital, children with wrinkled faces and arms like sticks are going hungry because president bashar assad's forces, supported by russia and iran, are blocking trucks filled with humanitarian relief.as the government and its opponents wrap up another fruitless round of talks in geneva, humanitarian officials warn that conditions outside damascus have reached crisis levels, with the government maintaining a siege on the eastern ghouta suburbs that has trapped close to 400,000 people without enough food, fuel or medicine for the winter.they say patients with empty stomachs and kidney failure are dying in their beds waiting for evacuation to hospitals just minutes away.the fighting in syria's nearly seven-year war has tapered off in many areas since local c






the latest: aid convoy enters syria's eastern ghouta region


beirut — the latest on the conflict in syria (all times local):12:40 p.m.the united nations says an aid convoy carrying humanitarian assistance has started entering the town of douma in damascus' besieged rebel-held suburbs of eastern ghouta.the u.n.'s humanitarian affairs office says in a twitter posting on monday that the convoy of trucks is carrying health and nutrition supplies, along with food for 27,500 people in need.it says some life-saving health supplies were not allowed to be loaded.monday's convoy marks the first time an aid delivery is allowed into eastern ghouta in nearly three weeks.eastern ghouta, home to some 400,000 people, has been under a crippling siege and daily bombardment for months. more than 600 civilians have been killed in the last two weeks alone.___12:20 p.m.t






aid groups vow to deliver life-saving supplies to eastern ghouta | news


geneva, switzerland - the un will try to resume the delivery of critical food and health supplies to the town of douma in syria's eastern ghouta on march 8 if conditions allow, un officials have announced.a un spokesperson said tuesday that a humanitarian aid convoy carrying food and health supplies for 75,000 people was only partially able to unload its content on monday, as heavy shelling from and into eastern ghouta continued, forcing the convoy to retreat.eastern ghouta, a suburb of the capital, damascus, has been under siege by government forces since 2013, as they attempt to drain the armed opposition operating there.but as the war in syria, which started in 2011, rages on, the 400,000 residents of eastern ghouta, like many besieged areas across the country, have borne the brunt of t






aid groups vow to deliver life-saving supplies to eastern ghouta | news


geneva, switzerland - the un will try to resume the delivery of critical food and health supplies to the town of douma in syria's eastern ghouta on march 8 if conditions allow, un officials have announced.a un spokesperson said on tuesday that a humanitarian aid convoy carrying food and health supplies enough for 75,000 people was able to only partially unload its content on monday, as heavy shelling from and into eastern ghouta continued forcing the convoy to retreat.eastern ghouta, a suburb of the capital damascus, has been under siege by government forces since 2013 as they attempt to drain the armed opposition operating there.but as the war in syria, which started in 2011, rages on, the 400,000 residents of eastern ghouta, like many besieged areas across the country, have borne the bru






the latest: activists: 80 killed on monday in syria's ghouta


beirut — the latest on the war in syria (all times local):12:30 p.m.a war-monitoring group says syrian government shelling and airstrikes killed 80 people in the besieged eastern suburbs of damascus the previous day, making it the deadliest day there since the u.n.'s security council last month demanded a cease-fire across syria.the britain-based syrian observatory for human rights says 80 died and dozens more were wounded on monday as government forces ignored the u.n. call and pressed their assault on the rebel-held eastern ghouta.the united nations estimates 400,000 people are trapped under a government siege in the area.the syrian american medical society charity, which supports several hospitals in eastern ghouta, gave a slightly lesser death toll from the observatory, saying 79 peopl






syria: at least 23 civilians killed ahead of un talks


beirut — government airstrikes and shelling outside the syrian capital killed at least 23 civilians, activists reported sunday, as fighting in the area showed no signs of letting up ahead of the resumption of u.n. peace talks in geneva.the government's jets and artillery launched a wave of attacks on residential areas in the eastern ghouta suburbs of damascus, said the britain-based syrian observatory for human rights monitoring group, which reported that 25 people had been killed.the locally-run ghouta media center said 23 civilians had been killed.rescuers arriving at the scene in misraba, a town in the eastern ghouta region, picked up the dead and wounded from the streets of a residential area in the town, as seen in a video posted by the ghouta media center and the syrian civil defense






un seeks $22.5bn for war, humanitarian crises victims | syria news


the un has launched a record appeal for $22.5bn to help victims of conflict and humanitarian crises around the world.from south sudan to syria and from afghanistan to the refugees from myanmar, conflict is the cause of the human suffering. and in most cases these are conflicts with no end in sight.the un says more than 135 million people across the world need aid. in terms of the numbers affected, yemen is the world's worst humanitarian crisis.war has left more than 22 million people in need, with a severe food shortage and cholera crisis.in nigeria, 14.5 million people, particularly women, need aid and protection because of fighting between the military and armed groups.elsewhere in africa, more than 13 million people in the democratic republic of congo (drc) - many of them displaced by f






the latest: un syria envoy not 'giving up' as ghouta reels


beirut — the latest on developments regarding syria (all times local):3:45 p.m.the united nations envoy for syria is insisting that a government-led assault on eastern ghouta must not devolve into a "copycat" of the bloody siege on northern aleppo in late 2016.u.n. and other aid officials have faced an inability to get humanitarian assistance into the rebel-held region east of damascus and escort out the critically sick and injured despite a u.n. security council resolution passed over the weekend calling for a 30-day cease-fire.the envoy, staffan de mistura, says: "we cannot afford to have the luxury of giving up. so any type of feeling that the u.n. is frustrated: forget it."otherwise, (this) becomes a copycat of aleppo," he said.___2:55 p.m.a top u.n. aid official says five-hour daily p






aid convoy enters besieged rebel-held damascus suburbs in syria


desperate for food and basic medicines, many of the besieged and bombarded syrian civilians in damascus' eastern suburbs of ghouta waited on monday as a 46-truck convoy organized by the united nations and key aid agencies began entering the rebel-held enclave.the u.n.'s humanitarian office said the convoy with health and nutrition supplies, along with food for 27,500 people in need, entered the town of douma in the besieged eastern ghouta. in a twitter posting, it said however that many life-saving health supplies were not allowed to be loaded.the delivery would be the first to the region in nearly three weeks and the first to douma, the largest and most populated town in eastern ghouta, since november.u.n. officials had said that lack of approvals and consensus among the warring parties,






syrian civilians unable to evacuate despite pauses in fighting in besieged ghout


the five-hour daily pauses in fighting in syria's embattled eastern suburbs of the capital damascus laid out under a "unilateral" plan by russia are not enough to take in aid or evacuate civilians, a top u.n. aid official said thursday.jan egeland also said the u.n. security council resolution over the weekend calling for a 30-day cease-fire has done little to improve the situation in the rebel-held region east of damascus."since it was adopted, it did not get better — it got worse," he said.egeland's comments came after the russian military accused syria's rebels of shelling a humanitarian corridor that moscow set up with the syrian government, offering residents of damascus' besieged eastern suburbs a way out of the embattled enclave.russian president vladimir putin had ordered a five-ho






un seeks $22.5bn for war, humanitarian crises victims | yemen news


the un has launched a record appeal for $22.5bn to help victims of conflict and humanitarian crises around the world.from south sudan to syria and from afghanistan to the refugees from myanmar, conflict is the cause of the human suffering. and in most cases these are conflicts with no end in sight.the un says more than 135 million people across the world need aid. in terms of the numbers affected, yemen is the world's worst humanitarian crisis.war has left more than 22 million people in need, with a severe food shortage and cholera crisis.in nigeria, 14.5 million people, particularly women, need aid and protection because of fighting between the military and armed groups.elsewhere in africa, more than 13 million people in the democratic republic of congo - many of them displaced by fightin






government attacks outside damascus kill 22, syrian activists say


government airstrikes and shelling outside the syrian capital killed at least 22 civilians, activists reported sunday, as the fighting showed no signs of letting up ahead of the resumption of u.n. peace talks in geneva.the government's jets and artillery launched a wave of strikes on residential areas in the eastern ghouta suburbs of damascus, said the britain-based syrian observatory for human rights monitoring group. by midday, they said, 23 people had been killed.the locally run ghouta media center said 22 civilians had been killed.rescuers arriving at the scene in misraba, a town in the eastern ghouta region, picked up the wounded and the dead from where they'd fallen, in streets in a residential area in the town, as seen in a video posted by the ghouta media center and the syrian civi






the latest: un chief urges syria parties to begin cease-fire


beirut — the latest on the war in syria (all times local):3:50 a.m.the u.n. says secretary-general antonio guterres is urging all parties in syria to implement a cease-fire demanded by the security council on feb. 24.the u.n. chief also is very concerned over attacks throughout the besieged damascus suburbs of eastern ghouta as well as reported shelling of the capital.u.n. spokesman stephane dujarric said late tuesday that attacks in eastern ghouta reportedly killed more than 100 people monday.dujarric says 14 of 46 trucks in a convoy trying to deliver supplies to douma in eastern ghouta weren't able to fully unload monday.he says that "nearly half of the food carried on the convoy" could not be delivered. he also says that "a part of the medical and health supplies to be included for deli






tesla sues former autopilot manager for allegedly stealing data


tesla on thursday filed a lawsuit against sterling anderson, a former program manager for tesla's autopilot team, charging that anderson stole proprietary information from tesla and tried to poach tesla employees for his own startup.the suit, filed in the santa clara county superior court, alleges that anderson has partnered with christopher urmson, the recently-departed head of google's self-driving car initiative, to launch a company called aurora. the suit was also filed against urmson and alleges the two men "sought an unfair a ntage" in a automotive market. anderson, the suit says, attempted to "violate his contractual and other obligations to tesla by attempting to recruit at least a dozen tesla engineers, taking tesla's confidential and proprietary information, and doctoring and des