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Silver lining in Ebola gloom

DAKAR, 27 August 2014 (IRIN Africa) - Amid the horror of Ebola in West Africa, where more than 1,400 people have died of the disease, a few have found reason to celebrate after recovering from the virulent infection which has no known cure. full report

Lessons to be learned from the MERS outbreak

DUBAI, 27 August 2014 (IRIN Middle East) - Only a few months ago, the threat from Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in large parts of the Gulf region appeared to be growing. Dozens of new cases were being reported every month and a key panel set up by the World Health Organization (WHO) advised that the “situation had increased in terms of its seriousness and urgency.” full report

Blood woes in Burundi

BUJUMBURA, 27 August 2014 (IRIN Africa) - Budget cuts and bureaucracy have been blamed for blood shortages which have claimed several lives in Burundi and led to calls for an overhaul of the transfusion system. full report

Higher profile for climate change in new SDGs

NEW YORK, 26 August 2014 (IRIN Global) - Following months of lobbying by poor island states and NGOs, action on climate change is to be a stand-alone goal among the 17 newly agreed Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). full report

Fighting, fuel fires and fear in Tripoli

TRIPOLI, 26 August 2014 (IRIN Middle East) - Black smoke from a massive fuel depot fire has been lingering over the heads of the residents of the capital Tripoli for more than four weeks. While the smoke has lessened since July, the fuel fires, water-supply cuts and regular gun-fire are signs that the country is going through one of the most difficult periods since the 2011 revolution. full report

South Sudan’s child soldiers - a step backwards

NAIROBI, 25 August 2014 (IRIN Africa) - The government of South Sudan signed an Action Plan with the UN in 2012 to end the use of child soldiers but there is evidence the ongoing conflict is eroding any gains achieved. full report

Analysis: Iraq's forgotten displaced

NAJAF/ERBIL/DUBAI, 22 August 2014 (IRIN Middle East) - In recent weeks the world’s attention has fixed on the plight of the Christians and Yezidis of northern Iraq as hundreds of thousands have fled advancing Islamic militants to the semi-autonomous Kurdistan. Yet across the country the same number again of Iraqis have fled their homes to other regions, receiving far less attention and support. full report

Ebola horror hastens use of test drugs

DAKAR, 21 August 2014 (IRIN Africa) - Ebola’s devastation in West Africa has catapulted experimental drugs from labs to patients and shaken up vaccine development, which was hitherto patchy as outbreaks of the virus have tended to be spasmodic and geographically limited. full report

Record harvest loss, food shortages hit dry Sri Lanka

COLOMBO, 21 August 2014 (IRIN Asia) - Sri Lanka's government is scrambling to ease the impact of record harvest losses on millions of farmers as the country enters its tenth month of an acute dry spell. full report

South Africa opens space for traditional rulers to claim land

BABANANGO/JOHANNESBURG, 21 August 2014 (IRIN Africa) - The pace of land reform in South Africa has long been criticized as too slow, but experts and black South Africans still awaiting restitution, fear that the recent reopening of the land claims process may not only delay outstanding claims further but could actually reverse the limited progress that has been made in restoring land to those dispossessed by Apartheid-era policies. full report