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China coronavirus spread is accelerating, Xi Jinping warns
China's president tells a high-level meeting that the country faces a "grave situation".

Father and 10-year-old daughter die in Hull house blaze
An investigation begins into what caused the blaze at a house on the outskirts of Hull.

Royal Marine dies after training incident in Cornwall
The recruit got into difficulty during a training exercise on Tuesday.

Oxford professor given protection following threats from trans activists
Oxford academic Selina Todd was given protection after threats from transgender rights activists.

Dead newborn baby found in Portsmouth street
Police appeal for the mother to contact them after the baby's remains are found in Portsmouth.

Brexit: US 'wants to reach trade deal with UK this year'
The US's treasury secretary says he is "optimistic" a deal can be reached with the UK this year.

Madonna Madame X tour: Star cancels first London show
The artist had said she "must listen to my body and rest", after cancelling shows in Lisbon last week.

China coronavirus: UK tests come back negative
A total of 31 tests have concluded and there are no confirmed cases in Britain, government says.

Fraud victims 'failed' as criminals 'operate with impunity' - report
A review into the handling of fraud cases finds forces have "not kept pace" with the rise in cases.

Turkey earthquake: At least 20 dead as buildings collapse
A devastating earthquake has hit Turkey's Elazig province, with over a thousand injured and many dead.

Harry and Meghan: Hagan Homes apologises over housing ads
Hagan Homes says its homes "fit for part-time royalty" campaign was intended to be "light-hearted".

England in South Africa: Mark Wood shines in Johannesburg
Mark Wood stars with bat and ball to give England complete control of the fourth Test against South Africa on a superbly entertaining second day in Johannesburg.

Real-life Rapunzel and other stories you may have missed
A few of the stories you may have missed this week.

Why do so many reality TV stars face online abuse?
For Montana Brown, life changed the moment she became a reality TV star. But then the threats and abuse began.

Home sellers risk losing money over quick sales
Trading Standards warns homeowners to be careful when using quick-sale estate agents.

Hannah: the body positive quadruple amputee
Hannah shares her life on social media to encourage self-confidence.

Watch Dogs Legion: Click goes inside the post-Brexit game
In a world first, Marc Cieslak interviews the creator of Watch Dogs: Legion inside his own game.

'Awesome' warrior queen Boudicca seen in Norfolk clouds
The cloud formation looks like "a spear-carrying Boudicca striding across the skies", the photographer says.

Sky Brown: Skating towards Tokyo 2020 Olympics
Sky Brown has set her sights on competing in the Tokyo Olympics in 2020, where she'd be Britain's youngest ever summer Olympian.

Meet the teenager who collects vacuum cleaners
Mathew Lock's passion for collecting vacuum cleaners started at the age of two.

Does country music recognise its roots?
We speak to the most famous African American country music singer about the lack of diversity in the genre.

The best pictures from around the world this week
A selection of striking news images from around the world this week.

Auschwitz: Searching for traces of my grandfather
Meijer Nieweg was murdered in August 1942. It has taken decades for details of his death to emerge.

Mark Wallinger: The artist who wants to provoke pupils' creativity
Top artist Mark Wallinger has become a school's artist-in-residence to fight for more creativity.

Still seeking answers a year after Brazil dam collapse
One year on from the dam collapse at Brazil's Corrego do Feijao mine, many are still seeking answers.

Martin Scorsese's editor on his hatred of eyebrows
Thelma Schoonmaker reveals Scorsese's problem with eyebrows and how Netflix saved The Irishman.

Trump impeachment trial: What happened so far
As prosecution gives way to defence, we look back at what you might have missed and what to expect.

Coronavirus: How is the Chinese city at the centre of the outbreak coping?
There has been criticism that authorities were too slow to respond and contain the virus.

Why China’s LGBT hide their identities at Lunar New Year
Representation of China's LGBT community is improving but many still struggle during Lunar New Year.

Australian Open: Nick Kyrgios to face Rafael Nadal after 'insane' win over Karen Khachanov
Nick Kyrgios will face top seed Rafael Nadal in the last 16 at the Australian Open after an "insane" five-set win over Karen Khachanov.

League One Oxford draw at Newcastle to earn FA Cup replay
League One Oxford earn an FA Cup fourth-round replay at home to Newcastle after holding the Premier League side to a goalless draw.

West Ham 0-1 West Brom: Dismal Hammers crash out of FA Cup
Slaven Bilic enjoys a winning return to London Stadium as a dismal West Ham performance sees them crash out of the FA Cup at the hands of West Brom.

Ben Stokes: England all-rounder fined for altercation with fan
England all-rounder Ben Stokes is fined 15% of his match fee for an altercation with a spectator during the fourth Test in South Africa.

FA Cup: West Ham United 0-1 West Bromwich Albion highlights
Watch highlights as a dismal West Ham crash out of the FA Cup with a feeble home defeat at the hands of West Brom.

Manchester United 2-3 Manchester City: Blues edge rivals in Women's FA Cup fourth round
Ellen White's double helps holders Manchester City into the Women's FA Cup fifth round at the expense of Manchester United.

Should schools be allowed to ban slang words like 'peng'?
Research suggests that slang bans in schools may be more harmful than good.

Five times immigration changed the UK
Over the past century many groups have left and entered the country, changing the shape of the nation.

Can one mile take 10 years off your life?
Is Sir Keir Starmer right that Somers Town in London has life expectancy 10 years below somewhere a mile away?

Ukraine coat of arms in UK anti-terror list furore
The Ukrainian embassy demands "official apologies" over a UK police counter-extremism guide.

Cardiff's Fitzalan High class all receive A* GCSE grade
The pupils gasped as they realised they had all achieved the top result, their assistant head teacher says.


Death toll climbs as virus spreads around world

A lot has changed since China's SARS outbreak 17 years ago. But some things haven't

Trump's legal team only used a fraction of their time today — a stark contrast to Democrats' approach

Senate impeachment trial: Trump's defense team aims to poke holes in Democratic case

Ugandan climate activist cropped out of photo with white peers
The Associated Press news agency (AP) has apologized after cropping a Ugandan climate activist from a photograph where she had posed with her white peers after a press conference in Davos, Switzerland.

China is a massive headache for Europe

Delta ordered to pay $50,000 fine over allegations it discriminated against Muslim passengers
The US Department of Transportation ordered Delta Air Lines on Friday to pay a $50,000 fine to settle allegations it violated federal law by discriminating against Muslim passengers.

Six people killed in shooting in southwestern Germany

At least 22 dead, more than 1,200 injured in Turkey earthquake
At least 22 people died and hundreds injured in eastern Turkey after an earthquake rattled the region on Friday evening, according to authorities.

The untold story of women climbers trapped on 'the roof of the world'

What's in store for the Year of the Rat? Hong Kong's most famous fortune teller reveals all

Largest veterans organization demands apology after Trump said traumatic brain injuries from Iranian attack are 'not very serious'
The Veterans of Foreign Wars is demanding that President Donald Trump apologize for downplaying traumatic brain injuries sustained by US service members in Iraq after Iranian missile strikes on American troops earlier this month.

100 days of rage: Lebanon enters the abyss
Nour Fakih was at his office desk on a Thursday afternoon in October when he sent his friend Abed a prescient WhatsApp message. "Abed, should we call for a revolution, bro?"

Trump attends anti-abortion rally, in historic first
President Donald Trump on Friday reiterated his support for tighter abortion restrictions, pledging at the annual March for Life rally in Washington that "unborn children have never had a stronger defender in the White House."

A 4-year-old who was accidentally shot while play-wrestling with his father has died, police say
A 4-year-old Indiana boy who was accidentally shot in the head while play-wrestling with his father has died, authorities said.

'Are you stupid?' Nick Kyrgios rages at umpire over bleeding hand during victory at Australian Open
It's barely been 48 hours since Nick Kyrgios made headlines for mocking Rafael Nadal's routine, and now, he's causing another stir.

The children's game that's got professional athletes playing and millions watching online
It's a popular playground game that has entertained children all over the world for generations.

Wonderkid Håland smashes German league record
You might have thought scoring a debut hat-trick might earn you a start in the next game.

Top BBC editor quits, suffering from PTSD
The BBC's Africa editor, Fergal Keane, is stepping down from his role after suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) caused by reporting on conflicts around the world.

Why Bernie Sanders is rising in the polls
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders leads in New Hampshire, continuing to widen his top position ahead of the primaries, according to a new WBUR poll.

Davos ends with disagreement on climate and Greta Thunberg on the march
The annual meeting of the world's business and political leaders in Davos wrapped up Friday with two of the world's most powerful people disagreeing over how to address the climate crisis and youth activists excoriating the global elite for not doing enough to prevent global warming.

For the rich and famous, there's no silver bullet to avoid phone hacks
The world might be turning to technology to solve everything from traffic to dating, but no one app or gadget will save the rich and famous from falling prey to cyberattacks, according to digital security experts.

French charity says four aid workers missing in Iraq
Four aid workers from a French Christian charity have gone missing in Iraq and an investigation is underway to locate them, the organization said.

Deradicalization camps for Kashmiris? That's just absurd, experts say

California woman dies after clothing gets caught in raisin processing machine
A 33-year-old California woman is dead after her clothing got caught in a machine at a raisin processing facility in Fresno County.

Sharks that can walk discovered near Australia
Scientists discovered four new species off walking sharks near the northern coast of Australia.

Must-watch videos of the week

Poland launches a fresh attack on judges -- and there's little the EU can do about it
The government of Poland has launched a fresh assault on the independence of the country's judiciary, setting the ruling Law and Justice party (PiS) on a collision course with the European Union.

World Bank to discuss $500M education loan for Tanzania despite pregnant student ban
A multi-million dollar World Bank education loan to Tanzania is back on the table for possible approval next week after it was pulled over a year ago amid concerns about the country's policy of banning pregnant girls and young mothers from attending state school.

Channing Tatum no longer a single man
An Instagram kiss and inflatable unicorn horns are pointing to Channing Tatum and Jessie J getting back together.

Drone video reveals scale of Auschwitz camp 75 years later
Since its liberation in January 1945, Auschwitz has become a symbol of the atrocities of the Holocaust.

300-foot pizza raises funds for firefighters
An Italian restaurant in Sydney made a 300-foot (103-meter) pizza to raise funds for firefighters battling bushfires in Australia.

Frank Sinatra's gold-seated toilets up for auction
Frank Sinatra fans are set to scoop up furnishings, including gold-seated toilets, from an auction of contents belonging the late crooner's suite at the Golden Nugget Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Rosie Perez testifies Annabella Sciorra told her about alleged rape by Harvey Weinstein
Actress Rosie Perez took the stand in Harvey Weinstein's trial Friday to support her friend Annabella Sciorra, who testified Thursday the disgraced movie mogul raped her in the winter of 1993-94.

Taylor Swift shares she struggled with an eating disorder
Taylor Swift talks about overcoming an eating disorder in her new Netflix documentary, "Miss Americana," which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival Thursday night.

Javier Hernandez clarifies 'retirement' comments after crying over LA Galaxy transfer
The arrival of Javier Hernandez at Los Angeles Galaxy was treated as a seminal moment for Major League Soccer and for the club.

A baby covered AC/DC's 'Thunderstruck,' after his dad recorded his noises for a year
Does it seem like recording artists are getting younger and younger?

MEAN's machines: Futuristic designs inspired by nature
The Namib Desert Beetle has a neat trick for slaking its thirst in desert conditions.

Trudeau's $4 doughnuts cost him dearly
Oh, Justin Trudeau, what crisis have you baked up for yourself now?

Puppy gets head stuck in wheel, firefighters step in
Firefighters in California rescued a 3-month-old puppy after its head got stuck in a wheel.

Mona Lisa for $60K? The curious market for Old Masters replicas
To an untrained eye, the "Mona Lisa" up for auction at Sotheby's next week is indistinguishable from its namesake hanging in the Louvre.

Hong Kong upgrades Wuhan virus outbreak to 'emergency' | Three cases confirmed in France | Four in Australia | Over 230 are in critical condition in China
• WSJ: US to evacuate Americans out of China • Wuhan medical workers tell of coronavirus challenges • Video appears to show desperation of patients in Wuhan • A visual guide to the Wuhan coronavirus

A lot has changed since China's SARS outbreak 17 years ago. But some things haven't
In 2003, panic was setting in. The fatal severe respiratory syndrome (SARS) -- which first appeared in southern China -- had spread across borders, prompting schools to close in Singapore and hundreds to be quarantined in Hong Kong.

Impeachment trial: Trump's legal team argues 'The President did absolutely nothing wrong'
• The most important takeaway of the trial • ANALYSIS: Think Trump's acting like a dictator now? What if he's reelected? • Trump joins anti-abortion rally, in historic first

Two teens accused of killing their mothers and siblings
Two teens in Utah and Alabama killed their mothers and siblings in separate incidents, leaving their communities shocked in what appear to be unrelated cases.

Father and son, 4, shot in the head while play-wrestling - by father's concealed gun
A 4-year-old boy and his father both were shot in the head after the man's concealed weapon accidentally discharged while the two were play-wrestling, police said.

What Larry Nassar judge did isn't bias. It's empowerment
"I just signed your death warrant."

Three of the top six women's seeds out
Saturday proved to be a day of shock exits from the Australian Open in the women's draw, with three of the top six seeds eliminated from the competition.

Desert locust invade East Africa
The Horn of Africa has been hit by an invasion of desert locusts in 25 years -- and in Kenya, it's the worst in 70 years, the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization said Friday.

Al Jazeera

Trump impeachment trial day six: All the latest updates
Trump's defence team begins its opening arguments on Saturday following three days of presentations by House Democrats.

Iraq's Sadrists withdraw support for protest movement
Iraq's largest political bloc - the Sadrists - have withdrawn their support for anti-government protest movement.

Rescue efforts under way after deadly quake rattles east Turkey
Magnitude 6.8 quake hits Elazig and Malatya provinces, killing at least 22 and injuring more than 1,000.

Yemen rebels advance as loyalists beat 'tactical' retreat
Renewed fighting entering its ninth day allows Houthi rebels to retake loyalist positions.

China battles coronavirus outbreak: All the latest updates
Death toll from new coronavirus rises to 41 in China, government says, as more countries confirm cases.

Tensions high in Baghdad as police fire tear gas, live bullets
Iraqi protesters say they will remain in Tahrir Square as security forces reopen roads previously shut by demonstrators.

El Salvador general admits army carried out El Mozote massacre
US-trained Atlacatl Battalion killed some 1,000 people in Latin America's most brutal massacre of 20th century.

Iran condemns 'inhumane' US treatment of its nationals
An Iranian student headed to university in Boston was deported at airport earlier this week.

Limited internet restored in Kashmir, no access to social media
Nearly six-month long shutdown, longest in a democracy, ends with India allowing 2G access to 300 'whitelisted' sites.

Why is Lebanon's Gebran Bassil so controversial?
Bassil, 49, has seen his fortunes shift since mass protests against corruption and nepotism erupted last year.

Impeachment trial: What to expect from Trump's defence team
US Senate trial moves to new phase as president's lawyers get a chance to argue in Trump's favour.

The end of the nation-state
The brutal naked violence states increasingly unleash on their nations signals their irreversible loss of legitimacy.

Which countries have confirmed cases of new coronavirus?
People in more than 10 countries, mostly in Asia, have been diagnosed with the virus, which originated in Wuhan, China.

Coronavirus: All you need to know about symptoms and risks
China is stepping up efforts to tackle a new coronavirus that is thought to have originated in a Wuhan seafood market.

Impeachment trial: Who is on Trump's defence team?
The defence team is made up of an array of well-known Washington, DC lawyer and Trump surrogates.

Controversy over Germany's 'anti-Jewish' artwork
As world set to commemorate International Holocaust Day, presence of Germany's historic sculptures fuels concerns at rising anti-Semitism.

Deadly earthquake strikes eastern Turkey
Magnitude 6.8 quake rocks eastern province of Elazig killing at least 22 people and injuring more than 1000.

Rape, abuse and violence: Female migrants' journey to Libya
A journey for a better life is 'marred by considerable risk of serious human rights violations and abuses'.

China's Hubei: 'Epicentre' of coronavirus
Hubei province is facing a severe medical situation, according to an official there, as outbreak casts shadow over Chinese Lunar New Year.

Bolivia's caretaker President Anez says will run in May election
The 52-year-old lawyer and former TV presenter is one of the most vocal critics of ousted President Evo Morales.

Anger as Ugandan activist cropped out of photo with white peers
Climate advocate Vanessa Nakate calls out racism after she is removed from image taken with her white peers in Davos.

Latin America: A giant in turmoil
A former Chilean presidential candidate explores the demise of the political left across Latin America.

The Murdoch media: Polluting Australia's airwaves?
As bushfires flare, Murdoch's news empire peddles climate scepticism. Plus, the legacy of Daphne Caruana Galizia.

Wuhan coronavirus: A new pandemic?
Questions remain about authorities' response to the coronavirus as number of confirmed cases rises.

East Africa locust outbreak sparks calls for international help
Desert locust infestation threatens food security and livelihoods in region reeling from drought and deadly floods.

MercoPress - South American Agency

Coronavirus deaths piling in China; health authorities scramble to prevent a global pandemic

The total number of confirmed cases in China now stands at 1,287, the National Health Commission said in a statement on Saturday. The official death toll from the coronavirus in China jumped on early Saturday to 41 from 26 a day before, as local media reported a doctor on the frontline of the battle to contain the virus in Wuhan city had died.

Netanyahu praises Fernandez for his “persistence” in investigating the bombing of a Jewish center in Buenos Aires

Argentine president Alberto Fernandez and First Lady were hosted for by Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife . Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday congratulated Argentina’s President Alberto Fernandez for his “persistence” in investigating a 1994 bombing of a Jewish community in Buenos Aires.

Turmoil in Spanish coalition: Transport minister meets Venezuelan vice president in EU territory

Allegedly José Luis Ábalos, the transport minister in the leftwing coalition met Delcy Rodríguez in the early hours of Monday morning. Opposition parties in Spain are calling on the government to explain why one of its ministers met Venezuela’s vice-president in a secretive encounter onboard a private jet at Madrid airport.

Falklands' January storm causes massive loss of Rockhopper penguin chicks

The colony is at the south west end of Sea Lion. Rockhopper penguins are among the smaller species of penguin: at full growth, they are about 20 inches in height. 84% of Rockhopper chicks on Sea Lion Island have died as a result of a storm that hit the Falkland Islands on January 14/15. Strong easterly winds on the island, which lies southeast of East Falklands, launched sea spray on to the colony for more than 48 hours, to deadly effect, said owner Mickey Reeves.

Bolivian interim president tosses her hat into the May 3 election ring

Jeanine Anez announced her candidacy at an event in La Paz, despite previously having suggested she would not run Bolivia’s interim President Jeanine Anez said on Friday that she will be a candidate in upcoming elections that will serve as a re-run of October’s disputed vote that sparked protests and prompted former leader Evo Morales to resign.

Trump announces higher tariffs for steel and aluminum derivates

Trump has imposed tariffs on imported steel and aluminum to help boost U.S. production, which he says is a national security issue US. President Donald Trump on Friday signed a proclamation increasing tariffs on derivative steel products by an additional 25% and boosting duties on derivative aluminum products by an additional 10%.

Argentina's YPF returns successfully to money markets: issues US$ 164 million debt

YPF, which is spearheading development of Argentina’s giant Vaca Muerta shale play, said in a statement it issued the debt via three new debt instruments Argentina’s state energy company YPF said it issued debt of US$ 164 million on Wednesday, in a result it said exceeded its expectation.

Bolivia breaks diplomatic relations with Cuba arguing Havana's "constant hostility"

Interim President Jeanine Anez has previously cut ties with Venezuela's socialist President Nicolas Maduro, recognizing instead his opposition rival Juan Guaido. Bolivia on Friday announced it was breaking off diplomatic relations with long-time ally Cuba, the latest in a series of foreign policy reversals by the right-wing interim government.

First trail in Chile over eye injuries to protestor by Carabineros firing buckshot

In court, Captain Pablo Carvajal was formally accused of having fired buckshot in the left eye of a protester at a distance of two to five meters during a protest A Chilean police officer appeared in court on Friday in the first instance of prosecutors bringing charges over eye injuries blamed on security forces during Chile's months of unrest.

Chile's business community anticipates an ailing economy during 2020

Protests over inequality rocked the world's top copper miner through late 2019, leaving 27 people dead, thousands injured and billions of dollars in damages Chile's central bank is expected to hold its benchmark rate at 1.75% in January, a poll of 62 traders showed on Friday, then keep it there through 2020 as seeks to spur the ailing economy following months of unrest in the key mining nation.

EU Newsroom

Shaping the Conference on the Future of Europe
The Commission set out its ideas for shaping the Conference on the Future of Europe, which should be launched on Europe Day, 9 May 2020 and run for two years. The Communication adopted is the Commission's contribution to the already lively debate around the Conference on the Future of Europe – a project announced by President Ursula von der Leyen in her Political Guidelines, to give Europeans a greater say on what the European Union does and how it works for them.

Main results of the Economic and Financial Affairs Council
The Economic and Financial Affairs Council (Ecofin) discussed digital taxation and the European Green Deal. It also kick-started the 2020 European Semester exercise.

Main results of the Foreign Affairs Council
The Council discussed current affairs, including the latest developments regarding Libya. Foreign ministers also exchanged views on the Sahel and climate diplomacy. Over a working lunch ministers discussed the Middle East peace process and issues concerning the wider region.

Main results of the Eurogroup meeting

Plenary highlights: European Green Deal, future of Europe, Brexit
During the first plenary session of 2020, Parliament called for more ambitious measures to tackle climate change and to put citizens at the centre of an initiative to reform the EU.

To save biodiversity, MEPs call for binding targets at global and EU level
MEPs want the upcoming global biodiversity conference COP 15 to agree on legally binding targets, as was the case for the Paris agreement on climate change. Parliament adopted its position in view of the 2020 UN biodiversity conference (COP 15), in Kunming (China) in October by show of hands.

Brexit: MEPs concerned about citizens' rights
Parliament highlights that assurances are needed on the protection of citizens’ rights to ensure its consent to the Withdrawal Agreement. In a resolution, MEPs take stock of citizens’ rights in the context of Brexit and highlight that their consent to the Withdrawal Agreement will take into account “experiences gained and assurances given” about their protection.

Parliament supports European Green Deal and pushes for even higher ambitions
MEPs support the European Green Deal, but highlight challenges, including ensuring a just and inclusive transition and the need for high interim targets. Parliament adopted its position on the European Green Deal, unveiled by Commission President von der Leyen in a plenary debate in December.

Financing the green transition: The European Green Deal Investment Plan and Just Transition Mechanism
The European Green Deal's Investment Plan - the Sustainable Europe Investment Plan - presented today will mobilise public investment and help to unlock private funds through EU financial instruments, notably InvestEU, which would lead to at least €1 trillion of investments.

Commission presents first reflections on building a strong social Europe for just transitions
The Commission presents a Communication on building a strong social Europe for just transitions. It sets out how social policy will help deliver on the challenges and opportunities of today, proposing action at EU level for the months to come, and seeking feedback on further action at all levels in the area of employment and social rights.

Main results of the Foreign Affairs Council
The Council discussed current affairs, focusing on Libya, and exchanged views on recent events in Iraq with a view to finding ways to de-escalate tensions in the region.

European Commission steps up protection of European intellectual property in global markets
The European Commission published the latest report on protection and enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) in third countries. While developments have taken place since the publication of the previous report, concerns persist and a number of areas for improvement and action remain to be addressed.

Plenary highlights: Sakharov Prize, EU Ombudsman, pollinators
The 2019 Sakharov Prize award ceremony, the election of the new EU Ombudsman and a debate on the decline of bees topped the agenda of the December plenary session in Strasbourg.

Main results of the Environment Council
The Environment Council adopted conclusions on biodiversity. Ministers spelled out member states' views on the commitments and actions needed in EU environment and climate policy 2019-2024, including the European Green Deal.

Ten years of the Lisbon Treaty and the Charter of Fundamental Rights
MEPs celebrated the reforms that enhanced democracy and expanded people’s rights in the EU with Presidents Sassoli, Michel and von der Leyen.

European Semester Autumn Package: Creating an economy that works for people and the planet
The von der Leyen Commission launches a new European Semester cycle, the first of its mandate. It presents an ambitious, rebooted growth strategy focused on promoting competitive sustainability to build an economy that works for people and the planet.

Main results of the Agriculture and Fisheries Council
The Council reached a political agreement on catch limits in the Atlantic and North Sea for 2020 and agreed on a general approach on a crisis package for Baltic Sea fisheries. The Council also had an exchange of views on a progress report on the post-2020 CAP reform package.

Parliament backs measures to cut e-commerce VAT fraud
MEPs supported measures designed to fight e-commerce VAT evasion that would help cut some of the €137 billion lost each year across the EU to VAT fraud.

European Citizens' Initiative: Commission registers ‘Stop Finning – Stop the trade' initiative

Main results of the European Council
On 12 December, EU leaders discussed climate change, the EU's long-term budget and external relations, among other issues. On 13 December, they met again to talk about the economic and monetary union and Brexit.

Commission reinforces tools to ensure Europe's interests in international trade
The European Commission unveiled a proposal that will allow the European Union to protect its trade interests despite the paralysis of the multilateral dispute settlement system in the World Trade Organization (WTO).

The European Green Deal sets out how to make Europe the first climate-neutral continent by 2050
The European Commission presented The European Green Deal – a roadmap for making the EU's economy sustainable by turning climate and environmental challenges into opportunities across all policy areas and making the transition just and inclusive for all.

EU Facility for Refugees in Turkey: full mobilisation of €6 billion to support refugees and local communities in need
The EU has fully mobilised the €6 billion operational budget of the Facility for Refugees in Turkey, confirming its commitment to the implementation of the EU-Turkey Statement. Out of the total Facility budget of €6 billion, €4.3 billion has now been contracted and €2.7 billion disbursed.

Main results of the Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council
The Council held debates on the economy of wellbeing and on the access to medicines in the EU. It also held debates on gender equality and the future of the EU social legislation and adopted conclusions on health and safety at work and on inclusive labour markets.

Aviation Safety: Commission adopts new EU Air Safety List
The European Commission updated the EU Air Safety List, the list of airlines that do not meet international safety standards and are therefore subject to an operating ban or operational restrictions within the European Union.

Main results of the Foreign Affairs Council
The Council discussed EU-Africa relations and how the EU can better protect and promote human rights around the world. Foreign ministers also had an exchange of views on FAC's working methods.

The EU adopted €297 million in concrete actions for refugees and local communities in Jordan and Lebanon
The European Union adopted a new €297 million assistance package to support refugees and host communities in Jordan and Lebanon via the EU Regional Trust Fund in Response to the Syrian Crisis.

Main results of the Economic and Financial Affairs Council
The Economic and Financial Affairs Council took stock of progress on the banking union. It also adopted a work plan on climate action and conclusions on energy taxation, money laundering, capital markets union, non-performing loans and the financial architecture for development.

The Working Methods of the von der Leyen Commission: Striving for more at home and in the world
The von der Leyen Commission revealed its working methods which will be the basis for the new College to deliver on the President's Agenda for Europe during the next five years. They put collegiality, transparency and efficiency first.

Main results of the Transport, Telecommunications and Energy Council (Energy) Council
The Council discussed smart sector integration, the new Commission's energy policy priorities, and follow-up to the draft national energy and climate plans.

Main results of the Justice and Home Affairs Council
The Council agreed its negotiating positions on two amending regulations, one on the taking of evidence and one on the service of documents. It also adopted conclusions on victims' rights. Ministers took note of the final report of the 8th round of mutual evaluations in the field of criminal matters, which focused on environmental crime.

Main results of the Transport, Telecommunications and Energy Council (Transport)
The Council agreed its position on proposals related to rail passenger rights and trans-European transport network. It discussed digitalisation of transport and the Single European Sky.

Roaming market review: use of mobile phones abroad has surged since end of EU roaming charges
The Commission has published the first full review of the roaming market, showing that travellers across the EU have benefitted a lot from the end of roaming charges in June 2017.

Plenary highlights: new Commission, EU's 2020 budget, climate change
MEPs voted into office the new European Commission, approved the EU's budget for 2020, called for a climate neutral Europe and awarded the LUX film prize.

State of Health in the EU: shift to prevention and primary care is the most important trend across countries
The European Commission published the reports that depict the profile of health systems in 30 countries. Country Health Profiles are being issued with the Companion Report that shows some of the biggest trends in the transformation of the healthcare systems and draws key conclusions from the Profiles.

The European Parliament declares climate emergency
Ahead of the UN COP25 Climate Change Conference in Madrid 2-13 December, the Parliament approved a resolution declaring a climate and environmental emergency in Europe and globally. They also want the Commission to ensure that all relevant legislative and budgetary proposals are fully aligned with the objective of limiting global warming to under 1.5 °C.

Main results of the Competitiveness Council
The Council agreed a general approach on the representative actions for consumers. It debated the public country-by-country reporting directive and had an exchange of views on the external dimension of the competitiveness of the EU economy.

November infringements package: key decisions
In its monthly package of infringement decisions, the European Commission pursues legal action against Member States for failing to comply with their obligations under EU law.

Parliament elects the von der Leyen Commission
Following the conclusion of the hearings process, Parliament approved the new Commissioners, presented to plenary by Commission President-elect von der Leyen.

Children's rights: combatting exploitation, forced marriage and sexual abuse
MEPs call for more action to combat child trafficking and forced marriage, whilst stressing the crucial contribution that kids make in the fight against climate change.

Main results of the Foreign Affairs Council (Development)
The Council discussed the future financial architecture for sustainable development and neighbourhood, and how the EU and member states can better support the development of countries in transition, such as Ethiopia and Sudan. Development ministers also had an exchange of views with the Minister of Education of Ethiopia about learning challenges in Africa.

Main results of the Education, Youth, Culture and Sports Council
The Council adopted a resolution on culture and sustainable development and conclusions on combatting corruption in sport and held public debates on the competitiveness of creative and audio-visual industries and on good governance in sport.

Main results of the Foreign Affairs Council (Trade)
The Council discussed the state of play of negotiations in the World Trade Organization, and progress in its reform process. It also took stock of the latest developments regarding trade relations between the EU and the United States.

Raw materials: Commission launches new online portal to support responsible sourcing in businesses

Autumn Fiscal Package: Commission adopts Opinions on euro area Draft Budgetary Plans
The European Commission has presented its Opinions on euro area Member States' 2020 Draft Budgetary Plans, taken steps under the Stability and Growth Pact and adopted the fourth Enhanced Surveillance Report for Greece.

€200 million to promote European agri-food products in and outside the EU
The European Commission will allocate €200.9 million in 2020 to fund promotion activities for EU agri-food products at home and abroad. The 2020 promotion policy work programme adopted by the Commission outlines the main priorities for support.

Main results of the General Affairs Council
The Council focused on the next multiannual financial framework, European Council preparations and strengthening the rule of law in the EU. Ministers also discussed the state of play on enlargement and the stabilisation and association process.

Main results of the Agriculture and Fisheries Council
The AgriFish Council exchanged views on the post 2020 CAP reform package and CAP transitional rules. It was also informed about: apiculture, imports of maize and rice, and the EU-China agreement on GIs.

Main results of the Economic and Financial Affairs Council (Budget)
The Council endorsed an agreement on the 2020 EU budget reached with the European Parliament in the conciliation committee. The budget strongly focuses on growth and competitiveness, climate action and other EU priorities such as security and management of migration.

Vaccine against Ebola: Commission grants first-ever market authorisation
The European Commission adopted the decision granting marketing authorisation to the company Merck Sharp & Dohme B.V. for a vaccine against Ebola. This vaccine, called Ervebo, had been in development since the Ebola outbreak in West Africa in 2014.

Main results of the Foreign Affairs Council
The Council focussed on Afghanistan and on the security situation in the Gulf region and Iran. Foreign ministers also had an exchange of views with the Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok.

Taxation: Belize removed from EU list, North Macedonia meets commitments

Statement by Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on the 30th anniversary of the Peaceful Revolution of 9 November 1989

Final green light to the EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement
It will soon be easier and more profitable to trade with Singapore. The free trade agreement (FTA) signed by the European Union and the Republic of Singapore on 19 October 2018 is due to enter into force on 21 November 2019, as a consequence of the decision adopted by the Council today on the conclusion of this agreement.

European Border and Coast Guard: Council adopts revised regulation
The European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) is being strengthened in terms of staff and technical equipment. It is also being given a broader mandate to support member states' activities, especially on border control, return and cooperation with third countries. The new regulation will incorporate the European Border Surveillance System (EUROSUR) into the European Border and Coast Guard framework, to improve its functioning.

Main results of the Economic and Financial Affairs Council
The Council adopted conclusions on climate finance ahead of COP25, the UN climate change conference, which will take place in Madrid from 2 to 13 December 2019. It also reached agreement on two reforms of existing VAT rules.

Autumn 2019 Economic Forecast: A challenging road ahead
The European economy is now in its seventh consecutive year of growth and is forecast to continue expanding in 2020 and 2021. Labour markets remain strong and unemployment continues to fall. However, the external environment has become much less supportive and uncertainty is running high.

Landmark agreement will protect 100 European Geographical Indications in China
The EU and China concluded the negotiations on a bilateral agreement to protect 100 European Geographical Indications (GI) in China and 100 Chinese GI in the EU against imitations and usurpation.

Erasmus+: EU will invest over €3 billion in young Europeans to study or train abroad in 2020
The European Commission published its 2020 call for proposals for the Erasmus+ programme. 2020 is the last year of the current European Union programme for mobility and cooperation in education, training, youth and sport.

Industrial policy: recommendations to support Europe's leadership in six strategic business areas
The Commission publishes recommendations by a group of experts, the Strategic Forum on Important Projects of Common European Interest, to boost Europe's competitiveness and global leadership in six strategic and future-oriented industrial sectors.

Security Union: Significant progress and tangible results over past years but efforts must continue
The report presented recaps the initiatives taken by the Commission in some of the key areas of the Security Union including, the fight against terrorism, information exchange, countering radicalisation and cybersecurity, while noting that further efforts are needed, in particular on the implementation of EU security legislation.

Code of Practice on Disinformation one year on: online platforms submit self-assessment reports
Today, the European Commission published the first annual self-assessment reports by Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Mozilla, Twitter and 7 European trade associations under the Code of Practice on Disinformation. The self-regulatory Code of Practice was launched in October 2018 and is an important pillar of the Action Plan against Disinformation.

Brexit: European Council adopts decision to extend the period under Article 50
The extension will last until 31 January 2020 to allow more time for the ratification of the withdrawal agreement. The withdrawal can take place earlier on 1 December 2019 or 1 January 2020, if the withdrawal agreement is ratified by both parties.

Plenary highlights: EU's 2020 budget, Syria, Sakharov Prize, bees
MEPs called for more funds for climate action, criticised Turkey’s military operation in Syria and voted in favour of plans to protect bees during this week's plenary session in Strasbourg.

Main results of the Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council
The Council adopted conclusions on the Economy of Wellbeing and on the future of work. Ministers also held debates on matching skills and labour market needs and on anti-discrimination.

MEPs call for sanctions against Turkey over military operation in Syria

Get multinationals to disclose where they pay taxes, MEPs tell member states
MEPs on adopted a resolution urging member states to work on long-overdue rules obliging multinationals to disclose what taxes they pay in each country.

EU-U.S. Privacy Shield: Third review welcomes progress while identifying steps for improvement
The European Commission publishes its report on the third annual review of the functioning of the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield. The report confirms that the U.S. continues to ensure an adequate level of protection for personal data transferred under the Privacy Shield from the EU to participating companies in the U.S.

EU investment budget for 2020: A boost for the climate
MEPs adopted their position on the 2020 EU budget on Wednesday, saying it must provide a “solid starting point to launch the new generation of EU programmes”.

Juncker Plan has made major impact on EU jobs and growth

MEPs adopt plan to keep 2020 EU funding for UK in no-deal Brexit scenario
UK researchers, students and farmers should continue to get EU support in the event of a no-deal Brexit, under provisions adopted by the full house.

Christine Lagarde appointed President of the European Central Bank

Main results of the European Council
The European Council adopted conclusions on the MFF, the next institutional cycle, climate change, enlargement, Turkey, illegal drilling activities and MH17.

Brexit: European Commission recommends the European Council (Article 50) to endorse the agreement reached
The European Commission has recommended the European Council (Article 50) to endorse the agreement reached at negotiator level on the Withdrawal Agreement, including a revised Protocol on Ireland / Northern Ireland, and approve a revised Political Declaration on the framework of the future EU-UK relationship.

Main results of the Special European Council (Art.50)
The European Council (Art. 50) endorsed the revised withdrawal agreement and approved the revised political declaration. On this basis, the European Council (Art. 50) invited the Commission, the European Parliament and the Council to take the necessary steps to ensure that the agreement can enter into force on 1 November 2019, so as to provide for an orderly withdrawal.

European Labour Authority starts its work
The European Labour Authority starts its activities with an inaugural ceremony and the first meeting of its Management Board.

European Agenda on Migration four years on: Marked progress needs consolidating in face of volatile situation
Ahead of the October European Council, the Commission is reporting on key progress under the European Agenda on Migration since 2015, with focus on steps taken by the EU since the last progress report in March 2019.

Gender Equality Index 2019: Still far from the finish line

Main results of the Agriculture and Fisheries Council
The AgriFish Council agreed on 2020 fishing opportunities in the Baltic Sea, and to supplement the existing partial general approach on the future EMFF. The Council exchanged views on the post 2020 CAP reform package, forestry and the market situation.

Main results of the General Affairs Council

Main results of the Foreign Affairs Council
The Council focussed on the situation in Syria, including north-east Syria, and on Turkey's drilling activities. Foreign ministers discussed Ukraine and had an exchange of views with the Ukrainian Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko.

EU trade agreements: delivering new opportunities in time of global economic uncertainties
Despite the difficult global economic climate, European companies have continued to make good use of the opportunities created by the European Union's trade network - the largest in the world.

EU to take action against fake news and foreign electoral interference
Foreign electoral interference seriously threatens European democratic societies to the benefit of anti-EU, right-wing extremist and populist forces, warn MEPs.

Main results of the Economic and Financial Affairs Council
The Council discussed issues related to anti-money laundering and the Wise Persons' Group's report on the European financial architecture. It adopted a Council recommendation on the appointment of a member of the ECB executive board.

October infringements package: key decisions
In its monthly package of infringement decisions, the European Commission pursues legal action against Member States for failing to comply with their obligations under EU law.

EU budget 2021-2027: Time to decide
Ahead of the European Council meeting on 17 and 18 October, the European Commission calls on EU Heads of State or Government to provide political guidance and new impetus to the negotiations in order to reach an agreement on a fair, balanced and modern long-term EU budget for the period 2021-2027.

Main results of the Eurogroup meeting

Commission launches new edition of the Cultural and Creative Cities Monitor 2019

European Commission welcomes the positive assessment about how it has managed the EU budget
In its latest report about the management of the EU budget, the European Court of Auditors – the independent auditor of EU spending – confirmed that the Juncker Commission had significantly improved the way it administered the EU budget.

Main results of the Justice and Home Affairs Council
Home affairs ministers discussed right-wing violent extremism and terrorism, new technologies and internal security, hybrid threats and internal security, the state of play on migration, and the EU’s action against corruption. On the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the Charter of Fundamental Rights, they also reaffirmed the importance of EU common values.

Main results of the Environment Council
The Environment Council adopted conclusions for the preparations of COP25 as well as on the 8th Environment Action Programme and the circular economy. Ministers held a policy debate on the EU's long-term climate strategy.

New rules make household appliances more sustainable
In a continued effort to reduce Europe's carbon footprint and to make energy bills cheaper for European consumers, the Commission adopted new eco-design measures for products such as refrigerators, washing machines, dishwashers and televisions.

August 2019 - Euro area unemployment at 7.4% - EU28 at 6.2%

Security Union: The Commission recommends opening negotiations with Japan on the transfer of Passenger Name Record (PNR) data

Main results of the Competitiveness Council
The Council held an exchange of views on the key policies that should form the basis of a long-term EU strategy on sustainable growth. The strategy is part of the implementation of the new EU Strategic Agenda 2019-2024 adopted by the European Council in June 2019.

Education and training in the EU: supporting teachers is critical to build the European Education Area
Coinciding with the second European Education Summit, the European Commission published the 2019 Education and Training Monitor analysing how education and training is evolving in the EU and its Member States.

Main results of the UN General Assembly, New York
Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, addressed world leaders on behalf of the EU at the UN General Assembly (UNGA) on 26 September. President Tusk stressed that the patriotism of the 21st century must have a global dimension so as not to become a common national egoism.

Main results of the Transport, Telecommunications and Energy Council (Energy)
The Council focused on the draft national energy and climate plans and on the energy sector beyond 2030.

Plenary highlights: Brexit, ECB President, Amazon fires
MEPs reaffirmed support for the EU position on Brexit and backed Christine Lagarde as the next president of the European Central Bank during this week's plenary session.

Circular Plastics Alliance: 100+ signatories commit to use 10 million tons of recycled plastic in new products by 2025
Today, more than 100 public and private partners covering the whole plastics value chain will sign the declaration of the Circular Plastics Alliance, which promotes voluntary actions for a well-functioning EU market in recycled plastics.


A busy year in the UN Security Council: more openness, diversity mark 2019
With over 240 public meetings and a wider range of civil society briefers, the UN Security Council continued its push towards more transparency in 2019, a year marked by widespread popular uprisings and the erosion of hard-won international treaties.

Combatting antisemitism requires ‘solidarity in the face of hatred’, says UN chief  
Against the backdrop of a constant stream of attacks targeting Jews, their institutions and property, UN Secretary-General António Guterres warned on Saturday of a global crisis of antisemitic hatred. 

Haiti cholera outbreak ‘stopped in its tracks’
After a nine-year long cholera outbreak in Haiti that killed close to 10,000 people, this week the country reached the milestone of an entire year free from any new cases of the deadly waterborne disease.

The drive for quality education worldwide, faces ‘mammoth challenges’
Aligning inclusive, quality education with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) was centre-stage on Friday, as the President of the UN General Assembly held a high-level interactive meeting for the International Day of Education.       

FROM THE FIELD: Niger supporting the most vulnerable, as crises mount  
The number of people requiring humanitarian assistance in Niger, a country which the UN humanitarian agency, OCHA, says is “being assaulted on all fronts”, is expected to increase in 2020. 

Health services for Syrian women caught up in war, foster safety and hope: UNFPA
Continued displacement from conflict-affected areas in northeast Syria leaves women and girls in urgent need of safe spaces, shelter and reproductive health services, according to a Flash Update this week from UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund.

Myanmar: Departing UN rights expert still hopeful for democratic transition
An independent human rights expert said she has not given up hope for a democratic transition in Myanmar even though the country has yet to address “grave allegations” of international crimes, including possible genocide.   

Coronavirus: ‘An emergency in China, but not yet a global health emergency’
The head of the UN health agency, WHO (World Health Organization), declared on Thursday that the respiratory disease Novel Coronavirus, is not yet an official Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC), but warned that is an emergency in China.

At Davos, UN chief urges ‘big emitters’ to take climate action
The world is “doomed” in the face of climate change unless major industrial nations reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, UN Secretary-General António Guterres told business leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Thursday. 

75 years after Auschwitz liberation, antisemitism still threatens ‘foundations of democratic societies’
Commemorating 75 years since the liberation of the notorious Nazi death camp, Auschwitz-Birkenau, independent UN rights experts said on Thursday that “urgent action” is needed to combat mounting antisemitism.

Top UN court orders Myanmar to protect Rohingya from genocide
Myanmar must take steps to protect its minority Rohingya population, the top UN court unanimously ruled on Thursday. 

UN health emergency committee to re-convene on global threat posed by China coronavirus
Experts convened in Geneva by the World Health Organization (WHO) will meet again on Thursday to determine whether novel coronavirus is a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). 

UN chief outlines solutions to defeat ‘four horsemen’ threatening our global future
The start of the New Year finds the world facing four looming threats to human progress: surging geopolitical tensions, the climate crisis, global mistrust and the downsides of technology, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said on Wednesday. 

Independent UN rights experts call for ‘immediate investigation’ into alleged Bezos phone hack by Saudi Arabia
Independent UN rights experts said on Wednesday they were “gravely concerned” over allegations that in 2018, a messaging app account belonging to the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia was used to hack into The Washington Post owner’s mobile phone, calling for an “immediate investigation” by authorities in the United States.

Joint UN-Congolese strategy needed to address insecurity following deadly attacks
Authorities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and the UN peacekeeping operation in the country, MONUSCO, are being urged to develop a comprehensive joint strategy to address insecurity in Beni territory, located in the east. 

Portraits show ‘dignity and humanity’ of Holocaust survivors, 75 years after Auschwitz liberation
Seventy-five years ago, when soldiers of the Soviet army entered the Auschwitz concentration camp in occupied Poland, they were “stunned into silence” by what they saw, UN Secretary-General António Guterres recalled on Tuesday.

‘Negative developments’ undermining two-State solution in Middle East
Recent heightened tensions in the Middle East underscore the critical need for dialogue and diplomacy in the region, the UN’s Political Affairs chief told the Security Council on Tuesday. 

Healthcare’s a human right, not ‘a privilege for the rich’ UNAIDS argues at Davos
The UN agency devoted to ending AIDS as a public health threat is calling on top politicians and governments across the world to ensure the right to quality healthcare is upheld, and not just a privilege to be enjoyed by the wealthy.

Lebanon: UN rights office calls for de-escalation of protest violence
What had been largely peaceful demonstrations against Lebanon’s Government in the capital Beirut grew increasingly violent over the weekend, sparking the concern of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Rising inequality affecting more than two-thirds of the globe, but it’s not inevitable: new UN report
Inequality is growing for more than 70 per cent of the global population, exacerbating the risks of divisions and hampering economic and social development. But the rise is far from inevitable and can be tackled at a national and international level, says a flagship study released by the UN on Tuesday.

FROM THE FIELD: Weeding out Mexico’s unwanted beach invader
An invasive species of seaweed which has blighted tourist beaches in Mexico has become more aggressive due to the heating effects of climate change. But now, thanks to support from the UN Development Programme (UNDP), efforts are underway to hold back its advance and protect local ecosystems.  

UN human rights ruling could boost climate change asylum claims
The UN Human Rights Committee has determined that countries cannot deport people who have sought asylum due to climate-related threats. 

UN health agency to gauge global threat, as China confirms coronavirus transmission between humans
Following an announcement by China’s national health body that a new virus first identified there, can be transmitted from person to person, the World Health Organization (WHO) is to hold a meeting on Wednesday to decide if it should be declared a global health emergency.

Nearly half a billion can’t find decent work, unemployment set to rise: new UN labour report
Around half a billion people work fewer paid hours than they would like, or are not getting enough access to paid work, shows a study published by the International Labour Organization (ILO) on Monday, which also forecasts that unemployment will rise by about 2.5 million this year.

Major humanitarian hub in northeast Nigeria burned in attack
The top UN aid official in Nigeria has condemned a weekend attack against a major humanitarian facility in the north-east of the country. 

East Africa locusts threaten food security across subregion, alerts UN agriculture agency
Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia are dealing with desert locust swarms of “unprecedented size and destructive potential” that could spill over into more countries in East Africa, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) warned on Monday.

Latin America and Caribbean region deadliest for journalists in 2019
Twenty-two journalists were reported killed in the Latin America and Caribbean region in 2019, making it the deadliest part of the world for the press, followed by 15 in Asia-Pacific, and 10 in Arab States.

Smokers who quit one month before surgery reap benefits: UN health agency
Tobacco smokers who quit at least four weeks before undergoing surgery not only have a lower risk of complications, but also show better results six months later than those who continue, the United Nations health agency  said on Monday.

World leaders must address ‘shameful’ disparities in education spending: UN children’s agency
A new report from the UN Children’s Fund, UNICEF, shows that a third of adolescent girls from the poorest households have never been to school, and spending on education is heavily skewed towards wealthier households.

‘This terrible situation cannot be allowed to continue’, UN chief tells world leaders at major Libya summit
Speaking at a major, high-level summit on Libya, held in the German capital Berlin on Sunday, UN Secretary-General António Guterres evoked the disastrous humanitarian situation faced by thousands of civilians, as conflict in the North African country grows deeper and more destructive.