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International

UN experts urge independent probe into Navalny’s poisoning

MOSCOW (AP) — Two top U.N. human rights experts urged an international probe into the poisoning of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny and called Monday for his immediate release from prison.

Agnès Callamard, the Special U.N. Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions and Irene Khan, the Special U.N. Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, said Navalny’s poisoning was intended to “send a clear, sinister warning that this would be the fate of anyone who would criticize and oppose the government.”

“Given the inadequate response of the domestic authorities, the use of prohibited chemical weapons, and the apparent pattern of attempted targeted killings, we believe that an international investigation should be carried out as a matter of urgency in order to establish the facts and clarify all the circumstances concerning Mr. Navalny’s poisoning,” they said in a statement.

Navalny, the most prominent critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, fell sick on Aug. 20 during a domestic flight in Russia and was flown while still in a coma to Berlin for treatment two days later. Labs in Germany, France and Sweden, and tests by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, established that he was exposed to a Soviet-era Novichok nerve agent. Russian authorities have denied any involvement in the poisoning.

UN chief: Appeal for Yemen raises ‘disappointing’ $1.7B

CAIRO (AP) — A United Nations appeal for aid to Yemen to alleviate the world’s worst humanitarian disaster raised some $1.7 billion Monday– a result the U.N. chief called “disappointing.”

At a virtual pledging conference co-hosed by Sweden and Switzerland, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres had appealed for $3.85 billion this year to address the impoverished Arab country’s dire needs.

The amount raised, however, was less than what the U.N. received last year, and a billion dollars short of what was pledged in the 2019 conference, he said.

Guterres called for countries to “consider again what they can do to help stave off the worst famine the world has seen in decades.”

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