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World news in brief

by
19 February 2016

AP

Agreement: the UNESCO director general, Irina Bokova, and the Italian foreign minister, Paolo Gentiloni, sign the accord, in Rome, on Tuesday

Agreement: the UNESCO director general, Irina Bokova, and the Italian foreign minister, Paolo Gentiloni, sign the accord, in Rome, on Tuesday

UN establishes force to protect historic artefacts in war zones

THE UN has signed a treaty with Italy to set up a special task force dedicated to preventing extremists in war zones from looting cultural and historical artefacts. The deal will see Italian police officers, with experience in combating the international trade in stolen heritage items, work with the UN’s cultural agency UNESCO as so-called “Peacekeepers of Culture”. No country has been chosen for the Peacekeepers’ first mission, AP reported; but Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria have long been selling priceless heirlooms and looted artefacts on the black market to fund their terrorism.

 

New Zealand bishops caution against right-to-die laws

LEGALISING assisted suicide would lead to “unforeseen consequences” that could damage people and the “social fabric” of New Zealand, nine of the country’s Anglican bishops have said. The group, which includes the one of the Archbishops of New Zealand, the Most Revd Philip Richardson, made its submission to a parliamentary inquiry into euthanasia. The submission called for better access to palliative care, and acknowledged the “distress” caused by terminal illness, but also insisted that the law must not be changed.

 

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