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Iranian Family Planning Push Raises Ire Among Some Women, Activists

New York Times: Urged to Multiply, Iranian Couples Are Dubious “…Worried about a steep decline in fertility rates that experts are predicting could reduce population growth to zero within 20 years, Tehran has started a broad initiative to persuade Iranian families to have more children. … [However,] some women and…

Drought Compounds WASH, Health Problems In Syria, U.N. Says

New York Times: Syria: Drought Adds to Woes, U.N. Says “The supply of safe water in Syria is now one-third of the level it was before March 2011 when the civil war began, UNICEF said Friday in a report that warns of new levels of suffering because of a worsening…

Increase In Saudi MERS Cases Raises Questions About Transparency

Reuters: Scientists question Saudi openness on deadly MERS virus outbreak “A dramatic upward revision in the number of people killed by the MERS virus in Saudi Arabia may signal a fresh approach from Riyadh, but also raises new questions about how the two-year-old outbreak has been handled…” (Kelland, 6/5).

Humanitarian Needs Rise In Syria; U.S. Pledges $290M In Assistance

News outlets report on the rising humanitarian needs in Syria and a U.S. pledge to commit $290 million in humanitarian assistance to the war-torn country. The Hill: U.S. pledges $290M in humanitarian aid to Syrian victims “Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday announced $290 million in humanitarian assistance to…

Study Identifies Camel As Source Of MERS Infection In Saudi Man

News outlets report on a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine supporting the theory that camels are a source of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) coronavirus. Associated Press: Study documents MERS spread from camel to person “A new report offers the strongest evidence yet that a…

Saudi Arabia Revises Number Of MERS Cases, Deaths Upward; Fires Deputy Health Minister

News outlets report on the continuing outbreak of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) coronavirus. Agence France-Presse: UAE coronavirus death toll rises to 10 “The MERS coronavirus has killed 10 people and infected 68 in the United Arab Emirates since March 2013, the health minister said in comments published by local…

MERS Spreads To Algeria; Jordan Reports New Death

Agence France-Presse reports on new cases of and deaths caused by the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) coronavirus. Agence France-Presse: First MERS infections detected in Algeria “Algeria reported its first two cases of the deadly MERS virus on Saturday, both among pilgrims returning from Saudi Arabia, where most cases and…