Top of the Morning: UN Claims Immunity in Haiti Cholera Suit; NGOS Displeased with David Cameron’s Comments; Scores Killed in Syria Blast

Top stories from DAWNS Digest.

UN Will Not Compensate Haiti Cholera Victims

A very contentious decision. “The UN has taken the rare step of invoking its legal immunity to rebuff claims for compensation from 5,000 victims of the Haiti cholera epidemic, the worst outbreak of the disease in modern times and widely believed to have been caused by UN peacekeepers importing the infection into the country. Citing a convention laid down in 1946, the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, telephoned President Michel Martelly of Haiti to tell him that the UN was not willing to compensate any of the claimants. The epidemic has killed almost 8,000 people and stricken hundreds of thousands more – about one out of every 16 Haitians.” (Guardian

Scores Killed in Damascus Blasts

It appears both the Russians and the Syrian government were targeted. “At least three car bombs exploded in Damascus on Thursday, including a powerful blast near the downtown headquarters of President Bashar al-Assad’s governing party and the Russian Embassy that witnesses said shook the neighborhood like an earthquake. Antigovernment activists described the bombings as some of the worst to hit the city in the nearly two-year-old conflict, and they said at least 72 people had been killed, mostly civilians.” (NYT

NGOs Decry David Cameron’s Aid-for-Security Comments

The aid community is none-too-pleased with recent comments by UK Prime Minister David Cameron. Following David Cameron’s announcement that he is open to spending more aid on peacekeeping and security operations, Christian Aid said any such move could have long-term implications. “We would be deeply concerned about any moves to link aid with military spending in fragile states, not least because of the risk it can pose to aid workers on the ground. Aid diverted to ‘security, peacekeeping and demobilisation’ could have long-term implications. The blurring of the lines between military action and aid delivery could mean that aid workers become associated with those forces, meaning they are not only put at risk, but find it hard to gain the trust of the people they are trying to help,’ Christian Aid said.” (Guardian