The United Nations acknowledged World Humanitarian Day over the weekend with a "living petition" installation at UN headquarters intended to advocate for the safety of aid workers and civilians in conflict areas. "The thousands of faces that make up the living petition will be on display to remind world leaders of their legal obligation to protect civilians in conflict," said Mark Lowcock, chief of UN Emergency Relief Coordinator and Humanitarian Affairs.
Kofi Annan, the former United Nations Secretary-General who died Saturday at 80, was "a guiding force for good," said Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. Annan was UN peacekeeping chief before serving two terms as secretary-general, where he championed the UN Global Compact, and later diplomatic efforts in Kenya, Syria and Myanmar.
Language regarding the ability of governments to disregard medical patents for the sake of public health is a sticking point in negotiations ahead of a United Nations meeting on tuberculosis and noncommunicable diseases.
Increased emphasis, training and funding is needed to ensure humanitarian workers have access to mental health care, experts say. "In order to really address mental health issues, I would approach it from the other side and ask what does our workforce look like when it has good mental health, and take a more optimal and ethical approach," says Christine Williamson of Duty of Care International.
Swiss-based Energy Vault provides an alternative to pumped-hydro energy storage by using concrete blocks and cranes instead of water and dams. The Energy Vault concept contends that because concrete is denser than water, lifting a block of concrete requires more energy and can store more energy than a water tank of the same size.
Taliban forces kidnapped about 170 people from buses in Afghanistan, but government forces had rescued nearly 150 of them within hours. Twenty-one hostages are still being held.
President Donald Trump criticized special counsel Robert Mueller's probe into Russian interference and the media after The New York Times published a report about White House counsel Don McGahn providing 30 hours of testimony to Mueller's team. The report said McGahn provided information because he worried he would be used as a scapegoat, but Trump said he allowed McGahn to cooperate.
Mega-gifts from ultra-wealthy donors are on the rise, but small, local contributions are still very important for food pantries and other community groups, says David Callahan, founder and editor of Insider Philanthropy. Local fundraising festivals, such as KentPresents in Litchfield County, Conn., connect donors with organizations in need.
The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation has launched a GoFundMe campaign as part of its goal to raise $9.7 million to pay down an 11-year-old loan. The organization says if it fails to raise the funds, it may be forced to sell one of the former president's iconic hats or and other artifacts.
The Cleveland Museum of Art is committed to diversifying its operations and has introduced a new strategy for changing its hiring process and combating inequality. "It provides clear steps to achieve a long-term goal of an audience that mirrors the community we serve, and more closely mirrors our population," Director William Griswold said.
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