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Hi, this is Kasmira. In today’s newsletter, a new UN report accuses Russia of human rights violations against Ukraine.

A year-long investigation by three independent media looks into the origins of Havana Syndrome. And the co-head of the Geneva-based Global Cities Hub explains why cities are demanding a bigger say in tackling global issues.

You might have missed our piece exploring the impact of overfishing and other human-driven changes on the Galápagos Islands’ fragile ecosystem after a broken link in yesterday’s newsletter (sorry about that!). Our reporter Paula Dupraz-Dobias visited the islands and reported back.

photo journaliste

Kasmira Jefford


Today’s top headlines

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⛓️ Ukrainian prisoners of war executed by Russians: UN. The high commissioner for human rights, Volker Türk, denounced at the Human Rights Council on Tuesday the torture and execution of prisoners in territories held by the Russian army.

Tribune de Genève (paywall) (FR)

🕵🏻 Unravelling Havana Syndrome. An investigation has uncovered evidence suggesting that unexplained anomalous health incidents, also known as Havana Syndrome, may have their origin in the use of directed energy weapons wielded by members of Russian GRU Unit 29155. The report details how one member of the infamous squad even interned in Geneva.

The Insider (EN)

🏙 Cities demand say in international negotiations. At the United Nations, cities have fewer rights than NGOs. However, cities also want to have a say internationally and are becoming more involved as global issues, from health to climate change put them on the front lines in implementing decisions taken at a national level.

Swissinfo (EN)

↩️ Israeli attempt to circumvent UN contributes to Gaza aid chaos. Israel has been working for months to create a parallel system for aid delivery in the Gaza Strip that excludes the UN and other international aid organisations, according to more than a dozen international and local aid workers.

The New Humanitarian (EN)

🌲Syria has lost 20 per cent of its forests in 10 years. The impact of war on nature can be acutely seen in Syria where the civil war, sparking forest fires and driving the impoverished local population to use trees as a source of fuel, has led to a 20 per cent decline in its forests in over a decade, according to a new study.

El País (EN)

In case you missed it

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Tourists and baby seals and their mother on Mosquera Island, Galápagos, 29 February 2024. (Geneva Solutions/Paula Dupraz-Dobias)

Human-driven environmental changes in Galápagos face global pushback. Nearly 200 years after Charles Darwin visited the Galápagos Islands, providing the basis of his theory of evolution, Geneva Solutions visited the islands as they face their greatest environmental challenges yet. Amid Ecuador’s economic downturn and an unprecedented security crisis due to gang violence, the Galápagos National Park struggles to deal with issues including invasive species, pollution and overfishing. Meanwhile, international organisations and NGOs are saying the time has come for a policy reset before it’s too late.

Geneva Solutions

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