Hundreds of Sudanese refugees crossing into Chad each week UN says

The UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) spokesman, Ron Redmond, said in Geneva that new refugees in the town of Bahai, joining the 7,000 already registered there, told the team that they fled after Sudanese militia members attacked them on 2 April, looting and burning their homes.UNHCR and its partner, CARE, will distribute aid to refugees in the Kariari area, 35 kilometres north of Bahai, temporary home to 16,000 refugees who fled Sudan at the end of January and the beginning for February after aerial bombs hit their villages, and the militias then attacked them, he said.The water available for the two refugee camps was becoming scarce, he added.The Chadian hosts and those refugees they had taken in have resorted to eating seeds called mukhet, usually used as cattle feed. Not only were they at risk of malnutrition, but the International Rescue Committee told UNHCR that the refugees attending their mobile clinic in Kariari were suffering from diarrhoea, respiratory infections and conjunctivitis.Meanwhile, the UN fact-finding team dispatched from Geneva to look into Darfur’s human rights situation was in al-Fasher, the capital of Northern Darfur State, in western Sudan. The team was due back in Geneva next week, when they would submit their report to Acting High Commissioner for Human Rights Bertrand Ramcharan.World Food Programme (WFP) Executive Director James Morris, leader of a UN humanitarian assessment mission for Darfur, arrived today in Sudan’s capital Khartoum, with his team. read more

Oil edges lower as fiscal cliff talks stall between Obama and Republicans

by The Associated Press Posted Dec 20, 2012 11:28 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email NEW YORK, N.Y. – The price of oil fell Thursday as talks between U.S. political leaders on a crucial budget deal hit a new snag.Benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude for February delivery was down 16 cents to US$89.83 a barrel in morning trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract jumped $1.58 on Wednesday, the biggest one-day price rise in a month.Negotiations between President Barack Obama and Republican House Speaker John Boehner have dictated market sentiment in recent weeks.On Wednesday, it appeared that a deal to avoid the so-called “fiscal cliff” of automatic spending cuts and tax hikes due at the start of next year was still out of reach. The White House threatened to veto an alternative plan that Boehner proposed.Without a deal, the hundreds of billions of dollars in spending cuts and tax hikes that will take effect could throw the U.S. economy back into recession, economists believe. Such a prospect would likely mean decreasing energy demand.Brent crude, used to price international varieties of oil, fell 16 cents to US$110.20 a barrel in London.In other trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange, heating oil rose one cent to US$3.04 a U.S. gallon (3.79 litres), wholesale gasoline gained a penny to US$2.75 a gallon and natural gas rose 10 cents, or 3.1 per cent, to US$3.42 per 1,000 cubic feet.(TSX:ECA), (TSX:IMO), (TSX:SU), (TSX:HSE), (NYSE:BP), (NYSE:COP), (NYSE:XOM), (NYSE:CVX), (TSX:CNQ), (TSX:TLM), (TSX:COS.UN), (TSX:CVE) Oil edges lower as `fiscal cliff’ talks stall between Obama and Republicans