400 Migrants Feared Lost at Sea in the Mediterranean

These are entirely avoidable tragedies. “Survivors of a capsized migrant boat off Libya have told the aid group Save the Children that an estimated 400 people are believed to have drowned. Even before the survivors were interviewed, Italy’s coast guard said it assumed that there were many dead given the size of the ship and that nine bodies had been found…The deaths, if confirmed, would add to the skyrocketing numbers of migrants lost at sea: The International Organization of Migration estimates that up to 3,072 migrants are believed to have died in the Mediterranean in 2014, compared to an estimate of 700 in 2013. But the IOM says even those estimates could be low. Overall, since the year 2000, IOM estimates that over 22,000 migrants have lost their lives trying to reach Europe.” (CBC http://bit.ly/1NFJikW)

Want to Go Deeper on this Topic? Earlier this year, Mark interviewed an expert from Amnesty International who detailed lackluster European response to this crisis, explained its root causes, and detailed ways Italy and other countries could do more to save vulnerable migrants. (Global Dispatches Podcast http://bit.ly/1NFJu3D)

Sub Saharan Economic Growth Likely to Slow….Plunging oil prices, sluggish growth in the developed world and a slowdown in China’s pace of industrialization will bring down sub-Saharan Africa’s growth rate this year to its lowest in two decades, the World Bank said Monday. Economic output is expected to grow by 4% across the region in 2015, the World Bank said in its biannual economy report “Africa Pulse,” significantly below the historic average of 4.4%. While that is still well above the global economy average, seen by the World Bank at 2.9% for 2015, the decline highlights how vulnerable the world’s second-fastest growing region is, both from trouble at home and abroad. (WSJ http://on.wsj.com/1O7hG32)

Quote of the Day: “He is known as 007 James Bond; I’m 008 – United Nations Secretary-General Ki-moon Ban! I am very happy that you have agreed to use your global star power to raise awareness and global action to destroy mines which have been killing many people.” — The Sec Gen on the appointment of Daniel Craig to serve as a the first UN Global Advocate for the Elimination of Mines and Explosive Hazards. (UN http://bit.ly/1NFGcNP


The “Champions for an AIDS-Free Generation” gathered together today to announce new efforts to ensure that all children in Africa are born free from HIV and that children living with HIV have access to life-saving treatment. (UNAIDS http://bit.ly/1ynYMCW)

Al-Shabab militants have attacked a government complex in a busy area of Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, leaving at least 17 people dead, including seven assailants. (BBC http://bbc.in/1NFHatp)

The government of Kenya has announced that the Dadaab refugee camps should be closed within three months and the 350,000 Somali refugees living there returned to their country. (UNHCR http://bit.ly/1HnLKra)

At least five people have been killed and hundreds forced to flee their homes in one of South Africa’s worst outbreaks of xenophobic violence in years. (Guardian http://bit.ly/1FNdw17)

A New Human Rights Watch report says the Malian government should act to curtail rising violent crime and abuses by armed groups and state security forces that threaten the security of the population in northern and central (HRW  http://bit.ly/1NFGfsW)


During an Oval Office visit with the Iraqi Prime Minister, President Obama pledged US$200 million in US humanitarian aid to  to help those displaced by Islamic State militants, an offer of assistance that appeared to fall short of the Iraqi prime minister’s request for greater military support. (Today Online http://bit.ly/1NFGV1l)

Hundreds of additional Iraqi troops are being sent to reinforce colleagues who are trying to fend off ISIS’ attempt to overrun Iraq’s largest oil refinery. (CNN http://cnn.it/1areq5l)

The United Nations Security Council today approved an arms embargo against the rebel group’s leadership and demanded that all parties refrain from unilateral actions that could undermine the country’s UN-facilitated political transition. (

Dozens of Palestinian doctors who work in Israel will be allowed to drive their own vehicles into the country from the West Bank, exempting them from a blanket ban in force for 15 years. (NYT http://nyti.ms/1CL18XM)

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights is warning that some attacks against civilians and civilian infrastructure in Yemen may amount to war crimes. (VOA http://bit.ly/1J0M39C)

The White House relented on Tuesday and said President Obama would sign a compromise bill giving Congress a voice on the proposed nuclear accord with Iran as the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, in rare unanimous agreement, moved the legislation to the full Senate for a vote. (NYT http://nyti.ms/1NFFmR9)


India’s prime minister has called for India to take a leading role in the “pressing global problem” of climate change. (WaPo http://wapo.st/1CL13DI)

Myanmar has been rocked by student demonstrations and, once again, the authorities have reacted with force, to the extent of using hired thugs in Yangon to beat and drag protesters away. (Irrawaddy http://bit.ly/1JEiGe8)

The Americas

The recent demonstrations in Brazil show that, while dissatisfied with the current sociopolitical landscape, Brazilians have finally lost their fear of protesting, years after the dissolution of the brutal military dictatorship. (El País http://bit.ly/1CGrThn; Spanish)

President Obama has decided to lift the US designation of Cuba as a state sponsor of terrorism. (WaPo http://wapo.st/1Hpbfbt)

The opposition in Venezuela has demanded the immediate release of three anti-government activists whom they argue were arbitrarily imprisoned. (El País http://bit.ly/1CWY3nV; Spanish)

…and the rest

Diabetes that develops early in pregnancy may increase women’s chances of having a child with autism, according to a study published in JAMA. (Al Jazeera http://alj.am/1EBolBQ)

Foreign ministers of the Group of Seven industrialized countries are meeting in Luebeck, Germany, to discuss issues ranging from Ebola to arms control as they prepare for the G7 summit in June. (VOA http://bit.ly/1ObijbD)

IMF experts say the global economy will expand 3.5 percent this year, a very slight increase over last year’s growth. (VOA http://bit.ly/1OxQIUi)


“Give one”: What happens after you buy a pair of TOMS? (WhyDev http://bit.ly/1NEaLmY)

Should International Groups Be Monitoring Sudan’s Elections? (FP http://atfp.co/1NCchG0)

Why the United States and Nigeria Will Never #BringBackOurGirls (FP http://atfp.co/1FS9Gkk)

Bringing governance back to the citizens (Devex http://bit.ly/1H5ghcV)

Turning to Big, Big Data to See What Ails the World (NYT http://nyti.ms/1O4qyX0)

Everyone is worthy of protection (SRC http://bit.ly/1H5gqNr)

Where do Africa’s Multi millionaires live? (CNN http://cnn.it/1NFJTTH)