Adieu, Invisible Children

The group that brought you the #Kony2012 phenomenon is closing down shop in 2015.  “Invisible Children leadership has been scaling back operations and sending out smoke signals for almost a year now. Earlier in the year, Russell and Keesey hinted at putting the organization to bed. In this interview, CEO Ben Keesey tells us that in the next year the organization will be shutting down all U.S. operations and transferring control of their Uganda, Congo, and Central African Republic programs to local groups. We spoke to Keesey about Invisible Children’s improbable journey, its impending transition, and the lessons its leaders learned along the way.” (GOOD

South Sudan, One Year On...It’s the one year anniversary of the outbreak of civil war and there is no end in sight. “Peace talks in neighboring Ethiopia have made no progress in resolving a political dispute that transformed into a battle between President Salva Kiir’s Dinka people and the mainly rebel ethnic Nuer forces led by his former deputy, Riek Machar. Both sides blame each other for the violence that has cut oil production by at least a third to 160,000 barrels a day. Three years after South Sudan gained independence from Sudan following five decades of war, the United Nations says it needs $600 million by February to care for the 4.1 million people requiring aid. Tens of thousands of people have died in the fighting, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Sunday. In some areas, people eat water lilies to survive.” (News Tribune )

LongRead of the Week: The new Samantha Power profile in the New Yorker has some pretty amazing anecdotes. It also demonstrates her role in focusing US government attention on the crisis in the Central African Republic and Ebola. (New Yorker

Humanity Affirming Hashtag of the Day:  #Illridewithyou. Some Australian social media users sent a message of solidarity to Muslims as the Sydney cafe siege went on for almost a day, offering to accompany anyone who felt intimidated on public transit. (Yahoo

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The failure of Sierra Leone’s strategy for fighting Ebola may be down to a missing ingredient: a big shock that could change people’s behavior and finally prevent further infection. (Reuters

Liberia will hold delayed senatorial elections on Dec. 20, the National Election Commission said on Sunday, a day after the Supreme Court ruled the vote should go ahead despite the Ebola outbreak in the West African country. (Reuters


Tens of thousands of people have died in South Sudan during one year of warfare and the country’s leaders are putting their “personal ambitions” ahead of the nation’s future, the U.N. secretary-general said Monday. (AP

France urged African nations on Monday to step up cross-border cooperation to tackle security challenges from Islamist groups in southern Libya to Boko Haram attacks in Nigeria, as it seeks to scale back its military commitments on the continent. (VOA

Boko Haram, the insurgency in northern Mali, and the crisis in the Central African Republic. One thing unites these three conflicts: the country of Chad. This large, central African nation is becoming something of a regional power. (VOA

A Nigerian human rights group on Monday asked the International Criminal Court to bring charges against Nigerian presidential candidate Muhammadu Buhari for post-election violence in 2011. (VOA

The president of Democratic Republic of Congo told foreign nations on Monday to respect his country’s sovereignty after several urged him to comply with the constitution and not to run for re-election. (Reuters

Rebels from the Islamist al Shabaab group attacked a military base in southern Somalia early on Monday, killing at least 10 soldiers and burning two military vehicles, officials said. (Reuters

More than a million Nigerians displaced by an Islamist insurgency in the northeast may not be able to vote in the Feb. 14 presidential election unless the law is changed, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said on Monday. (Reuters


The United Nations is calling for international action to slow the chaos in Libya, saying fighting there could destabilize the entire region. (VOA

The quest for peace between Israel and the Palestinians has reached a “dramatic” crossroads, United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Robert Serry, told the Security Council today in his briefing on the situation, warning that the region’s future remains “more uncertain than ever.” (UN New Center

The U.N.’s top Mideast envoy warned Monday that Security Council resolutions addressing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict cannot be a substitute for peace negotiations between the two sides. (AP

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will push for a U.N. Security Council vote this week on a resolution setting a November 2016 deadline for ending the Israeli occupation, officials said Monday. (AP

European Union countries pledged their assistance Monday to help rebuild basic services and local government in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo if a U.N. plan to halt the fighting there can be implemented. (AP

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Monday angrily rejected a Palestinian bid to set a UN deadline for an end to Israel’s occupation amid a flurry of talks led by US top diplomat John Kerry. (AFP


Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying said the territory’s occupy protests are over, but activists say they will return after police cleared the last of the demonstration sites following more than 10 weeks of protests. (VOA

While the Philippines is praised by international human rights groups as having an advanced legal framework for children, child rights advocates say “violations continue to persist,” including widespread corporal punishment at home, in schools and in other settings. (IPS

The Philippine government filed murder charges against A US Marine  accused of having killed Jennifer Laude, a trans woman also known as Jeffrey, who was found on a hotel room’s toilet with a broken neck. (Gawker

The United Nations on Monday released a damning report accusing Ukrainian forces and Russian-backed rebels of torturing and indiscriminately shelling civilians in the bloody conflict in the separatist east. (AFP

The Philippines’ military chief on Monday declared a monthlong suspension of military and police offensives against communist guerrillas in observance of the Christmas holidays, but added that assaults against hard-line Muslim militants would continue. (AP

The Americas

Clashes between federal police and protesters organizing a concert in solidarity with 43 missing college students left at least 21 people injured and several cars in flames Sunday in the southern state of Guerrero. (AP

A Paris summit in 2015 will face a tougher task to agree a U.N. deal to slow climate change after the hopes of many that cooperation between Washington and Beijing would be a magic key to end global gridlock dissolved in chaotic preparatory talks in Lima. (Reuters


Aaron David Miller has been at the center of every major Middle East peace initiative since 1989. This is his story. (Global Dispatches Podcast

The Sad Future of Our Planet (IPS

Paul Farmer: ‘We’ve met the enemy — and he is us’ (Devex


Major questions persist over how rich countries will boost funding for poorer nations to tackle climate change in the next five years, after U.N. climate talks failed to decide on clear plans. (Reuters