Bangladesh: Suspect Arrested in Murder of USAID Worker

The alleged assailant says he was carrying out orders from his superiors. “Police in Bangladesh said Sunday that they have arrested a suspected Muslim militant for his alleged involvement in the killing last month of a gay rights activist and his friend in the capital. Police identified the suspect as Shariful Islam Shihab, a former member of the banned Islamic group Harkatul Jihad. They said he joined another militant group, Ansarullah Bangla Team, in mid-2015…Islam said that Shihab allegedly killed Xulhaz Mannan, who worked for the U.S. Agency for International Development, because he was a gay rights activist and promoted the gay community’s cause through a magazine as an editor.” (Chicago Tribune

Bloody Sunday in Baghdad...”The Islamic State group launched a coordinated assault on a natural gas plant north of Baghdad that killed at least 14 people, while a string of other bomb attacks in or close to the capital killed 15 others, Iraqi officials said. The attack on the gas plant started at dawn with a suicide car bomber hitting the facility’s main gate in the town of Taji, about 20 kilometers (12 miles) north of Baghdad. Then several suicide bombers and militants broke into the plant and clashed with the security forces, an official said, adding that 27 troops were wounded. The IS-affiliated Aamaq news agency credited a group of “Caliphate soldiers” for the attack.: (Philly Voice


Gambia has charged six women with offences including rioting, unlawful assembly and inciting violence for demonstrating against the prosecution of dozens of opposition activists. (Reuters

A Congolese general recruited, financed and armed elements of a Ugandan Islamist group to kill civilians, according to a confidential report to the UN Security Council. (Reuters

Nurses in Kenya’s Kilimanjaro region have called on the government to provide medical supplies, drugs and set a better environment to offer good health. (Tanzania Daily News

Panic withdrawals have gripped Zimbabwe’s banking sector as depositors take away their money amid skepticism over the government’s intentions to introduce bond notes. (The Standard


Egyptian courts have in a single day convicted 152 protesters for breaking a law that effectively bans demonstrations, sentencing them to up to five years in prison in a series of short mass trials. (AP

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said French support for a UNESCO resolution on Jerusalem cast doubt on the impartiality of its Middle East peace initiative, a claim Paris denied. (Al Jazeera

Palestinians have marked the anniversary of their uprooting almost seven decades ago with sirens and low-key marches. (AP   

The Syrian government allowed hundreds of students to leave two besieged areas near Damascus to take their year-end exams over the weekend. (AP


Thousands of members of Afghanistan’s Hazara minority are expected to join protests in Kabul on Monday over a multi-million-dollar power line development that risks becoming a major political battleground for the government. (Reuters

The tobacco industry in India is fighting a new government rule for cigarette containers, or packages. The new rule requires cigarette makers to print large warnings that include images on cigarette packages. (VOA

Protesters from southern Nepal scuffled with riot police in Kathmandu on Sunday when they marched against the country’s new constitution. (Reuters

The Americas

A fire in a slum in Brazil has consumed scores of homes and other wooden structures and displaced hundreds of people. (AP

In recent months, renewed violence against land rights campaigners threatens to undermine gains made in Colombia’s land restitution efforts. (Reuters

El Salvador has said it refuses to recognize the new Brazilian government put in place after President Dilma Rousseff was suspended. (AFP

Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro has threatened the seizure of factories that have stopped production, and the jailing of their owners. (BBC

…and the rest

The former prime minister of New Zealand has warned that global climate change goals cannot be achieved without a united push to secure land rights for the world’s indigenous forest communities. (Reuters

The world’s top official managing migration flows has warned that the global aid system is crumbling under an overwhelming number of crises. (Guardian


Glass Half Full’ for Modi Two Years Into Historic India Mandate (Bloomberg

Kenya wants to shut down the world’s largest refugee camp and this is bad news for more than the obvious reasons (UN Dispatch

Why is the cost of hosting refugees falling on the world’s poorest states? (Guardian

Visualizing Activities in Kenya’s Kakuma Refugee Camp (HDX

When disasters and conflicts collide: facts and figures (ODI

Gender equality: what does the data show in 2016? (World Bank Open Data Blog

The cost of drugs is killing us. How can we foster access for all? (Guardian

Act Now or Pay Later: Protecting a billion people in climate-threatened coastal cities (ReliefWeb