China Goes (Unexpectedly) Big on Africa

A rather unexpected announcement at the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation. “Western hegemony of African economies looks set to be further reduced in the decades ahead following a weekend announcement that China will assist the continent’s future development – to the tune of $60 billion (€55 billion) – through 10 priority programmes. The unprecedented development partnership was unveiled at the China-Africa summit in Johannesburg by Chinese president Xi Jinping. It was welcomed by his South African counterpart, Jacob Zuma, who said the continent fully supported this higher level of engagement…Since Focac first began in 2000, Chinese investment in Africa had reached just over $30 billion by the end of last year, data shows. But few observers had predicted the scale of the assistance package, given the recent slowdown in China’s economy.” (Irish Times

Big Elections in Venezuela…Venezuelans voted for a new legislature on Sunday in an election that may punish the ruling Socialists for a brutal economic crisis and give the opposition a long-sought platform to challenge President Nicolas Maduro. Chronic product shortages and the world’s highest inflation could hand “Chavismo” a first loss in the National Assembly since the movement’s charismatic late founder, Hugo Chavez, took office in 1999, polls show. (Reuters

Thailand on the hunt for suspected Islamic State members…Thailand said it was looking for 4 Syrian nationals who have overstayed their visas, as the country is on high alert after a Russian warning of possible attacks by suspected Syrian members of Islamic State. “Last week, a document from the Thai Special Branch police leaked to social media showed it had been warned by the Russian intelligence service that 10 Syrians linked to Islamic State had entered Thailand in October intending to attack Russian interests. The warning prompted Thailand to step up security around potential targets, including in the cities of Pattaya and Phuket.” (Reuters

Stat of the day: More than 4,600 people have been plucked to safety from unseaworthy boats off the Libyan coast over the past three days, the Italian coastguard said Sunday, as migrants took advantage of calmer waters to attempt the perilous journey across the Mediterranean. (AFP

Save the date: Syrian talks…U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said that the next round of talks on Syria’s political future would be held this month in New York. (VOA

Good News for Jimmy Carter = Bad news for Guinea Worms...The former president and current global health champion is cancer free. (WaPo  )


Authorities in Burkina Faso have charged a general who led a failed coup in September with complicity in the 1987 assassination of President Thomas Sankara, senior security sources told Reuters. (Reuters

Four female suicide bombers attacked the Chadian island of Koulfoua on Lake Chad on Saturday, killing at least 15 people and injuring 130 in an attack blamed by security sources on militant Islamist group Boko Haram. (Reuters

Tree by tree, more than a dozen African governments pledged to restore the continent’s natural forests at the United Nations climate talks on Sunday. (AP

Ten African countries have committed to restore 31 million hectares of degraded and deforested land, under a new push to make 100 million hectares productive again by 2030. (Reuters


Humanitarian aid has reached a besieged rebel-held area in the central Syrian city of Homs, part of a local ceasefire deal that is to include the withdrawal of opposition fighters, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. (Reuters

A huge explosion killed the governor of Yemen’s southern Aden province and six of his bodyguards Sunday, security officials said. A local Islamic State affiliate later claimed responsibility for the attack. (WaPo )

Lawmakers from Libya’s rival parliaments have reached a power-sharing agreement in Tunisia, shunning a U.N.-brokered deal to avoid the “foreign intervention” tainting it, an internationally recognized government representative said Sunday. (AP

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said on Sunday his country might turn to the U.N. security council if Turkish troops sent to northern Iraq were not withdrawn within 48 hours. (Reuters

The International Committee of the Red Cross has said it is trying to establish relations with the Islamic State group in hopes of delivering aid to the 10 million people living under its control. (AFP

Secretary of State John Kerry warned Israel about the dangers of the possible collapse of the Palestinian Authority, saying it would lead to a situation that would threaten the security of Israel and the Palestinian people. (AP

Saudi Arabia will host a meeting of Syrian opposition groups in Riyadh from Dec. 8-10 aimed at choosing representatives for future international talks on Syria, the official Saudi Press Agency said on Sunday. (Reuters

The U.N. envoy to Yemen met President Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi to discuss prospects for peace talks between his embattled Aden-based government and Houthi forces, a source close to Yemen’s president said. (VOA


India’s hardline position in global climate talks has made it a potential villain for Western nations as it warns that its greenhouse emissions, mostly from burning dirty coal, may keep rising past the middle of the century. (Reuters

Myanmar’s feared former junta leader Than Shwe has endorsed his one-time nemesis Aung San Suu Kyi as a “future leader” of the country, according to his grandson. (AFP

A powerful Indian politician was ridiculed on Sunday over her role in deadly floods that have swept through her southern Tamil Nadu state, as frustration mounts over the disaster. (AFP

Indian authorities were investigating possible negligence after 18 hospital patients died when rainwaters from massive floods in southern Tamil Nadu state knocked out generators and switched off ventilators. (VOA

Bangladesh detained three suspected members of a banned militant group, police said on Sunday, as security forces step up a hunt for Islamists behind a spate of recent attacks. (Reuters

The Americas

Uruguayans will be able to choose from three varieties of state-sanctioned cannabis when marijuana starts being sold in pharmacies in the small South American country next year, the National Drug Board said. (Reuters

A bid to impeach Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has been launched by the Speaker of the country’s lower house of Congress, Eduardo Cunha. (CNN

…and the rest

Developed nations have mobilized some $80-$90 billion per year to help the poorest survive a warmer world, delegates at Paris climate talks said, but emerging countries dispute the figures and say a goal of $100 billion by 2020 is far from reach. (Reuters

Small islands that bear the brunt of rising sea levels also face the greatest risk of diseases linked to a warmer planet, health leaders said, as 13 million medical professionals added to the calls for a global climate pact. (Reuters

Angela Merkel’s conservative allies in Bavaria increased pressure on the German chancellor over her open-door refugee policy at the weekend, saying she has until the end of the year to have European deals in place to ease the crisis. (Reuters

States are divided about an attempt to improve compliance with the rules of war, a non-binding but contentious issue at the heart of an international conference next week, senior Swiss and Red Cross officials say. (Reuters

Switzerland should take unilateral action to restrict immigration from the European Union, the billionaire and leading right winger Christoph Blocher was quoted as telling a Swiss newspaper on Sunday. (Reuters


What the World’s Poorest Countries Want from the Paris Climate Talks (UN Dispatch

Six Foods That Changed the World (VOA

We must fight climate change with trees in Africa (GlobalPost

Steve Dennis and the court case that sent waves through the aid industry (Guardian

‘I Hope The Hospital Has Enough Diesel For Their Generator’ (Goats and Soda

Moving beyond our siloed financial system (Devex

Declining fundraising efficiency: the story at the individual NGO level (DevPolicy

South Africa’s anarchist hip hop collective (Africa is a Country

The demographic transition and labor markets in Sub-Saharan Africa (Africa can end poverty

Innovative finance has a major role to play in tackling climate change (Guardian

Confessions of a humanitarian: The number of children we reached this month is ‘sometimes’ (Guardian

‘Economics Rules’, Dani Rodrik’s love letter to his discipline (From Poverty to Power