The Cultural Landscape of Honghe Hani Rice Terraces, China

China Passes Controversial New NGO Ban

China passed a controversial new law Thursday giving police wide-ranging powers over overseas charities and banning them from recruiting members or raising funds in the country, prompting an immediate outcry. At least 1,000 foreign NGOs are thought to operate in China, including development charities such as Save the Children, advocacy groups including Greenpeace, chambers of commerce and university centers. The law, which comes into force in January, gives police the right to approve the registration of all foreign NGOs or revoke the registration of any organisation which “damages national interests” or “threatens society’s interests.” (AFP

MSF hospital hit again…A hospital in a rebel-held area of the Syrian city of Aleppo was destroyed after being hit by a direct airstrike, medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres, which supported the hospital, said on its Twitter account on Thursday. (Reuters

Kidnapped aid worker…Unknown gunmen in police uniforms have kidnapped a female foreign aid worker from Jalalabad in eastern Afghanistan. (VOA

Anti-Zika innovation of the day: South Korean athletes at the Rio Olympics will wear long-sleeved kit impregnated with mosquito repellant to protect them from the Zika virus, the national Olympic committee said Thursday. (AFP

Developing…a 7.0 earthquake struck Vanuatu and a Tsunami warning was issued.

Quote of the day...The UN’ Syria envoy, Staffan di Mistura, on the Syria ceasefire. “It’s still there. It’s still there because in many areas, it’s still there. But it’s in great danger. It’s still alive, but barely. And the perception is that it could collapse at any time.” (UN News Center )


Police fired guns and teargas on the headquarters of an opposition party and arrested supporters during celebrations for Sierra Leone’s Independence Day, the party and police said. (Reuters

The US has promised almost $90 million of extra aid to South Sudan but warned its newly reconciled leaders that failure to engage properly with the peace process could result in sanctions or an arms embargo. (Guardian

Local rights groups in Mali warn that the army and its allies are torturing and killing civilians from an ethnic group accused of collaborating with Islamic militants. (AP

The United Nations human rights chief said 31 people have been killed in attacks in Burundi this month, decrying an increase in violence in the east African nation. (Reuters

Burkina Faso’s president said there may be criminal charges after an audit found the transitional government had improperly awarded land to government members and their families, and misspent $11 million. (Reuters

Britain is withholding all financial aid payments to Mozambique following Maputo’s admission of as much as $1.35 billion of previously undisclosed borrowing, much of it for maritime security. (Reuters

Unidentified gunmen shot dead a Sudanese student during a university campus demonstration and his funeral turned into an anti-government protest involving hundreds of students, eyewitnesses said. (Reuters

When the international forest conservation scheme known as REDD+ first came to Tanzania in 2008, it brought hopes of slowing deforestation and curbing climate change. But according to a recent report, funding for the program is drying up, threatening the future of the country’s efforts to safeguard its forests. (Reuters


A suicide bomber targeted the police chief of Yemen’s second city Aden on Thursday in the latest attack against senior officials in the base of the Saudi-backed government, a security official said. (AFP

Russia said Wednesday it has asked the U.N. Security Council to blacklist two powerful Syrian rebel groups that it considers “terrorist organizations,” one which is playing a key role in political negotiations aimed at ending the five-year conflict. (AP


A member of an elite Cambodian military unit being tried on charges of beating up two opposition lawmakers told a court Thursday that he carried out the act but said he was insulted by the victims and did not know they were members of Parliament. (AP

The Philippines has been discussing coordinated naval patrols on its southern maritime borders with Indonesia and Malaysia to protect shipping after attacks and kidnappings by Islamist militants, its foreign minister said on Thursday. (Reuters

Hundreds of demonstrators, including Buddhist monks, denounced the United States for its use of the term Rohingya to describe Myanmar’s stateless Muslim community during a protest outside of the U.S. embassy in Yangon on Thursday. (Reuters

Myanmar has banned lucrative logging operations as the newly-elected government of democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi steps up a battle on deforestation, an environment official said on Thursday. (Reuters

As Bangladesh faces pressure to prevent more attacks against minorities and moderates in civil society, police have made slow progress in solving past cases. Only one of 15 killings has been prosecuted since 2013. Meanwhile the killing of two gay rights activists on Monday night has sent fearful members of the already small and secretive LGBT community underground. (AP

The Americas

Three people are dead following the collapse of a massive slope of trash at a garbage dump in Guatemala City. (AP

The director of Mexico’s criminal investigation agency is defending the handling of evidence in the case of 43 missing students, after an international group of experts raised questions about it. (AP

…and the rest

Warning of “growing xenophobia,” U.N. Secretary-General Ban ki-Moon on Thursday criticized increasing restrictions on safe haven for refugees in Europe, saying they tarnish commitments to international law. (AP

An Istanbul court on Thursday sentenced two prominent Turkish journalists to two years behind bars for illustrating their columns with a cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed published by French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo. (AFP

A parasitic worm which affects millions of the world’s poorest people may hold an important but little-known key to cutting the spread of HIV, researchers said ahead of a conference on the issue in London. (Reuters


Barbie Savior: The parody that makes aid types feel good, but does nothing (Humanosphere

Why is the Dominican Republic trying to render hundreds of thousands of Haitians stateless? (Global Dispatches Podcast

From preserving ecosystems to building airports, Asia needs to work together (Guardian

War On Corruption – Lesson From Tanzania,  South Africa (Daily News

Do Nigeria’s Big Corporate Fines Signal the End of ‘Anything Goes’? (The Conversation

After hostage beheading, is Philippines facing IS threat? (AP

Increasing Productivity Key to Revive Growth and  Support Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific (IPS

Should Europe pay to stop refugees fleeing oppressive Eritrea? (Guardian

Measles — the canary in the coalmine (Devex

Can Nigeria “end malaria for good?” (Ventures Africa

Tackling cholera through radio in Kenya (Public Spheres World Bank