“Close to Famine”

The statements from MSF regarding Borno state, Nigeria are becoming more and more alarming. “Severely malnourished children are dying in large numbers in northeast Nigeria, the former stronghold of Boko Haram militants where food supplies are close to running out, Medecins Sans Frontieres said on Wednesday…The medical charity, also known as Doctors Without Borders, urged the United Nations to set up emergency food transports to the area, where up to 800,000 civilians have been cut off for over a year, it said ‘The situation is a large-scale humanitarian disaster…. There is a vital need to have a food pipeline in place to save the population that can be saved,’ MSF general director Bruno Jochum told a news briefing. ‘We are talking at least about pockets of what is close to a famine.’” (Reuters http://bit.ly/2avUfcr)

Report of the Day…Timor-Leste has been named as having the greatest percentage of children in the world who are stunted. The new report ‘Caught Short’, from international development charity WaterAid, reveals 58 percent of children under-five in Timor-Leste suffer from stunting, which affects a child’s physical development as well as their cognitive and emotional development. (WaterAid http://bit.ly/2afmd9P)

Quote of the day… “I am not speaking of a war of religions. Religions don’t want war. The others want war,” Pope Francis. (AP http://yhoo.it/2avU6pl)


South Sudanese government soldiers raped dozens of ethnic Nuer women and girls last week just outside a United Nations camp where they had sought protection from renewed fighting, and at least two died from their injuries, witnesses and civilian leaders said. (VOA http://bit.ly/2avSfRg)

The United Nations warned South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir on Tuesday that any political appointments must be consistent with a peace deal that ended nearly two years of civil war after Kiir replaced his vice president and rival Riek Machar. (Reuters http://bit.ly/2abSyRu)

Congo’s veteran opposition chief Etienne Tshisekedi came home after a two-year convalescence Wednesday as the mineral-rich but unstable nation headed into fresh turbulence. (AFP http://yhoo.it/2abQCIN)

Young supporters of Burundi’s ruling CNDD-FDD party have raped women with perceived links to political opponents ever since unrest began to flare there in 2015, Human Rights Watch said Wednesday. (AFP http://yhoo.it/2axN1RH)

Malian forces arrested a regional leader of Islamist group Ansar Dine in central Mali, after it claimed an attack in the region that killed 17 soldiers, the army spokesman said. (Reuters http://bit.ly/2aqFiW5)

A former Somali MP who joined the Shabaab group in 2010 was one of two suicide bombers who killed 13 people near a United Nations and African Union base, the militants announced Wednesday. (AFP http://yhoo.it/2aqG19N)

Two years after devastating floods, banana planters in Ivory Coast have staged a comeback, eyeing an increase in production and new markets for the popular fruit. (AFP http://yhoo.it/2aqFlkV)

The people of the Nuba Mountains in South Kordofan State are accustomed to hardship. Receiving little outside aid, they have managed to farm and survive despite the challenges of a protracted civil war with the Sudanese government. But that could be about to change. (IRIN http://bit.ly/2axKM0S)

Industrialization in Africa is being driven by African leaders who realise that industries as diverse as horticulture and leather production can help add value to the primary resources they currently export. (IPS http://bit.ly/2avUUui)


Israeli forces fired anti-tank missiles at a house in the West Bank after a shootout overnight, killing a Hamas member accused of a deadly attack on a rabbi, authorities said Wednesday. (AFP http://yhoo.it/2aqFLrt)

Egypt is in the “final stages” of negotiating an agreement with the International Monetary Fund to secure a $12 billion loan over three years, while targeting more loans totaling $7 billion annually, according to a Cabinet statement. (AP http://yhoo.it/2axMOhJ)

The United Nations called for a humanitarian truce in the Yemeni province of Taiz after government forces captured a town from Iran-allied Houthi militia in heavy fighting that has spurred allegations of war crimes. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/2axNhQN)

A United Nations peacekeeping mission in disputed Western Sahara is still not fully functional, the U.N. Security Council president said on Tuesday, months after Morocco expelled dozens of civilian staff in anger at remarks by U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon. (Reuters http://bit.ly/2aqEQap)


Severe floods in India have affected more than 1.6 million people, buried hundreds of villages and almost submerged a national park, forcing wildlife to seek refuge on roads, authorities said on Wednesday. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/2abNU5Y)

Floods and landslides triggered by monsoon rains in Nepal have killed 54 people over the last two days, an official said Wednesday. (AP http://yhoo.it/2aqFIM2)

Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo announced a new Cabinet on Wednesday that puts a retired general linked to human rights abuses in charge of security and returns a popular reformist to the finance ministry. (AP http://yhoo.it/2abSfWL)

Cambodia advised a grouping of Southeast Asian nations to avoid using words that “would escalate tension between China and the Philippines” in a weekend statement, the country’s foreign ministry said on Wednesday. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/2axLfjQ)

The United Nations expressed alarm Wednesday at the looming execution of 14 drug convicts in Indonesia, urging Jakarta to put an end to the “unjust” practice of capital punishment. (AFP http://yhoo.it/2axNa7M)

The head of Thailand’s oldest political party on Wednesday joined a growing chorus of voices opposed to a new constitution proposed by the military government. (AP http://yhoo.it/2aqF1Te)

The world’s largest oil, coal, cement and mining companies have been given 45 days to respond to a complaint that their greenhouse gas emissions have violated the human rights of millions of people living in the Philippines. (Guardian http://bit.ly/2axN1RO)

Leaders of Myanmar rebel armies held talks in a war-hit border town Wednesday, state media reported, as they prepare for a major peace conference with a government desperate to end insurgencies that have plagued the country. (AFP http://yhoo.it/2abRZXU)

The Americas

Some 50 animals have starved to death in the last six months at one of Venezuela’s main zoos, according to a union leader, due to chronic food shortages that have plagued the crisis-stricken South American nation. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/2abOcKl)

Venezuelan opposition leaders have called for a march on the National Electoral Council (CNE) headquarters in the capital, Caracas, on Wednesday. They want to pressure the CNE, which they say is stalling their attempts to hold a recall referendum to oust President Nicolas Maduro. (BBC http://bbc.in/2aqAW1n)

The United States is to start vetting would-be refugees from Central America in their home countries instead of on American soil, and offer those in imminent danger a temporary haven in Costa Rica, officials said. (AFP http://yhoo.it/2aqFHrJ)

…and the rest

Turkey ordered another 47 journalists detained on Wednesday, part of a large-scale crackdown on suspected supporters of U.S.-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, accused by Ankara of masterminding a failed military coup. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/2aqEMar)

Pro-opposition gunmen locked in a protracted standoff with police in the Armenian capital Yerevan on Wednesday have taken four medics hostage, officials say, after a shootout left five people wounded. (AFP http://yhoo.it/2aqGdFR)

Global trade is not the main cause for the loss of manufacturing jobs in places like the United States and needs to be defended from its critics, the chief of the World Trade Organization said Wednesday. (AP http://yhoo.it/2abO8dv)


More than a week after the attempted coup, things are looking bleak for democracy in Turkey. (UN Dispatch http://bit.ly/2aeuqaW)

Narrow National Interests Threaten Historic Refugee Agreement (IPS http://bit.ly/2adULG4)

If companies profit by doing good, why aren’t they all doing it? (Guardian http://bit.ly/2aeRklW)

A look at the conflicts that have plagued India for decades (AP http://yhoo.it/2abL7d5)

Why Did President Sall Pardon a Rival Convicted of Embezzling Millions? (African Arguments http://bit.ly/2abLVP9)

Confronting corruption: can Guadalajara become a model for transparency? (Guardian http://bit.ly/2axO7gg)

Falling Short-Police Apathy to Rape in India (IPS http://bit.ly/2aqFe8M)

Debate, discord mark UN Conference on Trade and Development (Devex http://bit.ly/2aqGQiV)