Congress “Fast Tracks” Pacific Free Trade Bill

A rare moment of unity that could have profound global development consequences. “A deal reached by lawmakers Thursday would pave the way for President Barack Obama to conclude a major Pacific trade agreement with rare Republican help, but the measure is triggering a fight within a Democratic Party increasingly opposed to liberalizing trade. The bill, introduced in Congress Thursday, is a compromise between Republicans and Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee, and is meant to ease passage of the Trans-Pacific Partnership—a pact with Japan, Canada, Vietnam and other Pacific nations that the White House sees as central to the president’s economic legacy.” (WSJ

“Evicted and Abandoned” How the World Bank Broke its Promise to the Poor…HuffPo has published a major investigative report. Key finding: “Over the last decade, projects funded by the World Bank have physically or economically displaced an estimated 3.4 million people, forcing them from their homes, taking their land or damaging their livelihoods.” (HuffPo

More Tragedies At Sea in the Mediterranean…“Italian police say they have arrested 15 Muslim migrants after they allegedly threw 12 Christians overboard following a row on a boat heading to Italy. The Christian migrants, said to be from Ghana and Nigeria, are all feared dead. In a separate incident, more than 40 people drowned after another migrant boat sank between Libya and Italy.” (BBC

“The Deepest Circle of Hell”…An Inside Look at the UN’s efforts to Help Palestinians in Syria escape the Yarmouk “death camp” (Global DIspatches Podcast


Nigeria’s successful presidential election was nearly derailed by a plot to disrupt the announcement by Jonathan’s supporters. (Reuters

In an interview, Sierra Leone’s president said the Ebola outbreak undermined his government’s efforts to boost and restructure the economy after years of civil war. (VOA

The recent spate of xenophobic violence in Durban, South Africa has terrified foreign nationals – particularly business owners. (VOA

An in depth look at why violence is on the rise in central Mali. (Vice


ISIS militants are launching a major offensive to take the major Iraqi city of Ramadi, capital of the Anbar province. (Xinhua

A new study concludes that Iran has greatly increased the frequency and skill of its cyber attacks, even while negotiating with world powers over its nuclear program. (NYT

The United Nations’ special envoy to Yemen has stepped down after four years of efforts at a peaceful political transition fell apart. (Al Jazeera


China’s ability to rally 57 countries to join its new Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has been seen widely as a major victory, but the task of getting the bank up and running before the end of the year will be a formidable challenge. (VOA

Pakistan’s Supreme Court on Thursday suspended the death sentences issued by the recently established military courts. (NYT

Facebook’s—the social networking giant’s initiative to provide free wireless access to certain websites in the developing world—is slowly disintegrating in India. (QZ

The Americas

A mayor, a journalist and a general embody the struggle of those who refuse to give into narcoterrorism, in Tamaulipas, Mexico’s most violent state. (El País; Spanish)

President Obama’s removal of Cuba from the list of state sponsors of terrorism goes only a short way to reconnecting American businesses with the country, experts said. (NYT

UCLA’s World Policy Analysis Center has issued a report examining progress in gender equality (and lack thereof) – including the poor state of maternity leave in the US. (VOA

…and the rest

A prominent Ukrainian journalist has been shot dead on the street near Kyiv. (VOA

Nearly 1.5 million Armenians died at the hands of the Ottoman Empire in 1915, during World War I, but most Turks do not believe mass killings were planned. (NYT


Why We Should Be Paying Attention to Burundi Right Now (UN Dispatch

Paranoia and Polarization in Turkey (NYT

React every which way (WhyDev

Generational shift threatens global progress against HIV (Reuters

Malala Yousafzai: Champion of education (TIME

Palestinians in Syria are stuck in the “the deepest circle of Hell” (UN Dispatch

Investigative Technique: Engaging Your Target (Covering Business

The folly of barring pregnant girls from school in Sierra Leone (Africa is a Country

From Sweden, India to Kenya, men must take a stand to protect women: #HeForShe  (