COP21 Negotiations Heat Up

A draft text is released with just 8 negotiating days left in the conference. “Two thorny issues have been dividing rich and poor nations, namely climate finance and what is known as loss and damage. It is already apparent that the question of how industrialized countries are going to help developing nations adapt to global warming impacts and leapfrog dirty energy technologies is the biggest sticking point in these talks.Making things more difficult, it seems, is a proposal by some industrialized nations, including the U.S., that would have developing countries contribute to climate finance. The main alliance of 134 developing countries, known as the G-77 plus China, has objected to this language, saying it runs counter to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, which was signed in 1992 and placed most of the burden to reduce emissions and provide financial support on industrialized countries.” (Mashable )


Meanwhile…Climate Conference, Hacked...“Anonymous, the hacktivist movement, hacked the website of the summit organisers, the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and posted names, phone numbers, usernames, email addresses, and secret questions and answers onto an anonymous publishing site.Anonymous claimed the attack was an act of protest against the arrest of protesters on a climate march in Paris on Sunday. Climate activists organising a peaceful protest say that the demonstration was hijacked by a small group of anarchists who clashed with police. All public protests have been banned in the city since a state of emergency was declared after the terror attacks nearly three weeks ago.” (Guardian


Yet Another MSF Hospital Bombed…”An airstrike carried out by the Saudi-led coalition has hit a clinic in southern Yemen run by MSF, wounding nine people, including two MSF staff.   According to local sources, at 11:20 on 2 December, three airstrikes targeted a park in Taiz city’s Al Houban district, 2 km from MSF’s clinic. The MSF team immediately evacuated the clinic and informed the Saudi-led coalition that their jet planes were mounting an attack nearby. The clinic itself came under attack. The wounded, two of them with critical injuries, were transferred to Al Qaidah and Al Resalah hospitals. MSF supports both hospitals in treating war-wounded patients.” (MSF


Guilty verdict…Oscar Pistorius was convicted of murder on Thursday by a South African appeals court that described the once-glittering story of the double-amputee Olympian and Reeva Steenkamp, the girlfriend he killed in his home in 2013, as “a human tragedy of Shakespearean proportions.” (AP


Google goes big on renewables…Google is nearly doubling the amount of renewable energy feeding its massive data centers that enable more than 1 billion people to search for information, watch video clips and communicate virtually anytime they want. (AP




More than 100,000 people uprooted by violence and living in camps in northeast Nigeria are set to return home soon, but many fear for their safety and ability to rebuild their lives, aid agency staff said on Thursday. (TRF


In a not-so-subtle rebuke of his predecessors, Tanzania’s new President John Magufuli has displayed unusual zeal for austerity and impatience with corruption and waste since taking office a month ago. (AFP


Three Tanzanian universities are offering a new course on female genital mutilation to train healthcare professionals how to deal with victims of the harmful practice that is still widespread although illegal. (Reuters


French army officers have denied allegations by rights groups that the country’s peacekeeping force knowingly failed to prevent the killing of hundreds of Tutsis in Rwanda in 1994. (Al Jazeera


Eleven people, including seven soldiers, were killed in clashes with 15 unidentified gunmen in two military camps in Ivory Coast near the border with Liberia, a U.N. source with knowledge of the events said. (Reuters


Malawi has rolled out its first batch of ethanol-fueled cars as the government works to transition the country to a cheaper, greener alternative to imported fuel. (VOA


South Africa and China signed deals worth $6.5 billion during talks between the two countries, President Jacob Zuma said on Wednesday, adding that relations between the two nations were at their “best ever”. (Reuters


Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari will ask China’s president at a summit this week to fund rail and power projects urgently needed to diversify an economy hit hard by a plunge in oil prices, a spokesman said. (Reuters




Over 1,500 migrants have been rescued off the Libyan coast in seven separate operations, the Italian navy said Thursday, after a break in bad weather sparked fresh attempts at the perilous Mediterranean crossing. (AFP


Israel on Thursday announced the arrests of several Jewish extremists with possible connections to an arson attack that killed a Palestinian toddler and his two parents in July — moving closer to solving a case that has enraged Palestinians and been a key factor fueling a two-month wave of Israeli-Palestinian violence. (AP


A draft law on rights for disabled people that has gone before the Moroccan parliament has been criticised by civil society groups for perpetuating outdated notions of disability. (Guardian




The Indian military evacuated more than 2,000 residents stranded in the southern state of Tamil Nadu on Thursday as the death toll from flooding rose to 269 after the heaviest cloudburst in over a century. (Reuters


Thai police said on Thursday that suspects wanted in connection with a bomb that ripped through a Bangkok shrine, killing 20 people, have been arrested abroad and that Thailand was in the process of requesting their extradition. (Reuters


Afghan officials scrambled Thursday to establish whether Taliban supremo Mullah Akhtar Mansour was still alive, after sources said he was “critically” wounded in a firefight following a bitter argument with commanders in the divided militant movement. (AFP


A Cambodian court sentenced an unlicensed medical practitioner to 25 years in prison Thursday after finding him responsible for infecting more than 100 villagers with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, by reusing unsanitized syringes. At least 10 of the infected people have died. (AP


China’s economy will grow slightly faster than expected this year at 6.9 percent and its shift to fostering services and private consumption is helping to support regional growth, the Asian Development Bank said Thursday. (AP


India will force all commercial trucks more than 15 years old off the road from April and is reviewing how it checks vehicle emissions, a senior transport official said, as the government tries to curb soaring urban air pollution. (Reuters


Pakistan refused to allow about 30 migrants deported from Greece to get off a plane at Islamabad on Thursday, a week after talks with the European Union to settle a dispute over forced repatriations. (Reuters


The Seychelles began three days of voting on Thursday in a presidential election in which the incumbent’s bid for a third term has been challenged by a rival who says economic growth on the Indian Ocean archipelago has favoured the rich. (Reuters


The Americas


Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter said Thursday that he is opening all jobs in combat units to women, a landmark decision that ends a three-year period of research with a number of firsts for female service members and bitter debate at times about how women should be integrated. (WaPo

Brazil’s first female president faces impeachment…Added to the list of corruption scandals and low approval numbers, Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff now must fight an impeachment effort launched by a political foe who heads Congress’ lower house. (AP


Members of the U.S. African diaspora hope African refugees will also benefit from the U.S. pledge to accept more refugees. However, there is one hurdle that keeps Africans in the U.S. from speaking as one voice. (VOA


Plenty of countries have damaged or failing health systems. Few are like the Venezuelan. (BBC


U.S. citizen Lori Berenson, convicted in Peru of helping Marxist insurgents, finally left Peru for good early Thursday after 20 years of detention and parole in the South American nation. (VOA


…and the rest


Negotiators charged with saving humanity from a climate catastrophe on Thursday unveiled a new draft deal riddled with conflicting proposals after three days of talks in Paris, sparking deep concern among activists. (AFP


A U.N. deal on climate change in Paris should fire the starting gun for a global push on sustainable development in 2016, with no time to lose in shifting to greener, more resilient economies, the head of the U.N. development agency said. (Reuters


World governments have been urged to tackle air pollution in poorer countries by greening cities, reducing traffic and adopting better diets, and told that this will also rein in climate change, which global health specialists estimate will cause at least 250,000 additional deaths a year by 2030. (Guardian


France’s far-right National Front appears to be on course for an historic breakthrough in regional elections this weekend, with the country still traumatised by last month’s Paris terror attacks. (AFP




AIDS Related Deaths of Asian Teens are Up By Over 100%. Are Dating Apps to Blame? (UN Dispatch


What Place for South African Coal in a Low-Carbon World? (DW


Can peace deal bring relief to south Libya’s ‘Chinese camp’? (IRIN


Decolonisation should be about appreciating difference, not despising it (The Conversation


What Next for the African Standby Force? (ISS


Poor people living with disabilities are counting on better data for better lives (Guardian


Will #COP21 negotiators tackle land rights issues? (Devex


How Burkina Faso ensured its freest and fairest elections ever (African Arguments


Factbox: Major shootings in the United States (Reuters


HIV drugs for babies slashes breastfeeding risk (SciDevNet


Britain has a new aid strategy. But has it got its priorities right? (Guardian


How the Chan Zuckerberg initiative could influence global giving (Devex