Refugees flee across the Mediterranean in an iconic 2015 image from the UN Refugee Agency

EU-Africa strike deal on $2 bn emergency migration fund.

The European Union launched a fund for Africa on Thursday with an initial $2 billion to combat the poverty and conflict driving migration to Europe, but African leaders said more fundamental economic change was needed. Some say the money is not enough. “The trust fund is not enough, 1.8 billion euros is far from enough,” said Mahamadou Issoufou, the president of Niger in the Sahel, which faces serious problems with migration and drought. “What we want is not just official development assistance in this form but reform of global governance. World trade must be fair. There must be more investment in Africa. Official development assistance is good but it’s not sufficient.”  (Reuters

Report: ISIS has committed genocide in Iraq...From the The US Holocaust Memorial Museum: “We found that IS committed mass atrocities to control, expel, and exterminate ethnic and religious minorities in areas it seized. IS committed crimes against humanity, war crimes, and ethnic cleansing against those communities in Ninewa. We also assert that genocide was perpetrated against the Yezidi people in the region. Of critical importance, crimes continue against the women and children who were kidnapped and still are being held by IS.” (USHMM

ISIS Strikes in Lebanon…The attack struck a stronghold of Hezbollah, which is fighting alongside the Assad regime in Syria..”Twin suicide bombings claimed by the Islamic State killed dozens of people and wounded more than 200 in Beirut on Thursday, raising fears of intensified attempts by the radical Sunni group to undermine Lebanon’s fragile stability.In the worst attack to hit the Lebanese capital in years, assailants targeted a southern suburb where many loyalists of the powerful Shiite Hezbollah militia live. The incident killed at least 37 people, officials said, and left little doubt that the attackers struck with the intent of stirring up Lebanon’s volatile sectarian divisions.” (WaPo

Burundi condemnation…The U.N. Security Council unanimously approved a resolution Thursday condemning killings in Burundi and threatening sanctions, while international leaders urgently called for the government and opposition to meet amid fears that the African nation is at risk of genocide. (AP


A U.N. peacekeeper died and seven civilians were killed in fighting in a refugee camp in Central African Republic, the U.N. refugee agency said Wednesday, in another outbreak of violence the same day dates were announced for long-delayed elections. (Reuters

Around 25 people were killed in a Boko Haram attack on a village in southern Niger and subsequent clashes between the Islamist militants and the army, Niger military officials said. (Reuters

Twelve Angolan activists who were arrested for demanding the resignation of president Jose Eduardo dos Santos as the country marked 40 years of independence, have been released, police said Thursday. (AFP

Zanzibar has formally annulled October’s elections meaning a rerun appears more likely, despite continued negotiations to strike a political deal on Tanzania’s semi-autonomous islands. (AFP

South Sudan’s government said on Thursday it would meet rebel leader Riek Machar at a regional peace conference in its capital Juba next week, almost two years since he left the city at the start of the civil war. (Reuters

Kenya’s biggest donors on Thursday issued a fierce rebuke to rampant corruption in the east African nation, warning it weakened economic growth and security and threatening to impose travel bans. (AFP

Kenyan forces fighting militants in Somalia are taking cuts from charcoal and sugar smuggling, earning themselves about $50 million a year and boosting an illegal trade that helps fund the Islamists, a rights group said on Thursday. (Reuters

The United States lifted economic sanctions against Liberia on Thursday as President Barack Obama cited the country’s “tremendous progress” and commitment to democracy since emerging from civil war in 2003, the White House said. (Reuters

Conflicts, floods and failed rains caused by El Nino have sparked a dramatic rise in the number of people going hungry in east Africa, especially in drought-hit Ethiopia, the United Nations said Thursday. (AFP

Uganda said Thursday it would deploy over 10,000 police officers backed by soldiers when Pope Francis visits later this month, amid fears of attacks by Al-Qaeda militants. (AFP

The acting president of the Central African Republic said Thursday she hopes Pope Francis will go ahead with his visit to the conflict-hit country this month despite security concerns. (AFP


Kurdish forces who have launched an offensive to retake Sinjar from Islamic State militants expect to enter and clear the northern Iraqi town soon, the Kurdistan regional security council said on Thursday. (Reuters

Undercover Israeli agents killed a Palestinian in a West Bank hospital while arresting his cousin wanted for a knife attack, in what Amnesty condemned Thursday as an apparent “extrajudicial killing”. (AFP

Secretary of State John Kerry says prospects are uncertain at best for this weekend’s Syria peace talks. But he says the diplomatic effort to end the war cannot be abandoned. (AP


U.N. prosecutors said on Thursday they had evidence suggesting international forces in Afghanistan had caused serious harm to detainees by subjecting them to physical and psychological abuse. (Reuters

Toxic fumes from the Indonesian fires that have spread a choking haze across Southeast Asia may be doing more harm to human and plant health than officials have indicated, scientists measuring the pollution say. (VOA

The Americas

Colombia’s justice minister says the country plans to legalize the cultivation and sale of marijuana for medicinal purposes. (AP

The Brazilian government says it will grant permanent residence to more than 43,000 Haitians who entered the country illegally. (AP

Haitians angered by a series of rapes and robberies in Port-au-Prince burned alive a man they suspected of criminal connections early Thursday in an upscale suburb of the capital. (AFP

President Nicolas Maduro defended Venezuela’s human rights record in Geneva on Thursday after the top United Nations rights official voiced serious concerns about the country’s judiciary and harassment of his critics. (Reuters

Two of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s relatives have been indicted in the United States for cocaine smuggling, according to court papers on Thursday, following an international sting that Venezuela cast as an “imperialist” attack. (Reuters

…and the rest

A U.S. government weather forecaster on Thursday said that the El Nino weather phenomenon under way would likely peak during the Northern Hemisphere winter of 2015/2016 and taper off to neutral in late spring or early summer 2016. (Reuters

Germany should unilaterally provide aid to Turkey for refugees to help slow the flow across the Aegean Sea to Greece if the EU fails to reach a common deal with Ankara on the issue, Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel said on Thursday. (Reuters

A new global deal to curb climate change due in Paris next month must “switch on” forest protection schemes by allowing the carbon credits they produce to help meet country pledges to cut planet-warming emissions, forest experts said. (Reuters

As the spreading refugee crisis threatens to destabilize national budgets of donor nations in Western Europe, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Wednesday appealed to the international community not to forsake its longstanding commitment for development assistance to the world’s poorer nations. (IPS

European lawmakers are expressing concern about a widening scandal in which hundreds of Libyans allegedly received Maltese residency permits in a corruption scheme and another in which large numbers of Algerians received visas through Malta’s consulate. (AP

London’s Royal Free Hospital says it has discharged Scottish nurse Pauline Cafferkey, who was hospitalized last month after suffering from a rare relapse of Ebola. (AP

Work started Thursday in the migrant camp known as the “Jungle” near the northern French port of Calais to build improved accommodation for 1,500 people. (AFP


Have 15 mins and want a good primer on the Paris Climate Talks? Listen to this episode of Global Dispatches podcast

Progress against pneumonia lags behind other childhood killers (Humanosphere

A short history of helping far-off peoples (Africa is a Country

The Great Surge in Developing Nations No One is Talking About (Tiny Spark

Which are the best aid donors? Governments have their say (Guardian

Stuck in the Calais “jungle” (UN Dispatch

Getting money to the ground, directly (How Matters

Casualties of war in the world’s newest country (New Statesman

Is “technical assistance” counterproductive? (Roving Bandit

Modern slavery is harder to recognise when it’s right under our noses (Guardian

EU-Africa migrant plan raises worrying questions (IRIN

Bad aid: Should all NGOs close down? (Guardian