Humanity Affirming News from Jimmy Carter

The 92-year-old ex president is one big step closer to outliving the last Guinea worm. “ Mali has eliminated Guinea worm disease bringing the world a step closer to eradicating the debilitating parasitic disease that is now only endemic in three African countries, the U.S.-based Carter Center said, citing provisional government figures. Guinea worm afflicted 3.5 million people 30 years ago but is now only endemic in South Sudan, Chad and Ethiopia, where there were 16 reported cases last year, according to the organization set up by former U.S. president Jimmy Carter and his wife. Last November, the doctor leading the fight against the disease which can cause worms up to a meter long to grow before emerging through the skin, said the world had never been so close to eradicating Guinea worm.” (AFP

Thousands displaced in Myanmar Fighting…“More than 3,000 people have fled airstrikes and heavy fighting in northern Myanmar since the weekend as the government tries to flush out rebel positions, activists said Wednesday. The government prevented a U.N. official from visiting the area on Tuesday as waves of people crossed the border into China to escape the turmoil. The unrest in Kachin state, where rebel groups have been seeking greater autonomy for decades, is just one of the simmering conflicts in Myanmar. The military is also under fire for alleged human rights abuses against the Muslim Rohingya minority in Rakhine state.” (AP

Massive Drop in Number of Asylum Seekers in Germany… “Germany has seen an immense drop in the arrival of asylum seekers, with the total number in 2016 slumped to less than a third of the 890,000 who arrived in 2015, according to the interior minister.  Thomas de Maiziere said on Wednesday that about 280,000 new asylum seekers arrived in 2016, while an estimated 80,000 people either left voluntarily or were deported.  The minister said authorities hoped the number of those who leave or are deported will increase.  Arrivals declined sharply with the closure of the Balkan refugee route in March and the subsequent agreement between the European Union and Turkey to stem the flow across the Aegean Sea to Greece.” (Al Jazeera

Duterte did something…not murderous? Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered government agencies to ensure free access to contraceptives for 6 million women who cannot obtain them, officials said Wednesday, in a move expected to be opposed by the dominant Roman Catholic church. (AP

Why a Political Crisis in this small African Country May Have Big Global Implications (UN Dispatch