Humanity Affirming Stat of the Day

Life expectancy is sharply increased. “The Global Burden of Disease study, which regularly reviews the causes of illness, disability and death in every country in the world, shows health is improving but not to the same extent or in the same ways in every country. And as people live longer, they are suffering from more ill health and disability in their old age. Development drives, but does not determine health,” said Dr Christopher Murray, director of the Institute. “We see countries that have improved far faster than can be explained by income, education or fertility. And we also continue to see countries – including the United States – that are far less healthy than they should be given their resources.” Life expectancy from 1980 to 2015 has risen globally by more than a decade to 69 years in men and 74.8 years in women. The cause of 70% of deaths is non-infectious diseases that often have lifestyle origins, such as heart disease, stroke and diabetes, but also include dementia. HIV/Aids, which was a major killer, accounted for 1.2 million deaths in 2015, which is a reduction of a third from 2005. “ (Guardian

Haiti Death toll sharply revised upward, true extent of damage still unclear…”Two days after Hurricane Matthew rampaged across Haiti’s remote southwestern peninsula, authorities and aid workers still lack a clear picture of what they fear is the country’s biggest disaster in years..Haitian officials on Thursday dramatically raised the known death toll from Hurricane Matthew as they finally began to reach corners of the country that had been cut off by the rampaging storm. Interior Minister Francois Anick Joseph announced that at least 108 had died, up from a previous count of 23. That increased the hurricane’s overall toll across the Caribbean to 114. Officials were especially concerned about the department of Grand-Anse, at the northern tip of the peninsula that was slammed by the Category 4 storm, severing roads and communications links… “Devastation is everywhere,” Pilus Enor, mayor of the town of Camp Perrin, told The Associated Press. “Every house has lost its roof. All the plantations have been destroyed. …This is the first time we see something like this.” (AP


United Nations peacekeepers stayed in their bases rather than protect civilians during an outbreak of fighting in South Sudan in July, a rights group has said. (Guardian

South Sudan’s government and rebel forces should immediately adhere to a permanent cease-fire, the United States, European Union, Britain and regional states said Thursday, calling continued conflict in the troubled nation “senseless.” (AP

Islamist militants from the Somali group al Shabaab killed six people in an attack in northeast Kenya on Thursday, the latest in a series of raids by the group in the region. (Reuters

South African President Jacob Zuma on Thursday appointed Busisiwe Mkhwebane as the new Public Protector, a constitutionally mandated anti-corruption watchdog. (Reuters


A Bahraini court Thursday postponed until October 31 its verdict in the trial of prominent activist Nabeel Rajab, charged with spreading false information and posting online insults, a judicial source said. (AFP

A group of women activists who tried to break Israel’s decade-long blockade of the Gaza Strip were being held Thursday pending deportation after the Israeli navy intercepted their boat. (AFP

Iraq has requested an emergency U.N. Security Council session over the presence of Turkish troops in northern Iraq, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said Thursday, a development that could further increase tension between the two neighbors. (AP


Two East Timorese journalists are going on trial in a criminal defamation case brought by the country’s prime minister that has alarmed rights groups. (AP

The president of the Philippines wants to liberate his country from a “shackling dependency” on the United States which can not guarantee its help when Philippine sovereignty is under threat, its foreign minister said. (Reuters

Forty-four Afghan troops visiting the United States for military training have gone missing in less than two years, presumably in an effort to live and work illegally in America, Pentagon officials said. (Reuters

A typhoon that battered South Korea this week killed seven people and left three others missing, the country’s safety agency said Thursday. (AP

The Americas

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and opposition rival Alvaro Uribe met on Wednesday in a bid to resolve differences over a peace deal with Marxist FARC rebels that was unexpectedly rejected in a plebiscite, leaving the country in limbo. (Reuters

Two alleged members of a gang that used women to lure victims before kidnapping them have been arrested, Mexican police say. The gang held the victims for ransom and in most cases killed them even after money had been paid, according to the authorities. (BBC

Four members of Myanmar’s human rights commission resigned Thursday, after the body was pilloried for failing to help two girls allegedly tortured for years at a tailor’s shop. (AFP

…and the rest

Global spending on infrastructure will total $90 trillion in the next 15 years and is the key to greener economic growth after the Paris agreement on climate change won a formal go-ahead, a study said on Thursday. (Reuters

A new European border and coast guard force was officially launched Thursday at a checkpoint on the European Union’s external border with Turkey in Bulgaria. (AP

Twenty suspects including Turkish soldiers and a deputy governor were jailed pending trial on Thursday, accused of belonging to a “sleeper cell” to be activated if a July military coup attempt had been successful, state-run Anadolu Agency said. (Reuters

Shots were fired at a planned migrant center in the French seaside resort town of Saint Brevin overnight, an attack the housing minister called “an act of extreme racism”. (Reuters

Portugal’s former prime minister Antonio Guterres, who is virtually certain to be the next U.N. secretary-general, says he wants to be “an honest broker, a bridge-builder and someone who tries to create conditions for consensus.” (AP


Why Voters Rejected the Colombia Peace Deal. And What Happens Now? (Global Dispatches Podcast

The Next UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres “Speaks Truth To Power.” (So how is it that the most powerful countries in the world selected him?) (UN Dispatch

Friday futures: Transparency (The World Needs Brave

We saw how Yemen’s children are slowly starving to death (Guardian

The allocation of World Bank Group resources to leave no one behind (ODI

Can Africa’s first aerial water network beat the cartels’ sky high prices? (Guardian

Unexpected Eritrean Journalistic Voice Rises in Ethiopia (Inter Press Service

The race is on to join team Guterres at the UN (The Interpreter

What can developing countries do to prepare for the automation shift? (Devex

There is good as well as bad news about the state of governance in Africa (The Conversation