Humanity Affirming Statistic for World AIDS Day

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UNICEF is touting an impressive decline in the number of children who are born with HIV. “An estimated 1.1 million HIV infections among children under 15 have been averted, as new cases declined by over 50 per cent between 2005 and 2013, according to data released by UNICEF today ahead of World AIDS Day. This extraordinary progress is the result of expanding the access of millions of pregnant women living with HIV to services for the prevention of mother to child transmission (PMTCT). These include lifelong HIV treatment that markedly reduces the transmission of the virus to babies and keeps their mothers alive and well.”   (UNICEF )

Climate Talks Kick off in Lima…The week long conference will set the stage for the big one in Paris a year from now. ”Recent reports show that there may be no way to prevent the planet’s temperature from rising, given the current level of greenhouse gases already in the atmosphere and the projected rate of emissions expected to continue before any new deal is carried out. That fact is driving the urgency of the Lima talks, which are expected to produce a draft document, to be finalized over the next year and signed by world leaders in Paris in December 2015. While a breach of the 3.6 degree threshold appears inevitable, scientists say that United Nations negotiators should not give up on their efforts to cut emissions. At stake now, they say, is the difference between a newly unpleasant world and an uninhabitable one.” (NYT


The death toll from ebola has jumped to 7,000 according to WHO data released on Saturday, This is a sharp increase of 1,200 since the previous update by the WHO last Wednesday. (NBC

Mali has no more confirmed cases of Ebola after the last patient known to be suffering from the virus was cured, President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita said on Saturday. (Reuters

In Liberia, the number of new cases of Ebola is going down, but the risk has not been eliminated. To help contain the disease, schools are set to be closed until March. But a national Senate election, which was postponed once, is now set for mid-December. That means campaigning — which means crowds. (NPR


The ‘anti-balaka’ militia in Central African Republic, formed in response to abuses by mostly Muslim rebels who seized power last year, said it would lay down its weapons and become a political movement. (Reuters

The spokesman for Lesotho Prime Minister Thomas Thabane said political tension in the Southern African kingdom has reduced after senior security officials left separately on vacation. (VOA

Suspected Boko Haram militants, who arrived on motorcycles throwing bombs, raided a mostly Christian town in Nigeria’s northeast after nightfall on Saturday, residents and a military source said. (Reuters

Protests by disgruntled soldiers in Ivory Coast have exposed the government’s failure to reform its mutiny-plagued armed forces and its rapid capitulation sets a dangerous precedent in a country with bright economic prospects. (Reuters

Tanzania’s parliament voted on Saturday to dismiss senior officials, including the attorney general, the energy minister and several other members of cabinet, after a report on corruption in the energy sector. (Reuters

Nigerian author Jude Dibia said gay people in Nigeria and elsewhere in Africa are increasingly fearful of “outing” themselves because of laws and other repressive measures that discriminate against them, and these restrictions on free expression are driving LGBTI communities further underground. (VOA

French President Francois Hollande warned African leaders on Saturday against trying to hang on to power, praising peaceful political transitions in Burkina Faso and Tunisia as positive examples to the continent. (Reuters

The Gambian government has lashed out at Western donor nations that have criticized a new law that punishes some homosexual acts with life in prison. (AP

AIDS activists are trying to stem a troubling resurgence in Uganda of HIV, which now infects more than 500 young women between the ages of 15 and 24 each week, according to the Uganda AIDS Commission. Between 2007 and 2013 the number of Ugandans infected with HIV rose from 1.2 million to 1.6 million, according to Uganda’s Ministry of Health. (AP


Protests erupted in several universities throughout Egypt a day after Hosni Mubarak was cleared of killing protesters in 2011. (Al Jazeera

An arson attack targeting first-grade classrooms at a Jewish-Arab school sparked a wave of condemnation Sunday, as months of racial tensions in Jerusalem showed little sign of abating. (Daily Mail

Kurdish fighters say they have taken over five key villages from Islamic State fighters. These villages, located in an area known as Gweir and Makhmour, 28 miles to the south of Erbil, have been changing hands for months. (Al Jazeera

About 400 people have been killed in six weeks of heavy fighting between Libyan pro-government forces and Islamist groups in Libya’s second-largest city Benghazi, medical staff said on Saturday. (Reuters


Pro-democracy protesters clashed with police as they tried to surround Hong Kong government headquarters late Sunday, stepping up their movement for genuine democratic reforms after camping out on the city’s streets for more than two months. (Miami Herald )

Vietnamese police have detained a blogger for posting “bad content” about the state, the latest move in a crackdown on dissent that has been condemned by rights groups and Western governments. (Reuters

Correspondent Philip Reeves tells NPR’s Rachel Martin that the Taliban is gunning down polio vaccine health workers in Pakistan, who are suspected of being spies. (NPR

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday stepped up his rhetoric against illegal immigration from Bangladesh, vowing to halt the unauthorized flow of citizens from the neighboring country into the northeastern state of Assam. (Reuters

Nearly a thousand gay rights activists marched through central New Delhi on Sunday to demand an end to discrimination against gays in India’s deeply conservative society. (AP

The Americas

Ruling party candidate Tabare Vazquez easily won Uruguay’s presidential election on Sunday, returning to power a left-leaning coalition that has legalized gay marriage and moved to create the world’s first state-run marijuana marketplace. (AP


Climate change adaptation comes of age in U.N. talks (TRFN

Will Lima climate talks pave way for a binding treaty in Paris in 2015? (Guardian

Is Egypt ready to join growing global movement to end FGM? (The Guardian

Life on the Ebola frontline: ‘Hope is fading, but we will keep on fighting’ (Guardian

“An Idiot Abroad” on Geldof (How Matters

The curse of low expectations (Chris Blattman

Letters Left Unsent: Prospective Aidworkers Must-Read (Open the Echo Chamber

How to win the argument on the private sector; seeing like a liberal, and a lifecycle approach to supporting aid agencies (From Poverty to Power

On Andrew Lansley as the UK’s candidate for UN Emergency Relief Coordinator (Global Dashboard

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa “the implication for food security”  (HURDL Blog