The Iconic UN Photo from Yarmouk

ISIS Captures Palestinian Refugee Camp

Yarmouk is a long suffering settlement. Things are poised to get much worse. “Islamic State (IS) militants have entered the Palestinian refugee camp Yarmouk in Damascus, activists and Palestinian officials say. Clashes erupted between the militants and groups inside the camp, with IS seizing control of large parts of the camp, reports said.The UN says about 18,000 Palestinian refugees are inside the camp. IS militants have seized large swathes of territory in eastern Syria and across northern and western Iraq. But this is the group’s first major attack near the heart of the Syrian capital.” (BBC

A Horrid  Week for Aid Workers…”The International Red Cross has issued a warning about the safety of humanitarian workers in modern conflict zones after three of its staff were killed in three separate countries on the same day. The three volunteers with the Red Cross and Red Crescent were all killed on Monday, in apparently targeted attacks as they were working in Syria, Yemen, and Mali.” (Telegraph

Welcome to the ICC’s newest member…The Palestinian Authority became a member of the International Criminal Court on Wednesday, with a low-key ceremony at the court’s headquarters marking the high-stakes move. (VOA

Human Achievement of the day: 117. That was the age of the world’s oldest person, Japan’s Misao Okawa. She passed away one month after turning 117. “Her birth on March 5, 1898 predated the Wright brothers’ first powered human flight by five years, she was already a teenager when World War I broke out and in her 70s by the time of the first moon landing.” (AFP


A day after becoming the first politician in Nigerian history to succeed a sitting leader by ballot, president-elect Muhammadu Buhari promised on Wednesday to “spare no effort” to defeat Islamist militant group Boko Haram. (Reuters

Sierra Leone found 10 new Ebola cases during a three-day countrywide shutdown, an official said Wednesday, declaring that the West African country is now at the “tail end” of the epidemic. (AP

Unknown attackers fired shells at a United Nations base on the outskirts of a town in northern Mali early on Wednesday, residents said. (Reuters

The U.N.’s human rights chief said Wednesday his office has received reports that Boko Haram fighters retreating from advancing military forces in Nigeria murdered women and girls they had taken as “wives,” along with other captives. (AP

Africa’s envoy to the European Union warned Wednesday that EU plans to process migrants in the countries they leave or transit on their way to Europe are “a dangerous approach.” (AP

The International Monetary Fund said Wednesday that it would lend Burundi $6.9 million to shore up the aid-dependent central African nation, months before a presidential election in June. (VOA


Saudi-led coalition warplanes bombed Shiite rebel positions Wednesday across Yemen as a missile strike on a dairy factory killed 35 workers, authorities said, as both sides disputed who fired on it. (AP

Egypt and Nigeria accounted for an “alarming rise” in the number of death sentences handed out around the world in 2014, often on the back of security concerns, Amnesty International said Wednesday. (AFP

Jordan on Wednesday closed its main border crossing with Syria amid fierce clashes between rebels and pro-regime forces for control of the post. (AFP


Thailand’s junta lifted martial law in most of the nation, but 10 months after staging a coup, it remains firmly in control — with new laws invoked Wednesday that essentially give it absolute power. (AP

A rockslide at a jade mine in northern Myanmar killed at least nine miners, and rescuers were searching for around 20 others, state media reported on Wednesday, two days after the accident. (Reuters

Thousands of doctors in Nepal stayed away from work at clinics and hospitals Wednesday to support a colleague who has been on a hunger strike for 10 days demanding reforms in medical education and services. (AP

Residents of the Micronesian State of Chuuk were struggling to clear the roads of huge pieces of debris and return to damaged homes Wednesday as Super Typhoon Maysak cut a destructive path across the central Pacific leaving at least five dead. (AFP

Female genital mutilation, banned by the WHO, seems to be common in the three Muslim-majority southern provinces of Thailand, but officials are taking no action. (Guardian

The United Nation Children’s Fund on Tuesday denied a media report that measles has broken out in North Korea. (VOA

The Americas

Mexican police have arrested a man in connection with the 2010 massacre of 72 migrants, officials said Tuesday. (AFP

The death toll from heavy rains and flooding that battered Chile last week has risen to 23, with another 57 still missing, and President Michelle Bachelet said on Wednesday she would cancel upcoming trips to lead ongoing reconstruction efforts. (VOA

The once-popular presidents of Brazil and Chile have both seen their approval ratings plunge amid corruption scandals that have battered their center-left governments, according to polls released Wednesday. (AP

The Brazilian army began to pull out of one of Rio de Janeiro’s most violent slums on Wednesday, with police assuming responsibility for security in the area. (AP

In addition to other forms of discrimination, lesbian and bisexual women in Cuba face unequal treatment from public health services. Their specific sexual and reproductive health needs are ignored, and they are invisible in prevention and treatment campaigns for women. (IPS

…and the rest

Turkish security forces on Wednesday shot dead a female assailant after she and an accomplice sought to attack the Istanbul police headquarters, as the city reeled from its second deadly shoot-out in two days. (AFP

A record number of migrants will drown in the Mediterranean this year if the current death rate remains unchecked, after 10 times as many migrants lost their lives during the first three months of 2015 as during the equivalent period in 2014. (Guardian

Trevor Noah, the South African comedian chosen to replace Jon Stewart as the new host of the late-night comedy parody, “The Daily Show” was feeling the heat on Twitter on Tuesday for past comments he made about Jews and women. (Reuters


A Human Rights Catastrophe is Unfolding in Yemen. (UN Dispatch

The way we give disaster aid to poor countries makes no sense (Vox

Trevor Noah is funny but he’s no Jon Stewart, South Africans say (Fusion

Where Do the World’s Hungriest People Live? Not Where You Think (Huffington Post

Nepal’s failed development (Al Jazeera English

Will Nigeria’s New President Live Up to His Country’s Promise? (CGD

SDGs: The 169 commandments (The Economist

Key points in Buhari’s Nigerian election win (AFP

#Nigeriadecides: how Buhari’s election played out on Twitter (Guardian

Syria pledging conference: Three key trends (IRIN

World Leaders Lack Ambition to Tackle Climate Crisis (IPS

Nigeria: Analyst Predicts Security Revamp After Buhari Victory (Deutsche Welle

A Key Climate Deadline Passes. (UN Dispatch