“A New Gambia is Born”

Another 2016 election shocker. This time, a despot was deposed and the new leader seems progressive. “Gambia’s newly elected president on Saturday vowed to free all political prisoners and urged exiles who fled the 22-year reign of Yahya Jammeh to return from abroad and help him reform the tiny West African country. “A new Gambia is born,” Adama Barrow said in an interview with The Associated Press the day after his upset election win. “We want everybody on board now. This is Gambia, politics is over.” A former businessman and now real estate mogul who became the unlikely head of a formidable opposition coalition, Barrow, 51, said he plans to preside during a three-year transition before another presidential election is held. He also said he planned to reverse Jammeh’s decisions to pull out of both the Commonwealth, a group made up mostly of former British colonies, and the International Criminal Court, which prosecutes atrocities and other human rights abuses.” (AP

If you have 20 minutes and want to learn more about why this election was so significant…Have a listen to this Global Dispatches podcast episode “The Worst Dictatorship You Have Never Heard Of” in which Mark interviewed a representative of the Gambian opposition movement as protests heated up this summer.

Another record-breaking humanitarian appeal…The United Nations is expected to launch its biggest ever appeal for humanitarian funding amid growing fears that major donors no longer have the political will to address proliferating crises in Yemen, Syria, Nigeria and elsewhere. The annual appeal, to be launched on Monday against the backdrop of a struggling global economy, a rising tide of nationalist sentiment epitomised by politicians such as Donald Trump, and growing compassion fatigue, will seek to raise roughly $22bn (£17.4bn). But in recent years, donor countries have failed even to come close to meeting funding requirements. Last year’s $20.1bn appeal – at the time the largest ever made – resulted in a funding shortfall of $10.7bn. (Guardian