New Report: Child Mortality Rates Plummet, But…

Hot off the presses from UNICEF and Co. “Child mortality rates have plummeted to less than half of what they were in 1990, according to a new report released today. Under-five deaths have dropped from 12.7 million per year in 1990 to 5.9 million in 2015. This is the first year the figure has gone below the 6 million mark. New estimates in Levels and Trends in Child Mortality Report 2015 released by UNICEF, the World Health Organization, the World Bank Group, and the Population Division of UNDESA, indicate that although the global progress has been substantial, 16,000 children under five still die every day. And the 53 per cent drop in under-five mortality is not enough to meet the Millennium Development Goal of a two-thirds reduction between 1990 and 2015.” (Report PDF

More Trouble in Bujumbura…”The spokesman for an opposition party in Burundi was shot and killed on Monday outside his home in the capital, the leader of the party said Tuesday.Patrice Gahungu of the opposition UPD Zigamibanga was assassinated by unknown gunmen in the Gihosha neighborhood of Bujumbura on Monday evening, said party leader Chauvineau Mugwengezo. (AP

Ebola Returns to Sierra Leone….Sierra Leone has recorded four new cases of Ebola in a village on its northern border and will likely see more infections in a further setback to efforts to end an 18-month West African epidemic, a senior health official said on Tuesday. (Reuters

Refugee Crisis

Around 700 refugee children are arriving every week without their parents in Sweden, many injured in accidents and some bearing the physical and psychological scars of beatings or rape by their smugglers. (Reuters

The U.N. refugee agency expects the number of refugees fleeing across the Mediterranean to Europe to hit 400,000 this year and could be 450,000 or more in 2016, it said in a preliminary emergency appeal document published on Tuesday. (Reuters

Germany and Sweden called Tuesday for fellow European Union countries to accept a system of quotas to ensure a fair distribution of refugees across all 28 member states, with no upper limit on the overall number the bloc will receive. (AP

A multi-million dollar deal to resettle refugees from an Australia-run detention camp on the Pacific nation of Nauru to Cambodia has been irreparably damaged by a Rohingya refugee’s decision to go home to Myanmar, the opposition and refugee advocates said on Tuesday. (AP

The United Nations said Tuesday there are currently some 30,000 refugees and migrants amassed on the Greek islands, with 20,000 of them on the island of Lesbos alone. (AFP

The Netherlands is willing in principle to accept a share of the flood of asylum seekers arriving in Europe, but only as a “temporary solution”, the government said on Tuesday. (Reuters

Germany will be able to take in 500,000 refugees a year for a few years, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s deputy Sigmar Gabriel said amid an unprecedented influx. (AFP

People anxious to pass through Hungary pushed and police shoved back as tensions mounted at Hungary’s southern border with Serbia Tuesday. (AP


South Sudan’s government said it will present to its national legislature on Tuesday the peace agreement signed last month between the government and rebels loyal to former Vice President Riek Machar to end nearly two years of conflict. (VOA

Uganda’s opposition and rights groups on Tuesday accused President Yoweri Museveni’s government of training militias to intimidate opposition supporters during next year’s elections, a claim denied by the government. (Reuters

Appeals judges at the International Criminal Court on Tuesday rejected a request for the temporary release of former Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo on health grounds weeks before the start of his trial. (Reuters

With the rainy season making roads impassable, the World Food Programme began air dropping much-needed food in South Sudan’s Unity State capital Bentiu. (UN

Burundi is facing tough times ahead as donors move to suspend aid and the West threatens diplomatic isolation. (East African

The United States warned its citizens on Tuesday of a possible attack by “extremists” against U.S. facilities or interests in South Africa, a rare security alert in a stable democracy seldom associated with Islamist militancy. (Reuters

The United States has reopened its diplomatic mission to Somalia, the U.S. State Department said on Tuesday, marking the latest step to restore diplomatic ties since the U.S. withdrawal from the war-torn nation in the early 1990s. (Reuters

Lesotho has made progress on achieving universal access to education and better child health thanks to a cash transfer program for the most vulnerable. (Guardian

Hundreds of farmers in Tanzania’s Shinyanga region have switched to growing sweet potato as a strategy to cope with drought and improve food security. In Tanzania’s lake regions, thousands are now growing the potatoes, with support from local researchers. (TRF

Three institutions that work together to fight blindness and poverty in Africa are sharing a $1.1 million prize from a Portuguese foundation. (AP


Russia plans to use an air route to the east of Greece to transport aid into Syria, meaning the use of Greek airspace for such flights is no longer an issue, a Greek government spokesman said on Tuesday. (Reuters

As Western and Central European nations seem overwhelmed by the growing refugee crisis – triggered mostly by the inflow of hundreds and thousands of displaced people largely from Syria, Libya, Afghanistan and Iraq – one lingering question remains unanswered: why aren’t some of the rich Arab Gulf nations reaching out to help these hapless refugees? (IPS

Britain will not hesitate to carry out more deadly drone strikes against militants in Syria planning attacks on the United Kingdom, defense minister Michael Fallon said on Tuesday, as he defended the killing of a British Islamic State fighter. (Reuters


Police in Nepal said Tuesday that they are searching a river where the body of a 27-year-old teacher from Austin, Texas, was thrown after she was hammered to death. (VOA

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi is calling for vigorous international monitoring of her country’s November general elections that will be the first since decades of military rule ended there in 2011. (VOA

What China’s Communist Party fears most is a crisis over corruption which would threaten its hold on power, but it is confident people will stand by its efforts to combat the problem, a senior official said on Tuesday. (Reuters

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his top economic team on Tuesday assured a group of billionaires that India could withstand global turbulence and China’s economic slowdown, then asked them to open their wallets. (Reuters

The Americas

Genocide is an emotive and powerful accusation to make against anyone but it is exactly what some indigenous leaders in Brazil say is happening to their people because of their government’s ignorance, if not its compliance. (BBC

The main opposition party in Trinidad and Tobago appears to have easily defeated the ruling coalition and ousted the country’s first female prime minister, according to unofficial returns that were expected to be ratified Tuesday. (AP

President Nicolas Maduro says that Venezuela is ready to receive 20,000 Syrians fleeing war in their homeland. (AP

President Michelle Bachelet says Chile will welcome “an important number of refugees.” (AP

…and the rest

The actor and UN special envoy for refugees Angelina Jolie and the former British foreign secretary William Hague are giving evidence to a parliamentary committee that examines Britain’s efforts to prevent sexual violence in conflict. (Guardian

At least 7,962 people have been killed and 17,811 wounded in violence in eastern Ukraine since mid-April 2014, the U.N. Human Rights Office said on Tuesday, as it published a regular report by U.N. monitors in the country. (Reuters


When BuzzFeed’s international Women’s Rights Reporter Jina Moore was in middle school, she became pen pals with the woman who hid Anne Frank, and other amazing stories. (Global Dispatches Podcast

Why does Europe have a migration crisis and how does it compare with others worldwide? (TRF

Sexual assaults against aid workers: first stories from the survey (Guardian

What difference do remittances and migration make back home? (From Poverty to Power

Any such thing as a ‘safe’ country? (IRIN

Why the Commonwealth Endures (The Conversation

Refugee crisis requires step change in international response (Devex

What Is Africa’s (Political) Problem? (The Monitor

Can We Agree That Refugees Are People, Not Statistics? (New Times

Assad Is Killing His People Quickly, Our African Leaders Are Killing Us Slowly (East African

Confessions of a humanitarian: I’ve never met a meeting I couldn’t sleep through (Guardian

Why Uganda is more transparent than Norway. (ODI