New Report Documents Terrible Abuses by Nigerian Military in Boko Haram Fight

The military has been more part of the problem than the solution in the fight against Boko Haram. “Nigerian military abuses have caused the deaths of some 8,000 civilians in the fight against Boko Haram extremists, Amnesty International said in a report released Wednesday…The soldiers have detained more than 20,000 people — some boys as young as 9 and often on scant evidence — and then held them in brutal conditions that resulted in many deaths, alleged the report. “Former detainees and senior military sources described how detainees were regularly tortured to death — hung on poles over fires, tossed into deep pits or interrogated using electric batons,” said the report. (AP

The report:

Yet More Horrid News from the Bay of Bengal…“Dozens of corpses have washed to shore in Myanmar’s western state of Rakhine in the last month, an advocacy group and villagers said Wednesday. Some were believed to be Rohingya Muslims trying to escape trafficking ships, while others were Bangladeshi.” (AP

El Nino is Spanish For… Farmers in Africa and East Asia are expected to suffer crop losses as extreme weather linked to the El Nino phenomenon alters rainfall patterns, scientists told a conference on climate change in Bonn on Wednesday. (TRF

Quote of the day: “His intention in setting up this review is to ensure that the United Nations does not fail the victims of sexual abuse, especially when committed by those who are meant to protect them,” U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric on the decision by SG Ban Ki-moon to set up an independent external review of its handling of the sex abuse scandal in the Central African Republic. (AFP


Three senior officials from Nigeria’s central bank and two others from a commercial bank have been remanded in custody after appearing in court charged with currency fraud. (AFP

A U.N. panel accused Senegalese authorities of arbitrarily detaining the son of former president Abdoulaye Wade, and called on the government to hand over unspecified compensation, a draft report showed. (Reuters

Women in Zimbabwe are starting to venture out at night without fear of being arrested on prostitution charges after the Constitutional Court ruled it was illegal and sexist for police to indiscriminately arrest women on the streets and in public establishments. (AP

African leaders will meet later this year in Togo to discuss drawing up a continental charter against maritime piracy, the country’s authorities have announced. (AFP

Growing optimism over Africa’s economic future is set to draw more than 1,250 delegates from governments and international corporations Wednesday to the three-day “African Davos” in Cape Town, the World Economic Forum said. (AFP

Democratic Republic of Congo’s biggest logging companies are systematically violating national laws to plunder Congo’s forests, undermining efforts to protect the world’s second largest rainforest, a campaign group said on Wednesday. (Reuters

Patient and leading health organisations in South Africa have now joined a Fix the Patent Laws campaign launched in 2011 by Treatment Action Campaign and Doctors Without Borders to push for reform of the country’s current patent laws. (IPS


Conflicts and instability are hampering the fight against hunger in the Middle East at a time when undernourishment is on the rise, the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation warned Wednesday. (AFP

Libyan politicians and activists resumed talks on Wednesday, aimed at forming a unity government to end the power struggle between two rival administrations that mediators fear could turn the North African country into a failed state. (Reuters

British pharmaceuticals giant AstraZeneca plc signed Tuesday a deal with private Algerian firms Salhi and Hasnaoui to build a $125 million plant in the North African country, the partners announced. (AFP


Death threats to academics in Bangladesh, including the junior home minister, are fuelling a climate of fear following the killings this year of three online critics of religious nationalism in the Muslim-majority nation. (Reuters

An independent Afghan anti-corruption body warned Wednesday that nepotism plays a critical role in getting a job as a diplomat in the country’s Foreign Affairs Ministry. (AP

Dozens of family members walked in protest on Wednesday to the rescue site of a sunken cruise ship in the Yangtze River, asking for news of their relatives who are missing after the worst shipping disaster in modern Chinese history. (Reuters

Myanmar brought ashore more than 700 “boat people” it had kept at sea for days aboard a seized vessel, as the United States on Wednesday called on the country to help solve a migrant crisis by recognizing the rights of its Muslim Rohingya minority. (Reuters

The Americas

About 30 Cubans sit in a conference room for several hours each week and learn the ABCs of journalism: how to craft a news story, write a headline and check sources. (AP

A commission called Tuesday for increased funding for education of Canada’s aboriginal population to repair the damage caused during the last century by Christian-run boarding schools for Indians, Inuits and mixed-race children. (AFP

El Salvador recorded a grisly milestone with 635 homicides in May, believed to be the most killings for a single month since the Central American nation’s civil war ended in 1992. (AP

Lawmakers in Colombia passed a bill imposing tough sentences for hate crimes against women. The bill was passed with 104 votes in support and three against. It still needs to be signed by the president to become law. (BBC

Several environmental groups sued the United States on Tuesday to derail Royal Dutch Shell PLC’s plan to drill in the Arctic Ocean as soon as July. (Reuters

A prolonged drought in the Caribbean has left farmers vulnerable and worried. (IPS

…and the rest

An international commitment to provide $100 billion a year by 2020 to help vulnerable countries tackle climate change is unlikely to be met if only government funding from rich nations is counted towards it, researchers said. (Reuters

The world economy risks being bogged down in a low growth spiral unless measures are taken to spur demand and incite businesses to boost their stubbornly sluggish investments. (AP

A new study by the Geneva-based Global Sanitation Fund, says 2.5 billion people, or 40 percent of the global population, lack access to decent sanitation, including more than a billion who defecate in the open. (IPS


Map of the Day: Can Sierra Leone Kick Ebola? (UN Dispatch

Are landslides Nepal’s next big killer? (IRIN

Tijuana: From Sin City to Mexican tech hub? (CNN

The U.S. Indictments of FIFA’s Corrupt Officials Are Legally, Morally, and Politically Justified (Global Anticorruption Blog

How looking through a doughnut can test if South Africa is on track for inclusive and sustainable development (From Poverty to Power

21 ways the SDGs can have the best impact on girls (Guardian

Are The Vaccine Court’s Requirements Too Strict? (Shots

The War Story We Need Right Now (Africa is a Country

Why isn’t Guinea-Bissau prepared for Ebola? (IRIN

Agriculture will drive Africa’s rise to economic power (Guardian

In CAR, data is not enough (Devex