Security Council Gives Unprecedented Scrutiny to North Korea’s Human Rights Record

North Korea faced harsh criticism over its human rights record at the Security Council today. In a rare move (and over the objections of China) the Council declared that human rights abuses in DPRK were a threat to international peace and security and held a formal briefing on the matter.  Meanwhile, the internet went out in all of North Korea. The cyber attack comes days after President Obama personally vowed that the USA would respond to the Sony hack in a “proportional way.” The USA has not claimed credit for the attack.

On the UNSC meeting: ABC Australia

On the mysterious internet outage. NYT

Quote of the Day: Samantha Power…“When a country threatens nuclear annihilation because it receives criticism of how it treats its own people, can there be any doubt regarding the connection between North Korea’s human rights record and international peace and security?” (USUN

Yet Another Big Bombing in Northern Nigeria…”Two bomb attacks at a bus station and a market in north Nigeria on Monday killed at least 27 people and wounded around 60, officials said. No group immediately claimed responsibility for either attack. Boko Haram insurgents have repeatedly set off bombs targeting civilians, especially in the northeast where they are trying to carve out an Islamic state.” (Reuters


The World Health Organization says the death toll from the Ebola outbreak has risen to more than 7,500 people and the number of cases is nearing 20,000. (VOA

A Vanderbilt University researcher hopes to improve on the experimental Ebola drug ZMapp by isolating the human antibodies of actual survivors and create a drug effective against all strains of Ebola. (Reuters


China will send 700 troops to South Sudan as part of the country’s first infantry battalion to participate in a United Nations peacekeeping mission, state media reported Monday. (AP

At least 20 people have been killed and dozens injured in the latest inter-ethnic clashes in the Central African Republic, police said on Monday. (AFP

Zimbabwe’s festive season is marked by continued political infighting and financial austerity, as the president fired two more cabinet ministers and the country’s civil servants learned they will not get annual holiday bonuses. (AP

A bombing at a bus station in northeast Nigeria killed at least 20 people on Monday, as Boko Haram was blamed for a separate attack in the embattled region. (AFP

South Sudan’s leaders could face punitive sanctions from their neighbours as a “last resort” if peace talks fail to end their year-old civil war, Ethiopia’s prime minister said Monday. (AFP

Ethiopia said Monday it was ready to boost its troop levels in Somalia to replace soldiers from Sierra Leone, which has been forced to withdraw its forces from the mission over Ebola fears. (AFP

A packed Nigerian court heard testimony on Monday that a 14-year-old girl admitted to killing her 35-year-old husband with rat poison, and signed a police confession with a thumbprint because she cannot write. (AFP


Veteran politician Beji Caid Essebsi has won Tunisia’s first free presidential election, official results showed on Monday, the final step in a transition to democracy after an uprising that ousted autocrat Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali in 2011. (Reuters 

The Syrian government has approved the delivery of medicine and surgical supplies to three areas of the country aid workers were previously unable to reach regularly, including opposition-held Aleppo, the World Health Organization said on Monday. (Reuters

Britain’s data watchdog has dismissed Israeli billionaire Beny Steinmetz’s claims against a campaign group which used data to link him and his BSGR mining business to corruption in Guinea, saying the group enjoyed exemptions for journalists. (Reuters

A big oil price slide will hurt Iran’s attempts to rescue battered living standards, but economic pain is unlikely to soften its stance in nuclear talks or end aid to allies such as Syria, matters seen by its ruling clerics as strategic priorities. (Reuters

The U.S.-led coalition conducted 12 air strikes against Islamic State militants in Syria on Monday and 10 strikes Iraq, the U.S. military said in a statement. (Reuters

Nearly four years of civil war in Syria have cost its tiny neighbour Lebanon more than 20 billion dollars, the social affairs minister told AFP on Monday. (AFP


A woman was fatally shot Monday during a crackdown on protesters at a controversial Chinese-backed copper mine in northwestern Myanmar, activists and an opposition lawmaker said. (AP

Senior Indonesian officials say they are looking for an island to accommodate some 10,000 asylum seekers and refugees waiting for resettlement in the country, as they have become a “burden.” (GlobalPost

Thousands of children have benefitted from schools in some Afghan refugee camps, but only up to sixth grade – after that, the vast majority of students quit their studies because their families can’t afford to pay for private school. (IPS

China’s health ministry has promised to provide medical care and a living allowance for an eight-year-old HIV-positive boy targeted by villagers for expulsion, state media reported Monday, in a case that has drawn widespread condemnation. (Yahoo

Opposition lawmakers in India, charging that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has done little to stop hard-liners in his party from forcibly converting religious minorities to Hinduism, threw Parliament into an uproar Monday, with the upper house repeatedly adjourned after descending into shouting matches. (AP

China aims to “regulate” foreign non-governmental organizations (NGOs) under a law being discussed this week, state media said on Monday, which aims to step up supervision of the fast-growing sector. (Reuters

An unlicensed medical practitioner suspected of negligently infecting more than 100 villagers in northwestern Cambodia with the virus that causes AIDS was charged Monday with murder and other crimes, a prosecutor said. (AP

The Americas

Efforts to help thousands of trafficked children and adults in Peru are being undermined by a strong economy, enduring social and ethnic inequalities, and a lack of awareness, the head of the International Organisation for Migration in the country has warned. (Guardian

Cuba says it has a right to grant asylum to U.S. fugitives, the clearest signal yet that the communist government has no intention of extraditing America’s most-wanted woman despite the warming relations. (AP

Family members of 43 missing Mexican students said Sunday they would continue pressing for answers over the fate of their sons throughout the holidays. (AFP


Robin Wright is one of her generation’s greatest foreign affairs journalists. The award winning journalist and analyst has reported from around the world and collected some incredible experiences along the way.  (Global Dispatches Podcast

Kenya Becomes Less Free (UN Dispatch

The limits of new social entrepreneurship (Al Jazeera English

Australia set to take a tumble in international aid rankings (Development Policy Centre 

The truth about the Lima climate deal (GlobalPost

Leveraging ICT in Global Health and Development (Prosper http://bit.ly1zcVwEL)


Five years later, and I am proud of Delivering Development again (Open The Echo Chamber


Few grieve for the passing of Mumbai’s red-light district (The Guardian


Map of the day: the rise of military spending in Africa (A View From The Cave


Yemen: What next? (IRIN


Do you speak Uglish? How English has evolved in Uganda (The Guardian