It’s South China Sea Day

A long awaited ruling from an international arbitration panel in the Hague on Chinese territorial claims in the South China Sea is expected today. China has pledged to ignore the ruling, which could have profound global implications. “On July 12, the [Permanent Court of Arbitration]  is expected to deliver its final award on the arbitration case between the Republic of the Philippines and the People’s Republic of China. Far from ignored or insignificant, the case is now viewed as a litmus test of how an increasingly assertive power will engage with other nations and contend with the arm of international law. China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea conflict with those of five other governments: the Philippines, Vietnam, Brunei, Malaysia and Taiwan. The PCA’s decision, which is likely to at least partly favor the Philippines, is not enforceable. Beijing’s response has been to dismiss the entire case as a “political farce,” casting itself as the victim of an American-led plot to suppress a rival power.” (Time )

Go Deeper…If you have 20 minutes and you want to understand what this case is about and why it’s significant to global affairs, check out this Global Dispatches podcast episode.

DC Gets a New Africa Studies Center…At George Washington University. “More than 50 GW faculty members with expertise on Africa across different disciplines and areas of study will collaborate under the new entity. Among its core goals is a more focused course of studies on African affairs and a major conference each year focused on a timely theme, including one planned for spring 2017 focusing on the 50th anniversary of the Biafran War. Other initiatives include increased specialized conferences and an ‘Africa and Development’ seminar series.” (GW  

Stat of the Day…Yesterday was World Population Day. “The world’s population grows by roughly 2.6 people per second. In 15 years, the number of people on earth will have increased from 7.3 billion to 8.5 billion, according to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). By 2100, that figure is expected to reach 11.2 billion.” (DW

Climate change casualty of the day: Thousands of hectares of mangroves in Australia’s remote north have died, scientists said Monday, with climate change the likely cause. (AFP


UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called Monday for an immediate arms embargo against South Sudan in response to an outbreak of heavy fighting that has left hundreds dead. (AFP

Urgent funding is needed to keep thousands of people alive in Boko Haram-hit northeast Nigeria, the UN said Monday, stressing that the situation borders on famine and compares to crises in Darfur and South Sudan. (AFP

President Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger on Monday proposed setting up a multinational west African force to fight terrorism. (AFP

South Africa’s communications authority on Monday slapped down the public broadcaster’s new policy of not screening violent protests amid a dispute over alleged censorship ahead of key municipal elections. (AFP

Two South African brothers arrested on terrorism charges were plotting to blow up the US embassy in Pretoria and Jewish institutions, and planned to join the so-called Islamic State, police said Monday. (AFP

The United States on Monday pledged $410 million towards ending the AIDS epidemic in South Africa, the country hardest hit. (Reuters

Persistent cool weather in some of Ivory Coast’s main cocoa growing regions could hurt output during the start of the forthcoming main crop, farmers said. (Reuters

French President Francois Hollande on Monday assured his visiting South African counterpart Jacob Zuma that the British vote to leave the European Union won’t affect economic relations between the EU and his country. (AP

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi Monday held talks with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta in Nairobi and agreed to further expand investment ties between the two countries and diversify trade. (AP


A group of Israelis and Americans filed a lawsuit on Monday seeking $1 billion in damages from Facebook Inc. for allegedly facilitating deadly Palestinian militant attacks on their loved ones. (Reuters

The Pentagon crossed a critical threshold Monday when Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said he was ordering 560 more U.S. troops to Iraq for the express purpose of taking back the two major cities held by ISIS. (Time

Jordan has given employers hiring Syrian refugees an additional three months to get work permits for them without paying fees. (AP

Businesses worth millions of dollars have sustained major destruction in Yemen’s year-long conflict either by the Saudi-led coalition targeting Shiite rebels or ground fighting and random shelling by the rival parties, an international rights group said Monday. (AP

A Bahraini court will hand down its verdict next week in the government’s bid to dissolve the main opposition group Al-Wefaq, accused of harbouring “terrorism,” a judicial source said Monday. (AFP

Bahraini activist Ibrahim Sharif was freed from prison on Monday after serving a yearlong sentence over comments supporting political change in the kingdom, his supporters and family said. (AP

The Red Cross has started collecting biological samples from the families of people who went missing during Lebanon’s 15 year civil war, a step that will allow for the extraction of DNA and identification of human remains if and when a national commission is formed by the government. (AP


Indian authorities struggled to contain street protests Monday by Kashmiris defying patrols and a stringent curfew after at least 25 people died in clashes that followed the killing of a top rebel leader. (AP

The killing of high profile activist and political commentator Kem Ley has shocked Cambodians, angered the opposition, and raised the political stakes in a country with a tragic history of assassinations and an intolerance of dissenting voices. (VOA

Eight members of an outlawed Islamist group have been charged with murdering a Japanese farmer who was shot dead in northern Bangladesh last year, a prosecutor said Monday. (AFP

A tropical storm in China has left 10 people dead and 11 missing, reports said Monday, after it lashed Taiwan with typhoon-grade winds and rain. (AFP

Suspected Abu Sayyaf militants kidnapped three Indonesian fishermen on the weekend in the latest in a series of incidents highlighting weak security in the Cerebes Sea that borders Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines. (VOA

A Thai journalist and four activists were charged Monday under a draconian law banning criticism of the junta’s new constitution which will be voted on in a referendum next month. (AFP

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has ordered schools and universities to create and publish a list of absent students after Bangladesh’s worst terror strike was mounted by those educated in the country’s elite schools and colleges. (VOA

The Americas

Latin America’s teenage girls are a crucial force for change and for promoting sustainable development, if the region invests in their rights and the correction of unequal opportunities, according to Luiza Carvalho, the regional head of UN Women. (IPS

…and the rest

The Turkish government is preventing independent investigations of alleged mass abuses against civilians across southeastern Turkey, Human Rights Watch said on Monday. (AP

A senior U.S. envoy visiting Macedonia says she’s hopeful the country’s main political parties can overcome a months-long crisis. (AP

French President Francois Hollande will visit five EU countries later in July to promote the European Union project, his office said in statement on Monday. (Reuters

Prime Minister David Cameron said it was in Britain’s fundamental interest to remain very close to the European Union when it renegotiates a new relationship with the bloc it voted to leave in a referendum last month. (Reuters

Tens of thousands of people on Monday marked the 21st anniversary of Europe’s worst mass murder since the Holocaust and attended the funeral of 127 newly-found victims. (AP


Journalist Lauren Wolfe reported on a horrendous war crime. Hours later the perpetrators were arrested (Global Dispatches Podcast

War has returned to South Sudan and Once Again, Peacekeepers are caught in the middle. (UN Dispatch

Direct from the Central Mediterranean: Dispatches from a search-and-rescue ship. (AJ+

Picking sides: A world of opinions on South China (AP

We must act fast on the global goals, or risk leaving the poorest behind (Guardian

A look at South Sudan, a young country divided by civil war (AP

South Sudan: Who’s Behind Return to Fighting? (African Arguments

One woman and 17 men: When will we have equal representation at the UN? (Guardian

South Africa: Can the Public Broadcaster Be Saved From Itself? (The Conversation

How many can the planet feed? (CNN

A fight to the death? (IRIN

Obama’s development legacy rings hollow on farmers’ rights (Guardian

How can we achieve real data transparency in governance? (Devex

Conditional on your parents, does your country matter for early childhood human capital? Surprisingly no! (Development Impact