Stunning New Stats on Modern Day Slavery

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More people are enslaved around the world than were previously estimated, 38.5 million to be precise. The 2014 Global Slavery Index (GSI), in its second annual report, said new methods showed some 20 percent more people were enslaved across the world than originally thought…The foundation’s definition of modern slavery includes slavery-like practices such as debt bondage, forced marriage and the sale or exploitation of children, as well as human trafficking and forced labour…The report, which covers 167 countries, said modern slavery contributed to the production of at least 122 goods from 58 countries. (AFP

A new leading killer of children emerges…Preterm birth complications killed more than one million children last year, says a new study. Dr. Andres de Francisco, interim executive director of the Geneva-based Partnership for Maternal Newborn and Child Health, said, “Over the last few years the proportion of deaths due to preterm births has been increasing. The reason for this is that we do not really have major interventions in place to avoid premature births — and second, to manage them in most communities where they occur.” (VOA

Humanity Affirming Story of the Day: Kenyan women donned miniskirts and took to the streets of Nairobi to protest the assault of woman by a group of men at a bus stop, after she was accused of “tempting” men because of her clothing.  There’s a hashtag for this! #MyDressMyChoice (Al Jazeera )=

Infographic of the Day: The Trinity of Development: Land+Women+Secure Property Rights (Landesa


Fearful of a surge of Ebola cases, Mali placed more than 440 people under surveillance. (AFP

A surgeon from Sierra Leone has died of Ebola at the Nebraska hospital where he was being treated after arriving from West Africa over the weekend, the hospital said on Monday. (TRF

Almost 200 people have received GlaxoSmithKline’s experimental Ebola vaccine in trials in the United States, Britain, Mali and Switzerland, and the safety data so far are “very satisfactory,” scientists said. (VOA

The outbreak of the deadly Ebola epidemic in Sierra Leone has badly affected the West African country’s move towards meeting key development goals. Agriculture, which is the mainstay of the economy, has been the worst hit as many farmers have succumbed to the disease and many more have abandoned their farmlands in fear of contracting the virus. (IPS


Authorities in Burkina Faso named former foreign minister Michel Kafando as transitional president on Monday in a key step towards returning the West African country to democracy in the wake of a brief military takeover. (Reuters

Zimbabwe’s vice president Joice Mujuru hit back at charges of plotting to challenge President Robert Mugabe and said calls for her to resign were unconstitutional, her first public response to weeks of attacks by state-owned media. (Reuters

Sudan has refused to let U.N. and African Union peacekeepers visit a village in the western Darfur region to investigate allegations of mass rape for the second time this month, saying it was skeptical about the motives for the visit. (Reuters

At least two people were killed Monday in clashes in the Somali town of Baidoa, the latest violence in the war-torn nation sparked by political power struggles, police said. (AP

More than a ton of ivory has disappeared from a Ugandan government vault, a police official said Monday as a corruption watchdog agency launched an investigation of Uganda’s wildlife protection agency over the missing tusks. (AP

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan will ask the national assembly to extend a state of emergency in three northeastern states hit by an Islamist insurgency when it expires this week, the justice minister said on Monday. (Reuters


With only one week to go before a self-imposed deadline, the nail-biting is accelerating over whether Iran will reach an agreement with the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany (P5+1) that curbs its nuclear program for years to come in return for sanctions relief. (VOA

Kurdish forces say the battle against Islamic State for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani has turned definitively in their favor following weeks of punishing U.S.-led airstrikes and the arrival of Kurdish reinforcements from Iraq. (LAT


Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has missed his own deadline for naming a Cabinet as he undertakes a major overhaul of his country’s government, which officials and analysts say has long suffered from a focus on patronage rather than policy. (AP

Top Philippines officials said Monday they had launched investigations into a Manila children’s center overseen by a former president, after months of complaints about the “prison”-like conditions. (AP

Bouts of vicious violence, together with discriminatory government policies, have sent an estimated 100,000 Rohingya fleeing Buddhist-majority Myanmar by boat in the last two years, according to the Arakan Project, which has been advocating on behalf of the minority Muslims for more than a decade. (AP

The Americas

Haitians will soon rely more on their police to maintain security as the United Nations downsizes the peacekeeping force it has kept in Haiti since 2004, when a violent rebellion swept the country. While the U.N. will maintain a police contingent of 2,601, it will cut its multinational troop size from 5,021 to 2,370 in June. (AP

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos has suspended two-year peace talks with the country’s largest rebel group, the FARC, as the military investigated the suspected abduction of a general and two others. (AP

After announcing a major deal with China to curb emissions and a $3 billion pledge into a fund to help poor countries fight climate change last week, the Obama administration will turn its focus to American towns and cities to help them adapt to the impacts of global warming. (Reuters

Washington is bracing for a possible political earthquake this week, if President Barack Obama makes good on his promise to reform America’s oft-criticized immigration system through executive action. (VOA


The Race for U.N. Secretary-General Is Rigged (Foreign Policy

Dumping Smartphones on West Africa is a Bad Idea (Stories of UNICEF Innovation

Bob Geldof epidemic could spread to West Africa (Underground Magazine

Slavery in the supply chain: ‘Who is behind the clothes we wear?’ (GlobalPost

World leaders must grasp the nettle in the battle against malnutrition (The Guardian

Blur/Gorillaz frontman on the problems with Band Aid and frames of Africa (A View from the Cave

The optimist and the plague (The Lector

Bob Geldof Still Trying to Help 30 Years On (DW

Ebola in Sierra Leone: Cuban volunteers still not working (h5N1

Why the Press Is Less Free Today (The New Yorker

Ebola: ‘I kept repeating to myself: I am a survivor. I am a survivor’ (The Guardian

Kori Schake, a seasoned Republican foreign policy hand, is Mark’s podcast guest. She discusses her regrets about the Iraq war. (Global Dispatches Podcast


Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron has offered a bleak assessment of global economic prospects, comparing potential troubles to red warning lights on a car’s dashboard. (AP