The Child Abuse Scandal Rocking Pakistan

For years, a paedophile ring allegedly run by a high profile family operated with impunity in Pakistan’s Punjab province, the heartland of the political base of support for Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. It’s governor is his brother. Hundreds of children are believed to be abused. “Villagers in the central Punjabi village of Husain Khan Wala told Reuters that a prominent family there has for years forced children to perform sex acts on video. The footage was sold or used to blackmail their impoverished families. Rubina Bibi says her 13-year-old son was a victim, but when she tried to file a report at the Ganda Singh Wala police station a month and a half ago, “the police station clerk told me to get lost and I was thrown out”. “My son is in the videos, he is a victim,” she said. “Our children were forced into this. They were humiliated. But the police are treating them like criminals.” Another mother, Shakila Bibi, said: “I went to the police station to file a complaint, but instead of registering a (report), they took my son into custody.” (Reuters

Don’t Call it a Comeback…The former president of Central African Republic, Francois Bozize, will return from exile to contest a presidential election in October two years after he was forced from power, the leader of his Kwa Na Kwa political party said on Monday. (Reuters

Save the Date: Pope Francis has taken a cue from Orthodox Christians and designated Sept. 1 as a day for Catholics to pray for the care of the environment. (AP


A court in Britain said Monday it had dropped an extradition case against Rwanda’s intelligence chief. (AFP

China’s foreign minister has pledged continued support to the three West African countries hardest hit by the Ebola outbreak that has killed more than 11,200 people. (AP

A surge in migrants from Africa threatens the European Union’s living standards and social infrastructure, British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said on Sunday, saying the bloc was unable to take in millions of people seeking a new life. (Reuters

Seasonal rains have failed to materialize in some parts of Ethiopia, causing deaths of many cattle and other animals. Witnesses say hundreds of cattle are dying daily, especially in the Afar Region. (VOA

A new study finds that Africa’s rural farmers can  reduce carbon emissions and it won’t be such a big burden as was once thought. (VOA


Six members of the security forces have been killed in a series of attacks in Turkey amid rising tension between the government and Kurdish militants. (BBC

More than 1,000 migrants were rescued trying to cross the Mediterranean over the weekend, Italy’s coastguard said Sunday, with further tragedies narrowly averted. (AFP

Saudi-backed forces loyal to Yemen’s exiled government announced Monday the recapture of Abyan province in a southern offensive that has seen key gains against Shiite Huthi rebels. (AFP

At least 58 people were killed and more than 100 wounded on Monday in two blasts in eastern Iraq claimed by Islamic State in a province once considered mostly free of them. (Reuters


Nepali police shot dead at least two demonstrators and injured about a dozen others on Monday after they attacked buildings during a protest against proposals for administrative reform in the Himalayan country. (Reuters

Myanmar’s government and military have won rare praise for their handling of the country’s deadly floods, helping to erase criticism over a previous disaster and possibly bolstering support before a landmark election in November. (Reuters

Police in eastern India said a stampede early Monday outside a Hindu temple killed at least 10 people. Authorities said the incident happened as thousands of people taking part in a religious festival in Jharkhand state rushed toward the temple just after its doors opened. (VOA

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani demanded that Pakistan crack down on the Taliban after a car bomb explosion near Kabul airport claimed by the Islamist militants killed five people on Monday, the latest in a series of suicide attacks to rock the capital. (Reuters

The Americas

A political activist who played a prominent role in the search for 43 students and other missing people in southern Mexico has been killed. (AP

The United States is “deeply concerned” about arrests of dissidents in Cuba but this will not affect a landmark visit to Havana by US Secretary of State John Kerry, the State Department said Monday. (AFP

…and the rest

Hungary has received 110,000 asylum requests so far in 2015, more than double the total for all of last year, the head of the country’s immigration office said Monday. (AP

A heat wave in Poland on Monday forced the national supplier to cut electricity to factories for several hours, and Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz appealed to people to save energy during the day. (AP

The European Commission on Monday approved $2.6 billion of aid over six years for countries including Greece and Italy that have struggled to cope with a surge in numbers of immigrants. (Reuters


Washington Post’s Beirut bureau chief Liz Sly is Mark’s podcast guest this week. She discusses the situation in Syria, and shares stories from her long career as a foreign correspondent, including reporting from Rwanda right after the genocide. (Global Dispatches Podcast

Beyond Cecil: The illegal trade in wildlife has real consequences for the world (Guardian

Why helicopters matter in Nepal (IRIN

A New War Crimes Court is Born, but Who is Responsible in Kosovo? (Justice in Conflcit

Think the world’s getting worse? Think again, says economist (TRF

Why Should West Africa Hesitate to Endorse Term Limits? (AllAfrica

Why Africa Offers Growing Opportunities for Agricultural Products (The Conversation

Kenya Must Protect Human Rights to Attain Zero HIV Infections (Key Correspondents

Reparations for Namibian Genocide? (Al Jazeera
Will Paris Conference On Climate Change Come to Fruition? (The New Times