Top of the Morning: Kurdistan’s Economic Declaration of Independence

Iraq’s Kurds are making moves.For sale: One million barrels of crude oil. Attractive discount offered. Currently sitting off Moroccan coast.That’s what the Iraqi Kurds are offering potential buyers, much to the fury of the government in Baghdad. It amounts to a declaration of economic independence, fraying the already tattered ties holding Iraq together. Here’s how it works:The Kurdish Regional Government, or KRG, deals with oil exploration companies independent of the central government. Exxon Mobil, Chevron and Total are among the companies working in Iraqi Kurdistan. The crude produced there goes through a pipeline to the Turkish port of Ceyhan in the Mediterranean. Then it’s loaded onto tankers and floats about until it finds a buyer.” (CNN

USAID and Partners Re-up Maternal and Child Health commitments. “USAID will spend up to $2.9 billion of the agency’s resources to continue the fight for maternal and child health in 24 countries.While child deaths have dropped from 12.6 million in 1990 to 6.6 million in 2012, 16,000 children and 800 mothers are dying every day, says the U.S. Agency for International Development. “The goal of ending preventable child and maternal death is within reach. Two years ago, USAID partnered with organizations around the world to help achieve this goal.” says administrator Rajiv Shah.” (VOA

The president of the UN General Assembly gives Mark an update of the intergovernmental process to replace the MDGs.  Global Dispatches Podcast

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Mali called on the United Nations to speed up deploying the remainder of its promised 12,000-member peacekeeping force and station more troops in the West African nation’s turbulent north. (Reuters

More than 50 people have been killed in two days of clashes in Central African Republic, witnesses and officials said, with foreign troops struggling to stop recurrent violence between Muslim and Christian communities. (Reuters

The Government of the DR Congo and partners launched a measles monitoring campaign, in addition to an existing polio monitoring campaign, in the community of Kimbanseke. (UNICEF

Sudan’s Minister of Information said his government did not re-arrest or detain Meriam Yahya Ibrahim, the Christian woman whose death sentence for apostasy was overturned by an appeals court Monday. (VOA

Medical personnel in French-speaking Central African countries say obstetric fistula haunts 40 percent of women. (VOA

Senegalese farmers say they have been squeezed out by an influx of private investors acquiring fertile arable land in the Senegal River Valley where he has worked as a farmer for the last two decades. (IRIN

The Zimbabwe government has awarded a $1.3 billion thermal power generation project to China’s Sino Hydro after another Chinese company failed to conclude the contract, a minister said. (AP…)

Residents of West Point, Liberia hope that one day they will be relocated from the beach as the continuous environmental degradation has resulted in most of the land eroding into the Atlantic Ocean. (IPS


Aid agencies in Iraq are straining to support the hundreds of thousands of people displaced by the violence amid unclear government policies, lack of funding and a multiplicity of humanitarian actors flooding in to respond. (IRIN

A bill aimed at encouraging more births by outlawing sterilisation and vasectomies has passed a first reading in Iran’s parliament, media reported on Wednesday. (AP


Burma says it will not turn away from reforms in the wake of a controversial raid on a Buddhist monastery and the arrest of five monks. (VOA

The system for registering, protecting, and finding durable solutions for asylum seekers in Indonesia risks becoming overburdened – potentially sparking unrest – as migrant arrivals continue and Australia’s maritime immigration policy deters boat journeys, officials and activists say. (IRIN

The Americas

Chile has made a commitment to the international community to improve human rights in the country and erase the lingering shadow of the dictatorship on civil liberties. (IPS

Latin America joined Argentina in the dispute over the so-called vulture funds, and called for unity to avoid the plundering of natural resources in the region. (Prensa Latina

Hundreds of British investors are looking to take legal action to recover lost money after being convinced to buy land in Brazil in the run-up to the World Cup. (BBC

Mexico’s national commissioner against addictions, Fernando Cano, criticized the failure of the authorities to address the drug problem in Mexico, following the release of new data that substance abuse has doubled in the past decade, in Mexico. (Prensa Latina


Food fight: Coast Guard bill could limit aid to hungry (Al Jazeera America

Higher Food Prices Can Help to End Hunger, Malnutrition and Food Waste (IPS

Can aid donors help support LGBT rights in developing countries? (ODI

Education aid gets children into school but it’s not the smartest solution (Guardian

Did Boko Haram really abduct 91 more people? No one knows (Christian Science Monitor


Should Africa Limit Presidential Terms? (OSIWA


New Victorians must leave Gates and Bono in the savannah’s dust (Forbes


Forgetting Nigeria’s girls (Vox




When the United Nations began negotiating a Code of Conduct for Transnational Corporations back in the 1970s, the proposal never got off the ground because of vigorous opposition both from the powerful business community and its Western allies. (IPS
A consortium of faith-based organisations made a declaration at a side event Wednesday at the 6th Asian Ministerial Conference On Disaster Risk Reduction, to let the United Nations know that they stand ready to commit themselves to building resilient communities across Asia in the aftermath of natural disasters. (IPS