Top of the Morning: South Sudan’s New Dubious Distinction

It’s the world’s most fragile state. “Every year for the past 10 years, The Fund for Peace, in partnership with the Foreign Policy Magazine, has released an index of the world’s most fragile states, based on the analysis of mountains of data. And if there is a headline to this year’s index, it is that South Sudan is now the world’s most fragile nation, displacing Somalia, which has held the top spot for the last six years. (VOA

WHO is Convening Big Meeting on Ebola Crisis. You may recall that earlier this week, MSF said the outbreak was “out of control.” “The World Health Organization on Thursday called for “drastic action” to fight the deadliest Ebola outbreak on record, as it announced an 11-nation meeting to address the growing crisis. As of Sunday, 635 cases of haemorrhagic fever (most confirmed to be Ebola), including 399 deaths, have been reported across Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, making the outbreak the largest ever “in terms of the number of cases and deaths as well as geographical spread,” WHO said.(AFP

What are some of Turkey’s strategic goals for Iraq? Turkish foreign policy is always a fascinating case study. As the sunni insurgency in Iraq is gaining steam, how are Turkish foreign policy elites responding? What are Turkey’s near term strategic goals for Iraq and Syria? And how does this impact Turkey’s sometimes hostile view of Kurdish nationalism? Mark speaks with professor Louis Fishman who answers these questions and more. – (Global Dispatches Podcast

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The number of civilians seeking shelter in United Nations bases in war-torn South Sudan has reached over 100,000 for the first time in more than six-months of conflict, the UN said. (AP

Zimbabwe: More than 18,000 people live in the Chingwizi transit camp in Mwenezi district, about 150 kms from their former homes in Chivi basin wait to be allocated one-hectare plots of land by the government. (IPS Farm

A months-long battle to bring West Africa’s Ebola outbreak under control has stretched medical teams to the limit, while mistrust in some communities has impaired prevention work and raised questions about the delivery of health warnings. (IRIN

Most Nigerians who suffer mental health problems never seek or are offered help. As doctors work to convince the public mental health problems can and should be treated, patients at one facility in northern Nigeria say they are among the lucky ones. (VOA

The South African Human Right Commission says many children who are Black, ethnic-Indian and Colored are trapped in the injustices of poverty – including lack of access to adequate nutrition, clean running water and proper sanitation. (VOA

Two journalists in Somaliland have been sentenced to three years in jail for false reports and defaming the government, reports said. (AP


Syria is more concerned with obstructing the United Nations than getting urgent aid to millions of its most needy, UN humanitarian chief Valerie Amos told the Security Council. (AP

Egypt defended its judicial system at the United Nations on Wednesday amid a global outcry over the jailing of al Jazeera journalists, telling diplomats and reporters that it respects the role of the media and does not consider journalism a crime. (Reuters

The United Nations’ envoy in Iraq said it will take decisive action by the country’s political leadership to address a “grave” situation that has left at least 900 civilians dead and more than 1 million displaced. (VOA

Libya’s official news agency says one of the country’s most prominent female activists was assassinated on election day in the restive eastern city of Benghazi. (AP


Thailand’s military authorities are setting up a network of panels to closely monitor domestic and international media and crack down on criticism of what the junta sees as its efforts to right the country. (Reuters

Asian stocks rose Thursday, tracing gains on Wall Street, where shares shrugged off a poor quarterly economic report as a blip and instead factored in rebounding growth even as policymakers maintain ultra low interest rates. (AP

The Americas

The Caribbean region’s bid to become food secure is in peril as farmers struggle to produce staple crops under harsh drought conditions brought about by climate change. (IPS

The Costa Rican leader says he wants to end the “worship of the presidential image” and bans his portrait from being hung in public offices. (BBC


Could The Ebola Outbreak Spread To Europe Or The U.S.? (NPR

Ebola’s Surge Requires ‘Drastic Action’ To Stop (NPR

West Africa needs to wake up to threat from drugs trade (Guardian

Private sector action in adaptation (CDKN

Four Reasons Skilled Workers Leave Africa – and How to Keep Them (allAfrica

Uganda: US sanctions will hurt NGOs already operating in difficult environment(African Arguments

Five Big and Controversial Ideas that Can Transform Africa (Africa Can End Poverty

Involving local non-state capacity to improve service delivery: it can be more difficult than it appears (Impact Evaluations


An estimated 58 million children worldwide are not going to school, meaning that there is “no chance whatsoever” that the millennium development goal of achieving universal primary education by 2015 will be met, the UN has admitted. (Guardian

The World Meteorological Organization says an El Nino is likely in the third quarter of 2014. El Nino is a weather phenomenon characterized by unusually warm ocean surface temperatures in the central and eastern tropical Pacific. (VOA