Refugees flee across the Mediterranean in an iconic 2015 image from the UN Refugee Agency

Tragedies at Sea. Again

At least 700 people died crossing from Libya to Italy in the last four days, making this the deadliest week in many months. The increased number of migrants and refugees attempting to reach Europe via North Africa has increased since the EU-Turkey deal has gone into effect. This route is much riskier. And now, there is another image of yet another dead baby boy that may stir policymakers to action. “The baby, who appears to be no more than a year old, was pulled from the sea on Friday after the capsizing of a wooden boat. Forty-five bodies arrived in the southern Italian port of Reggio Calabria on Sunday aboard an Italian navy ship, which picked up 135 survivors from the same incident.German humanitarian organization Sea-Watch, operating a rescue boat in the sea between Libya and Italy, distributed the picture taken by a media production company on board and which showed a rescuer cradling the child like a sleeping baby. (Reuters )

Habre, guilty…Chad’s former dictator Hissene Habre was found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment for abuses during his time in power, Judge Gberdao Gustave Kam said Monday at the end of the trial that began in July 2015…Habre’s trial by the Extraordinary African Chambers in the Senegalese courts began in July last year. It is the first trial in which the courts of one country are prosecuting the former ruler of another for alleged human rights crimes. More than 90 witnesses testified. Habre was convicted of being responsible for thousands of deaths and tortures in prisons during his rule from 1982 to 1990. A 1992 Chadian Truth Commission accused Habre’s government of systematic torture, saying that 40,000 people died during his rule. It placed particular blame on his political police force.” (CBS )

UN peacekeepers attacked in Mali, again…”Five United Nations peacekeepers were killed and one other seriously injured in an ambush in central Mali on Sunday, the United Nations said. A convoy of soldiers in the U.N. Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) was attacked 30 kilometers (19 miles) west of Sevaré, the U.N. said. The nationalities of the soldiers were not released and so far no group had taken responsibility for the attack. It comes 10 days after five MINUSMA peacekeepers from Chad were killed in an ambush in the northern region of Kidal. Two days ago five Malian soldiers were killed near the town of Gao.” (Reuters

Longread of the day: Jina Moore, reporting from Idomeni in northern Greece. “Politicians called it a symbol of European failure. Media reports called it squalid. But until it was bulldozed this week, the Idomeni refugee camp offered hope to the thousands of people who lived there.” ( BuzzFeed


Gambian President Yahya Jammeh is blind to what international groups see as a deterioration of human rights in Gambia, an Amnesty International official says. (VOA

A military tribunal in Burkina Faso says it has provisionally released the chairman of the country’s former ruling party pending further investigations into a short-lived September coup. (AP

A top commander of Uganda’s rebel Lord’s Resistance Army will go on trial at the International Criminal Court in December charged with keeping sex slaves and recruiting child soldiers, among other crimes. (AFP

Freedom of expression groups and opposition parties have condemned the South African state broadcaster SABC’s decision to stop showing violent, anti-government protests, claiming the move disregarded the right to dissent in the country. (Al Jazeera

South Africa’s is still suffering the effects of a drought despite increased rainfall in May, leaving dam water levels low and crop supplies scant, the agricultural ministry said on Monday. (Reuters

Uganda is cutting military ties with North Korea to comply with U.N. sanctions over North Korea’s nuclear program, a Ugandan official said Monday following a meeting between President Yoweri Museveni and South Korea’s visiting president. (AP

China and Africa are “good brothers” and China respects all people regardless of race, the government said on Monday after a detergent maker apologized for an advert showing a black man bundled into a washing machine that many called racist. (VOA


Iraqi forces a week ago launched a broad operation aimed at retaking the city of Fallujah, one of IS’s most emblematic bastions, in the western province of Anbar. The progress of pro-government forces has created a window for some civilians to flee from the city’s outlying areas and attempt to reach safety. (AFP

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s cabinet voted Monday to expand his coalition and appoint hardliner Avigdor Lieberman as defence minister, bringing weeks of political intrigue — and outrage — towards a close. (AFP

More than 20 people were killed and about 50 injured in three bombings, including two suicide attacks, that hit Baghdad on Monday, police and medical sources said. (Reuters

A Bahrain court more than doubled a jail sentence against opposition leader Sheikh Ali Salman Monday, in a ruling his bloc warned risked stoking fresh unrest among the Sunni-ruled kingdom’s Shiite majority. (AFP

An Egyptian court has convicted and sentenced 36 Islamists, including a top leader of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, to life imprisonment. (AP

A surprise assault by the Islamic State group has trapped tens of thousands of terrified people on the Syrian border with Turkey, Doctors Without Borders said Monday, warning the situation was “unacceptable”. (AFP


At least five Indians accused of assaulting Africans in New Delhi have been arrested after African diplomats urged the Indian government to ensure the safety of their nationals living in the country. (Al Jazeera

Recent protests in China’s Jiangsu and Hubei Provinces by parents of students in the local schools have led to questions and criticism of China’s education system, and the measures the Chinese government is taking to make it more equitable. (VOA

Police in Cambodia are blocking opposition activists from staging a protest march, as both sides spar over intensifying government pressure on its critics. (AP

Intense fighting between Philippine troops and a little-known Muslim group apparently inspired by the Islamic State group has killed 54 militants and two soldiers, officials said Monday. (AP

A Hong Kong activist whose beating by police was caught on video was sentenced Monday to five weeks in prison on charges related to the confrontation, stirring outrage among pro-democracy supporters. (AP

The Americas

An annual pilgrimage from the U.S.-Mexico border to Tucson that aims to draw attention to the plight of immigrants will begin on Memorial Day. (AP

Leaked recordings of conversations of heavyweight politicians are causing yet more headaches for Brazil’s acting President Michel Temer. His new anti-corruption chief was under pressure to resign Monday after TV Globo broadcast a recording of him giving legal advice to the head of Brazil’s Senate, a man under investigation in a sprawling kickback probe involving the state oil company Petrobras. (AP

Colombia’s second largest rebel group, the National Liberation Army (ELN) says it “regrets” the kidnapping of three journalists earlier his month. (BBC

Rio police arrested two men Monday and hunted four others in the alleged gang rape of an unconscious teenage girl that came to light in an online video that shocked Brazil. (AFP

…and the rest

Rainstorms in southwestern Germany triggered flooding that left one small town littered with debris and rubble, and led to accidents late Sunday and early Monday in which four people died. (AP

At least 700 migrants may have died at sea this past week in the busiest week of migrant crossings from Libya towards Italy this year, Medecins San Frontieres and the UN Refugee agency said on Sunday. (Reuters

New data map will enable aid agencies to compare and contrast various needs in a humanitarian crisis and boost their response, according to the U.N. team behind it. (TRF

Hungary said Monday it had begun reinforcing its anti-migrant fence on the Serbian border following an increase in arrivals after the evacuation of Idomeni camp on the Greece-Macedonia frontier. (AFP


Will US aid change? (IRIN

Roots revolutionized how Americans viewed and talked about black history. But its influence extended across the Atlantic, especially to West Africa and apartheid South Africa. (The American Prospect

Migrant crossings to Italy — what do we know? (AFP

Electoral Systems and Corruption: Proportional Representation in Brazil (Global Anticorruption Blog

“Where is NATO now?” (IRIN

Are New Zealanders nicer when it comes to aid? (DevPolicy

What’s missing from the SDGs (Devex

The ethics of “innovation” in global health (WhyDev

10 must-reads on the Angelina Jolie-LSE-professor debate (Aidnography

Is it too late now to say sorry? IMF Edition (Africa is a Country

Reporter’s Notebook: ‘Embedded’ With Doctors Without Borders (Goats and Soda