Trouble in Djibouti

The small horn of Africa country does not often make news, and that’s probably a good thing. “A Djibouti opposition group said at least 19 people were killed in clashes with police that began when people were marking a religious celebration, while the government said just nine people were wounded when police fought armed individuals.Read more at: Djibouti, home to a regional port as well as U.S. and French military bases, has faced sporadic violence before, usually sparked by protests against the government of President Ismail Omar Guelleh, whose party has a tight hold on power. Kadar Abdi Ibraim, spokesman for the opposition coalition Union pour le Salut National, told Reuters the police first attacked people marking a religious celebration that he said had been banned. He said police then attacked a house where opponents were meeting.” (Standard

Keeps Getting Worse..Heavy smog on Tuesday shrouded the capitals of the world’s two most populous countries. Air quality monitoring stations in Beijing and New Delhi displayed readings far exceeding the threshold for the highest-category hazardous level. (VOA

Stat of the day: More than 1 million refugees and “irregular migrants” have entered Europe in this record-breaking year, the International Organization for Migration said Tuesday, a symbolic milestone driven by war, poverty and persecution in the Middle East and Africa. (AP

Save the date…The next round of talks aimed at easing the violence in war-torn Syria will be held at the UN’s European headquarters in Geneva early next year, a UN spokesman said Tuesday. (AFP


Mali’s government declared a ten-day state of emergency from midnight after what security sources say follows a series of threats from unnamed jihadist groups. (Reuters

Violence in northeast Nigeria and neighboring countries targeted by Boko Haram has forced more than one million children out of school, leaving them prey to abuse, abduction and recruitment by armed groups, the United Nations said on Tuesday. (TRF

Voters in the Central African Republic have overwhelmingly backed a constitutional referendum aimed at ending nearly three years of political instability. (VOA

The Malawian government has reaffirmed its decision to halt the arrest and prosecution of gay citizens while lawmakers review existing anti-gay laws. (AP

Ghana’s President John Mahama has banned public officials from first class air travel in a renewed effort to cut wasteful spending as the West African nation implements an IMF aid deal to revive state finances, the government said on Tuesday. (Reuters

The top U.N. official for war-torn Somalia says the country is no longer a failed state but a recovering fragile country. (AP

In the past two months, Nigerian and Cameroonian troops have freed hundreds of people in Nigeria who were being held captive by Boko Haram militants. Many are now living in an open air transit camp in the northern Cameroonian town of Kolofata. (VOA



The Syrian government and an opposition monitoring group say that at least nine students have been killed and several wounded by a mortar shell that slammed into their school in the northeastern city of Deir el-Zour. (AP

The United Nations is mulling “light touch” options for monitoring a possible ceasefire in Syria that would keep its risks to a minimum by relying largely on Syrians already on the ground, diplomatic sources said. (Reuters

With 2015 drawing to a close, Syria continued to sink “deeper and deeper into violence and brutality”, top United Nations officials told the Security Council today, urging parties to the conflict to allow humanitarian aid to enter and the international community to fund a $3.2 billion appeal for 2016. (UN

A fresh bout of deadly fighting and air strikes hit Yemen on Tuesday, despite an extended ceasefire that was supposed to come into force overnight, military sources said. (AFP


Rescuers struggled to claw away a massive mound of mud engulfing an industrial district in China on Tuesday in a desperate bid to find survivors among 76 missing people following a landslide that occurred despite multiple warnings. (AFP

Leading human rights organizations on Monday urged the United States to offer emergency sanctuary to Bangladeshi writers targeted by Islamic extremists for their secular beliefs. (VOA

China may further restrict the right of media to report on details of terror attacks, state media reported on Tuesday, under a tough new law that could be passed before the end of the month. (Reuters

A Beijing court Tuesday found prominent human rights lawyer Pu Zhiqiang guilty of “inciting ethnic hatred” and “picking quarrels and provoking trouble” but gave him a suspended three-year jail term, meaning he could be released in ten days if he decides not to appeal. (VOA

Indonesia is punishing more than 20 companies in an unprecedented move for starting deadly forest fires that killed 19 people, a government official said Tuesday. (AFP

Women in parts of India are sent to basic huts outside their villages during their periods, as the stigma of menstruation proves hard to overcome. (Guardian

The Americas

Haiti’s presidential and legislative run-off elections have been postponed, officials have said. Opposition factions alleged fraud during the first round of voting and there have been widespread street protests. (BBC

The number of confirmed deaths from the collapse of a dam in Brazil has risen to 17, according to an update from mining giant BHP Billiton. (BBC

A fire in the Brazilian city of Sao Paulo has destroyed parts of a historic 19th Century railway station housing a popular museum. (BBC

Panama’s Supreme Court on Monday ordered the detention of former President Ricardo Martinelli to face charges that he illegally spied on opponents. (AP

…and the rest

Hundreds of journalists have rallied throughout Serbia demanding that the prime minister keep the promise to sack his defense minister, who recently made a sexist comment to a female journalist. (AP


What next for poor countries fighting to trade in an unfair world? (Guardian

From Zorro to Zombie: the rise and fall of the microcredit movement (The Conversation

Briefing: Will a political dispute become a humanitarian disaster in Nepal? (IRIN

Local vs. international volunteer: Is there still room for both? (Devex

Who will fund poverty surveys in “Volkswagen” countries? (Africa Can End Poverty