Uganda shuts social media for Museveni’s inauguration, arrests opposition leader (AGAIN!)

There are multiple reports that MTN and other providers have blocked access to social media at the government’s request. “Ugandan police arrested opposition leader Kizza Besigye, just hours before the man he accuses of winning a sham election, Yoweri Museveni, is sworn in for a fifth term as president on Thursday. A former guerrilla who seized power in 1986, Museveni, 71, was declared winner of the election in February with 60 percent of the vote, allowing him to extend his rule to 35 years. Besigye, who got 35 percent of the vote, rejected the result, citing alleged rigging and other irregularities. His party, the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), say police have broken up several demonstration by supporters against the results – including a gathering on Wednesday in which it staged its own swearing-in ceremony for Besigye.” (Reuters

A deadly day in Baghdad…”Four separate car bombings in the Iraqi capital Baghdad have claimed at least 88 lives, police sources told Al Jazeera. Wednesday’s deadliest blast, from a 4WD vehicle packed with explosives, occured near a beauty salon in a bustling market at rush hour in Baghdad’s Sadr City neighbourhood, killing at least 61 people and wounding more than 100 others.” (Al Jazeera

At least some Republicans want to spend some money to fight Zika…”Senate Republicans plan to approve at least $1.1 billion to combat the Zika virus in the next week or so, amid intensifying pressure to combat the spread of the mosquito-borne illness. Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri, the Republican who chairs the spending subcommittee that oversees health funding, said he wants to add $1.1 billion in emergency funding to a package of spending bills coming to the Senate floor this week. That figure falls short of the White House’s request for $1.9 billion to combat the virus, which is believed to cause serious birth defects. It could also trigger a fight with House Republicans, who are demanding offsetting spending cuts.” (Bloomberg

Longread of the Day…Love in the Time of Zika: In the Middle of the World’s Zika Crisis, These Researchers Are Studying What It Means When Mosquitoes Are Able to Learn. (The Stranger )


Amid the ongoing outbreak of yellow fever in Angola, the European Union has deployed a team of medical experts under the European Medical Corps established earlier this year. (ReliefWeb

The government of Burkina Faso, which is battling high unemployment, on Wednesday urged young people to return to the soil and take up farming. (AFP

Flash floods displaced nearly 120,000 people in Ethiopia last month and a total of almost half a million are expected to be affected this year. (Reuters

Why M-Pesa failed in South Africa. (BBC


Attacking journalists and prosecuting critical voices fuels violent extremism rather than preventing it, the US told the UN Security Council on Wednesday in a thinly veiled warning to Egypt. (Reuters

Syria’s regime killed at least seven civilians, including a child, in air strikes Wednesday on an eastern part of the country held by the Islamic State group. (AFP

The United Arab Emirates’ minister for happiness says part of her mission is to encourage local media to tell more positive stories because “happiness is contagious.” (AP


Azerbaijan says Armenian forces have used white phosphorus weapons in the fighting over the Nagorno-Karabakh region and is calling for an international investigation. (AP

The EU and UNICEF have started the construction of 650 transitional learning centres in Nepal to help restore education for one million children affected by the 2015 earthquakes. (ReliefWeb

Activists urged Nepal to submit a report to the UN on how it has fared in tackling gender discrimination, hoping it will shed light on a new citizenship policy they say penalizes many women. (Reuters

Facebook is seeking to reassure Thai users that it safeguards their private data, after a series of arrests raised concerns the social network had failed to protect personal information from Thailand’s military government. (AP

The Americas

Brazilian regulators plan to tighten rules on dams used in the mining industry but the changes, while opposed by struggling companies, look unlikely to improve safety. (Reuters

The Supreme Court rebuffed a last-ditch bid by President Dilma Rousseff to halt a vote in the Senate on Wednesday that is expected to put her on trial for breaking budget laws and end 13 years of leftist rule in Latin America’s biggest country. (Reuters )

There’s little doubt: Zika is coming to the continental US, bringing frightening birth defects — and, most likely, newly urgent discussions about abortion and contraception. (AP

Soldiers fired tear gas at protesters on Wednesday as Venezuela’s opposition marched for a recall referendum against President Maduro. (Reuters

…and the rest

Urgent measures are need to address overcrowding and poor living conditions in refugee and migrant camps in Greece. (Reuters

Italy joined the rest of Europe on Wednesday in giving some legal rights to gay couples after a years-long battle. (AP

The number of female smokers in developing countries may rise as contraception becomes more widespread, according to a study of smoking habits among a tribe in the Congo. (


Rwanda will shine as it hosts WEF Africa, but there’s one topic that won’t come up. (QZ

Magic and murder: albinism in Malawi (IRIN

Strengthening Land Governance: Lessons from implementing the Voluntary Guidelines (ODI

If Rousseff goes will 47 million Brazilians lose their benefits? (BBC

Remittances are three times greater than aid – how can they go even further? (Guardian

Widening the STI Net for Implementation of the Sustainable Development Agenda (IPS

Getting Real About Corruption in Africa (ISS

Trump and Zuma – Worlds Apart but Bound By Patriarchy and Sexism (The Conversation