USA To Reach Refugee Resettlement Target

To put this in perspective, Jordan alone is home to 660,000 Syrian refugees. Still, a few months ago it did not look like the USA would meet its own stated goal. “The U.S. will reach its target this week of taking in 10,000 Syrian war refugees in a year-old resettlement program, the U.S. ambassador to Jordan said Sunday, after meeting families headed to California and Virginia. The resettlement program has emerged as an issue in the U.S. presidential campaign, with Republican nominee Donald Trump alleging displaced Syrians pose a potential security threat. Alice Wells, the U.S. ambassador to Jordan, said Sunday that keeping Americans safe and taking in some of the world’s most vulnerable people are not mutually exclusive…Wells said the target of resettling 10,000 Syrian refugees in the U.S. in the 2016 fiscal year will be reached Monday, as several hundred Syrians depart from Jordan over 24 hours. (AP

Bye, Bye Bongo? The rival, Jean Ping, is a well-known former head of the African Union. “Supporters of Gabon President Ali Bongo and his chief rival, Jean Ping, are both claiming victory – and alleging fraud – in the central African nation’s presidential election. The official results in the oil rich nation’s Saturday election won’t be known until Tuesday. But the 73-year-old Ping claimed Sunday that “the general trends indicate we are the winner.” But a spokesman for Bongo said the president is headed to a second term, while Bongo said he is “calmly” waiting for the results.Gabon does not have a run-off system, so the candidate with the most votes in the 10-candidate field will win the election. A Ping victory would end a half-century of Bongo family rule. Ali Bongo succeeded his father Omar Bongo who died in 2009 after 41 years in office.” (VOA

Stat of the Day...Gender inequality is costing sub-Saharan Africa on average S95 billion a year, peaking at US$105 billion in 2014– or six percent of the region’s GDP – jeopardizing the continent’s efforts for inclusive human development and economic growth, according to the Africa Human Development Report 2016: Advancing Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment in Africa. (UNDP


Nigeria’s military said on Saturday it had launched a new offensive against militants in the oil-producing Niger Delta, killing five and arresting 23. (Reuters

People are dying in Sierra Leone of kidney disease, due to the lack of available treatment. Patients have to fly to other countries and many cannot afford it. (VOA

The top monitor of South Sudan’s peace deal said he and diplomats support the disputed appointment of a new vice president in order to support the country’s shaky peace agreement. (AP

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari said Sunday that Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau is “wounded”, in his first comments on military claims that the jihadi leader was injured in an attack. (AFP

South Africa Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan may be charged this week for graft, the City Press newspaper reported on Sunday, citing senior sources in the police, the National Prosecuting Authority, and the tax service. (Reuters


A group monitoring the Syrian war said Turkish air strikes had killed at least 15 civilians in northern Syria, bringing to 35 the number of people it says have been killed in Turkish air strikes in the area on Sunday. (Reuters

Warplanes from the Saudi-led coalition struck a rebel convoy near a taxi stand in central Yemen, killing seven civilians and nine insurgents, officials said on Sunday. (AFP

Egyptian authorities on Sunday released a renowned human rights lawyer arrested after protests against President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s decision to hand over two islands to Saudi Arabia. (AFP

French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said he was pressing members of the U.N. Security Council, including Russia, to condemn the Syrian government after a report found Syrian troops had used chemical weapons. (Reuters

A member of the leadership of Libya’s U.N.-backed government who is close to powerful rival factions in the east of the country has said he will end his boycott of the Tripoli-based body. (Reuters

The Saudi Arabian ambassador to Iraq, reacting to a reported request by Baghdad that Riyadh withdraw him, told Al Arabiyah television on Sunday that the kingdom’s policies on Iraq would not change, and Saudi ties with Iraqi politicians were amicable. (Reuters


Japan will invest $30bn in Africa over the next three years, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has pledged at a summit in Kenya. (Al Jazeera

Muslim extremists who support Islamic State have staged a jailbreak in the southern Philippines, freeing eight of their fellow radicals. (VOA

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, who is waging a bloody war on crime, has justified the large-scale killing of drug users by suggesting the victims were not human. (AFP

Bangladesh police said Sunday they were hunting more extremist leaders after shooting dead the suspected mastermind of a deadly cafe attack, on the eve of US Secretary of State John Kerry’s first visit. (AFP

The Americas

Colombia’s government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia — FARC — are scheduled to officially sign a deal to end half a century of war late next month, officials said Saturday. (VOA

Michel Temer expects to become Brazil’s full president if his rival Dilma Rousseff gets impeached this week. If he trips up, the country will fall deeper into crisis, analysts warn. (AP

…and the rest

Germany expects up to 300,000 asylum seekers to arrive this year, less than one-third of the total during 2015’s record influx, the Federal Office for Migrants and Refugees said Sunday. (AFP

German Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel said on Sunday he did not see Turkey joining the EU during his political career, adding that the bloc would not be in a position to take Turkey in even if Ankara met all the entry requirements tomorrow. (Reuters

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Sunday slammed those countries in Europe who say they won’t take in Muslim refugees, a position that several eastern European governments have taken in response to the influx of migrants from the Islamic world. (AP


Microcephaly Could Be Just The Tip Of The Effects Of Zika Virus (NPR

How to make peace? Colombia’s historic deal has lessons for Syria (Guardian

Why U.S. and Global Interest in Ghana Elections? (Vanguard

Zambia: Will the Poll Results Trigger a Constitutional Crisis? (ISS

The danger of fighting fire with fire (IRIN

The tribes paying the brutal price of conservation (Guardian

Yellow Fever Timeline: The History Of A Long Misunderstood Disease (Goats and Soda

What happened to the UN I used to know? (DevPolicy

People Are Tweeting About #IfAfricaWasASchool And It’s Perfect (BuzzFeed