USAID Employee and LGBT Rights Activist Hacked to Death in Bangladesh

This is the latest in a string of hacking murders of liberal voices in Bangladesh. “A Bangladeshi gay rights activist and his friend were hacked to death Monday in what the police believe is the latest in a series of targeted killings by Islamist militants. The activist, Julhas Mannan, had attracted the attention of extremist groups by helping to organize a march for gay and transgender youths that had been scheduled for the Bengali New Year on April 14. The Rainbow Rally, as it was called, drew threats of violence and police canceled the march, saying the event would offend religious sentiments. Mr. Mannan, who also edited Bangladesh’s only gay and transgender magazine, Roopbaan, had received “very vicious, murderous threats” from anonymous people who opposed the rally, said Sara Hossain, a friend. “The last few days were very frightening,” she said. Mr. Mannan had been working for the United States Agency for International Development, and had served as a protocol officer to two United States ambassadors, the police said.” (NYT

Top Burundi General assassinated… He recently served as a deputy commander of UN peacekeepers in CAR…“A top Tutsi general was gunned down in Burundi on Monday, the latest bloodshed in a year of violent political turmoil that has now prompted a preliminary probe by international prosecutors into a litany of atrocities.  A wave of unrest, targeted assassinations and alleged torture has left hundreds dead and forced more than 270,000 to flee the country since last April, and some analysts warn Burundi may be on the brink of a new civil war. General Athanase Kararuza, a security advisor to one of Burundi’s vice presidents, was killed along with his wife in a gun and grenade attack as they were dropping their daughter off at school in the capital Bujumbura.”  (AFP

Meanwhile…ICC sets sights on Burundi….The international war crimes court will investigate outbreaks of violence in Burundi that have killed hundreds and forced hundreds of thousands to flee abroad since a political crisis erupted a year ago. (Reuters

Humanity affirming stat of the day: Vaccination rates in a key district in restive northern Mali have nearly doubled. (MSF


Flash floods in drought-stricken parts of Ethiopia have killed people and livestock and are blocking food aid deliveries to hungry communities, a charity said. (Reuters

Nearly 30 schoolchildren and their supervisors were killed and many more injured when their truck crashed in eastern Burundi, a local official said. (AFP

Clashes between different ethnic groups in west Ethiopia have left 14 dead, while UN and MSF offices were targeted by angry protesters, local security service sources said. (AFP

South Sudan’s top rebel military commander Simon Gatwech Dual returned to Juba on Monday in a key step forward in a floundering peace process, calling for an end to war. (AFP

Washington accused both sides in South Sudan’s two-year conflict of blocking peace efforts and protested, rebels said, by pulling funding for a flight to return their leader Riek Machar to the capital. (Reuters

Six countries in Africa, the continent where malaria is most widespread, could be free of the disease by 2020, according to a WHO report published Monday to mark World Malaria Day. (AFP

Girls in Guinea are increasingly being subjected to female genital mutilation before the age of 10, and support for the practice among women and girls in the West African nation is on the rise, the United Nations rights office said on. (Reuters

Donors and governments must continue to fund the fight against malaria in Nigeria, where, despite impressive progress in reducing the number of deaths, about 100,000 people still die from the disease every year, says the head of the Malaria Consortium’s Nigeria office. (Guardian


Jordan’s Queen Rania on Monday called for “legal” paths into Europe for refugees, criticising the EU’s controversial deal with Turkey which she said endangers lives. (AFP

More than four-fifths of the U.S. Senate have signed a letter urging President Barack Obama to quickly reach an agreement on a new defense aid package for Israel worth more than the current $3 billion per year. (Reuters

The International Committee of the Red Cross says it is delivering its second humanitarian aid convoy in as many weeks to an opposition-held town under siege in central Syria. (AP

Egyptian security forces quickly snuffed out a series of protests across Cairo against the government’s decision to transfer control of two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia. (Time

Oil exporting countries in the Middle East lost a staggering $390 billion in revenue due to lower oil prices last year, and should brace for even deeper losses of around $500 billion this year, the International Monetary Fund said. (AP


A Canadian tourist was beheaded in the Philippines. (Chicago Tribune

A revised controversial law that seeks to harshly regulate foreign non-government organizations in China is under review by the country’s lawmakers. (VOA

After courting Pakistan for more than a year, President Ashraf Ghani of Afghanistan changed course on Monday and warned that he would lodge a complaint with the United Nations Security Council if Pakistan refuses to take military action against Taliban leaders operating from its soil to wage an increasingly deadly insurgency across Afghanistan. (NYT

At least two people have been killed in a bus explosion in Yerevan, Armenia. (AN )

Thailand plans to sell the remaining 11.4 million tons of rice in government stockpiles within two months, the country’s rice management board said on Monday, starting next week. (VOA

The Americas

Haiti’s repeatedly postponed presidential election may not happen until October, President Jocelerme Privert said, as street protests erupted on the day the impoverished Caribbean nation missed an agreed date for a run-off vote. (VOA

Police officers came under attack in a two-hour gunfight in the Mexican city of Acapulco, officials say. (BBC

The World Health Organization warned of the potential for a “marked increase” in the number of Zika infections in the coming months, and its spread to new parts of the world. (AFP

Due to cultural prejudices and the weakness of the justice system, past crimes against disabled citizens have been largely ignored. But the slayings of Jesula Gelin, Vanessa Previl and Monique Vincent have galvanized Haitians with disabilities and prompted rare public protests by their advocacy groups. (AP

…and the rest

The medical relief charity Medecins sans Frontieres has relaunched rescue operations in the Mediterranean Sea, accusing European governments of failing to act to save migrants in peril at sea, it said on Monday. (Reuters


Former Australian prime minister Kevin Rudd discusses growing up the son of poor share farmers, becoming enthralled with China at an early age, and how he decided to make the leap from diplomat to politician. (Global Dispatches podcast

The world’s humanitarian burden is too big. How can we lessen it? (Guardian

Any Ways to Combat Extremism? (IPS

Is Weak Governance to Blame for Bank Collapses in Kenya? (CFI

Where is the riskiest place to live? (Guardian

A Race Against Time to Check Malaria Resistance (TRF

Could mapping tech revolutionise disaster response? (Guardian

What happens when native Americans pay themselves unconditional cash from casino profits? (Chris Blattman

Panama Effect – Conspiracy to Squeeze the Poor (The Herald

Rwanda: Malaria Resurgence – What Exactly Went Wrong? (New Times

Does payment by results dehumanise aid work or encourage success? (Guardian