And the Nobel Peace Prize Winner Is…

By the time you are reading this, there’s a good chance that the announcement will have been made. But as of now, it’s all still a guess! Front runners include Angela Merkel, Pope Francis, Congolese Ob-Gyn Denis Mukwege, and the Iran-Deal Nuclear Negotiation duo of John Kerry and Mohammad Zarif. The announcement happens at 5 AM EST. Here’s a good listicle on the front runners. (USA Today

Dark Horse Favorite: Ugandan peace activist Victor Ochen. (UN Dispatch

Kagame for President, again…Rwanda’s Supreme Court has cleared the way for President Paul Kagame to run for a third seven-year term when his current term expires in 2017. The court ruled Thursday that amending the constitution to remove the current two-term limit for presidents is legal, as long as the process respects the law. The opposition Green Party had petitioned the court to block the proposed changes, after Rwanda’s parliament passed a motion in July supporting another term for Kagame. (VOA

Indonesia Forest Fires Blanket Region in Smog…”More than a month after uncontrollable wildfires were kindled in Indonesian rainforests to make room for palm and paper plantations, a blanket of smog is choking the region, including the country’s neighbors: Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand. The dense cloud of smoke has closed schools, canceled major events, grounded flights, and driven thousands of people to doctors.” (CSM


The governor of North-Kivu province in troubled eastern DR Congo told AFP on Thursday that five civilians had been killed in a UN helicopter attack against rebel fighters this week. (AFP

Burundi has expelled a senior Rwandan diplomat, officials said on Wednesday, the latest sign of tension between the central African neighbors that share a history of ethnic conflict. (Reuters

Benin businessman Patrice Talon on Thursday returned home from exile after he was implicated in an alleged poison plot, strongly hinting he would seek election for the country’s presidency. (AFP

Unrest and violence in the capital of Central African Republic which killed dozens, injured hundreds and uprooted tens of thousands of people are hindering the delivery of humanitarian aid across the country, aid agencies said. (Reuters

There is an intensifying debate over how to reform farming in Tanzania and other countries. Who can produce the food the world needs — plantations or small-scale farmers? (VOA

Somalia’s inability to pay and even feed its soldiers threatens to undermine years of hard-won military gains against Islamist al Shabaab rebels, with corruption sapping morale and weakening the army in the war against the militants. (Reuters

The African Development Bank said Africa’s power supply has worsened into a crisis. The bank said only one African in five has access to electricity, and that if the trend continues, fewer than 40 percent of African countries will reach universal access to electricity by 2050. (VOA

Profile of Ugandan activist and Nobel Peace Prize nominee – Victor Ochen. (Guardian


A crush and stampede last month outside of Saudi Arabia’s holy city of Mecca killed at least 1,264 people during the annual hajj pilgrimage to the kingdom, an Associated Press count showed Thursday. (VOA

Four cruise missiles in a barrage of 26 fired by Russia from warships in the Caspian Sea at targets in Syria crashed in a rural area of northern Iran, senior United States officials said on Thursday. Russian and Iranian officials dismissed the claim as nonsense. (NYT

Three brothers preparing to get married were among the dozens killed in a rocket attack on a village in southwest Yemen Thursday, with locals saying the strike was likely carried out by Saudi-led coalition jets. (Vice


Doctors Without Borders will review its operations in Afghanistan following last weekend’s deadly U.S. air strike on a hospital in the city of Kunduz, officials from the international aid group said on Thursday. (Reuters

Doctors Without Borders said Thursday that 33 people are still missing days after the U.S. airstrike on the international medical charity’s hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan killed 22 others. (VOA

The Cambodian government said Thursday that the minimum wage for the country’s garment sector – its key export earner and largest industrial employer – will rise to $140 a month. (VOA

Amnesty International says two of its representatives were detained when trying to enter Azerbaijan and then deported. (AP

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi called for religious harmony on Thursday, breaking a week-long silence after the mob killing of a Muslim man rumored to have slaughtered a cow sparked fears that Hindu zealots were targeting minorities. (VOA

A Habitat for Humanity build in Nepal that Jimmy Carter planned to participate in has been canceled. Habitat for Humanity officials said in a statement that shortages of fuel and other supplies in the region forced the project’s cancellation. (AP

The Americas

The United Nations’ human rights chief is calling on Mexico to allow a special panel of experts to investigate the disappearance of 43 students in September of last year. (VOA

Lawyers for a group of highly skilled immigrants from India and China say they’ll keep pressing the U.S. government to allow their clients — and tens of thousands of others — to immediately apply to become permanent U.S. residents, even after a federal judge rejected their request for an emergency order. (AP

Hillary Rodham Clinton has joined her Democratic presidential rivals in opposing President Barack Obama’s Pacific trade deal (TPP), delivering a major blow to a Democratic president as she works to court her party’s liberal base. (AP

Guatemalan President Alejandro Maldonado has announced that his government will build homes for the survivors of a landslide which buried some 125 houses last week. More than 200 people were killed when a hillside collapsed on a neighbourhood in Santa Catarina Pinula. (BBC

Latin America’s economy is likely to go into recession this year for the first time since the end of the global financial crisis as China’s slowdown lessens demand for the region’s commodities, threatening to undo recent progress in reducing poverty, the International Monetary Fund said. (AP

…and the rest

A child was killed and three others wounded on Thursday in Turkey’s southeastern town of Silvan after munitions they found and were playing with on the street exploded, hospital and security sources said. (Reuters

The International Monetary Fund says the biggest risks to the global economy are now in emerging markets, where private companies have racked up considerable debt amid a fifth straight year of slowing growth. (AP

Just weeks after the inauguration of the United Nations’ new Sustainable Development Goals, new corruption allegations have dampened the launch of these 17 initiatives that aim to transform our planet. (GlobalPost

A secret apartment in an old Minsk building has become just the latest risky place for journalists from the independent Belsat television station to work. (AP


Just getting richer is not going to get us to the global goals (Guardian

International Tax Cooperation Crucial for Development (IPS

World Health Organization Posts Ambitious New Guidelines For HIV Treatment (Goats and Soda

Why Inequality Matters – for the Rich and the Poor (The Conversation

A Fish Called Development (Policy Innovations

Kenya’s anti-gay laws are leaving LGBT community at the mercy of the mob (Guardian

Wangari Maathai was not a good woman. Kenya needs more of them.(African Arguments

What Do African Countries Lack to Be Stable and Develop? (News of Rwanda

SDG related humor: “The word ‘sustainable’ is unsustainable.”(A View from the Cave

He Named Me Malala: a clip from the Davis Guggenheim documentary (Guardian

Meeting Malala (Gates Notes