Mali’s New Ebola Cluster

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20 UN Peacekeepers who were treated for wounds at a hospital in Bamako where a nurse fell ill are under isolation. In the meantime, officials are racing to contain this outbreak. “For nearly a year, Mali had been spared the virus now blamed for killing more than 5,000 people across West Africa despite the fact the country shared a porous land border with Guinea, the country where the epidemic first erupted. Now there are least three confirmed Ebola deaths, and two others suspected deaths in Mali’s capital, Bamako. Residents here who have seen the horrific death tolls from Ebola in neighboring Guinea now fear the worst.” (ABC

How ISIS is Stealing International Aid…With news that another foreign aid worker has been murdered by Islamic state militants, the Wall Street Journal has an important report about aid theft and diversion is Syria. “Relief workers say they believe Islamic State is holding one foreign and six Syrian aid workers after the extremists claimed on Sunday to have killed Peter Kassig, an American aid worker and Muslim convert. The stolen aid includes generators worth at least $300,000 donated by the German government’s largest development agency and more than 600 baskets of food—each containing enough to support a family for about a month—donated by a large American relief group within the past year.” (WSJ

An Amazingly Brave Woman Survives A Brutal Taliban Attack….A suicide bomber attacked an armored car carrying a prominent Afghan women’s rights leader and member of Parliament in Kabul on Sunday morning, killing three people and wounding 32 others, Afghan officials said. The lawmaker who was apparently the target of the attack, Shukria Barakzai, survived the blast, which occurred several hundred feet away from the Parliament building, her destination at the time. Ms. Barakzai, 42, had once helped run underground schools for girls during the Taliban era. She quickly emerged as a public figure in Afghanistan not long after the American-led coalition toppled the Taliban government. (NYT


The French foreign ministry warned against travel to Mali due to a second outbreak of Ebola in the former French colony. (Reuters

The USA is going to start screening travelers from Mali for Ebola. (NBC

The United Nations mission in Mali has cancelled plans to renew a contract with a private clinic providing care to its peacekeepers after a case of Ebola was missed and spread from there. (Reuters

A surgeon from Sierra Leone being treated for Ebola in a Nebraska hospital on Saturday was critically ill after being airlifted back from Africa, medical officials said. (Reuters

About 160 Chinese health workers arrived on Saturday in Liberia, where they are due to staff a new $41 million Ebola clinic that, unlike most other foreign interventions, is being built and fully run by Chinese personnel. (Reuters

Medecins Sans Frontiers “wasted time” by waiting too long to call for vaccines to fight an unprecedented outbreak of Ebola in West Africa, a veteran of the medical charity said. (Reuters

The hardest hit of the West African nations facing the deadly Ebola outbreak, Liberia, has set a national goal of recording no new cases by Christmas, December 25. (VOA


Burkina Faso’s military rulers say the country’s new interim civilian leader will be announced no later than today. (VOA

Tanzania’s parliament has received a report on the findings of an investigation into corruption allegations in the energy sector, officials said on Sunday, an issue that has led to donors delaying aid and weakened its currency. (Reuters

The Nigerian army has driven out Boko Haram insurgents from Chibok, the home of over 200 schoolgirls who were abducted by militants of the Islamist group in April, an army spokesman said. (Reuters

Niger has secured $190.39 million in financing needed to build a dam which is expected to make the country self-sufficient in power and boost agricultural production, the government said. (Reuters

African Union officials say the AU is making progress in its fight against the Lord’s Resistance Army. But officials say they need more money to carry out the campaign. Without more resources, they say, the AU’s Regional Task Force may need more time to stop LRA leader Joseph Kony and his army. (VOA

Somalia’s al Shabaab militants said they fired mortar bombs at the presidential palace in Mogadishu on Sunday, but government and police spokesmen said none had landed inside the compound. (Reuters


The White House on Sunday confirmed the death of U.S. aid worker Peter Kassig, a former soldier who tried to help wounded Syrians caught in a brutal civil war but ended up dying at the hands of Islamic State militants. (AP

Iran, the US and other world powers meeting in Vienna this week are close to a historic, comprehensive agreement that could bring a permanent end to 12 years of deadlock over Iran’s nuclear programme. (Guardian

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain agreed on Sunday to return their ambassadors to Qatar, signalling an end to an eight-month rift over Doha’s support for Islamist groups. (Reuters

An Italian man, kidnapped in Libya eight months ago, has been released unharmed, Italy’s foreign ministry said on Sunday. (Reuters

Hundreds of Moroccans rallied Sunday outside the country’s parliament to protest alleged government interference in the work of independent human rights groups. (Yahoo


Hundreds of Myanmar university students marched through Yangon for a third day in a row on Sunday, in a rare and illegal protest against a new education law they say will curb academic freedom. (VOA

The company at the center of a probe into why more than a dozen women died after being sterilized in India has denied that the antibiotic tablets it manufactured were contaminated with a chemical compound commonly found in rat poison. (Reuters

The Americas

President Barack Obama says the threat of a government shutdown by Republicans doesn’t affect the timing of his executive action on immigration. (AP

Colombia’s peace process with Marxist rebels risks sliding backwards unless an agreement can be reached next year to end 50 years of war, President Juan Manuel Santos said in an interview published on Sunday. (Reuters

Gay rights activists are using Rio de Janeiro’s annual gay pride parade to demand laws against discrimination based on sexual orientation. (AP


I carried his name on my body for nine years: the tattooed trafficking survivors reclaiming their past (Guardian

Ending the Exaggeration of Aid: A Modest Proposal (Owen Barder

Most Money for Health Is Subnational, But What Will Donors Do About It? (Center For Global Development

Peter Kassig’s beheading another sign of savagery from messianic killers who won’t cease until stopped (GlobalPost

Tis the blackface season in the Netherlands (Africa is a Country

Rebranded: how Survivors Ink is erasing the marks of the US sex trafficking industry  (Guardian

The Great and Powerful Oz, starring EPN (Cherokee Gothic


Dutch authorities said on Sunday they had found a highly contagious strain of bird flu at a poultry farm in the central Netherlands and set about destroying 150,00 chickens. (Reuters