NIH Announces Big HIV Vaccine Trial

An early-stage HIV vaccine clinical trial in South Africa was showing promising results, so the US National Institutes of Health is expanding it big time. “This new study, called HVTN 702, is designed to determine whether the regimen is safe, tolerable and effective at preventing HIV infection among South African adults. The trial is slated to begin in November 2016, pending regulatory approval. ‘For the first time in seven years, the scientific community is embarking on a large-scale clinical trial of an HIV vaccine, the product of years of study and experimentation,’ said Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., director of NIAID, part of the National Institutes of Health and a co-funder of the trial. ‘A safe and effective HIV vaccine could help bring about a durable end to the HIV/AIDS pandemic and is particularly needed in southern Africa, where HIV is more pervasive than anywhere else in the world.’ (NIH

A Video of Police Brutality Goes Viral, in Kenya…”Widely viewed pictures and video of a protester being kicked by Kenyan riot police as he lay on the ground have caused a stir in this East Africa country, prompting debate on police brutality and civil rights.The US and human rights activists are condemning the violence displayed by Kenyan police who on Monday beat up opposition supporters protesting for election reforms ahead of polls next year. In one incident that has stirred anger and condemnation across Kenya, a policeman is seen beating and kicking one protester who had fallen on a road curb in the chaotic scenes after police fired tear gas to disperse a crowd in the capital, Nairobi.” (News 24

Massive Flooding in Sri Lanka…”At least 37 people were killed in landslides and flash floods and hundreds of thousands were displaced, Sri Lankan officials said on Wednesday, as torrential rains and gusting winds continued to lash the country just days after the beginning of the monsoon season. Rescue workers recovered at least 15 bodies from two major landslides in the Kegalle district, about 75 miles east of the capital, Colombo, said Pradeep Kodippili, a spokesman for the Disaster Management Center of Sri Lanka. Officials said the death toll from the flooding was likely to rise.” (NYT


A leading anti-slavery campaigner in Mauritania said he would again run for president after a Supreme Court decision freed him from 18 months in jail. (Reuters

A top UN humanitarian official called for greater world attention on the massive humanitarian crisis unfolding in Niger’s Diffa region, where violence at the hands of Boko Haram has forced over 240,000 people out of their homes. (ReliefWeb

A senior UN official on Wednesday welcomed the freeing of a Nigerian Chibok schoolgirl abducted more than two years ago by Boko Haram, but said the jihadist group still holds thousands more people. (AFP


A 19-year-old Israeli woman has spent more than three months in military prison in what supporters say is the longest sentence ever handed down to a female conscientious objector. (AP

Morocco’s foreign ministry summoned the US ambassador to express anger over a “scandalous” State Department report on human rights in the North African kingdom. (AFP

A Tunisian court overturned a six-month suspended jail term for a popular comedian, a television host and a colleague for identity theft, fraud and insulting the head of state. (AFP

A woman in the Emirates has been sentenced to a fine and deportation for violating her husband’s privacy by checking his mobile to see if he was being unfaithful. (AFP


At least 20 people were killed in flash floods that hit the northern Afghan province of Sari Pul. (AP

India is revising its rehabilitation scheme for forced laborers to include transgender and other marginalized people, speed up court proceedings, and increase compensation for rescued workers. (Reuters

Kyrgyzstan’s security agency has arrested an opposition activist as part of a probe into the alleged plot to overthrow the government. (AP

The Americas

Brazil’s week-old interim government is regressive and unequal, the Inter-American Commssion on Human Rights said in a statement Wednesday. (AFP

One person was killed and 85 injured Wednesday as two strong aftershocks shook Ecuador a month after a devastating earthquake left some 700 dead. (AFP

The head of the US CDC warned Wednesday that a legislative measure to combat the Zika virus is inadequate to deal with the swelling threat to public health. (AP

…and the rest

The World Health Organization on Wednesday urged Europe to be vigilant ahead of a possible summer outbreak of the Zika virus. (Yahoo!

A small tent city has formed on Serbia’s border with Hungary where migrants are waiting to cross into the European Union despite border closures. (AP


PODCAST: US Senator Chris Murphy discusses why the USA should ban arms sales to Saudi Arabia and fundamentally alter a 70 year old alliance between DC and the House of Saud. (Global Dispatches Podcast

Migrant Brides in the Matchmaking Industry: Blurring the Binaries (UN University

Sri Lanka’s bloody civil war finally ended seven years ago. But moving on from the past is not easy (Monkey Cage

There’s a “Gender Data Gap” that’s standing in the way of the Sustainable Development Goals (UN Dispatch

Universal health coverage: political courage to leave no one behind (Lancet Global Health

Kenya’s Young Inventors Shake Up Old Technology (IPS

Hypertension – Why the Approach Has Changed to Tackle the Silent Killer (The Conversation

Why more money alone won’t improve crisis response (IRIN

We will lose the battle against HIV without LGBT decriminalisation (Guardian