Obama in Ethiopia

After the weekend in Kenya, President Obama is in Ethiopia today–the first time a sitting US President has paid an official visit to the seat of the African Union. “Ahead of the visit, the White House stressed it frequently addresses issues of democracy and political rights with countries in the region. Having spoken frankly in Kenya on human rights and corruption, Obama can also be expected to address Ethiopia’s — and Africa’s — democracy deficit.” (AFP http://yhoo.it/1Joely8)

What Obama’s Ethiopia Visit Says About HIs Africa Policy…In this 11 minute podcast conversation, Mark speaks with Professor Laura Seay (a.k.a @TexasinAfrica) about this leg of Obama’s trip to Africa and what implications it may hold for his administration’s policies toward the continent. (Global Dispatches Podcast. http://bit.ly/1SIYY3X)

Watch for this: Obama’s South Sudan solution…President Barack Obama will discuss a “Plan B” for South Sudan with African leaders today that could include sanctions or other penalties if the country’s warring parties do not forge a peace deal by mid-August, a U.S. official said. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1GS0kCC)

A USA and Turkey Enforced “Safe Zone” Inside Syria? Turkey and the United States have agreed on the outlines of a de facto “safe zone” along the Turkey-Syria border under the terms of a deal that is expected to significantly increase the scope and pace of the U.S.-led air war against the Islamic State in northern Syria, according to U.S. and Turkish officials. (WaPo http://wapo.st/1KsB3Uy)

Big Blast in Mogadishu…At least 12 people were killed. “The Jazeera Palace Hotel, close to both Mogadishu’s airport and a United Nations compound, was heavily guarded and had been considered one of the safer places in the city, despite previous attacks. But on Sunday afternoon, a suicide bomber, driving on Airport Road, got to within about 100 feet of it before triggering a thunderous blast that ravaged the hotel and sent smoke billowing skyward.” (NYT http://nyti.ms/1KsBo9B)


A Good Rundown of Obama’s Kenya Speech: U.S. President Barack Obama told Kenyans on Sunday on his first presidential trip to his father’s homeland there was “no limit to what you can achieve” but said they had to deepen democracy, tackle corruption and end exclusion based on gender or ethnicity. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1fxFhzo)

At least 19 people were killed in a suicide bombing in the northern Cameroonian town of Maroua on Saturday, a local military commander said, just three days after twin bombings there suspected to have been carried out by Boko Haram. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1SIZI9j)

Authorities have ordered the closure of mosques and Islamic schools following a series of suicide bombing attacks in northern Cameroon that have left at least 60 people dead, the region’s governor said Sunday. (AP http://yhoo.it/1JoevWl)

Somalia’s Shebab insurgents assassinated a lawmaker and his guards, the president said, hours after US President Barack Obama said the Al-Qaeda affiliated militants had been “weakened”. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1D3V9EC)

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry called Burundi’s election this week “deeply flawed” and urged President Pierre Nkurunziza to hold a “meaningful, serious” dialogue with the African country’s opposition, the State Department said. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1JoeeTn)

The chief executive officer of the Forum for Strengthening the Civil Society (FORSC) in Burundi says President Pierre Nkurunziza should not be part of any unity government. (VOA http://bit.ly/1GS0BFA)

A serious clash between Burkina Faso’s presidential guard and the prime minister has left the west African nation on a political tightrope three months ahead of a key presidential election. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1ersPjR)

People in Nairobi on Sunday gave a muted and measured response to US President Barack Obama’s firm support for gay rights during his visit to Kenya. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1fxF4wb)


More than 1,300 migrants, mostly from sub-Saharan Africa and Syria, arrived in Sicily on Saturday, after having been picked up in the Mediterranean, the Italian coastguard said. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1SIZJtO)

A senior commander of Yemen’s Houthi militia has been captured by southern secessionist forces allied to a Saudi-led coalition, the so-called Southern Resistance movement said on its official Twitter account. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1SIZQWl)

In his first public address in a year, embattled Syrian President Bashar Assad vowed Sunday to win his country’s long-running civil war while acknowledging his troops had lost territory to rebel forces and were running short on manpower. (AP http://yhoo.it/1D3VaIO)

Trash collection resumed in Lebanon’s capital Beirut after an almost week-long crisis that has seen streets overflowing with waste and the air filled with the smell of rotting garbage. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1D3VLKp)


Police say gunmen have killed a local employee of the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad, though a motive for the attack is still unclear. (AP http://yhoo.it/1fxEPRy)

The Americas

A federal judge in Los Angeles has ruled that the Obama administration’s detention of illegal immigrant children and their mothers violates an 18-year-old court settlement. (VOA http://bit.ly/1Jo6Vef)

Colombia’s government is suspending aerial bombings of guerrilla camps in a bid to de-escalate fighting and breathe new life into struggling peace talks. (AP http://yhoo.it/1ged7u6)

Cuban leaders pledged to keep socialism alive but toned down the anti-U.S. rhetoric at Cuba’s first national holiday since re-establishing diplomatic relations with the United States on July 20. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1ert9Pu)

…and the rest

Pope Francis on Sunday became the first person registered for next year’s World Youth Day festivities, using an iPad to sign up while addressing thousands of pilgrims and tourists in Saint Peter’s Square. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1ersYE1)


The 10 things I learned in the trenches of the Worm Wars (Chris Blattman http://bit.ly/1Jo74hZ)

New deworming reanalyses and Cochrane review (The GiveWell Blog http://bit.ly/1GRQCjJ)

Kenya: Exporting Innovation to the World (allAfrica http://bit.ly/1GRQosF)

A Startup for Geeks in Gaza (On the Ground http://nyti.ms/1Img81o)

Obama Walks Fine Line in Kenya on LGBTI Rights (Inter Press Service http://bit.ly/1Joestu)

What’s In A Namaste? Depends If You Live In India Or The U.S. (Goats and Soda http://n.pr/1ervxWB)

Obama’s message of hope rings true in call for Africa to flourish (Guardian http://bit.ly/1ervRom)

Inorganic fertilizer use in Africa: Not too low but not too profitable — Evidence from Nigeria #aidblogs (Africa Can End Poverty http://bit.ly/1LMm1ut)

A Millennial Named Bush (NY Times http://nyti.ms/1LMmflf)