Pakistani Polio Team Found Murdered

The team had gone missing earlier in the week. “Local militants had abducted the vaccination worker, two local tribal policemen and a driver in the Zhob district of Baluchistan province on Saturday. Pakistan is one of only three countries where polio remains endemic. But attempts to eradicate it have been badly hit by opposition from militants and attacks on immunization teams that have now claimed 71 lives since December 2012. “Security agencies conducted several operations to recover the polio worker and other team members and finally found their bodies in the mountains on Tuesday,” a senior local administration official in Zhob, Nazar Muhammad Khatran, told AFP. He said it seemed the four men were shot dead on Saturday or Sunday.” (Al Arabiya

More Trouble in Darfur… Some 41,000 people have been forced to flee conflict in Darfur so far this year, according to the United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), which warned that needs for the displaced have been significantly higher because relief agencies have been largely denied access to areas where some of the heaviest fighting is reportedly taking place. (UN News Center


The United Nations will this week publish a first report on funding for the Ebola response, a top official said Wednesday, after Sierra Leone lost track of more than $3 million donated to fight the epidemic. (AFP

The World Health Organization says anti-Ebola efforts in West Africa are being undermined by unsafe burials and a failure to identify dozens of Ebola cases. (VOA

The head of the United Nations Mission for Ebola Emergency Response on Thursday hailed Liberia’s success in the fight against the deadly Ebola virus, but warned against complacency now that the number of cases has dropped. (AP


Nigerian warplanes bombarded training camps and caches of weapons and vehicles belonging to the Islamist group Boko Haram in the northeasterly Samibisa forest on Thursday, the military said. (Reuters

Fighting between Sudanese government forces and rebels in parts of Darfur has displaced more than 41,000 people since late December, the United Nations said Thursday. (AFP

Malawi’s parliament has passed a revised marriage bill, raising the legal age of marriage for girls from 15 to 18. The revision comes after years of controversy, and the issue is still far from settled. (VOA

Niger, Chad and Cameroon are seeking to pin down Boko Haram within Nigeria’s borders ahead of a ground-and-air offensive by a regional task-force due to start from the end of next month, a senior Niger military official told Reuters. (VOA

Security experts from Cameroon and Nigeria are meeting in the Cameroonian capital, Yaounde, to discuss the proliferation of weapons and the increase in crime along their border, caused by the Boko Haram insurgency. (VOA

Several thousand opposition supporters marched through Ghana’s capital on Wednesday to protest against widespread power shortages seen as harming the economy. (AFP

Zimbabwe’s ruling party has expelled a former top official and ally of President Robert Mugabe, the party announced late Wednesday, in an apparent purge targeting allies of ex-deputy president Joice Mujuru. (AFP

The UN human rights chief harshly condemned Thursday the murder and mutilation of an albino toddler in Tanzania, demanding authorities protect albinos, whose body parts are used for witchcraft in the country. (AFP

Mali’s government and Tuareg-led rebels have agreed to cease hostilities as a way to ease tensions while they hold U.N.-sponsored peace negotiations, Algeria’s government said on Thursday. (Reuters


The failure by world donors to deliver billions of dollars of aid to rebuild Gaza is jeopardizing efforts to avoid a new flare-up in the Palestinian territory, a senior UN official warned. (AFP

The European Commission extended its rescue mission off Italy until at least the end of the year, it said on Thursday, and gave Rome extra funding to deal with an influx of migrants from Africa and the Middle East. (Reuters


Sri Lanka’s promise to cooperate on the issue of wartime atrocities has prompted the United Nations to postpone a report on human rights violations in the final stages of the country’s brutal civil war that ended in 2009. The step has been welcomed in the island country. (VOA

French President Francois Hollande will bring two Oscar-winning stars on a two-day visit to the Philippines next week aimed at building momentum for climate talks in Paris, his envoy said Wednesday. (AFP

The Americas

The Haitian government is exploring measures to prevent future incidents involving overhead high voltage power lines, the Minister of Communications, Rotchild Francois Jr. announced on Wednesday. (VOA

Colombia’s constitutional court ruled to keep the current limits on same-sex adoption. The court said that same-sex couples could only adopt a child if it was the offspring of one of the partners. (BBC

The U.S.-based owner of a supermarket chain taken over by Venezuela’s socialist government hopes to recover his business despite accusations of hoarding goods to inflate shopping lines. (Reuters

Cuba has temporarily reduced the hourly charge for using state-run Internet cafes in the country’s first small but substantive public move to increase online access since the declaration of detente with the U.S. (AP

California’s public drinking water systems violated safety levels for contaminants more than 1,000 times during the 2012-2013 fiscal year says a report that cites high levels in some water systems of arsenic, nitrates and other pollutants. (Reuters

A federal grand jury in Puerto Rico has indicted 25 suspects on charges of running a multimillion-dollar drug trafficking ring. (AP

…and the rest

The World Health Organization on Thursday urged countries to invest billions of dollars to tackle 17 neglected tropical diseases — including dengue fever, leprosy and sleeping sickness — which kill 500,000 people globally each year. (AFP

A new study says victims of human trafficking suffer severe mental and physical health problems. Some estimates say at least 18-million men women and children worldwide are considered modern day slaves. (VOA


An Astonishing Turn of Events in Sri Lanka. Mark interviews the human rights lawyer and political scientist Kate Cronin-Furman who breaks down what a big political upset might mean for the prospects of justice for war crimes. (Global Dispatches Podcast

Do Ebola educators make a difference? (The Guardian

Goal-oriented v. Strategy-oriented (Find What Works

5 reasons why everyone should work for a large organization at some point in their international development careers (Aidnography

Encyclopedia of African Political Cartooning (African Digital Art

Why you shouldn’t post photos of kids to Facebook (WhyDev

This year’s behavioral and development valentines, for your statistically significant other (Innovations for Poverty Action

What happens if we apply doughnut economics to single countries, starting with the UK? (From Poverty to Power

In the balance: why 0.7% needs to pass (Development Horizons

Why are there still so many hungry people in the world? (The Guardian

Everything You Wanted to Know About Climate Change (IPS

Net aid transfers data updated to 2013 (David Roodman