RIP Jo Cox, MP

The slain British parliamentarian, shot and stabbed in the midst of a heated national debate over Brexit, was a lifelong champion of global humanitarian issues.  “Cox, 41, had been elected to parliament last year. Before politics, she had been a humanitarian campaigner and aid worker for a decade; she met her husband Brendan, a former official with Save of the Children, while working in the field. Brendan Cox became an adviser on international development in an earlier Labour-led government. Jo Cox was seen as a rising star in the center-left party…In particular, Cox championed the plight of Syrian refugees, even as other politicians in Britain and Europe sought to raise the drawbridge on hundreds of thousands of people fleeing conflict. In April, she spoke in defense of a bill to accept 3,000 child refugees, which was voted down by Conservatives in parliament.”  (WaPo

UN Panel: ISIS is Committing “Ongoing Genocide” Against Yazidis…Islamic State forces have committed genocide and other war crimes in a continuing effort to exterminate the Yazidi religious minority in Syria and Iraq, United Nations investigators said on Thursday, urging stronger international action to halt the killing and to prosecute the terrorist group. The investigators detailed mass killings of Yazidi men and boys who refused to convert to Islam, saying they were shot in the head or their throats were slit, often in front of their families, littering roadsides with corpses. Dozens of mass graves have been uncovered in areas recaptured from Islamic State and are being investigated.”  (NYT

American Red Cross in the crosshairs…”A blistering Senate report on the American Red Cross raises fundamental questions about the integrity of the country’s most storied charity and its stewardship of donors’ dollars. The report, which was released today by Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, and contains nearly 300 pages of supporting documents, found: After the 2010 Haiti earthquake, the Red Cross spent tens of millions of dollars more than it has previously acknowledged on internal expenses. The Red Cross told Grassley that the money was largely spent on oversight to make sure the Haiti aid was used properly. But Grassley’s office found that the charity “is unable to provide any financial evidence that oversight activities in fact occurred.” (ProPublica

Horrible Legal Decision of the Day…A Kenyan court on Thursday upheld the use of anal examinations to determine a suspect’s sexual orientation, dismissing the argument that the procedure amounts to torture and degrading treatment. (ABC

Stat of the Day…$601 billion was sent in remittances last year, $441b of which was received in the developing world. This is three times the amount sent in international aid. (Guardian

And the winner of this year’s Mo Ibrahim prize is...nobody. (Reuters


The bodies of 34 migrants, including 20 children, who were abandoned by people smugglers while trying to reach neighbouring Algeria were found in the Niger desert last week, authorities said. (AFP

South Africans  on Thursday marked the 40th anniversary of the Soweto uprising, when the streets of the township south-west of Johannesburg were stained with blood in one of the country’s most notable anti-apartheid uprisings. (ABC

More than 400 people have been killed in Ethiopia since November in a crackdown on anti-government protests, Human Rights Watch said Thursday, but the government immediately dismissed the claims. (AFP

Since Germany’s parliament branded mass killings in Armenia in 1915 as genocide, politicians are now debating recognizing colonial-era killings in today’s Namibia in the same way. (DW


The United Nations said Wednesday it will not give the Saudi Arabia-led coalition in Yemen the sources of information that led the coalition to be put on a U.N. blacklist for killing and injuring about 1,200 children in the war-torn country last year. (AP

A two-year-old boy was killed by militants while fleeing Fallujah with his family amid a government offensive to retake the Iraqi city from the Islamic State group, an aid organization said on Thursday, highlighting the dangers faced by civilians trying to escape the nearly one-month military operation. (AP

As forces backed by Libya’s unity government press an offensive against Islamic State’s stronghold of Sirte, the U.S. is considering widening its engagement with the country’s fragile Government of National Accord, in a bid to oust the militants. (VOA


The detentions of thousands of suspected criminals across Bangladesh led to the arrest of a suspected member of a banned Islamist group accused of violently attacking a publisher last year, police said Thursday. (AP

Australian opposition leader Bill Shorten rejected a newspaper report Thursday saying his center-left Labor Party would lay out a welcome mat for asylum seekers if it wins next month’s national election. (AP

The Americas

A bill aiming to punish chronic absenteeism in Colombia’s Congress is to get a second chance after it failed to make it past the first hurdle because not enough lawmakers showed up. The bill proposes cutting the salaries of lawmakers who fail to attend congressional sessions. (BBC

At least 400 people have been arrested in Venezuela after rioting and looting over food shortages. Over 100 shops in the coastal town of Cumana were hit and at least one person died according to local media. (BBC

After the mass shooting at an Orlando nightclub, the American Medical Association proclaims that gun violence is a public health crisis. (NPR

Newly declassified documents offer more details about a detainee who died inside the secret prison network the CIA operated abroad after the Sept. 11 attacks and disclose that President George W. Bush was worried about the image of shackled detainees wearing adult diapers. (AP

…and the rest

Migrant children in northern France are forced into crime and prostitution on a daily basis to secure a place to stay in migrant camps or the promise of passage to Britain, the U.N. children’s agency said on Thursday. (Reuters

Turkey remains committed to closer ties with the European Union despite strains in the relationship, and wants to deepen a customs union to become the bloc’s third largest trade partner, Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Simsek said in an interview. (Reuters

If Britain quits the European Union after a June 23 referendum on its membership of the bloc, it could shave 3 percent off Germany’s long-term economic growth in the worst case scenario, the head of Germany’s Ifo institute said on Thursday. (Reuters


UN Panel Says Attacks on Yazidis is a Genocide. Now What? (UN Dispatch

The comprehensive nuclear test ban turns 20. It’s an anniversary worth celebrating. (Global Dispatches Podcast

Can mapping faecal flows cut the crap in developing cities? (Guardian

Ben Rhodes on the future of US development policy (Devex

African economies and the lack of a targeted industrial policy (Africa is a Country

After the Summit: What next for humanitarianism? (From Poverty to Power

Zika Infection Late In Pregnancy Carries Little Risk of Microcephaly (Goats and Soda

Remittances are a mainstay for millions of the world’s poor – let’s improve them (Guardian

Women & power: mediating community justice in rural Bangladesh (WhyDev

Women’s economic empowerment: the importance of small market stall vendors in urban Papua New Guinea (DevPolicy

Has Kenya’s brinkmanship over Dadaab worked? (IRIN

Corruption Among Development NGOs, Part 3–The Need for Collective Action by Funding Agencies (Global Anticorupption Blog