South Sudan is on the verge of famine

Credit: Oxfam/Caroline Gluck,

The Road to Dignity Runs Through the UN

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Ban Ki Moon released his much anticipated “synthesis report” on the Sustainable Development Goals which brought together various recommendations for what should replace the MGDs when they expire next year. The report is titled “The Road to Dignity by 2030” and it’s release serves as the starting gun for negotiations at the General Assembly among member states over what, exactly, should be included in the Sustainable Development Goals. The big headline from the Secretary General’s report was that he reaffirmed the 17 goals and 169 targets that a prior UN body had endorsed.  (Guardian )

If you spend it, good health will come…Spending on average $25 a woman annually on sexual and reproductive health services would drastically lower the number of women dying in pregnancy and childbirth, and the number of newborn deaths, says a report that calculates the cost and benefits of healthcare provision.(Guardian

Comings and Goings…Everyone’s favorite bow-tied Neglected Tropical Diseases expert Dr. Peter Hotez was appointed to serve as a U.S. Science Envoy (State Dept

 Developing Story: Another massive typhoon is on its way to the Philippines. Preparations are underway before it makes landfall. 32 million people could be in its path: (BBC


Dozens of youths in the Guinean capital Conakry staged an angry protest against a new Ebola treatment centre on Thursday, halting the launch of the construction project. (AFP

Male Ebola survivors in Liberia are being warned by local health authorities to abstain from sex for at least three months after being discharged from treatment centres, over fears the virus can still be passed on, even once the person has been given a clean bill of health. (Guardian

One of the men responsible for discovering the Ebola virus has accused the WHO of taking too long to respond to the most recent epidemic. (DW

The deputy chairman of the African Union Commission says more than 200 medical professionals will be deployed Thursday to the three West African countries battling the Ebola outbreak. (VOA

U.S. healthcare worker who had been in West Africa and may have been exposed to the Ebola virus is being transferred to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, a hospital spokeswoman said. (Reuters

 Scientists at Oxford University have launched the first clinical tests of a new Ebola vaccine approach, using a booster developed by Denmark’s Bavarian Nordic that may improve the effects of a shot from GlaxoSmithKline. (Reuters

The World Bank said it would speed up delivery of hundreds of millions of dollars in assistance to fight Ebola in West Africa, as Sierra Leone appealed for help in plugging gaps in its response. (Reuters

New data shows the Ebola outbreak intensifying in Sierra Leone, even as it stabilizes or drops off in other West African countries. (VOA

Dangerous practices spread Ebola in Sierra Leone (AP


After years of following a pattern familiar to bring water to Tanzanians, a new approach emerges with the hope of increasing accountability and, ultimately, access to water. (GlobalPost

France is withdrawing troops from Central African Republic as a United Nations peacekeeping force nears its full deployment, but it will keep a presence to support the U.N. with a rapid reaction force, officials and diplomats said. (Reuters

Police in Kenya are consulting technical experts to determine if 77 Chinese nationals arrested with advanced communications equipment in several houses in an upscale Nairobi neighborhood were committing espionage, an official said Thursday. (AP

While some diplomats have voiced unease about the military’s role in politics since protests toppled long-time ruler Blaise Compaore in October, few Burkinabe are concerned as long as the soldiers protect their ‘revolution’ and push through demanded reforms. (Reuters

Democratic Republic of Congo is to start repatriating former M23 rebels from neighboring countries, a government official said on Thursday, a process it hopes will prevent the defeated insurgents from regrouping. (VOA

Realizing a continental free trade bloc has been challenging for the African Union. Africa’s leaders decided in 2012 that the continent should be a free trade area by 2017. The first steps of creating the necessary institutions and policies are set to start in early 2015, but progress so far has been slow. (VOA

Some 3,800 barrels of oil spilled in the Niger Delta recently, according to an investigation by Shell and government officials. It ranks as one of the worst in Nigeria for years, local environmental activists said. (VOA

Ninety-year-old Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe purged the deputy seen just months ago as his most likely successor, denouncing her before party loyalists as leader of a “treacherous cabal” bent on removing him from power. (Reuters

Women and girls in South Sudan are being attacked as they go about the most mundane daily activities, says the International Rescue Committee. (VOA

GlaxoSmitheKline (GSK) has opened a £4m grant initiative to researchers on non communicable diseases in Africa. (Guardian


More than three million people have fled the Syrian war to other countries in recent years and one of the most vulnerable groups among them are Palestinians, displaced already for generations by the Arab-Israeli conflict. Palestinians from Syria say, between legal restrictions and soaring rents, life is hard in Lebanon. (VOA

Forces allied to one of two rival governments vying for power in Libya conducted an air strike near Tripoli on Thursday, officials and residents said, part of an ongoing struggle since a group seized the capital and set up its own cabinet. (Reuters

Another Egyptian has died of H5N1 bird flu, bringing the total number of deaths in Egypt from the virus to seven this year out of 14 identified cases, the health ministry said. (Reuters


Ten Pakistani children have been infected with HIV after receiving tainted blood transfusions, officials said Thursday, in a “shocking” case highlighting the abysmal state of blood screening in the country. (AFP

Pakistan on Thursday confirmed that police have arrested several individuals from major cities for their alleged links to Daish, the Arabic acronym for the Islamic State group or IS. (VOA

Panic-buying of food broke out in the central Philippines on Thursday and schools and government offices were shut, as provinces yet to recover from last year’s devastating super-typhoon Haiyan braced for another category 5 storm. (Reuters

U.S. President Barack Obama said on Wednesday Chinese President Xi Jinping had consolidated power faster than any Chinese leader in decades, raising human rights concerns and worrying China’s neighbors. (Reuters

With most foreign troops leaving Afghanistan by 31 December, there are fears that gains paid for in blood, sweat and billions of dollars of aid over 13 years may be undermined if the international community turns away and Taliban insurgents spread their footprint further across the country. (Guardian

The Americas

Thousands of demonstrators blocked streets, snarling New York City traffic into early Thursday morning, after a grand jury decided not to charge a white police officer for causing the death of an unarmed black man with a chokehold. (GlobalPost

Mexican federal troops will replace local police in 32 municipalities, a top security official said on Wednesday, in a bid to contain drug gangs that have fueled a surge in violence and often operate in league with local police. (Reuters

Four women who say they were sexually tortured as political prisoners following Chile’s 1973 military coup have filed a complaint they hope will bring to light dictatorship-era rapes that have been buried by fear, shame and silence. (AP

The Colombian government and Farc rebels have agreed to resume peace talks suspended over the abduction of an army general, mediators say. (BBC


What you need to know about the big issues on the table and the high stakes diplomacy at the Lima Climate Change Negotiations. If you have 15 minutes to listen to this podcast, you’ll understand what’s happening in Lima and why it matters.  (Global Dispatches Podcast

Is HIV Evolving Into A Weaker Virus? (Goats and Soda

Eric Garner, grand jury: How would we cover the decision not to indict a police officer if it happened in another country? (Slate

An Inclusive Emerging Economy, With Africa in the Lead (NY Times

Japan’s Misuse of Climate Funds for Dirty Coal Plants Exposed (IPS

If you read one paper on the post-2015 process, make it this one (From Poverty to Power

Rusty Radiator Awards: The “worst use of stereotypes” in advertising (This is Africa

Teasing Out Trends: The Smartphone Revolution (People, Spaces, Deliberation

Signs that something is seriously wrong in the global response to Ebola (Chris Blattman

Nutrition’s New Frontier: The Science of Scaling Up Nutrition (USAID Impact


A growing number of nations are increasingly censoring parts of the Internet and passing laws to allow for greater surveillance of what people do and say online, according to a new report issued by Freedom House. (VOA