USA Sending Hundreds of Troops to Cameroon

The White House stresses that the troops will not take part in combat operations. “US President Barack Obama will deploy up to 300 military personnel to Cameroon for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance operations against militant Boko Haram insurgents, he informed Congress on Wednesday. In a letter released by the White House, Obama said 90 personnel had already been deployed, marking a modest but significant escalation of US involvement in the fight against the Islamic State-allied group.” (AFP

AIDS Vaccine to Undergo Human Testing…A vaccine that seeks to cure acquired immune deficiency syndrome, or AIDS, will undergo its first human trial, 15 years since it was developed. Dr Robert Gallo, the biomedical researcher who first discovered the cause of AIDS in 1984, is launching the clinical test in his role as the director of the Institute of Human Virology. In 1984, Gallo and a team of scientists revealed that AIDS is caused by the human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV. To date, HIV has remained incurable.” (IB Times

Quote of the Day: Our very own Mark Goldberg with the wild story of his son’s birth in his car and why his family is lucky to live in the U.S. “[E]very baby deserves the care of someone like our heroic ER nurse, to increase the chances of a safe and healthy delivery for mother and baby — at home, in a medical facility or, in some cases, in an old car.” (Washington Post

And…On his podcast, Mark interviews his wife about giving birth in the passenger seat of the family car and has an extended conversation with Dr. Luc de Bernis of the UN Population Fund about the role of skilled birth attendants in reducing maternal mortality around the world. (Global Dispatches Podcast

Stat of the day: The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) reported Wednesday that the amount of opium produced in Afghanistan during the current year dropped by 48 percent. (VOA

Humanity Affirming Trend of the Day… The world has now gone two consecutive weeks with no new ebola cases reported. (WHO


Guinea’s government called for calm on Wednesday after police fired teargas at protesters in Conakry, the capital, before provisional election results are announced later this week. (Reuters

Amnesty International on Wednesday said there can be no impunity for Burkina Faso troops who shot dead unarmed civilians including children in the days following their September 17 coup. (AFP

For weeks the government of Sudan has been refusing to release rations and other essential supplies for international peacekeepers in the conflict-torn Darfur region, Britain’s ambassador to the United Nations said on Wednesday. (Reuters

Ethiopia’s government is calling for international assistance to help feed 8.2 million people after erratic rains devastated crop yields. (AP

European Union observers gave Guinea’s presidential elections a clean bill of health despite protests by opposition supporters who accuse President Alpha Conde of rigging the vote to win a second term. (Reuters

Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete dismissed opposition accusations on Wednesday that his CCM party planned to rig a presidential vote next week and warned against violence ahead of the Oct. 25 elections. (Reuters

At least seven people were killed in shootings and a grenade attack in Burundi’s capital, police and residents said, in a further spate of violence following the election of President Pierre Nkurunziza to a third term. (Reuters

Blasts detonated by three suicide bombers in the northeastern Nigeria city of Maiduguri killed at least seven people, the Red Cross and a vigilante group member said. (Reuters


Islamic State militants battled rival insurgent groups on Wednesday north of the city of Aleppo, where officials say the Syrian army is preparing an offensive of its own backed by Iranian soldiers and Russian jets. (Reuters

China said on Wednesday it had no plans to send military ships to Syria to fight with Russian forces after reports in overseas media that it was planning to do so. (Reuters

Egypt’s state-run news agency says the Egyptian government is negotiating a $3 billion loan with the World Bank and another $500 million from the African Development Bank to finance its budget deficit. (AP


An international panel of experts is ready to investigate the U.S. bombing of a Medecins Sans Frontieres hospital in Afghanistan but awaits a green light from both governments, MSF and the Swiss foreign ministry said on Wednesday. (Reuters

The Philippine army on Wednesday rejected demands by Islamist militants to start negotiations for the release of three abducted foreign tourists and a Filipino woman and halt an offensive on a remote southern island. (Reuters

With the failure of its scheme to resettle refugees in Cambodia and growing concerns about its offshore detention centres, the Australian government is hoping the elusive solution to what has become a policy nightmare might be found in the Philippines. (IRIN

Just when Nepal was recovering from the devastating earthquake that killed thousands, flattened communities and chased away foreign tourists, protests by ethnic groups and severe fuel shortages are again keeping visitors away from the nation known for the world’s highest peaks. (AP

Cambodian activist Phymean Noun has been awarded the $50,000 World’s Children’s Prize for helping children who live in garbage dumps in Cambodia’s capital, Phnom Penh. (AP

Bangladesh earned a place in the 2015 Global Impunity Index published by the Committee to Protect Journalists. Bloggers and rights activists say the ranking accurately reflects a growing “culture of impunity” in the country, particularly after four secular bloggers were hacked to death this year. (VOA

The Americas

Planned Parenthood says it will no longer accept reimbursement for the cost of providing fetal tissue to researchers. The move is a response to sting videos and accusations that the organization unlawfully profits from such donations. (NPR

Prosecutors, narcotics police, former military officers and current and former U.S. drug agents say that Peru’s narco-flight plague is the military’s failure because it controls the remote jungle region known as the Apurimac, Ene and Mantaro river valley. (AP

Embattled Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has accused the political opposition of seeking to oust her government by “coup-mongering”. Speaking at a meeting of union leaders, Ms Rousseff also said her opponents were spreading hatred and intolerance across the country. (BBC

Chilean President Michelle Bachelet has announced the launch of a process to draw up a new constitution for the country. A new constitution to replace the one drawn up under military rule had been one of President Bachelet’s main campaign pledges. (BBC

… and the rest

Europe’s ageing economy may just find that the biggest refugee crisis since World War Two gives it a new lease of life – even if huge uncertainty about the future scale of immigration and how refugees are integrated cloud any long-range forecasting. (Reuters

The Swiss head to the polls Sunday to vote in a new parliament, with the populist right seen as likely to strengthen its already dominant position amid concerns over migrants and asylum rules. (AFP

Basic rights, and sympathy, are in short supply for thousands of migrants around the northern French city of Calais, even though the travelers — many fleeing wars in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere — live in what may be the European Union’s biggest and most squalid ghetto. (AP


Philanthrocapitalism: A Self-Love Story (The Nation

10 International development priorities for the UK: parliamentary (ODI

Eat the Rich and Pay the Poor (Foreign Policy

Why Wal-Mart And Other Retail Chains May Not Fix The Food Deserts (Goats and Soda

Lowering the flag: The ANC and the ICC (Daily Maverick

Why those promoting growth need to take politics seriously, and vice versa (From Poverty to Power

Piketty in Africa: heat, hype and heterodox economics (African Arguments

Africa’s Experience Useful in Achieving Goals (Nation

Nobel Prize for Economics Reflects Issues on U.N. Development Agenda (Inter Press Service

Uganda pullout boosts South Sudan peace prospects (IRIN

MSF is pressing for an independent investigation of the recent attack in Kunduz, but do they have legal leverage? (ATHA