It’s World Refugee Day

The global humanitarian community is commemorating World Refugee Day today, an annual event on June 20 which began about 15 years ago. The UN Refugee agency is using the hashtag #WithRefugees to promote a new celebrity laden video, and other agencies are using the day to leverage attention and fundraising for the unprecedented global refugee crisis.

Meanwhile, another horrid reminder of the the dark reality faced by refugees…”Turkish border guards shot and killed at least 11 Syrian civilians Sunday as they attempted to enter Turkey illegally, three Syrian antigovernment monitoring groups said, underscoring how difficult it has become to flee the war-torn country…The Syrians allegedly came under fire on the final leg of what has become an arduous trek through the mountains separating Syria and Turkey, one of the few smuggling routes still operating after a crackdown on refugees by Turkey made the border nearly impenetrable. Smugglers command hundreds of dollars per person for the journey. (WSJ

Food riots in Venezuela…”Hundreds of people here in the city of Cumaná, home to one of the region’s independence heroes, marched on a supermarket in recent days, screaming for food. They forced open a large metal gate and poured inside. They snatched water, flour, cornmeal, salt, sugar, potatoes, anything they could find, leaving behind only broken freezers and overturned shelves. And they showed that even in a country with the largest oil reserves in the world, it is possible for people to riot because there is not enough food. In the last two weeks alone, more than 50 food riots, protests and mass lootings have erupted around the country. Scores of businesses have been stripped bare or destroyed. At least five people have been killed.” (NYT

Bolivia says ‘no gracias’ to Bill Gates’ chickens…”Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Bill Gates wanted to donate chickens to Bolivia as part of an initiative to help poor nations.Gates’ chicken campaign aims to fight poverty by providing a sustainable source of income to families around the world, particularly those who live in impoverished countries…Bolivia, whose estimated poverty rate of 59 percent is the poorest country in South America but it rejected the offer saying that it does not depend on chickens and that the tech magnate needs to study up its thriving poultry sector. Bolivia notably produces 197 million chickens per year and is capable to export 36 million.” (TechTimes )


A local driver for Medecins sans Frontieres in the Central African Republic was killed on Friday during an ambush on a convoy by unidentified gunmen, the medical aid group said on Saturday. (Reuters

Clashes in Mozambique between Frelimo, the ruling party, and Renamo, a movement that operates as both an armed insurgent group and an elected opposition party, have intensified, reviving the spectre of a civil war that ended more than 20 years ago. (AFP

The bodies of nineteen Ethiopians who suffocated in the back of a Zambian container truck were discovered earlier this week by authorities in southeastern Democratic Republic of Congo, a provincial official said on Saturday. (Reuters

South Sudan’s information minister says a section of the international community is undermining the government in Juba, by turning civil society groups and public sector workers against the administration. He says it is an effort seeking regime change in the country. (VOA

Sudan summoned Sunday the head of the international peacekeeping force in Darfur after the UN recommended a one-year extension of UNAMID’s mission despite Khartoum’s reluctance. (AFP


The Israeli government on Sunday approved about $20 million in additional financing for Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank, underlining its strengthened right-wing orientation and raising the ire of political opponents and the Palestinians. (NYT

Libya’s U.N.-backed unity government condemned an attack by a newly-formed militia group on eastern military forces close to key oil facilities, as clashes resumed on Sunday for a second day. (Reuters

A video released by the al-Qaeda affiliate in North Africa purports to show that Swiss missionary Beatrice Stöckli, who has been held hostage since January, remained alive as of a month ago. (SwissInfo )

The speaker of Libya’s eastern parliament has declared martial law in areas under its control, a move intended to empower its military to respond quickly to infiltration by militias loyal to the rival, U.N.-brokered government in the capital, Tripoli. (AP

Thousands of civilians are fleeing Fallujah after the city was declared liberated from the Islamic State group, the United Nations said, while an Iraqi commander reported fierce clashes as elite counterterrorism forces pushed to clear out the remaining militants. (AP


Flash floods and landslides killed 24 people in Indonesia’s Central Java province, officials said on Sunday, forcing residents to evacuate to safer areas as torrential rains damaged thousands of homes. (Reuters

Tens of thousands of people on the Japanese island of Okinawa protested Sunday against the presence of U.S. military bases there, many wearing black to mourn the rape and killing of a local woman in which an American contractor is a suspect. (Military Times

An Indonesian naval vessel fired on a Chinese fishing boat on Friday, injuring one person, China’s foreign ministry said, the countries’ third reported confrontation this year near a chain of islands as regional tensions mount in the South China Sea. (Reuters

A court in India has sentenced 11 people to life in prison for their roles in a notorious massacre during the 2002 anti-Muslim riots in Gujarat. (BBC

The United States should not interfere in China’s internal affairs on matters related to Tibet, China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi told U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in a phone call on Saturday. (Reuters

The Americas

Brazilian prosecutors have made a formal allegation of tax evasion and money laundering against former tourism minister Henrique Alves. (BBC

A scathing report released by a senator this week found that the American Red Cross spent about $125m in donor money for Haiti aid on fundraising, management and other expenses, and that officials refused to cooperate with investigators. (Guardian

Puerto Rico could see dozens, if not hundreds, of babies with microcephaly in the coming months, Centers for Disease Control Director Dr. Tom Frieden said Friday while announcing the results of blood screenings underway in the U.S. territory. (CNN

A violent clash between members of a dissident teachers’ union and police in southern Mexico on Sunday has left three dead and 45 injured, as law enforcement attempts to dislodge the protesters from blocking a local highway. (Reuters

The government of Guyana says it is postponing plans for a new hospital after the Indian company chosen to build it was blacklisted by the World Bank. (AP

Just under 50 days before the Olympics, Rio de Janeiro’s state governor has issued an executive order declaring a state of emergency that authorizes additional funding to fulfill obligations during the games. (CNN

…and the rest

Turkish police fired rubber bullets and tear gas to break up a rally by the LGBT community in Istanbul on Sunday, in the second crackdown in as many days on protests by secular Turks. (AFP

Thousands of Germans formed human chains against racism in several large cities on Sunday after a surge in hate crimes against foreigners following a record influx of more than a million migrants last year. (Reuters

British MP Jo Cox was on Sunday remembered as a “21st century Good Samaritan” at a service of thanksgiving in the village where she was murdered. (AFP

Virginia Raggi was elected Sunday as Rome’s first female mayor in a triumph for the populist Five Star Movement that represents a stinging setback for Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. (AFP

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange started his fifth year camped out in the Ecuadoran embassy in London on Sunday, an occasion marked by his supporters with events celebrating whistleblowers. (AFP

British finance minister George Osborne said he believed that the hit to the country’s economy from a vote to leave the European Union on Thursday could be more severe than the most likely scenario forecast by the government. (Reuters


Jo Cox was ‘dedicated to getting us to live up to our promises’ (Humanosphere

The Organization of American States is in Crisis. This Matters Big Time (UN Dispatch

Local Integration Key to Refugee Resettlement (VOA

Why the UK needs a stronger legal framework for aid spending (Guardian

Brother, can you spare an RCT? ‘Doing Good Better’ by William MacAskill (Dev Policy

Jo Cox, brilliance, and kindness. (Global Dashboard

Is there a methodological war in development economics? (Chris Blattman

Humanitarian action makes sound business sense (Devex

EXCLUSIVE: The ethical failure – Why I resigned from the UN (IRIN

Is The Risk Of Catching Zika Greater In Poor Neighborhoods? (Goats and Soda

Angus Deaton does not like aid-but he likes the World Bank of 1996 (Aidnography