Among other things, currency values in sub saharan Africa are getting crushed. “South Africa’s rand collapsed to a record low and Nigeria tightened capital controls, underscoring fresh threats to a continent buffeted by Chinese volatility and a realignment of global trade and investment. The rand plunged 10% on Monday to almost 18 to the U.S. dollar before paring some losses to trade at 16.57. The rand has lost 30% of its value in the six months since turmoil gripped Chinese markets, sending investors fleeing from assets of developing nations that trade heavily with the world’s second-biggest economy. In Africa, where the biggest economies rely on oil and mineral exports to China, the pain is intensifying amid the latest bout of market volatility this month. Angola sends nearly half its oil to China, which is the continent’s top trading partner.” (WSJ http://on.wsj.com/1SetCpU)

Massive ISIS Attack in Iraq…Gunmen detonated suicide vests inside a shopping complex in Baghdad on Monday and a car bomb exploded nearby in an attack claimed by Islamic State that killed at least 18 people and wounded 40 others.Two bombs later went off in the eastern town of Muqdadiya, killing at least 23 people and wounding another 51, security and medical sources said. Another blast in a southeastern Baghdad suburb killed seven more. (Reuters http://reut.rs/1SetIOq)

Bigger El Nino response needed ASAP…An inadequate response to El Nino would put tens of millions of people at risk of hunger, water shortages and disease, a group of leading aid agencies said, calling on donors for funding to save lives in countries hit by the weather phenomenon. (TRF http://bit.ly/1Rx8xHK)

Comings and Goings...Barack Obama has nominated career foreign service officer Stephen Michael Schwartz to be the first US Ambassador to Somalia in twenty years.

Intergalactic Quote of the Day: “I don’t know where I’m going from here, but I promise it won’t be boring.” – David Bowie.

Africa

A top candidate in presidential elections in the Central African Republic, Martin Ziguele, wants a manual recount of first-round votes because of alleged irregularities, his party said Monday. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1TPCoIS)

Government intimidation of journalists and activists in Uganda is having a “chilling effect” on free speech ahead of elections next month, Human Rights Watch said Monday. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1Rx8Bar)

At the rate the current Lassa Fever outbreak is spreading in Nigeria, the federal government may soon have no option but to declare an emergency to hasten containment (Guardian Nigeria http://bit.ly/1P3wNdJ)

A professional hunter in Zimbabwe has canceled a plan to raffle a lion hunt at a hunters’ convention in the United States, following protests from activists. (AP http://yhoo.it/1TPC3WD)

A piece of kit that quickly multiplies the DNA of parasitic worms could detect infections by schistosoma species more than six times faster than the most accurate existing method. (SciDevNet http://bit.ly/1TPCXSX)

MENA

An aid convoy entered a besieged Syrian town on Monday where thousands are trapped and the United Nations says people are reported to have died of starvation. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1Rx7IOZ)

Human Rights Watch: Lebanese authorities, in violation of their international obligations, sent hundreds of Syrians traveling through the Beirut airport back to Syria without first assessing their risk of harm upon return there. (HRW http://bit.ly/1SeuXxd)

A fire at the office of an Israeli NGO that champions human rights in the occupied Palestinian territories led to suspicions of arson Monday, but was later attributed to a suspected electrical fault. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1Rx8zPT)

The condition of a Palestinian journalist on a 48-day hunger strike in an Israeli jail is deteriorating, the man’s wife and a Palestinian official said Monday. (AP http://yhoo.it/1Rx8hZh)

Asia

Emergency relief supplies have been sent to mountain villages in Nepal hit by a weekend snowstorm and located near the epicenter of a massive April 2015 earthquake, officials said Monday. (AP http://yhoo.it/1TPCQXu)

The European Union foreign policy chief says she expects the economic sanctions against Iran to be lifted soon. (AP http://yhoo.it/1TPC8td)

A man claiming to be a naturalized American who spied on behalf of “South Korean conservative elements” is being held by North Korea and is seeking U.S. or South Korean help to obtain his release, CNN reported Monday. (VOA http://bit.ly/1Rx7NlT)

Delegates from Afghanistan, Pakistan, China and the United States held talks on Monday to resurrect a stalled Afghan peace process and end nearly 15 years of bloodshed, even as fighting with Taliban insurgents intensifies. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1TPD0hm)

A senior government official caused a stir saying that the Chinese economy will face difficulties in achieving an average 6.5 percent growth over the next five years. The remark had an impact on the stock market with the Shanghai Composite Index plunging 5.3 percent on Monday. (VOA http://bit.ly/1TPCNLe)

China will stick to family planning restrictions for up to 30 years, a senior Chinese official said on Monday, rejecting concern that limits on the number of children had shrunk the pool of workers needed to support an aging population. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1TPCZds)

The Americas

Mexico is formally starting extradition proceedings against captured drug lord Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman, the attorney general’s office said on Sunday. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1TPD0y4)

…and the rest

The WHO announced that supply of cholera vaccines should double this year to six million doses, with further increases later, after it approved a third producer to fight a disease that kills up to 142,000 people annually. (SciDevNet http://bit.ly/1TPD1C1)

The British government is exposing thousands of women brought to the UK by wealthy Gulf families to conditions of slavery, trafficking and abuse, according to a review of domestic worker visas. (Guardian http://bit.ly/1TPCmAE)

A spate of attacks against migrants in Cologne appear linked, occurring after social media calls that drew large groups of people, many associated with the far-right, German police said Monday. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1SJMigC)

The erosion of wealth among the world’s middle class due to climate change is a threat to economic and social stability which could spur its 1 billion members to push for action on global warming, Swiss bank UBS Group AG said. (TRF http://yhoo.it/1Rx7Gqq)

Paris Saint Germain football club has demanded that British singer M.I.A. remove images of its PSG jersey from her “Borders” music video which features refugees trying to get to Europe. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1TPCqAj)

Opinion/Blogs

Advocate and humanitarian Marcy Hersh fights for female refugees. (Global Dispatches Podcast http://bit.ly/1IYSD5S)

8 reasons China and its president are off to a rocky 2016 (AP http://yhoo.it/1OKIcmQ)

Why Nigeria should think twice before joining Saudi Arabia’s Islamic Military Alliance (African Arguments http://bit.ly/1Rx7G9N)

Africa: A New Political Era Dawns for Africa (AfricaPlus http://bit.ly/1P3sxLg)

Zuckerberg: Free Basics protects net neutrality (The Times of India http://bit.ly/1P3y4RP)

Will Islamophobia swing world elections in 2016? (UN Dispatch http://bit.ly/1SeuYRw)

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