An attack on a luxury hotel in Ouagadougou on Friday left 28 people killed and over 50 injured.  Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb claimed responsibility and many of those killed were foreign aid workers. This report from the BBC offers useful background on the situation, including a briefing on AQIM and the broader political context in which this first-ever terrorist attack in Burkina Faso occurred. (BBC

Burkina Faso and Mali have agreed to work together to counter the growing threat of Islamic militants in West Africa by sharing intelligence and conducting joint security patrols following two deadly and well-coordinated attacks in the region. (Reuters )

People in Burkina Faso are campaigning for the release of an Australian doctor and his wife, kidnapped the same day as the attack on the capital. (BBC

Iran Nuclear Deal Goes Into Effect. Sanctions Lifted. Hostages Released. Some Limited New Sanctions Imposed…  “This is a good day” says Obama.  “The Obama administration announced Sunday that it was imposing new, more limited sanctions on some Iranian citizens and companies for violating United Nations resolutions against ballistic missile tests. The move came less than 24 hours after the White House lifted broader sanctions against Iran for its nuclear program. The announcement, which was prepared several weeks ago but delayed by the Treasury Department, was made shortly after a Swiss plane carrying Americans freed by the Iranian authorities departed Tehran. The release of the Americans came a day after Iran and the United States concluded delicate negotiations on a prisoner exchange tied indirectly to the completion of a nuclear agreement.” (NYT

A woman who died of Ebola this week in Sierra Leone may have exposed at least 27 others to the disease, an aid agency report claims, raising the risk of more cases just as the epidemic appeared to be ending. More than 100 people are in quarantine due to the case. (AP

Islamic State militants killed 300 people in an “appalling massacre” in eastern Syria, the government said on Sunday. (Fox

A Palestinian broke into a West Bank settlement home and fatally stabbed an Israeli woman before fleeing Sunday, touching off a massive night manhunt, the Israeli military said. (NYT

Three American contractors are missing in Iraq, senior U.S. officials said today, and the State Department is working with the Iraqi government to find them. (ABC

A suicide bomber blew himself up Sunday at the home of an Afghan tribal elder in the eastern city of Jalalabad, killing 13 people. (WSJ

US Congress could advance some important foreign aid reforms this year. (Vox

…and the rest

An estimated $40 billion is needed annually to help the rapidly growing number of people needing humanitarian aid as a result of conflicts and natural disasters — and one possibility to help fill the $15 billion funding gap is a small voluntary tax on tickets for soccer games and other sports, concerts and entertainment events, airline travel, and gasoline, a U.N.-appointed panel said. (AP

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket thundered away from a foggy California coast Sunday and boosted a $364 million science satellite into orbit Sunday, the latest in a series of spacecraft designed to precisely measure sea levels around the world — a key indicator of global warming — and to monitor ocean conditions responsible for extreme weather. (CBS


Could Trouble in Burundi Take Down the Whole Region? (UN Dispatch

Terrorism in Jakarta: As pressure on ISIS grows, more attacks outside Iraq and Syria likely (The Interpreter

Seven key questions in 70 years of the UN security council (The Observer

The other refugee crisis – women on the run from Central America (Guardian

African Year of Human Rights: What’s Missing? (Development Diaries

Why Is Sexual Abuse Such A Problem With U.N. Peacekeepers? (Goats and Soda

It’s both unethical and unhelpful for governments to strip refugees of their assets (New Stateman

3 ways for countries to build resilience to mass refugee flows (WEF

The Oscars Show Some Love To Global Topics (Goats and Soda

Are Gates and Rockefeller using their influence to set agenda in poor states? (Guardian

Why are Journalists Fleeing Rwanda? (UN Dispatch






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