Site Meter UN Dispatch - Page 14 of 1341 - United Nations News & Commentary Global News - ForumUN Dispatch | United Nations News & Commentary Global News – Forum | Page 14
Increase Font Size Decrease Font Size

All Posts

the city of Lagos

Africa’s Booming Middle Class

Want these clips delivered to your inbox every morning? Sign up here. 

This news is a couple days old, but worth highlighting. Standard Bank issued a report showing that Africa’s middle class has tripled in size since 2000.  “The study analyzed 11 of the biggest economies in the region, accounting for about half of sub-Saharan Africa’s population and GDP. Those economies have grown tenfold since 2000, reaching a collective GDP of more than $1-trillion today, compared with a growth of just 25 per cent between 1990 and 2000. Using a more rigorous definition of “middle class,” the study concludes that earlier estimates were much exaggerated. But it still finds dramatic growth, from about 4.6 million households in 2000 to almost 15 million households today in the 11 focal countries, if the middle class and lower-middle-class categories are both included.” (Globe and Mail http://bit.ly/1rng1AA)

Liberia Neighborhood Under Quarantine. Violent Clashes Ensue…Monrovia’s West Point neighborhood has become a scene of mayhem. ”Soldiers and police officers in riot gear blocked the roads. Even the waterfront was cordoned off, with the coast guard stopping residents from setting out in canoes. The entire neighborhood, a sprawling slum with tens of thousands of people, awoke Wednesday morning to find that it was under strict quarantine in the government’s halting fight against Ebola. The reaction was swift and violent. Angry young men hurled rocks and stormed barbed-wire barricades, trying to break out. Soldiers repelled the surging crowd with live rounds, driving back hundreds of young men.” (NYT http://nyti.ms/1rngcvH)

Ebola

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa is putting off thousands of tourists who had planned trips to Africa this year, especially Asians, including to destinations thousands of miles from the nearest infected community such as Kenya and South Africa. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1pfmURV)

Democratic Republic of Congo has sent its health minister and a team of experts to the remote northern Equateur province after several people died there from a disease with Ebola-like symptoms, a local official and a professor said on Wednesday. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1pfmXwY)

The World Health Organization says the death toll from the Ebola outbreak in West Africa is now at least 1,350 people. (AP http://yhoo.it/1pfojrJ)

Health officials in Juba have stepped up efforts to ensure the deadly Ebola virus does not spread to South Sudan. (VOA http://bit.ly/1rmSDDj)

The senior United Nations coordinator on the Ebola virus says he will travel to Africa later this week. Dr. David Nabarro in New York said he met with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and is headed to Washington for meetings with officials from the Centers for Disease Control and the World Bank. He left for Senegal last night. (VOA http://bit.ly/1s0kftp)

Africa

Ethiopia has overtaken Kenya to become the largest refugee-hosting country in Africa, sheltering 629,718 refugees as of the end of July. Kenya, in comparison, is host to 575,334 registered refugees and asylum-seekers. (UN http://bit.ly/1pfh3Mc)

Over 171,000 people across 12 states in Sudan have been affected by heavy rains and floods that started in late July 2014. (OCHA http://bit.ly/1nb7TM3)

South African inflation ticked down to 6.3 percent in July, government data showed on Wednesday, easing pressure slightly on consumers. (AP http://yhoo.it/1nbcoGl)

People are lining up as early as 4 AM in Zimbabwe, 4 hours before the passport office opens, to be able to leave the country and get work elsewhere. (AP http://yhoo.it/1nbdmCG)

Nigerian soldiers say they defied orders to launch an operation against Boko Haram militants because the soldiers were not adequately armed. (VOA http://bit.ly/1s0jL6M)

MSF says at least 31 people were injured Wednesday in the Central African Republic when a local militia clashed with international peacekeepers. (VOA http://bit.ly/1s0jUah)

MENA

Four beheaded corpses were found by residents of a town in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula on Wednesday, security sources said, blaming Islamist militants waging an insurgency against Cairo. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1pfn1wG)

A humanitarian airlift to northern Iraq began on Wednesday, kicking off a 10-day operation to provide tents and other aid to half a million displaced people who are struggling for survival, the United Nations’ refugee agency UNHCR said. http://yhoo.it/1nbcNZC

Asia

Thailand’s coup leader is expected to be picked as prime minister by the kingdom’s new army-dominated national assembly, junta sources said Wednesday, cementing the military’s hold on power in the politically turbulent nation. (AP http://yhoo.it/1nbcygZ)

A recent United Nations report found that, despite the existence of a stringent anti-child marriage law, India ranks sixth among countries with the highest prevalence of child marriages across the globe. In India, 27 percent of women aged 20-49 claim to have tied the knot before turning 15, the survey states. (IPS http://bit.ly/1nb8FbZ)

Afghanistan has given New York Times reporter Matthew Rosenberg 24 hours to leave the country for not cooperating with an investigation, a statement from the attorney general’s office said on Wednesday. (AP http://yhoo.it/1pfpQxU)

An Indian woman who has staged a 14-year hunger strike against rights abuses in the country’s northeast broke down in tears on Wednesday as she was finally released from a hospital jail. http://yhoo.it/1pfqLyf

Almost a decade after a devastating tsunami hit the coast of Banda Aceh, Indonesia, one family believes they have been reunited with two of their children who have been missing since the disaster struck. (VOA http://bit.ly/1rmSQGp)

The Americas

Analysis of a video showing American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff indicates that the video is authentic, a U.S. National Security Council spokeswoman said. Intelligence Community has analyzed the recently released video showing U.S. “We have reached the judgment that this video is authentic.  http://yhoo.it/1nbdEJE

An estimated 104,000 people remain internally displaced in Haiti in 172 camps almost five years after the 2010 earthquake. Basic services in camps, including WASH and health, have declined faster than the pace of return or relocation of the displaced. (OCHA http://bit.ly/1nb875V)

The people of Patagonia in southern Chile are working to make the Aysén region a “life reserve”. Neighbouring Argentina, across the border, is a historic ally in this remote wilderness area which is struggling to achieve sustainable development and boost growth by making use of its natural assets. (IPS http://bit.ly/1pfmjzE)

The burden of caretaking traditionally falls to women, in Cuba, which sustains gender inequalities and makes women vulnerable to the reforms undertaken by the government of Raúl Castro since 2008, aimed at boosting productivity and the efficiency of the economy, but without parallel wage hikes. (IPS http://bit.ly/1nb8Vb2)

An emotional President de Kirchner says proposed legislation will return control of its debt to the government. (BBC http://bbc.in/1s0jhxk)

Opinion/Blogs

Violations of International Law Degenerate UN (IPS http://bit.ly/1pfmydV)

If Maliki Can Go, Why Not Assad? (VOA http://bit.ly/1s0lloZ)

Humans give malaria to mosquitoes  we need a vaccine to stop this (Guardian http://bit.ly/1rmSsI1)

Six key findings on the use of Theories of Change in international development (ODI http://bit.ly/1s0jAYX)

Ebola Drug Poses Question of Ethics in Treatment (VOA http://bit.ly/1rmSGyT)

Research/Reports

Ukraine wants the International Monetary Fund to combine the expected third and fourth tranches of a $17 billion dollar bailout package for a total of around $2.2 billion, Interfax quoted Finance Minister Oleksander Shlapak as saying on Wednesday. http://yhoo.it/1nbcIF4

Amid increasing documentation of attacks on people engaged in environmental activism, experts are calling for a global protection regime to defend and support campaigners subjected to harassment and abuse. (IRIN http://bit.ly/1s0jy3o)

Top of the Morning | Leave a comment
A hospital in Liberia

Some Encouraging News on Ebola

First the bad news. Ebola is still an out of control international epidemic. The death toll surpassed 1,000 last week. And it’s becoming increasingly clear that fear of ebola may end up being deadlier than ebola itself. Hospitals are shut. And already fragile health systems are extended beyond capacity.

I visited a number of hospitals in Liberia a couple years ago when I tagged along with UNITAID chairman Phillippe Douste-Blazy as he visited UNITAID grantees. The country was about 9 years past its brutal civil war and in the process of rebuilding state institutions, including its health system.

We visited the crowded maternity ward of one hospital. The doctor on site admitted that one woman dies from childbirth complications every few weeks. That was in the hospital. For women who can’t reach basic medical services, the rate is undoubtedly higher.

Hospitals in Liberia are being closed down. Over 30 health workers have died from Ebola and many more are staying away out of legitimate concern for their health. Women are still giving birth. And many of those women will have complications that require medical attention. This story by Jina Moore of Buzzfeed offers some important context of this awful ebola-maternal mortality complex.

Barh works in the maternity ward at Redemption Hospital — a hospital that was closed when Fatuma Fofana went there to deliver her baby. The facility shut its doors after a pregnant woman, possibly Ebola-infected, died there in late July. The community blamed the health workers for the death and attacked the hospital, Barh said.

“They said the hospital killed her, and they stormed the hospital,” she said. “The police had to come to our rescue. Then we had to close the hospital for two weeks.”

Redemption re-opened on Monday, after a youth leader pled that the community needed a functioning health facility. This week, Barh and a much-reduced staff delivered five babies — an incredibly low number in a facility that usually sees 300 births a month.

Sheriff, whose sister died in childbirth, sees the closure of the health facilities as a betrayal. “We never imagined they could close the clinics, the small community clinics,” Sheriff said. The order to shut the government hospitals, he said, “scares the other community [clinics, which think] ‘If they closed, what are we doing?’

A UNFPA report from 2011 found  3 obstetricians in all of Liberia; and about 650 people with some training in midwifery. The population of Liberia is over 4 million. The fertility rate is 5.1 births/woman. A woman has about a one in 20 chance of dying in childbirth.

Even before hospitals were open to pregnant women the math was not good. It’s undoubtedly much worse now.

So that is the bad news.

The good news is that there are some signs that the outbreak is starting to come under control in Nigeria and Guinea. How? In Nigeria ebola was imported by a single person, and a thorough monitoring and investigation of the people who came in contact with that one person. In all, twelve people in nigeria have been infected. But the WHO seems to think that the infections will stop there:

Intensive contact tracing, conducted by Nigerian health officials and staff from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has not, so far, identified any further confirmed cases outside the initial transmission chain.

The index case arrived in Lagos on 20 July and died on 25 July. The 21-day incubation period has lapsed. All 12 cases were confirmed in a WHO-approved laboratory.

The intensity of the search and monitoring effort raises cautious optimism that further spread of the virus in Nigeria can be stopped. The search for additional cases continues, as does the current high level of vigilance.

And in Guinea, where the outbreak began, public awareness about the basic facts of Ebola (that it is transmitted through contact with bodily fluids–and transmission can occur during traditional burial rituals) has helped contain its spread. From the WHO

Public awareness of the facts about Ebola is higher there than in the other affected countries. Innovative solutions are being found. For example, respected community leaders have been used to secure the cooperation of 26 villages that were highly resistant to outside help.

The opening of these villages has resulted in a surge of reported cases. These are cases that were previously concealed; their reporting should not be interpreted as a sudden upsurge in Guinea’s outbreak.

Of course, the outbreak is far from over in Guinea and Nigeria–let alone in Liberia and Sierra Leone. But these encouraging signs goes to show that the outbreak can be stopped.

The key question going forward is whether or not the outbreak can be stopped before the health systems of countries like Liberia and Sierra Leone are destroyed by the fear of ebola.

 

 

Health | | Leave a comment
Humanitarian Workers

A Deadly Year for Humanitarian Workers

Want these clips delivered to your inbox in the morning? Sign up here. 

Yesterday was World Humanitarian Day — a day established in the wake of the August 19, 2003 bombing of the UN headquarters in Iraq to commemorate the sacrifices of humanitarian workers. Alas, 2013 was the deadliest year ever for humanitarians. “Last year was the most dangerous on record for humanitarian workers, with 155 killed, 171 seriously wounded and 134 kidnapped as they attempted to help others in some of the world’s most dangerous places, new research has shown. The study, released to mark World Humanitarian Day, also reveals that 79 aid workers have died so far this year, making the first eight months of 2014 deadlier for the humanitarian community than the whole of 2012. The 2013 statistics, compiled by the Humanitarian Outcomes partnership, show a 66% rise in fatal attacks on the previous year, with Afghanistan – where 81 aid workers were killed – remaining the most dangerous place to operate. (Guardian http://bit.ly/1pan90C)

An here’s a link to the report: (Humanitarian Outcomes http://bit.ly/1pao0hD)

Some “Good” News on Ebola…The WHO is touting some encouraging signs that Ebola is coming under control in Nigeria and Guinea. “The situation in Lagos, Nigeria, where the first imported case was detected in July, looks reassuring. At present, the city’s 12 confirmed cases are all part of a single chain of transmission. Those infected by the initial case include medical staff involved in his treatment, a patient in the same hospital, and a protocol officer in very close contact with the patient…The outbreak in Guinea, where the virus made its first appearance in west Africa last December, is less alarming than in Liberia and Sierra Leone. Public awareness of the facts about Ebola is higher there than in the other affected countries. Innovative solutions are being found. For example, respected community leaders have been used to secure the cooperation of 26 villages that were highly resistant to outside help.The opening of these villages has resulted in a surge of reported cases. (WHO http://bit.ly/1lgmBq3)

SIMA 2015 – SAVE THE DATE: The 2015 Social Impact Media Awards opens for entries on September 8th! Now in our 3rd year, SIMA’s global documentary competition and traveling series welcomes eye-opening films that inspire activism, compassion and social transformation. We invite international DOCUMENTARY FEATURES and SHORTS that provide deeper insight into the realities of global development, global activism, and the human condition, as well as IMPACT VIDEOS that illuminate “How Impact Works,” capturing the process behind innovative development, education and social justice initiatives. Find out more HERE

 

Ebola

 The World Health Organization says another 84 people have died in West Africa as a result of the Ebola virus, bringing the death toll from the epidemic to 1,229. The U.N. health agency announced Tuesday the number of confirmed and likely infections has risen to 2,240, including 113 new cases reported late last week. (VOA http://bit.ly/1pakmEp)

Liberia has found all 17 suspected Ebola patients who fled a quarantine centre in Monrovia at the weekend and transferred them to another clinic, the information minister said on Tuesday. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1papd8J

Sierra Leone urged caution over the use of experimental drugs to combat Ebola as the United Nations launched an $18 million appeal to help the country cope with the epidemic. (AP http://yhoo.it/1panBMn)

The president of the Ghana Medical Association says the group plans on Tuesday to brief parliament about the country’s preparations for handling cases of the Ebola virus, which has so far affected four West African countries. (VOA http://bit.ly/1pajsI0)

Cameroon has closed all its borders with Nigeria in a bid to halt the spread of the Ebola virus, state radio said on Tuesday. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1n65L8g)

#WorldHumanitarianDay: A tribute to two Ebola heroes (IRIN http://bit.ly/1palNmx)

Africa

South Sudanese soldiers opened fire on a UN peacekeeping base sheltering 40,000 civilians, wounding a child and spraying bullets across the camp, the United Nations said Tuesday. (AP http://yhoo.it/1n65mTm)

Tens of thousands of Angolans living in the Democratic Republic of Congo were set to return home, for some after more than 50 years in exile, the UN refugee agency said. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1pauddq)

Millions of dollars of arms shipments have flooded South Sudan since civil war broke out eight months ago, weapons monitors said Tuesday, with countries key to peace also involved in the supply. (AP  http://yhoo.it/1n65BO9)

A mutated polio virus that slipped through vaccine defenses caused an unusually lethal outbreak in the Republic of Congo in 2010, according to a new study.  An intensive vaccination campaign was able to stop the virus. (VOA http://bit.ly/1n5UbtY)

A medical group working in the restive east of the Democratic Republic of Congo reported Monday that there were nearly 3,000 victims of sexual violence in the region during the first half of this year. (AP http://yhoo.it/1pas81f)

Leaders of the Southern African Development Community want the United Nations to assist in removing members of a Rwandan rebel group from eastern Congo. (VOA http://bit.ly/1n5TVv2)

MENA

ISIS released a video claiming to show the execution of American journalist James Foley, who was on assignment for GlobalPost when he was abducted in Syria in 2012. (NYT http://nyti.ms/1lgmR8H)

The UN refugee agency has for the first time begun sending aid into western Libya from Tunisia to help some of the tens of thousands of people displaced by weeks of fighting in the Libyan capital, Tripoli. (UNHCR http://bit.ly/1n5YxkG)

Algeria has arrested 200 Syrians who had been hoping to reach Italy with the help of Libyan Islamists who had promised to smuggle them by boat, a security source said. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1n5ZEB2)

The United Nations refugee agency said on Tuesday it was launching a major aid operation to get supplies to more than half a million people displaced by fighting in northern Iraq. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1patDMW)

Asia/Pacific

Amid accelerating climate change and other challenges, a major international conference in the South Pacific island nation of Samoa next month represents a key chance for Small Island Developing States in the Caribbean to turn the tide. (IPS http://bit.ly/1n5ZaLa)

Thailand’s military-dominated legislature will nominate a prime minister this week, members of the national assembly said. (AP http://yhoo.it/1n64pdG)

Sri Lanka’s president said Tuesday he will not allow a U.N. panel investigating allegations of war crimes to enter the country. (AP http://yhoo.it/1pau6yB)

The Americas

Scores of schools in northern Mexico remain closed almost two weeks after large quantities of sulphuric acid leaked into a river from a copper mine. (BBC http://bbc.in/1n5XHo4)

Police came under “heavy gunfire” and 31 people were arrested, authorities said on Tuesday, during racially charged protests in Ferguson, Missouri sparked by the fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager by a white policeman 10 days ago. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1paqi0r)

The Second Annual Meeting of the Houses of Peru-Cuba Friendship called to investigate covert actions of the US agency USAID against the Caribbean nation. (Prensa Latina http://bit.ly/1n5XWQ6)

The Rockefeller Foundation and USAID have announced a new partnership, which has initial funding of $100,000,000 intended as a “bold, new vision” for building resilience to disasters and other factors contributing to poverty across Asia and Africa, called the Global Resilience Partnership. (VOA http://bit.ly/1n5V3P6)

Egypt on Tuesday urged US authorities to exercise restraint in dealing with racially charged demonstrations in Ferguson, Missouri – echoing language Washington used to caution Egypt as it cracked down on Islamist protesters last year. (VOA http://bit.ly/1pakzaP)

Homes for orphans or children in vulnerable situations in Mexico lack the necessary state regulation and supervision, which leads to scandalous human rights violations. (IPS http://bit.ly/1n5Zp8Z)

Opinion/Blogs

We Don’t Need Another Hero (AidSpeak http://bit.ly/1lfaxpd)

Visualizing the surprisingly massive toll of suicide worldwide (Humanosphere http://bit.ly/Xy5WDJ)

The Worst World EVER…in the Past 5 or 10 Years (Dart-Throwing Chimp http://bit.ly/Xy5JR9)

The way to mark World Humanitarian Day in South Sudan is to work for peace (Guardian http://bit.ly/1pamT1E)

Are Sweatshops good for women in Bangladesh? (Waylaid Dialectic http://bit.ly/1n6cPSw)

Episode 002: SWEDOW, being smart and sexual healing for aid workers (Mission Creep http://bit.ly/1n6cU8O)

 Dear Supporter: We’re sorry… (WhyDev http://bit.ly/Xy5Hsh)

Women aren’t human (The XX Factor http://bit.ly/1n6cLlI)

Poverty is not a Disease (Think Africa Press http://bit.ly/1n6cOxO)

Research/Reports

The World Health Organization warns of a growing trend of targeting health workers and hospitals during conflicts and humanitarian crises. (VOA http://bit.ly/1n664jm)

Global education advocate Malala Yousafzai joined the UN secretary-general Monday to mark the 500 Days countdown until the deadline for the Millennium Development Goals.  The teen activist has inspired other young people with her commitment to making education available to children everywhere. (VOA http://bit.ly/1pajCPD)

Top of the Morning | Leave a comment
Wheat_harvest

How Conflict in Ukraine Could Shake Global Food Prices

As the conflict in Eastern Ukraine drags on, Russia and the West are also continuing their diplomatic back-and-forth with each accusing the other of unwarranted interference in Ukrainian matters and aggression towards the opposing side. Following a series of sanctions against Russia by the US and the EU, Russia fired back earlier this month with an extensive list of sanctions against the US and the EU, mainly focused around agriculture and food products. But the size of the agricultural trade at the heart of these sanctions means that this tit-for-tat may wind up having global ramifications.

Starting in March following the unrecognized pro-Russian referendum in Crimea, the US, EU, Australia and Canada levied travel restrictions for key Russian officials and business people, which were expanded in the second round of sanctions announced in April. As the conflict escalated between pro-Russian rebels and the Ukrainian government in the east, new sanctions were announced by the US, EU, Canada and Norway in July and August targeting the Russian financial and energy sectors while Switzerland and Japan announced new travel restrictions.

In response, Russia issued their own travel bans against high ranking Western officials in March but the biggest blow came earlier this month when it announced a one year ban on the import of most agricultural products from the US, EU, Canada, Australia and Norway in retaliation.

While there is significant trade between Russia and the US, Canada, Australia and Norway, it is the EU that is poised to bear the brunt of these sanctions. Russia represents the EU’s second largest food export market at nearly $16 billion a year, a full 10% of the EU market. This means two things: Russia must now find a way to fill the gap on their own shop shelves while producers in the EU must find a way to keep producers afloat as they lose one of their biggest markets.

For Russia, this means finding new trading partners and improving accounts with existing partners not on the sanctions list. While domestic farmers constitute a significant minority of the Russian population and President Putin’s base, it is unlikely they will be able to fill the gap especially in major cities where 60% of food is imported.  BelarusTurkey and Brazil are already major partners and could benefit enormously from a trade boom but are also facing increasing pressure from the EU to not ramp up exports to Russia in wake of the sanctions as it would undermine the intention of leveraging diplomatic pressure in Ukraine. Such pressure is limited to diplomatic urging but depending on how long the sanction battles last, could easily develop into more robust efforts to stop agricultural trade from key partners who also have significant trade relations with the EU.

The long term impact on the EU is unclear, with growth forecasts downgraded but the emergency funds issued to producers representing a much smaller number than anticipated. In the immediate future producers are left struggling to find something to do with their produce. The current surplus helps European food banks and may drop food prices locally but could serve as yet another setback for economic recovery in countries such as Greece and Spain which have little margin to absorb more austerity measures. Increasing exports to other trading partners is not particularly feasible for the current summer harvest and only time will tell if the EU can successfully adjust in future months through new trading deals and increased domestic consumption. Encouraging local sales will help European producers but may hurt current agricultural exporters outside the continent. It appears that incentives will also be given to farmers to curtail production as a means of stabilizing food prices for member states.

Thus while this may be a diplomatic battle between the EU and Russia, it will likely have far-reaching trade consequences for states in Latin America, Africa and Asia. It also comes at a time when several African countries are facing potential food shortages due to conflict, the current Ebola outbreak and drought in the Sahel. These shortages are typically due to lack of funding and the disruption of supply chains but the sanctions game Russia and the EU are playing may wind up disruption the global agricultural market even more at a time when millions are already vulnerable. One thing is for sure: the aftermath of these August announcements will affect countries far beyond Ukraine for some time to come; what happens next depends on whether cooler heads prevail or if the sanctions continues to escalate into a war of attrition.

Development | | Leave a comment
Screen shot 2014-07-29 at 9.02.46 AM

The Awful-Ebola Maternal Mortality Nexus

Want these stories delivered to your inbox ever morning? Sign up here. 

You don’t need ebola to die from it.Reporting from Monrovia, Jina Moore describes how fear of ebola and a broken health system are killing pregnant women. “Liberia has one of the highest rates of maternal death in the world. Giving birth here is always risky, even when you can count on a clinic being open.The women serving the maternity ward at a clinic in West Point keep coming to work — for now. West Point is a densely packed informal neighborhood (or “slum”) that just this week has become a hotspot of Ebola in Monrovia. In a normal week, before Ebola, the maternity ward might see 10 or 15 births. Now, they’re seeing only one or two — and not all of them stay until they give birth.”  (BuzzFeed http://bzfd.it/1pyWn1f)

Ebola

Doctors and nurses fighting Ebola in West Africa are working 14-hour days, seven days a week, wearing head-to-toe gear in the heat of muddy clinics. (AP http://yhoo.it/1n2lTI0)

A crowd in a slum in the capital of Liberia attacked an Ebola holding facility Saturday. As the government tries to save face, the residents try to separate truth from fiction. (BuzzFeed http://bzfd.it/1w2RC5h)

Authorities in countries affected by Ebola should check people departing at international airports, seaports and major border crossings and stop any with signs of the virus from travelling, the WHO said on Monday. (Reuters http://bit.ly/Xvq7lM)

Africa

Security forces in war-torn South Sudan have shut one of the country’s main independent radio stations and arrested its news editor after it broadcast rebel views, the station said Monday. (AFP http://yhoo.it/Xvpclt)

Cameroon’s border area are becoming increasingly deserted due to persistent attacks, looting and kidnappings by suspected members of the militant group. (VOA http://bit.ly/XvmInb)

Eight people were killed following the renewal of tribal clashes between Reizaigat and Ma’alia in East Darfur state. (Sudan Tribune http://bit.ly/1n2kwsJ)

Somalia’s journalist union on Monday urged the government to ensure a fair trial of three colleagues arrested last week when security forces stormed a major radio station for “negative” broadcasts. (AP http://yhoo.it/XvorZC)

The West African country of Cameroon has many problems, reflected in its dismal social indicators. But it is the issue of homosexuality that seems to excite the most comment from government and church leaders. (IRIN http://bit.ly/1n2ncXh)

Kenya’s internationally funded anti-terrorism police have carried out a series of killings and “enforced disappearances” following a string of attacks in the country, Human Rights Watch said. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1n2nxJw)

Children and teenagers who were drawn into Côte d’Ivoire’s 2010-2011 post-election conflict are joining armed gangs in the commercial capital Abidjan after being abandoned by politicians and others who exploited them at the time, according to local officials who blame the government for not taking action. (IRIN http://bit.ly/1n2o1j3)

MENA

Pope Francis delivered a mixed verdict on US airstrikes in Iraq on Monday, saying that while it’s morally legitimate to stop an unjust aggressor, as America says it’s doing with regard to the radical Islamic State in northern Iraq, a single nation shouldn’t decide for itself when the use of force is warranted. (Boston Globe http://bit.ly/1w2R6nO)

Israel’s Shin Bet security service said Monday it had thwarted a Hamas coup attempt in the West Bank aimed at toppling Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, though it offered few details. (AP http://yhoo.it/XvnQqK)

The United Nations said Monday it was undertaking a mass polio vaccination campaign in Iraq, hoping to reach millions of children as the highly contagious virus crosses from Syria into neighboring countries. (AP http://yhoo.it/XvquN6)

Britain has moved past a strictly humanitarian mission in Iraq — and the country’s leader warned Monday that the effort won’t be over any time soon. (AP http://yhoo.it/XvpeK8)

Talks in Cairo on ending the Gaza war showed no signs of a breakthrough on Monday, with Israel and the Palestinians entrenched in their demands hours before the expiration of a five-day ceasefire. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1n2oAJt)

Asia

The death toll from three days of flooding and torrential rain in Nepal and India rose to more than 180 people Monday, as relief teams sent food, tents and medicine to prevent any outbreaks of disease. (AP http://yhoo.it/1n2kUaI)

In a blow to efforts to improve often-hostile ties, India on Monday called off talks with Pakistan over a meeting between its ambassador and Kashmiri separatists. (ABC http://abcn.ws/1w2R0g1)

The Americas

Police hurled tear gas and marched on protesters late Sunday in Ferguson, the St Louis suburb wracked by race riots since police shot dead an unarmed black teenager. Some of the youths carried signs protesting police brutality. (AP http://yhoo.it/1n2l1mx)

A survey by Feeding America, a network of US food banks, found that one-quarter of all U.S. military households used a food pantry in 2013. But service members are often reluctant to seek such help. (NPR http://n.pr/Xvoch0)

Opinion/Blogs

Bitcoin shakes up remittances as poorer people offered digital deals (Guardian http://bit.ly/XvprNn)

Procedural Safeguards and Corruption-Resistant Institutions (Global Anticorruption Blog http://bit.ly/Xvvodb)

Data Revolution from the Bottom-Up (CGD http://bit.ly/1n2pBl0

Fed on food aid: does emergency nutrition cripple local economies? (Guardian Professional http://bit.ly/XvoYL0)

Australia’s economic diplomacy: is this good development? (DevPolicy http://bit.ly/XvvxgP)

Mark talks with Jeff Sachs about growing up in turbulent Detroit, why he gravitated towards economics in college, his experience helping countries transition from communism to market economies, and how he became devoted to global health and development. (UN Dispatch http://bit.ly/VA6gjw)

Top of the Morning | Leave a comment
Screen shot 2014-08-17 at 2.12.01 PM

Episode 30: Jeffrey Sachs

Jeff Sachs is on the line this week! The famed economist and anti-poverty activist discusses his up-bringing in turbulent Detroit, why he gravitated towards economics in college, his experience helping countries transition from communism to market economies, and how he become devoted to global health and development.

We recorded the conversation at the 500 day mark until the Millennium Development Goals are due. These are set of eight international development targets agreed to in 2000 that countries around the word committed to acheive by 2015. At the top of the interview, Jeff Sachs discusses how the MDGs were a game changer for the international community. It’s a great conversation. Have a listen! (And if you like what you hear, subscribe on iTunes.)

subscribeitunes

 

 

Previous Episodes

Sex Slaves in Iraq

Episode 29: Chris Hill, former Ambassador to Iraq and North Korea nuke negotiator

Kevin Jon Heller discusses the  International Criminal Court’s Palestine Problem

Episode 28: Nancy Birsdall, founder of the Center for Global Development

The WHO explains Why this Ebola Outbreak is So Hard to Contain

Episode 27: Daniel Drezner, counter-intuitive wonk

Michael W. Hanna on How to Negotiate a Gaza Ceasefire

Episode 25: Helene Gayle, CEO of CARE, USA. Long-time AIDS-Fighter

One Campaign’s Erin Hofhelder How Humanity is Winning the Fight Against AIDS

Episode 24: Joseph Cirincione, Nuclear Policy Wonk 

A Migrant’s Story: Why are So Many Children Fleeing to the USA?

Episode 23: Live from the UN 2014 (Volume 2); A special edition with a slew of UN officials.

Inside the Iran Nuke Talks

Episode 23: Jillian York, Digital Free Speech defender

Turkey’s Strategic Interests in Iraq

Episode 22: Live from the UN, 2014 (Vol 1); A special edition, featuring the President of the General Assembly,  the UN Ambassadors from Vietnam and Jamaica, the head of the UN Association, and more!

The UN’s View of the Iraq Crisis

Episode 21: Thomas Pickering, former Ambassador to the UN, Israel, Jordan, Russia, India and more.

Dying for the World Cup

Episode 20: Jessica Tuchman Matthews, foreign policy trendsetter

Egypt After the Counter Revolution 

Episode 19: Louise Arbour, human rights pioneer.

What Obama Left Out of His Big Foreign Policy Speech

Episode 18: Zalmay Khalizad, former US Ambassador to Afghanistan, Iraq and the UN.

Why Libya is Suddenly on the Verge of a Civil War 

Episode 17: Gov Bill Richardson, he frees hostages.

The Foreign Policy Implications of India’s Elections

Episode 16: Carolyn Miles, CEO of Save the Children

What Boko Haram Wants

Episode: 15 Laura Turner Seydel, philanthropist

Episode 14: Douglas Ollivant, Iraq expert

Episode 13: Gary Bass, historian

Episode 12: Mark Montgomery, demographer

Episode 11: Kenneth Roth, Human Rights Watcher

Episode 10: Live from the UN, Volume 2.

Episode 9: Mia Farrow, humanitarian activist and Goodwill Ambassador

Episode 8: Suzanne Nossel, Big Thinker

Episode 7: Live from the UN, Volume 1. 

Episode 6: PJ Crowley, former State Department Spokesperson

Episode 5: Octavia Nasr, reporter

Episode 4: Arsalan Iftikhar, “The Muslim Guy”

Episode 3: Dodge Billingsley, filmmaker.

Episode 2: Laura Seay,  @TexasinAfrica

Episode 1: Heather Hurlburt, national security wonk

 

Podcast | | Leave a comment

Diplo Tweets