Site Meter UN Dispatch - Page 17 of 1348 - United Nations News & Commentary Global News - ForumUN Dispatch | United Nations News & Commentary Global News – Forum | Page 17
Increase Font Size Decrease Font Size

All Posts

The Hong Kong 1 July protests, credit Ross Pollack, via Flickr

Why Hong Kongers Are Protesting in Record Numbers

Far from the more dramatic headlines of the summer, pro-democracy protests have rocked Hong Kong. Unlike in mainland China, there is a strong protest culture in Hong Kong but these protests – and the underlying issues that belie them – may mark an indelible turning point for the special relationship Hong Kong shares with Beijing, with neither side willing to back down or compromise with the other.

When the British handed over control of the former colony to China in 1997, there were plenty of questions about how the capitalist and democratic city would fit within communist China. The notion of “one country, two systems” and the city’s status as the country’s first Special Administrative Region gave hope that Hong Kong could continue to function unimpeded by the political limitations often found in mainland China. In the years since, while Hong Kong does enjoy more freedom than the mainland, it also increasingly faces political pressures from the central government. Like pro-democracy activists in mainland China, those in Hong Kong have faced crackdowns in recent years as Beijing is willing to give the locals a leash, but not one long enough to stray from the central tenants of the communist government.

Frustration with these limitations is the reason behind Occupy Central with Love and Peace (OCLP), a pro-democracy protest movement advocating for universal suffrage in Hong Kong ahead of the 2017 elections. The election will be the first where the region’s Chief Executive is elected directly by the people rather than a small committee of electoral legislators choosing the Chief Executive. However, what control Beijing would exert over the elections remained a serious question. Last year the Chairman of the Law Committee of the National People’s Congress, Qiao Xiaoyang, stated that the executive would have to be someone who did not confront the central government. Such statements put the local population on notice and provided one more sign of Beijing’s encroachment following the current Chief Executive odd choice to give his 2012 inaugural speech in Mandarin, the language of Beijing, rather than the Cantonese language spoken by most of Hong Kong’s people.

As a result, OCLP vowed to protest throughout 2014. And protest they have. Although the July 1 anniversary is typically marked with protests, this year saw the largest protest in a decade. It, and other protests like it since, have been repeatedly cleared by police. But the issue is not going away. Days before the 17th anniversary of Chinese rule, an unofficial referendum on universal suffrage put on by OCLP saw nearly 800,000 people vote on the issue. Rather than be persuaded, local and national leaders declared the vote illegal and began cracking down on key pro-democracy activists and media outlets.

Thus it comes as little surprise that China announced this past weekend that rather than allow unimpeded universal suffrage, any candidate for Chief Executive would have to first gain the approval of a pro-China nominating committee, a procedural obstacle that will likely block more liberal or pro-democracy candidates before the election even begins. The new regulations are considered more limiting than the current system and provides the worst possible outcome for OCLP. It also sets the stage for even deeper divisions between Hong Kong and Beijing.

Given the growing frustrations in Hong Kong and the low approval ratings for Beijing, such tensions should not be ignored. Even if the OCLP movement fades in the coming weeks as many predict, the underlying struggle will not. Beijing’s recent actions suggest it is not ready for an actual “one country, two systems” framework while the Hong Kong protests suggest it is no longer willing to compromise. While most media outlets focus on potential conflict between China and its neighbors over competing claims in the South China Sea, it is possible the next major conflict could come much closer to home. That conflict is more likely to look like Tiananmen than Nanking but would still have lasting consequences for all involved and could reshape China as we know it today.


Photo credit, Ross Pollack via Flickr CC license. 

Rights | | Leave a comment
map of somalia

USA Launches Airstrikes in Somalia

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

A rather audacious attack, blatantly designed to kill al Shebab’s top commander. “The Pentagon said Tuesday that it tried to kill the leader of the militant group al-Shabab in an air attack in Somalia, firing several Hellfire missiles and dropping other munitions on an encampment in the southern part of the country. It was unclear, however, whether the target of the strikes, Mukhtar Abu Zubeyr, a jihadist leader widely known as Ahmed Abdi Godane, perished in Monday’s operation. “We are still assessing the results,” said Rear Adm. John Kirby, the Pentagon press secretary.” (WaPo

Boko Haram Reportedly Makes a Big Strategic Gain…Boko Haram militants have reportedly seized another town in Nigeria`s far northeast after heavy fighting with government troops, with experts warning the region is on the brink of a “takeover”. The claims were followed by an attack by the group on a nearby border crossing with Cameroon in which 40 Boko Haram members were said to have been killed. Nigeria`s military denied that the northeastern town of Bama had fallen, but residents and a local lawmaker claimed the insurgents had driven out the troops and taken control of a military base.” (Zee News

Global Dispatches Podcast: The first Senate confirmed out-gay United States Ambassador, Michael Guest discusses his long career in the foreign service and why he was compelled to resign to take a stand for equality.


The United Nations is warning that the world’s worst outbreak of the Ebola virus has put harvests at risk and sent food prices soaring in West Africa. (VOA

Japanese researchers said Tuesday they had developed a new method to detect the presence of the Ebola virus in 30 minutes, with technology that could allow doctors to quickly diagnose infection.

The death toll from the (separate) outbreak of the Ebola virus in the Djera region of northern Democratic Republic of Congo has risen to 31, the government said on Tuesday, as the World Health Organization confirmed there was no link with an epidemic in West Africa. (Reuters

The world’s “disastrously inadequate response” to West Africa’s Ebola outbreak means many people are dying needlessly, the head of the World Bank said on Monday, as Nigeria confirmed another case of the virus. (Reuters


Four United Nations soldiers were killed on Tuesday and another 15 were wounded when the convoy they were traveling in struck a landmine in northern Mali, a spokesman for the country’s U.N. peacekeeping mission said. (Reuters

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization says more than 1 million Somalis are in need of humanitarian assistance, and at least 200,000 children under the age of five are acutely malnourished as drought hits southern and central Somalia. (VOA

Citing corruption and a lack of development, there are growing calls among Liberia’s diaspora for the resignation of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. (VOA

Southern African countries say they will send an envoy and an observer team to Lesotho following an apparent coup attempt over the weekend. (VOA

The new UN chief for South Sudan arrived in the conflict-wracked country Tuesday, a week after gunmen shot down a UN helicopter to break the fourth ceasefire deal in nine months.

Authorities in Uganda have raised fears that the east African nation’s children are being left vulnerable to abuse and exploitation by a staggering increase in unchecked overseas adoptions.


Rights group Amnesty International says Islamic State militants in northern Iraq have carried out “ethnic cleansing on a historic scale” in a bid to wipe out non-Arabs and non-Sunni Muslims. (VOA

The Palestinian Authority has strongly signaled that it will seek redress at the ICC. (NYT

A second detained American journalist was beheaded by ISIS. (NYT
The political chaos and unrest in Libya is taking a serious toll on health services, with the departure of medical staff and humanitarian agencies increasing the strain on health workers seeking to treat those injured in the clashes taking place since June. (IRIN

A record 4.1 million people in Syria received food rations in August due to more convoys being able to cross front lines and borders from Turkey and Jordan, the U.N.’s World Food Program said on Tuesday.


A report on Malalai Maternity Hospital, the only health center in Afghanistan with a section devoted to coping complications faced by women during childbirth. (IPS

Pakistan’s parliament is set to hold an emergency meeting Tuesday as part of efforts to rally political support for Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who is refusing to resign despite weeks of opposition protests. (VOA

A fashion photo shoot featuring five victims of acid attacks is drawing wide attention in India. While the country keeps no official statistics on acid attacks, there are regular reports in the media of attackers targeting victims to disfigure or blind them, often because of spurned sexual advances. (AP

Floods triggered by two weeks of intense rain have affected two million people in northern Bangladesh and left up to half a million homeless. While the country’s disaster response capacity has been enhanced in recent years, experts argue that with people displaced and crops destroyed the flooding is testing response mechanisms. (IRIN

The America

Congress in the northern Mexican state of Coahuila legalises same-sex marriage and adoption by gay couples, despite opposition by conservatives. (BBC

Cuba’s experiment with free-market reforms has unintentionally widened the communist-led island’s racial divide and allowed white Cubans to regain some of the economic advantages built up over centuries. (Reuters


What’s missing in the Ebola fight in West Africa (The Washington Post

Why Principle Matters at UN Human Rights Council (IPS

Who Are You Calling Corrupt? Good Governance Begins at Home (Think Africa Press

Now Is the Time to Act on Climate Change (Huffington Post

Zhao Zhong: Lessons from the Bottom Up (Policy Innovations

Avoiding the Resource Curse in Mozambique (AfricaCan End Poverty

Lessons Learned from the Ebola Epidemic (On the Ground

What is It Like to be a ‘Digital Immigrant’ in a Developing Country? (Center for Financial Inclusion blog

Top of the Morning | Leave a comment
Amb. Michael Guest

Episode 31: Amb. Michael Guest

Michael Guest is a trailblazer. In 2001 he became the first out-gay senate confirmed United States ambassador. In 2007 his long and distinguished career in the foreign service was cut short when he resigned after failing to secure the kind of benefits and rights for his family that are routinely granted to heterosexual spouses.

Amb. Guest tells Mark about his long career working European and NATO policy during the height of the Cold War and as the Soviet Union disintegrated. He discusses how growing up the son of a Southern Baptist preacher helped shape his worldview and describes his path to the foreign service. They kick off with a discussion of the ways in which the Obama administration has mainstreamed LGBT rights into the US foreign policy and human rights agenda. Have a listen!



Previous Episodes

The Deadly Fear of Ebola

South Sudan’s Looming Famine

Episode 30: Jeff Sachs, economist

Sex Slaves in Iraq, an interview with Zainab Hawa Bangura, the UN Special Representative for Sexual Violence in Armed Conflict

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
Screen shot 2014-09-02 at 9.27.30 AM

Ebola Spreads to Yet Another African Country

Want these clips delivered to your inbox? Sign up here! 

So far, the one case in Senegal has been imported with no-confirmed in-country transmissions. But we are still very much in the incubation period. “Senegalese authorities on Monday were monitoring everyone who was in contact with a student infected with Ebola who crossed into the country, and who has lost three family members to the disease.he 21-year-old left Guinea on Aug. 15, just days after his brother died of the disease, according to Guinea’s Health Ministry. It said that the brother apparently caught Ebola in Sierra Leone… The student traveled by road, crossing into Senegal despite a border closure. He arrived in Dakar, the Senegalese capital, on Aug. 20, according to the World Health Organization, and was staying with relatives on the outskirts of the city. (AP

Trouble in Lesotho…“Lesotho’s prime minister has asked southern African states to send peacekeepers into his mountain kingdom to restore order after an apparent coup over the weekend, his aide said on Monday. Thomas Thabane fled Lesotho for South Africa early on Saturday, hours before the army surrounded his residence and overran police stations in the capital Maseru, in what the prime minister called a coup by the military. The unrest stems from a power struggle between Thabane, who is supported by the police, and Deputy Prime Minister Mothetjoa Metsing, who has the loyalty of the army, diplomats said.”  (Reuters


Nigeria has a third confirmed case of Ebola disease in the oil hub of Port Harcourt, bringing the country’s total confirmed infections to 16, with around 200 people under surveillance, the health minister said on Monday. (Reuters

A hospital in the Swedish capital is investigating a possible case of Ebola, Swedish media reported. (Reuters

Residents of Liberia’s West Point neighborhood are jubilant now that the government has lifted a 10 day-old quarantine of the densely populated borough of the capital, Monrovia. (VOA

USAID is providing an additional $5 million to help combat the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. The announcement brings USAID’s commitment for the Ebola response to nearly $19.6 million since the outbreak was first reported in March 2014. (FrontPageAfrica

Liberia’s President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has rejected the World Health Organization’s prediction that the Ebola outbreak in West Africa could infect more than 20,000 people before it is brought under control. (The New Dawn

Nearly 260 health workers in West Africa have been infected, and 134 have died. Dr. Robert Garry of Tulane University, who worked with five who died, discusses the devastation in the community with NPR.


 A grouping of former Seleka rebels in Central African Republic said it had expelled from its ranks several members serving in a new government seeking to stop a cycle of deadly clashes between Muslims and Christians. (Reuters

A Somali clan leader who fought for years to retake a strategic southern port city he once controlled has laid down arms and joined talks, bolstering government efforts to show it can restore order to a chaotic nation. (Reuters

 Frustrated by a resurgence of intercommunal conflict, Kenya’s top humanitarian official has called on President Uhuru Kenyatta to make good on a threat to deploy the army in perennially restive areas in the country’s northeast. (IRIN

 Extreme poverty drives some Kenyans to scavenge through rubbish dumps for materials to sell for recycling. At the main dump in Eldoret, a town in Kenya’s Rift valley with a population of 280,000, people sift through debris, despite the risks of disease and injury, and the threat of violence. (Guardian

China aggressively pursues and locks in economic opportunities using, according to analysts, suitcases full of cash when it is needed to close the deal. Another tactic used by Beijing is the “gift” of building and donating public works projects to African states that have raw materials and other things that China wants access to. (VOA


At a time when HIV rates have stabilised or declined elsewhere, the epidemic is still advancing in the Arab world, exacerbated by factors such as political unrest, conflict, poverty and lack of awareness due to social taboos. (IPS

At least 13 people have been killed and 45 wounded in clashes between Islamists and forces of renegade general allied to the regular army in Libya’s eastern Benghazi city, medics said. (Reuters


Protesters carrying sticks and stones clashed anew with police in Pakistan’s capital Monday. The demonstrators have been protesting for weeks, demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Despite heavy rain, crowds of protesters tried to break through police lines to push their way to the prime minister’s residence in Islamabad. (VOA

India’s economy is showing signs of recovery with the rate of growth at its fastest pace in over two years. The government says it expects the trend to continue. (VOA

A major ethnic group, the Karen National Union, has suspended its membership in the coalition group that has been working with the government of Myanmar on a nationwide cease-fire agreement. (VOA

A blaze at a vast rubbish dump home to six million tonnes of putrefying trash and toxic effluent has kindled fears that poor planning and lax law enforcement are tipping Thailand towards a waste crisis.

Japan is urging local authorities to be on the lookout for further outbreaks of dengue fever, after confirming another 19 cases that were contracted at a popular local park in downtown Tokyo. (AP

The Americas

Cuba restricts the amount of foreign goods that travellers can bring into the country, where locally-made items are scarce and expensive. (BBC

Parts of Latin America are severely parched. The drought is fueling clashes, forcing rationing, decimating crops and affecting travel through the Panama Canal. (NPR


Africans’ Land Rights at Risk as New Agricultural Trend Sweeps Continent (IPS

Lesotho: What’s Going on in Lesotho? A Rough Guide (VOX

Hunger in the Land of Enough (Daily Maverick

Putting our money where our mouths are? Donations to NGOs and support for ODA in Australia (DevPolicy

The UN’s technocratic answer to the ‘data revolution’ (Aidnography

What’s so bad about development? (Guardian

Making progress in foreign aid research (Devpolicy

Poverty continues what the Khmer Rouge started (WhyDev

What are all these violent images doing to us? (Dart-Throwing Chimp


Our collective interest: why Europe’s problems need global solutions and global problems need European action (ODI

The world will fail to meet international targets to eradicate poverty and hunger unless countries improve the way they use rainwater, which billions of people depend on to grow food, leading water experts said. (TRF

Top of the Morning | Leave a comment
a map of where syrian refugees have gone. From UNHCR

Map of the Day: Syria’s Ignominious Milestone

As of today, the number of Syrian refugees has surpassed three million.

Here is where they have gone, from the UN Refugee Agency.

a map of where syrian refugees have gone. From UNHCR

I think it’s worth adding a little bit more context to this figure. The Syrian civil war broke out in March 2011.  By the end of August 2012, there were 199,471 refugees. By the end of August 2013 that number surged to 1,834,708 people who fled fighting in Syria. Now, just one year later, that number has increased by over 1 million people.

Even more context: the three million refugees represent less than half of the total number of people displaced by Syria’s conflict. There’s an estimated 6.5 million people displaced inside Syria. This means that about half of Syria’s population has now been forced to flee their homes.

These figures are absolutely appalling. But what’s worse is that these figures are still increasing. There’s been no letup in the fighting and no letup in the number of Syrians fleeing for their lives. The situation in Syria shows absolutely no sign of abating anytime soon. Any international diplomatic effort to put an end to this civil war is stalled, perhaps permanently so.

Things are bad in Syria. And more than three years after the conflict they are only getting worse. This is a stain on the entire international community.

Rights | | Leave a comment
Security Council extends UN force in Golan Heights, calling for greater support. UNDOF peacekeepers on patrol in the Golan Heights. UN Photo/Gernot Payer

UN Peacekeepers Detained by Syrian Rebels. Scores More Threatened

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

Syrian rebels–quite probably the Al Qaeda affiliate al Nusra–have abducted over 40 peacekeepers are are threatening scores more. This is a very tense situation, but not an unusual one for UN Peacekeeping. ” Syrian rebels surrounded dozens of defiant Filipino peacekeepers in the Golan Heights on Friday and demanded they give up their weapons, hours after taking 43 Fijian soldiers hostage, authorities said. Seventy-five Filipino members of a United Nations peacekeeping force were defending two posts on the Syrian side of Golan Heights, and were prepared to fight back rather than surrender, their commander in Manila said. ‘We can use deadly force in defence of the UN facilities,” Colonel Roberto Ancan told reporters.”I [would] just like to emphasise our troops are well-armed, they are well-trained … they are well-disciplined warrior peacekeepers.’”(Guardian

Containing Ebola is going to WAY More Expensive than realized. The WHO released a new “Roadmap” to contain the spread of the outbreak in West Africa. The top line news is that more than 20,000 people could get infected before its brought under control. But the roadmap also shows that much more funding is needed to bring this under control. “This updated document is an important step in ensuring that the world’s response to the outbreak is better coordinated and more comprehensive. But it also comes with a hefty new price tag: $490 million—a nearly five-fold increase over their previous $100 million estimate. Why did the price tag increase so much over the last few weeks? The simplest explanation is “more cases, more places.” Since the WHO’s previous estimate was released at the end of July, the Ebola epidemic has spread more rapidly and in more places than many initially anticipated, including new cases in Nigeria. But the price tag is also larger because previous estimates may not have planned for such an aggressive response.”(ONE

Open Defecation in the UN’s Crosshairs… “The world’s lack of progress in building toilets and ending open defecation is having a “staggering” effect on the health, safety, education, prosperity and dignity of 2.5 billion people, the UN deputy secretary general, Jan Eliasson, has warned.Speaking as the UN prepares to debate a new set of development goals – and in the aftermath of the rape and murder of two Indian girls who were attacked as they ventured into a field to relieve themselves – Eliasson said the failure to address the issue of sanitation would prove disastrous for a third of humanity. “Sanitation is cross-cutting: if you make progress on sanitation, then you dramatically improve the achievement of at least four other goals,” he told the Guardian. (Guardian


Mark interviews BuzzFeed’s Jina Moore who offers an inside look at the toll Ebola is extracting in Liberia. (Global Dispatches Podcast

The worst ever outbreak of the Ebola disease is likely to lead to “sharply” lower growth in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone and raise financing needs in all three West African countries, an IMF spokesman said on Thursday. (Reuters

West African states should re-open their borders and end flight bans put in place to halt the spread of Ebola, the Economic Community of West African States said on Thursday. (Reuters

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa has killed more than 1,552 people out of 3,069 known cases in four countries and “continues to accelerate”, the WHO said on Thursday. (Reuters

An experimental Ebola vaccine from GlaxoSmithKline is being fast-tracked into human studies and the company plans to build a stockpile of up to 10,000 doses for emergency deployment, if results are good. (VOA


With the approach of the Gambia’s 2016 presidential elections, which will see President Yahya Jammeh seek re-election for a fifth, five-year tenure, more than a dozen opposition activists have been arrested, detained and prosecuted in the past eight months. (IPS

Zambian President Michael Sata fired Minister of Justice Wynter Kabimba on Thursday, his spokesman said, removing a potential rival at a time when questions are being asked about the health of the leader of Africa’s second-largest copper producer. (Reuters

Niger’s leader of the opposition and parliamentary speaker Hama Amadou has fled to neighbouring Burkina Faso after parliamentary leaders authorised his arrest on suspicion of involvement in a baby-trafficking network, his lawyer said on Thursday. (Reuters

Security concerns are preventing the United Nations gathering data from some areas of South Sudan to determine the full scope of a food crisis that could lead to full-blown famine by the end of the year, a WFP official said. (Reuters

A thick grey swarm of locusts engulfed Madagascar’s capital on Thursday, sending children scuttling and causing florists to burn tyres in panic. A bank of ravenous insects clouded the sky over Antananarivo, with countless thousands raining down dead on to the streets.


There are no official statistics on child marriage in Lebanon, but it takes place in several rural areas in the country and has risen with the influx of Syrian refugees, experts say. Now, Lebanon is trying to tackle the problem with legislation that would give civil authorities a role in an area that is usually the preserve of clerics.

Vital humanitarian aid poured into Gaza on Thursday as residents began rebuilding their lives following a devastating 50-day war between Israel and Hamas that experts say left no winners. Israel agreed to immediately lift restrictions on fishing, allowing boats to work up to six nautical miles from the shore in a move which went into effect early on Wednesday.


Afghanistan’s U.N. representative told President Hamid Karzai on Thursday that the audit of a disputed election would not be finished by Sept. 2, when Karzai had hoped to see a new leader inaugurated. (Reuters

A new law designed to regulate Afghanistan’s nascent mining sector could increase corruption, lead to forced displacements and even allow armed groups to take control of the sector, transparency groups have warned. (IRIN

A major protest day that Pakistan’s opposition termed decisive drew to a close on Thursday evening with thousands of activists still massed outside parliament demanding that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif resign. (Reuters

A Thai criminal court on Thursday threw out charges of murder and abuse of power faced by a former prime minister, Abhisit Vejjajiva, and his then deputy over a deadly crackdown on street protesters in 2010.

The Americas

Concerned that climate change could lead to an intensification of the global hydrological cycle, Caribbean stakeholders are working to ensure it is included in the region’s plans for Integrated Water Resources Management. (IPS

Problems in access to quality drinking water, supply shortages and inadequate sanitation are challenges facing development and the fight against poverty in Latin America. A new regional centre based in Brazil will monitor water to improve its management. (IPS

Police in Brazil have broken up an Amazon deforestation gang considered the worst currently active, officials said. The gang would invade public land in northern Para state, burn down forest, divided the land into parcels and sell them, federal police said in a statement.

Nicaragua is even poorer than Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador — which account for the vast majority of child migrants — but it has largely fended off the drug gangs terrorizing those countries and it sends few migrants north. (Reuters


How to Sustain the AfDB’s Progress after Kaberuka (CDG

Does the global HIV response understand sex? (IRIN

What women want – gender equality post 2015 (ODI

Will 74,400 Women Be Raped This August in South Africa? (Africa Check

“Yes you dolt, diseases can expand exponentially and Ebola just may” (Chris Blattman

The best evidence yet on how Theories of Change are being used in aid and development work (From Poverty to Power

Should We Use Randomized Trials for Anticorruption Education and Training? (Global Anticorruption Blog

Has the Potential of ICTs to Reduce Conflict in Africa been Over-Hyped? (World Bank

After 150 years, time to renew our commitment to the Geneva Conventions (The Interpreter

Top of the Morning | Leave a comment

Diplo Tweets