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The Deadly Fear of Ebola

In many ways, the fear of Ebola has been more deadly and consequential than the virus itself.

Jina Moore of BuzzFeed just returned from a reporting trip to Liberia where she detailed how the outbreak has transfixed Liberian society and politics. Moore is one of the best global beat reports in the game and her dispatches from Liberia are must-reads for anyone who wants deeper texture and analysis of ebola’s toll on a frontline state.



Previous Episodes

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


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a cruise missile fired toward Libya, credit wikipedia

Syria, Libya and the Challenge of Intervention

It is no longer a question of if, but when: the U.S. and several of its European and Middle Eastern allies appear poised to expand airstrikes against the Islamic State by targeting the organization’s sanctuaries in northern Syria. These developments have sparked intense debate over whether an earlier and more decisive intervention in Syria’s civil war could have thwarted the rise of the militant group. But a critical reference that is largely absent from this discussion involves a separate regional conflagration that is being overshadowed by events in Iraq and Syria: the deterioration of Libya.

In evaluating the promise and pitfalls of international intervention in the Middle East, Libya provides an apt comparison to the Syrian case. Unlike in Syria, external actors operating under the auspices of NATO aggressively and successfully intervened on behalf of rebel forces, helping depose the reviled regime of Muammar Gaddafi and backing the formation of a new transitional government. But just like Syria, Libya has fractured into a handful of de-facto sovereign enclaves ruled by provincial militias that clash via a tangled web of ephemeral alliances. As in Syria, despite operating under the architecture of a national, unified state, the struggle for political and economic resources in Libya continues to unfold at the subnational and transnational levels, with claims to authority cloaked in ethnic, sectarian, and ideological appeals.

Two radically different intervention strategies have therefore yielded strikingly similar outcomes. Both Libya and Syria have become havens for militants, flooded with weapons and a steady stream of outside fighters. Both have witnessed Islamic hardliners — the Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra in Syria, and Ansar al-Sharia in Libya – make significant gains over more moderate and nationalist factions. Despite an anti-Islamist resurgence led by Gen. Khalifa Hafter in Libya and the Free Syrian Army in Syria, the violence in both countries has emboldened regional affiliates or offshoots of Al Qaeda; AQIM in North Africa and the various subgroups that once comprised Al Qaeda in Iraq. Islamic authority has been declared in Benghazi, as it has in Raqqa and other towns in northern Syria and Iraq. And in both conflicts, combatants have benefitted from funding and supplies from Western and regional governments, in addition to Islamic charities and private donors. With the Islamic State’s incursion into Iraq, militants from both the Syrian and Libyan theaters enjoy access to lucrative oil resources that can be used to both sustain an insurgency and compensate for rudimentary governing structures.

These parallels serve as a critical reminder of the complexities of intervening in civil conflicts. Interventions can serve various purposes — political, military, humanitarian — and Libya reveals that a more concerted humanitarian and military response to the Syrian uprising would not have ensured a peaceful and sustainable resolution to local contests over political power. Absent a robust externally-imposed force, deposing Bashar al-Assad would not, and will not, bring stability to Syria any more than overthrowing Gaddafi brought stability to Libya. As the crosshairs move from Assad to the Islamic State, those debating an intervention should keep this in mind.

Decisive interventions often demand clear front lines and a commonly agreed-upon enemy. Libya benefited from this in the case of the feeble and wildly unpopular Gaddafi, but no longer. Like Syria (and to a degree, Iraq), Libya has proven to be a complex series of localized conflicts loosely connected under the vestiges of an artificial nation-state. Despite the regional implications, the international community is far from aligned on these battlefields.

While some argue that covert airstrikes against Libyan militants by Egypt and the UAE could open the door for allied operations both in Libya and against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, they should instead be seen as illustrating how split Western and Middle Eastern governments are in these proxy wars. The U.S., Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar, and the UAE and Egypt have all supported different (and often competing) armed groups. For those calling for intervention, then, the challenge lies not just in establishing clear goals – but getting leaders to agree on them.

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The Crushing Economic Toll of Ebola

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At this point most airlines have suspended flights to ebola affected countries, despite the WHO’s insistence that such measures are unnecessary and counter-productive. Many economic development projects are now on hold. “Ebola is causing enormous damage to West African economies, draining budgetary resources and slashing economic growth by up to 4 percent as foreign businessmen leave and projects are cancelled, the African Development Bank president said. As transport companies suspend services, cutting off the region, governments and economists have warned that the worst outbreak of the hemorrhagic Ebola fever on record could crush the fragile economic gains made in Sierra Leone and Liberia following a decade of civil war in the 1990s.” (Reuters

Nearly 2,000 people fleeing Africa and the Middle East have drowned in the Mediterranean this year…”Libya’s worsening security situation “has fostered the growth of people-smuggling operations, but also prompted refugees and migrants living there to decide to risk the sea rather than stay in a conflict zone,” the UNHCR said. The UNHCR death toll includes more than 300 people who died in three separate incidents since Aug. 22 when boats capsized off the Libyan coast.A total of 124,380 boat people – largely fleeing war, violence and persecution, the agency says – have landed in Europe since January, many after being rescued by an Italian navy and coast guard operation dubbed “Mare Nostrum”, or “Our Sea”. (Reuters


A third top doctor has died from Ebola in Sierra Leone, a government official said Wednesday. (AP

A young man on camera names the person who’s challenged him to dump the contents of a bucket over his head. But in a twist on the ice bucket challenge, this man is soon drenched in frothy, soapy water — part of a campaign to raise awareness about Ebola prevention in West Africa. (AP

The French government on Wednesday recommended its nationals avoid Sierra Leone and Liberia due to the risk associated with the Ebola virus and asked Air France-KLM to suspend flights to the Sierra Leone capital, Freetown. (Reuters

An employee of the WHO who contracted Ebola in Sierra Leone will be flown to the German city of Hamburg for treatment, a spokesman for the city said. (Reuters

Ebola has a nasty reputation for damaging the body, especially its blood vessels. But when you look at the nitty-gritty details of what happens after a person is infected, a surprising fact surfaces. (NPR

The United Nations on Wednesday allocated $1.5 million to help the Democratic Republic of Congo fight Ebola, just days after the country confirmed its first cases this year.


A young woman was shot dead in Namibia on Wednesday in clashes between police and the children of fallen independence fighters, a rare incidence of political violence in the country.

Police killed three people trying to steal a truck near a United Nations complex and the nearby U.S. embassy in Nairobi on Wednesday, police said, but staff at both sites said they were continuing with normal business. (Reuters

Budget cuts and bureaucracy have been blamed for blood shortages which have claimed several lives in Burundi and led to calls for an overhaul of the transfusion system. (IRIN

Uganda’s president recently signed the HIV and AIDS Prevention and Control Act into law, criminalizing the transmission of HIV and enforcing mandatory testing.  Such provisions have upset activists who want to de-stigmatize Uganda’s HIV-positive community. (VOA

 Kenyans living with HIV or AIDS in Kibera, Nairobi’s largest slum, are finding support groups essential to coping with the health, economic and social challenges they face. (VOA

The UN Security Council on Wednesday asked African countries of the troubled Sahel region to set up regional patrols to better protect their borders from organized crime and terror groups.


For the first time since 2007, a humanitarian convoy of the UN World Food Programme successfully crossed from Egypt into the Gaza Strip today, carrying enough food to feed around 150,000 people for five days.

WFP said that a convoy of supplies had reached 2,000 desperate families, crammed into the Iraqi city of Karbala after fleeing jihadist attacks.

A comeback by Libya’s oil industry may be short-lived as a confrontation between armed groups risks splitting the country three years after the fall of Muammar Gaddafi. (Reuters

Only a few months ago, the threat from MERS in large parts of the Gulf region appeared to be growing. Dozens of new cases were being reported every month and a key panel set up by the WHO advised that the “situation had increased in terms of its seriousness and urgency.” (IRIN

The United Nations Security Council has unanimously adopted a resolution tightening the Libya arms embargo, and calling for an end to the violence in that country. (VOA


Relief workers and aid agencies in Nepal are worried about the security, protection and psychological health of women and children in post-disaster settings. (IPS

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will promise on Thursday to provide a bank account for every Indian household when he launches a major initiative that could save billions of dollars in welfare spending and help mend strained state finances. (VOA

India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising – more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. (VOA

Flooding over the past two weeks in Bangladesh has affected more than 800,000 people.

The Americas

More than 56 million people were lifted out of poverty in Latin America and the Caribbean between 2000 and 2012, according to a UN report. (BBC

A new survey about preferences and trends in Mexico concludes that one out of every three Mexicans would migrate to the United States if given the opportunity. (CNN

In Guatemala, behind barred and locked doors, thousands of drug addicts are offered treatment by Protestant churches. Christianity offers salvation for some but many are held against their will, and some are swept off the street by “hunting” parties. (BBC


 Why I’m not doing the #icebucketchallenge or donating for ALS (Humanosphere

How commercial airlines are undermining the fight against Ebola

A great country doesn’t deport vulnerable minors (CNN

IGAD’s Missed Opportunity for Action on South Sudan (Think Africa Press

Why saying ‘seven out of ten fastest growing economies are in Africa’ carries no real meaning – (African Arguments

Which development studies books should students read? (Guardian

Pope Francis has done little to improve womens lives (Guardian

Towards a Global Governance Information Clearing House (IPS

Is There Any Way to Break the Doha Round Impasse in Agriculture Negotiations? (The Trade Beat

Building a Sustainable Future: The Compact Between Business and Society (IPS

12 Principles for Payment by Results (PbR) in the Real World (CGD


New report outlines potential use of drones in humanitarian response (OCHA

New roads long enough to girdle the Earth 600 times are expected to be built by 2050 and better planning is needed to protect the environment while also raising food production, a study showed. (Reuters

Civil society groups from several continents are stepping up a campaign urging the World Bank to strengthen a series of changes currently being made to a major annual report on countries’ business-friendliness. (IPS

Iran and the P5+1: Getting to “Yes” (Crisis Group

Rampant trash-burning is throwing more pollution and toxic particles into the air than governments are reporting, according to a scientific study estimating more than 40 percent of the world’s garbage is burned. (AP

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an airfrance plane via wikipedia

How Commercial Airlines Are Undermining the Fight Against Ebola

Ebola is not an airborne disease like Tuberculosis or Influenza. It is  spread through contact with bodily fluids of someone who is symptomatic. Because of the low likelihood of transmission from the recirculated air on commercial airlines, the WHO and International Civil Aviation Organization have not recommended any travel restrictions. They do, however, recommend that authorities screen passengers exiting ebola-affected countries for signs of illness. But, they say, even in the exceedingly unlikely event that an airline passenger has ebola the likelihood of him spreading to to other passengers is low. 

On the small chance that someone on the plane is sick with Ebola, the likelihood of other passengers and crew having contact with their body fluids is even smaller. Usually when someone is sick with Ebola, they are so unwell that they cannot travel. WHO is therefore advising against travel bans to and from affected countries.

“Because the risk of Ebola transmission on airplanes is so low, WHO does not consider air transport hubs at high risk for further spread of Ebola,” says Dr Nuttall.

Alas, most commercial airlines have succumbed to fear of Ebola.

Today, Air France announced it was suspending flights to Sierra Leone.  This was on the recommendation of the French government. British Airways has already suspended its flight from Monrovia and Conakry, Guinea. Other smaller regional airlines are also canceling flights left and right. (Korea Airlines has even suspended all routes to Kenya, which is thousands of miles from the ebola outbreak.)

As of today, there is precisely one international airline serving Freetown Sierra Leone: Royal Moroccan Airlines.

This is making life worse for people in ebola affected countries. Worse, it is undermining the international fight to contain this disease. Cutting off access to Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone means that moving the personnel and equipment required to contain the outbreak is much more logistically complicated and expensive.

The man in charge of coordinating the UN system’s response to the crisis, Dr. David Nabarro, blasted airlines for canceling routes.  “By isolating the country, it makes it difficult for the UN to do its work,” Nabarro told reporters in Freetown. In an earlier interview with the UN News Center, he said “I want to be clear, very clear, that there is no justification for stopping people from traveling to countries that are currently affected by the Ebola disease outbreak. The issue here is that you want to stop people from coming into close contact with people with Ebola virus disease, specifically from touching them. That means identifying the people who have the disease and helping them to avoid contact with other people. But it doesn’t mean that you have some kind of overall prevention of travel to the affected countries”

Still, flights are being cancelled left and right and these cancellations are starting to have a deleterious effect on international efforts to stop the spread of ebola. On Monday, the head of the US Centers for Disease Control — arguably one of the most important human beings on the planet in the fight against ebola had his flight to Freetown via Brussels Airlines cancelled, delaying a critical visit to the region. One can only imagine the hurdles that international NGOs and relief agencies are going through to move assets to the region.

The fight against ebola was always going to be difficult. But by cutting off access to affected countries, commercial airlines are arguably making it more difficult to contain this epidemic.

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A displaced Pakistani woman holds her grandson. She was displaced by fighting in North Pakistan. This photo is via UNHCR. Noor/A.Fazzina

The Impossible Suffering of Pakistani Women Displaced by War

Fouzia Bibi, mother of three from Waziristan, Pakistan lost her husband to the Taliban in the beginning of 2014. Six months later she lost her home too.

In June, the government and the military began an operation against the Taliban in North Waziristan Agency (NWA) and one of the air strikes took her home away.

Bibi is among the one million Pakistanis who have been displaced from Waziristan in northwestern Pakistan due to the government and military action against the Taliban. Around 74 percent of the internally displaced are women and children, according to the United Nations. Among them are 36,000 pregnant women.

“We will be displaced for life now, I know that. This temporary tent is my home forever. Who will build a home for us?” Bibi told me in a phone interview from her small temporary camp in Bannu, where most of the refugees from Waziristan are staying.

I am a physician from Pakistan, now living in Dallas, and I spoke with more than 20 of the women in the camps by phone this summer.

These displaced women are facing a tragically complex situation. Getting food and aid is exceptionally challenging for them as most lack local identification cards and are forbidden by tribal elders from going to distribution centers. Most do not have ID cards to begin with as being photographed is not acceptable in their society. Others live in areas so remote that they have no access to government offices that could provide them with ID cards.

In their conservative culture, these women also are barred from performing chores outside of their homes.

Many suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. There was extreme despair and anxiety displayed in every conversation. All universally have a common sense of impending doom and worthlessness.

“We are like uninvited relatives. Nobody wants us or needs us around,” Bibi told me. “Most people sympathize with us. For some we are a burden and for others, an opportunity for God’s mercy, but really for us, everything has changed, forever and we’ll never leave these tents or these camps. Even if we go back, where do we go back…?”

These women, most of who have lost their spouses or fathers or brothers in the war-torn region are at the mercy of their local Jirga, or all-male village council, which also have influence in the camps.

“They call us their ‘honor,’ but to them that is all that matters,” Bibi said. “Whether we starve does not matter to the Jirga, who will not let us get food from the food lines because leaving our homes compromises our ‘honor.’ What good is this ‘honor’ if we starve to death.”

The national government and international community can–and should–help these women. Here’s how:

-The NGO’s providing local and foreign aid need to focus on the education that would enable these women to get the help that they need. Food lines and tents are not enough when they are not accessible by the population needing them.

- The Jirgas also need to be educated to allow these women access to the help they need. Psychiatric and psychological care needs to be provided to these people who have lost their lives and loved ones to the Taliban and the resultant military action.

-This is also the time for foreign organizations and governments to help these women and children. They need drinking water, food, homes and mental health assistance.

-The world needs to offer humanitarian assistance to these unsung heroes against the war on terrorism who have given up everything to support the government and the military. The government should provide them with housing, support system and counseling, before the so-called charity organizations, who have a soft support for the Taliban and ties with several militant groups, offer help to the displaced masses.

We cannot betray these brave souls and ignore their sacrifice.

Dr. Mona Kazim Shah hosts a radio show “Politics Today” about Pakistan on FunAsia Radio and is a public voices fellow with The OpEd Project at Texas Woman’s University. She is a doctor from Pakistan and now lives in Dallas.


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Fossil fuel fired power plant, credit wikipedia

Jarring News in Leaked UN Climate Report

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An early edition of the next big Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report was leaked. The topic was emissions. The conclusion is unsettling to say the least. “Runaway growth in the emission of greenhouse gases is swamping all political efforts to deal with the problem, raising the risk of “severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts” over the coming decades, according to a draft of a major new United Nations report. Global warming is already cutting grain production by several percentage points, the report found, and that could grow much worse if emissions continue unchecked. Higher seas, devastating heat waves, torrential rain and other climate extremes are also being felt around the world as a result of human-produced emissions, the draft report said, and those problems are likely to intensify unless the gases are brought under control.”  (NYT

This Gaza Ceasefire Agreement Looks Like it Will Hold…”Thousands of Palestinians are celebrating in Gaza after Israel and Palestinian groups agreed an open-ended ceasefire to end seven weeks of fighting in Gaza…Al Jazeera’s Andrew Simmons, reporting from Gaza, said that the deal agreed an immediate easing of Israel’s blockade of crossings into Gaza, and a gradual lifting of restrictions on fishing off the coast of the strip. “The embargo will be lifted and the five border posts will see considerable changes, with the Rafah border crossing opening,” he said in reference to the crossing between Egypt and Gaza. Discussions on the creation of a seaport and airport will take place in a month, when indirect talks betwen Israel and Palestinians are scheduled to resume.” (Al Jazeera


The World Health Organization has withdrawn staff from a laboratory testing for Ebola at Kailahun in eastern Sierra Leone after one of its medical workers there was infected. (VOA

The Ebola virus may have the “upper hand” in an outbreak that has killed more than 1,400 people in West Africa but experts can stop the virus’ spread, CDC Chief Thomas Frieden said at the start of his visit to the hardest-hit countries. (AP

MSF said it could provide only limited support to tackle a new outbreak in Democratic Republic of Congo as it was already overstretched by the worst ever epidemic. (Reuters

 The outbreak of Ebola virus disease in west Africa is unprecedented in many ways, including the high proportion of doctors, nurses, and other health care workers who have been infected. To date, more than 240 health care workers have developed the disease in Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone, and more than 120 have died. (WHO


The UN confirmed three people were killed when a Mi-8 cargo helicopter was shot down, apparently by rebels, in Benitu state South Sudan. (Guardian

With a population of over six million, Sierra Leone has refocused its health initiatives, working tirelessly to strengthen the capacity and training of skilled midwives — an exceptional tool in reducing maternal and infant mortality. (IPS

 Despite progress in five East African countries and Congo in ratifying the United Nations Convention against Torture, human rights abuse is still prevalent as governments are reluctant to draft and implement local laws, human rights experts said. (AP

 Public health services in Uganda have long been poor because of limited government funding, and many qualified but poorly paid health workers have sought opportunities in Europe and the United States. Although private hospitals are springing up, most people cannot afford their services in a country where many live on less than $1 a day. (AP

Malawian President Peter Mutharika has shot down a proposal to hike cabinet ministers’ pay to almost triple his own salary, a spokesman said Tuesday, amid austerity measures following foreign aid flight. (AFP

The U.N. Security Council on Tuesday called for the “swift neutralization” of Rwandan rebels in Democratic Republic of the Congo as essential to bringing stability to the conflict-torn eastern regions of the country. (Reuters


Family members and US officials say the Islamic State militant group has been holding a young female American aid worker hostage in Syria since last year. (AP

Between government efforts to wipe out insurgents from Pakistan’s northern, mountainous regions, and the Taliban’s own campaign to exercise power over the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, the real victims of this conflict are often invisible. (IPS


Thailand’s military-led government is planning to hold talks with separatist groups in Southern Thailand to try to end a decade of violence that has claimed more than 6,000 lives. Analysts remain cautious about potential progress after previous talks stalled. (VOA

Heavy flooding across Bangladesh has forced thousands of people from their homes and caused severe damage to crops, with officials on Tuesday warning the situation could worsen as floodwaters poured into the capital, Dhaka. (Reuters

Doctors in India have removed the skeleton of a foetus that had been inside a woman for 36 years in what is believed to be the world’s longest ectopic pregnancy, a doctor has said.

On Thailand’s border with Myanmar a malaria research and treatment center is increasing efforts to kill, or eliminate, a drug-resistant form of the parasite before it spreads abroad. (VOA

An international conference on small island developing states, scheduled to take place in Samoa next week, will bypass a politically sensitive issue: a proposal to create a new category of “environmental refugees” fleeing tiny island nations threatened by rising seas. (IPS

As Bhutan – a nation best known for valuing “gross national happiness” above GDP – accelerates its development, its government and people have engaged in a new fight to preserve its culture and keep its unique identity alive. (Guardian

The Americas

Salvadoran police have detained two Nicaraguan men who authorities say were transporting nine Nepalese and three Bangladeshi migrants who were bound for the United States. (AP

Mexico’s president spoke of the need for US immigration reform on a two-day visit to immigrant-friendly California, saying those who reject diversity and inclusion will ultimately be proven wrong. (AP

Young Colombians are taking part in a special squad of undercover agents trying to clamp down on sexual harassment on Bogota’s public bus network. (BBC


 Why have women been excluded from peace-building in Sudan? (Guardian

Under-prepared aid agencies fail to disburse polio vaccines in Syria (Humanosphere

International Day of the Girl: Map shows the U.N. Development Program’s gender inequality index. (Slate

“Ebola is the Kardashian of diseases” (Chris Blattman

Will the real humanitarians please stand up? (WhyDev

A risky humanitarian relief gambit pays off (UN Dispatch

Good economics and the right thing to do: how to eliminate hunger and malnutrition (DevPolicy

Do ‘girl ads’ detract from girls’ empowerment? (The XX Factor

Essential reading on foreign aid (Chris Blattman

Ethiopia: Assessing the Impact of Abortion Law Change (Development Diaries


This August UNICEF shipped 1,000 metric tonnes of life-saving supplies for children caught in the world’s most urgent crises — the largest emergency supply operation in the organization’s history in a single month. The amount delivered would fill 19 cargo jumbo jets.

Following months of lobbying by poor island states and NGOs, action on climate change is to be a stand-alone goal among the 17 newly agreed Sustainable Development Goals. (IRIN

Governments should ban the sale of e-cigarettes to minors, the World Health Organization said Tuesday, warning that they pose a “serious threat” to foetuses and young people.

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