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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)

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