Meanwhile, the government dismisses the “irresponsible” use of the term ‘famine.’ “In its latest assessment of food security in the country, published on Thursday, the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) warned that there is a “concrete risk of famine occurring between October and December” unless more assistance is provided and access is given to aid agencies to reach affected areas…The IPC said an estimated 3.9 million people are now in urgent need of assistance, 30,000 of whom in Unity State are estimated to be living in extreme conditions. The IPC pointed out that, while there is insufficient data available to declare a famine, volatile conditions in the country have obstructed access, making timely analysis difficult.” (Guardian http://bit.ly/1PDXB9t)

El Nino Will Have a Disastrous Effect on Food Security in the South Pacific...”Farming communities throughout Indonesia are struggling with drought as rising sea temperatures associated with this year’s El Nino weather phenomenon affect rainfall across the globe. Governments in Papua New Guinea, Tonga and Samoa report similar situations as the region struggles to cope with what is shaping up to be the worst El Nino event since 1997-1998, when the weather phenomenon caused sugarcane harvests to fail and closed schools in nations across the South Pacific.” (IRIN  http://bit.ly/1PDZwuI

Kerry and Lavrov to Meet in Vienna Today for Syria Talks...”The two officials are to confer Friday, as well as participate in multilateral talks that will include the foreign ministers of Turkey and Saudi Arabia and a U.N. representative.” (VOA http://bit.ly/1NqvSGe)

Not the Onion…Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has been awarded China’s alternative to the Nobel Peace Prize for what the prize committee called his inspired national leadership and service to pan-Africanism. (VOA http://bit.ly/1PJymBX)

Stat of the Day…There are now 3.2 million people internally displaced by violence in Iraq since January 2014.  (OCHA http://bit.ly/1PDZaEq)

Africa

Eight villagers in Cameroon’s Far North region were killed in a raid by Nigerian Islamist group Boko Haram that was followed by a gunbattle between militants and security forces, a government official said on Thursday. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1kx10Kx)

More than a month after security forces chased some 15,000 Nigerians from their homes in Badia East, one of Lagos’ largest slums, thousands of families are still sleeping rough. (IRIN http://bit.ly/1LIKM7X)

Burundi’s government will be invited to talks in Brussels to seek a solution to a political crisis in the Central African country that has killed more than 120 people, EU diplomats say, warning of a suspension of aid if talks fail. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1kwUzXY)

A group of 80 humanitarian organizations are urging Mali’s government and the U.N. peacekeeping mission there to allow flights to deliver aid to the northern Kidal region. (AP http://yhoo.it/1LIMiqI)

Security forces in Guinea shot two unarmed people in the back and beat another person to death in the lead up to elections this month, human rights group Amnesty International said on Thursday. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1kwUxzf)

The European Union on Thursday called for greater cooperation with Khartoum on migration and combating human trafficking after an EU delegation visited a camp for Eritrean refugees in eastern Sudan. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1kx178X

Tom Catena teaches young medics, delivers babies and performs surgery at the only major hospital, amidst fierce fighting between rebels and government forces in Sudan’s Nuba mountains. (Guardian http://bit.ly/1PJxUn7)

Former UN chief Kofi Annan hails Energy Africa scheme as chance for continent to steer away from carbon-intensive practices of rich countries. (Guardian http://bit.ly/1jWNMpR)

Sierra Leone may be declared Ebola-free in early November, but caring for the country’s 4,051 Ebola survivors remains a big challenge. Many survivors report joint pain and vision problems, and experts also are worried about the risk of relapse. (VOA http://bit.ly/1kwUF1E)

MENA

Backed by US special operations forces, Kurdish troops stormed an Islamic State prison in Iraq early Thursday, freeing about 70 hostages in a high-stakes operation that left a US serviceman dead, the Pentagon said. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1kx12SD)

Worldwide attacks by the Islamic State group spiked more than 40 percent per day in the third quarter, according to a new report by the IHS Jane’s global defense publication. (VOA http://bit.ly/1kwUCmD)

The World Health Organization is stepping up efforts to control multiple cholera outbreaks in Africa and the Middle East to prevent the disease from spreading and threatening the health of thousands of people. (VOA http://bit.ly/1RZvgsM)

Asia

Southern Thailand was hit Thursday by the most severe haze ever from forest fires in Indonesia, forcing all schools in a province to close and disrupting flights in a popular tourist area, officials said. (VOA http://bit.ly/1RZveRt)

One of the world’s most polluted capitals, New Delhi, closed a stretch of a major road to private cars for a few hours Thursday, hoping to give its citizens a brief breath of fresh air by observing a car-free day. (AP http://yhoo.it/1kwVWpx)

The Americas

About a dozen top Haitian officials appeared on state television in an effort to reassure anxious voters that they will keep their promises of organized, fair and peaceful elections this weekend. (VOA http://bit.ly/1kwUDXB)

…and the rest

Aid workers in Serbia warn children struggling across the Balkans on their way to western Europe face serious health risks as cold winter months approach. Many children arriving here are already coughing from colds caught along the route. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1LIPiDv)

Though maternal and child survival have improved significantly during the MDGs era, its corresponding goals remain mostly unfulfilled, according to a new study by ‘Countdown to 2015’. (IPS http://bit.ly/1kwUCD5)

U.N. human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein accused the Czech Republic on Thursday of committing systematic human rights violations by detaining refugees for up to 90 days, strip-searching them for money to pay for their own detention. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1kx1ccR)

Sweden expects to receive up to 190,000 asylum applications this year, straining the country’s reception capacity with no housing available for up to 45,000 of the recent arrivals, migration authorities said on Thursday. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1LIPjXU)

More funds to help poor nations cope with climate change will be the make-or-break issue when a Paris summit seeks a U.N. deal in December to slow global warming, the main group of developing nations said on Thursday. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1LIPeDw)

Unidentified gunmen have staged a series of new sabotage attacks on boats carrying migrants cross the Aegean Sea, Human Rights Watch said on Thursday. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1kx11hF)

The plague was spreading nearly 3,000 years before previously thought, scientists say after finding traces of the disease in the teeth of ancient people — a discovery that could provide clues to how dangerous diseases evolve. (AP http://yhoo.it/1LIPfaI)

Opinion/Blogs

Nine things we learned about the global goals (Guardian http://bit.ly/1PJxJbx)

Refugees who changed the world (CNN http://cnn.it/1LIKqOz)

TPP is Bad for One’s Health (IPS http://bit.ly/1kwUa7Y)

Benghazi: Witch Hunt or Valid Investigation? (VOA http://bit.ly/1kwTzTz)

At UNGA, preventing the next outbreak by supporting right to health (GlobalPost http://bit.ly/1kwYS5q)

Breast Cancer In The Developing World: Rising Rates, Shrouded In Silence (Goats and Soda http://n.pr/1kwZ5Wz)

Optimism about Africa’s Demographic Dividend (Africa Can End Poverty http://bit.ly/1LIS9fC)

Five myths about poverty, growth and inequality (ODI http://bit.ly/1LISdMu)

Bill Easterly and the denial of inconvenient truths (Public Spheres WB http://bit.ly/1LISdvV)

Uganda, now you have touched the women… again! (Africa is a Country http://bit.ly/1LIScrK)
Dear primary health systems, it’s time for your checkup (Devex http://bit.ly/1LISoqT)

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