Montreal–and Justin Trudeau–play host…”Approximately 500 participants will join the conference in Montreal, including all Global Fund partners, implementers, donors, nongovernmental organizations, communities affected by HIV, TB and malaria, and representatives from international organizations, the private sector and private foundations. More information is on Global Affairs Canada Fifth Replenishment Conference website. As host of the Fifth Replenishment Conference, Canada will play a leading role in this historic opportunity to end HIV, TB and malaria as epidemics by 2030. The Fifth Replenishment Conference seeks to mobilize US$13 billion for the three-year period 2017-2019 to:vSave up to 8 million lives, for a total of 30-32 million lives saved by 2020; Build on the results achieved and prevent the resurgence of the diseases; Avert 300 million new infections; Support partners in domestic investment of US$41 billion toward the three diseases; Deliver US$290 billion in economic gain.” (Global Fund http://bit.ly/2cJeEKn)

South Sudan, Staling… “U.N. peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous said South Sudan’s government had not taken any action on a pledge it made 10 days ago to cooperate on the deployment of more United Nations troops in a bid to avoid a possible arms embargo. During a U.N. Security Council visit to South Sudan earlier this month, President Salva Kiir agreed to accept 4,000 extra peacekeepers and to allow some 12,000 peacekeepers already on the ground to move around freely so they can protect civilians. Ladsous told reporters after briefing the Security Council on Wednesday the agreement “has not been enacted upon at all.” (Reuters http://bit.ly/2caqER2)

Did the President of The Philippines Order Hits? “An admitted former assassin has accused Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte of personally ordering extrajudicial killings — and, in one case, pulling the trigger. Government officials have forcefully rejected the allegations, with Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre calling the man’s testimony “lies, fabrications and a product of a fertile and a coached imagination,” Reuters reports. The explosive testimony was delivered Thursday, at a Senate hearing related to President Duterte’s aggressive war on drugs. More than 3,500 suspected drug users and dealers have been killed on the streets in the Philippines since Duterte took office — some shot by police, others killed under unclear circumstances, possibly by vigilantes.” (NPR http://n.pr/2cJdmzf)

Africa

A repatriation program for hundreds of thousands of Somali refugees in the world’s largest refugee camp doesn’t meet international standards for voluntary return because it is marked by fear and intimidation by Kenyan authorities, Human Rights Watch says. (AP http://yhoo.it/2caqRn0)

Backers of Democratic Republic of Congo President Joseph Kabila and part of the opposition agreed on Wednesday on the sequence of a series of upcoming elections, potentially removing a major obstacle to breaking a dangerous political impasse. (Reuters http://bit.ly/2cLx63x)

From pioneering programmes in slum housing to mobile phone banking, Santiago and Nairobi are emerging hot spots for business leaders seeking to drive social change, according to a poll of experts on the best countries for social entrepreneurs. (Reuters http://bit.ly/2cctmdA)

Scores of illegal miners die each year in the labyrinth of tunnels that stretch beneath the streets of Johannesburg and beyond, although police and the government admit they have no idea of the precise toll. (VOA http://bit.ly/2cJdrD6)

Swiss firms have been criticised in a report for their links to the African trade in diesel with toxin levels that are illegal in Europe. (BBC http://bbc.in/2cJfB5i)

MENA

 

The World Bank says less than half the money pledged by donors to rebuild the Gaza Strip after the 2014 war between Hamas and Israel has been disbursed. (AP http://yhoo.it/2d2mEGZ)

Humanitarian aid is due to be delivered to Aleppo on Friday following a withdrawal of combatants from a contested road leading to the city on Thursday, a Syrian rebel official said. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/2ccsBRP)

A Syrian military source said on Thursday that it did not appear that rebel factions would disengage from a jihadist group formerly known as the Nusra Front as required by a U.S.-Russian agreement. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/2caqKbb)

Yemen’s Houthi rebels and allied troops have captured a Saudi military post in the border region of Jizan, according to military officials from the Shiite movement. (AP http://yhoo.it/2cpWU8D)

Asia

Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha on Thursday defended his country’s rights record since he seized power in a 2014 coup, saying he acted to end months of political instability. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/2d2lZp8)

A New Zealand court on Thursday found a man guilty of exploiting Fijian workers in the country’s first human-trafficking conviction. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/2ccrpxv)

The European Union has admitted Indonesia to a special licensing system it hopes will prevent the illegally felled tropical timber that makes up a substantial part of the country’s wood production from being shipped to the 28-nation bloc. (AP http://yhoo.it/2cpWAqv)

The Americas

As US-driven immigration crackdown forces many to find alternative routes through Mexico, activists fear an increase in trafficking and drownings. (Guardian http://bit.ly/2caqJUF)

The United States joined more than 20 countries to announce the creation of 40 new marine sanctuaries around the world to protect the world’s oceans from the threat of climate change and pollution. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/2cLAn2O)

The head of Mexico’s criminal investigation agency, charged with looking into the disappearance of 43 college students, has resigned. (BBC http://bbc.in/2d2nlQG)

…and the rest

Food, water and shelter are obvious basic needs for people fleeing war. But with refugees now spending roughly 20 years in exile on average, the U.N. refugee agency is calling on the world to do more to ensure refugee children have access to education as a fundamental right. (AP http://yhoo.it/2cLxoHu)

The International Monetary Fund said its board approved a long-awaited loan disbursement to Ukraine of about $1 billion after a review of the country’s bailout program. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/2d2mD5T)

With strikes and protests, French unions are staging a last-ditch bid to dismantle a labor law that weakens their powers and worker protections. (AP http://yhoo.it/2ccrFNa)

Hungary may let in more foreign workers to cope with a labor shortage, the country’s economy minister said in a newspaper interview – but they should be the right kind of foreigners. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/2ccrKAD)

Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Thursday that Germany needed “viable solutions” to integrate refugees into the workforce faster after she met blue-chip companies that have hired just over 100 refugees since around a million arrived last year. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/2cLz9on)

Opinion/Blogs

Indigenous People Need Control Over Digital Tech (SciDevNet http://bit.ly/2cLuX87)

Britain’s spending on aid isn’t too generous. It’s a drop in the ocean (Guardian http://bit.ly/2cpubLU)

A Canadian peacekeeping mission in Mali could be most dangerous choice. (Globe and Mail http://bit.ly/2cJcaM8)

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