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Our Urban Future…A new UN report predicts a sharp rise in urban living. “Two-thirds of the world’s population will live in cities by 2050, posing unique infrastructural challenges for African and Asian countries, where 90% of the growth is predicted to take place…Africa is projected to experience a 16% rise in its urban population by 2050 – making it the most rapidly urbanising region on the planet – as the number of people living in its cities soars to 56%. The report predicts there will be more than 40 megacities worldwide by 2050,each with a population of at least 10 million. Delhi, Shanghai and Tokyo are predicted to remain the world’s most populous cities in 2030, when each is projected to be home to more than 30 million people.” (Guardian http://bit.ly/1qZrllc)

Happy World Population Day!

A Child Migrant’s Story: What is compelling this surge in migration to the USA, particularly of unaccompanied minors? Who are these children and families? And what is their journey like? Mark speaks with Gary Shaye of Save the Children, which is running a relief operation in Texas for children and families that have made it across the border. (Global Dispatches Podcast http://bit.ly/1jgzwa5)

Africa

Amnesty International has published the names of people suspected to have committed human rights violations and war crimes in the Central African Republic. The human rights group says these individuals must be investigated and held accountable in order for the country to begin a peace and reconciliation process. (VOA http://bit.ly/TV5uNk)

More than half of China’s foreign aid of over $14 billion between 2010 and 2012 was directed to Africa, the government said on Thursday, underscoring Beijing’s interest in the resource-rich continent to fuel its economy. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1qZjeoK)

The number of hungry people in Somalia will increase this year for the first time since the 2011 famine as drought is starting to bite, the United Nations said. (Thompson Reuters Foundation http://bit.ly/TV2X5u)

Health workers in Liberia are said to be fleeing and returning from their areas of assignment due to the increasing number of Ebola patients. Some are said to have died from treating patients infected by the deadly virus. (The New Dawn http://bit.ly/1qZlP23)

A new study by two British universities says Somalia’s piracy problem can be sustainably solved by building roads and harbors to encourage people in remote areas to engage in legitimate trade. (AP http://yhoo.it/TV6qRR)

MENA

The United Nations has evacuated dozens of foreign staff from its mission in Libya due to a deteriorating security situation in the North African country, a U.N. spokesman said on Thursday. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1qZqNMm)

Palestinian deaths from Israel’s aerial attacks in Gaza rose sharply on Thursday, while militants there fired more than 100 rockets into Israel, reaching new targets spread across a vast swath of the country. (NYT http://nyti.ms/1jhB3wS)

Asia

John Kerry arrived in Afghanistan Friday on a key mission to try to quell tensions over disputed presidential polls which have triggered fears of violence and ethnic unrest. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1jhBIya)

India’s new government has unveiled what it says is a roadmap to revive economic growth, which has fallen to its lowest level in nearly two decades. (VOA http://bit.ly/TV0GY1)

The US military is scaling back its counter-terrorism assistance program in the southern Philippines after more than a decade of regular rotations. The move comes despite persisting security threats in the region. (VOA http://bit.ly/1qZj40K)

Four reporters and the chief executive officer of a magazine in Myanmar have been sentenced to 10 years at hard labor in prison on a national security charge for investigative stories about a weapons factory. (AP http://yhoo.it/TV69ya)

The Americas

The Nicaraguan government has confirmed the country’s first two cases of people infected with a mosquito-borne virus that has spread quickly through the Caribbean region this year. (AP http://yhoo.it/1qZrKUT)

Panama’s new president Juan Carlos Varela’s key challenges include dealing with slower economic growth, rising inflation and the goal of reducing poverty. http://bit.ly/TV1rQU

Opinion/Blogs

“Help” is Hurting Africa (Medium http://bit.ly/1ju4yvz)

I’m getting tired of ‘corporatization’ claims regarding the development industry (Aidnography http://bit.ly/U5ssl1)

What Can South Africa Learn From India’s Response to Sexual Violence? (Daily Maverick http://bit.ly/TV2iBg)

The west’s peanut butter bias chokes Haiti’s attempts to feed itself (Guardian http://bit.ly/1qZiRKQ)

Q&A with Simon Denyer: India’s Massive, Complex Democracy (VOA http://bit.ly/1qZjAM2)

The Elusive Quest for Women’s Land Rights (CGD http://bit.ly/TV1oEK)

Q&A with Rita Manchanda: Conflict and Women’s Rights (VOA http://bit.ly/TV19JL)

The Brics New Development Bank and Currency Reserve Arrangement At a Glance (GEG Africa http://bit.ly/1qZkto5)

Can the New African Court Truly Deliver Justice for Serious Crimes? (ISS http://bit.ly/1qZkCHZ)

Obama’s Quick Fix Won’t Solve the Regional Refugee Crisis (IPS http://bit.ly/TV54WZ)

Research/Reports

A cash injection of as little as $12 per month for an impoverished family could determine whether a child eats properly or goes to school or not. With cash transfer programmes around the world now having a profound impact on the lives of poor people, the debate is less about whether to implement them than how to do so. (IRIN http://bit.ly/TV0urP)

The dealings of public finance institutions, which use billions of euros of taxpayers’ money to fund private sector projects in poor countries, remain shrouded in secrecy and skewed to favour the governments of wealthy states, according to a coalition of NGOs. (Guardian http://bit.ly/TV1kF1)

Some of the statistics in the latest Millennium Development Goals report are up to four years old, according to the lead author of the UN’s recent report. (SciDevNet http://bit.ly/TV2Nvc)

Between 2009 and 2012, an estimated 94,000 newborn deaths were averted as a result of the scale-up of these malaria interventions during pregnancy. Countries attaining high coverage and use of malaria control interventions during this period saw child mortality rates fall by as much as to 20%. (WHO http://bit.ly/TV4Wad)

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