At time of publication details are sketchy, but the Nigerian government seems to want us to think so. “Nigeria’s air force said it had killed a number of senior Boko Haram fighters and possibly their overall leader, and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrived for talks on tackling the militants. Government planes attacked the Islamist group inside the Sambisa forest in its northeast heartland on Friday, the air force said, adding that it had only just confirmed details of the impact of the raid. “Their leader, so called ‘Abubakar Shekau’, is believed to be fatally wounded on his shoulders,” the statement by military spokesman Colonel Sani Kukasheka Usman added, without going into details on the source of its information. Kerry did not make a direct reference to the reported air raid on his arrival on Tuesday, but his administration has paid close attention to the fight against a militant group that has declared allegiance to Islamic State and destabilized a whole region by attacking Nigeria’s neighbors.” (Reuters http://reut.rs/2bNhA6V)

A Battle for Mosul Could Displace Millions…The United Nations refugee agency said on Tuesday that it is bracing to accommodate as many as 1.2 million displaced Iraqis when the battle begins to retake Mosul from Islamic State militants, who overran the northern city more than two years ago. A spokesman for the agency, Adrian Edwards, said it was scrambling to build encampments in six locations in northern Iraq to handle such an influx, which could inflate the country’s displaced-person population by more than a third. Mr. Edwards also said that “other shelter options are being prepared.” (NYT http://nyti.ms/2bNhcoT)

Ignoble Stat of the Day…More than 1,900 people, or about 36 per day, have been killed in a violent campaign against drugs in the Philippines since President Rodrigo Duterte came to office seven weeks ago, the country’s national police chief said on Tuesday. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/2beq44p)

Humanity Affirming Stat of the Day…Amid the depravity of the Syrian conflict the “White Helmets” of the Syrian Civil Defense Corps have saved an estimated 60,000 lives. (PBS http://to.pbs.org/2bNie44)

Africa

A member of Gambia’s main opposition has died in state custody, the United Democratic Party said Monday, in the second such case in five months. (AFP http://yhoo.it/2bzowHw)

Nigeria’s air force said it had killed some senior Boko Haram militants and believed it had fatally wounded the group’s leader in a raid on the Islamists’ northeast heartland. (Reuters http://bit.ly/2bespfJ)

Zambia’s broadcasting regulator suspended the licences of three private broadcasters, saying they had posed a risk to peace and stability during this month’s presidential election. (Reuters http://bit.ly/2bcsTc5)

A Muslim mob in northern Nigeria has killed eight people after torching the house of a man who tried to save a Christian student accused of blasphemy, police said Tuesday. (AFP http://yhoo.it/2bes10V)

About 1,500 households are now able to switch on their lights thanks to a 50,000 US dollar project funded by the U.N. Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Mali (MINUSMA). (Business Insider  http://read.bi/2bNgnfG)

MENA

 

As the Islamic State group loses ground in Iraq, the militants are showing strains in their rule over areas they still control, growing more brutal, killing deserters and relying on younger and younger recruits, according to residents who fled battleground territories. (AP http://yhoo.it/2besDU9)

Turkey has bombarded so-called Islamic State targets across the border in northern Syria ahead of an expected ground attack on an IS-held town. (BBC http://bbc.in/2bNhzjj)

Turkey has ordered residents in the town of Karkamis to evacuate after it was hit by mortars from so-called Islamic State militants in Syria. (BBC http://bbc.in/2bNhnR3)

Opponents of Libya’s U.N.-backed unity government dealt the beleaguered body a blow by voting to reject it in a rare session of the eastern-based parliament, though the government’s supporters dismissed the move as unconstitutional. (Reuters http://bit.ly/2bcuiiJ)

Israeli security forces rushed to the West Bank city of Nablus on Tuesday to rescue ultra-Orthodox Jews stoned by Palestinians as they visited a Jewish shrine, police said. (AFP http://yhoo.it/2bctwSS)

Turkish and American justice officials met on Tuesday to discuss Turkey’s demands for the extradition of a U.S.-based cleric accused of masterminding last month’s failed coup attempt. (NYT http://nyti.ms/2bNi78N)

Asia

More than 100 people fell ill in Bangladesh after inhaling gas that leaked from a fertilizer factory in the port town of Chittagong, officials said on Tuesday. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/2bBr5Gz)

The Philippines’ national police chief said on Tuesday about 300 of his officers were suspected to be involved in the drugs trade, warning these personnel will be removed and charged in court if found guilty. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/2bBr6Kw)

North Korea has been laying fresh landmines on its side of the Demilitarized Zone with South Korea, the UN Command said Tuesday, following a spate of high-profile defections. (AFP http://yhoo.it/2bfpzvu)

China’s efforts to reduce poverty have improved the lives of hundreds of millions of people, but they could be undermined in the future without efforts to root out corruption and better address public complaints, a United Nations representative for human rights warned Tuesday. (AP http://yhoo.it/2besbp4)

Government forces in Indian-controlled Kashmir fired bullets and shotgun pellets on Tuesday to break up protests demanding an end to Indian rule in the disputed Himalayan region, injuring at least 14 people, officials said. (AP http://yhoo.it/2bfxRUh)

Officials in Myanmar say United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will attend a peace conference next week that seeks to end decades of armed conflict with ethnic minority groups. (AP http://yhoo.it/2bBAw8K)

A United Nations-appointed human rights envoy said on Tuesday that the Chinese government interfered with his work during a visit to China by blocking access to individuals whom he had hoped to meet. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/2bfxGZb)

The Americas

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has set a 48-hour deadline for ministers to dismiss some public workers who requested a recall referendum against him, a Socialist Party spokesman said. (VOA http://bit.ly/2bctASy)

The head of the Organization of American States denounced corruption and violence in Venezuela, saying a 14-year prison term for an opposition leader there marked the end of democracy in the country. (AFP http://yhoo.it/2bcAd7s)

The lawyer representing Brazil’s suspended president Dilma Rousseff is a giant underdog going into her impeachment trial Thursday, but says he is counting on the weight of history to sway senators in her favor. (AP http://yhoo.it/2bBBNwP)

…and the rest

One Sudanese migrant was killed and another injured in clashes with Afghan migrants outside the French port of Calais, authorities said Tuesday. (AFP http://yhoo.it/2bBsltc)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel called Tuesday on the EU and North African countries to do deals modelled on a controversial agreement with Turkey to stem migrant flows to Europe. (AFP http://yhoo.it/2bBretD)

A new study shows that women in Britain earn consistently less once they have children — even though the overall gender pay gap has narrowed over the past two decades. (AP http://yhoo.it/2bcujTS)

New and more dangerous smuggling practices and attempts to reach Europe by riskier routes have led to a spike in the number of migrants dying as they attempt to cross the Mediterranean, according to a new analysis released Tuesday. (VOA http://bit.ly/2bfxjgU)

Opinion/Blogs

An historic first for the ICC (UN Dispatch http://bit.ly/2bNfKCR)

A death foretold: watch as Priti Patel trashes our proud record on aid (Guardian http://bit.ly/2bBqyEx)

How Infrastructure Development Can Turn Around Continent’s Fortunes (New Times http://bit.ly/2bBrs3D)

Drug killings an international issue now (IPS http://bit.ly/2bescZR)

Secret aid worker: People are hungry and I have food that can’t be delivered (Guardian http://bit.ly/2bfpoQG)

Smart Technologies Key to Youth Involvement in Agriculture (IPS http://bit.ly/2bfqxrL)

Nigeria cannot overcome its gathering humanitarian crisis alone (Guardian http://bit.ly/2bfzuB2)

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