Ban Ki Moon, Jim Yong Kim, Segolene Royale, Al Gore, Mike Bloomberg, a whole bunch of city mayors from around the world, business, non-profit and philanthropy leaders are descending on DC today for the start of a two day Climate Action Summit. The summit is being convened by a number of public and private partners to catalyze action around the implementation of the Paris climate agreement. “Over the course of two days, the summit will drive high-level engagement with global luminaries addressing plenary sessions on how to deliver on climate commitments and embed the transformation agenda across the globe in government, key sectors and among the general population. At the same time, the summit will focus on convening working groups for sessions on near-term implementation actions and long-term implementation needs. These will focus on City and Sub-national implementation; Transport; Land-use; Energy; Resilience/Adaptation; and Analysis and Tools to Support Decision Making.” (Climate Action 2016 http://bit.ly/1Tn9YUj)

And in other Climate News…”Ban Ki-moon says he will appoint Patricia Espinosa Cantellano as new chief of UNFCCC, as climate talks shift from setting goals to carrying them out..A former foreign minister, and currently Mexico’s ambassador to Germany, Espinosa made her mark in climate circles when she took the helm at the UN talks in 2010, a year after the process was nearly derailed in Copenhagen..She will replace Christiana Figueres of Costa Rica, who held the post for six years and will step down in July. (Guardian http://bit.ly/1TnapOD)

Mozambique’d…Donor nations and institutions that contribute to Mozambique’s state budget have suspended their support over revelations of $1.4 billion in hidden debt, officials said Wednesday…The donor group has 14 members including France, Britain, Canada, the European Union and the African Development Bank. Mozambique has admitted hiding the debt, which was used to fund maritime security vessels and defence equipment. (Yahoo! http://yhoo.it/1TnaHF2 )

Aleppo Ceasefire…An agreement has been reached with Russia to extend a ceasefire in Syria to Aleppo province, including the besieged city of Aleppo, the US State Department said. The expansion went into effect on Wednesday just after midnight in Damascus (02:00 GMT), the State Department said, noting an “overall decrease in violence” since then despite some continued fighting. “Since this went into effect today at 00:01 in Damascus, we have seen an overall decrease in violence in these areas,” spokesman Mark Toner said. (Al Jazeera http://bit.ly/1Nkdym2)

Africa

A Congo rights group that tracks rebel violence says that at least 17 civilians have been killed in the country’s east. (Yahoo! http://yhoo.it/1TKT5pJ)

Pressure is mounting on Gambia’s president Yahya Jammeh after a series of unprecedented opposition protests demanding an end to his 20-year rule. (Guardian http://bit.ly/24xdJhW)

Two Kenyan men, who allege they were subjected to forced anal examinations after being arrested for alleged homosexual conduct, have filed a constitutional petition. (VOA http://bit.ly/1SX8xPt

The death toll from last week’s collapse of a six-storey building in the Kenyan capital after heavy rain has risen to 26. (Reuters http://bit.ly/24rSaTE)

Pro-government militia killed four members of the Peuhl ethnic group in central Mali and then struck again at the funeral, killing nine more victims, a local community group said Wednesday. (ABC http://abcn.ws/1NkdqmB)

Barclays PLC said Wednesday that it will sell a 12.2% stake in its African unit to an array of investors, as the British bank pushes ahead with its retreat from the continent. (WSJ http://on.wsj.com/1NkdqTH)

MENA

David Cameron says the UK will take in more unaccompanied Syrian refugee children from Europe, although it has not committed to a specific figure. (BBC http://bbc.in/1NkdClM)

More than 1,000 Iraqis are being held without charge at makeshift counterterrorism centers throughout the country, Amnesty International says. (VOA http://bit.ly/1W5fGk1)

Poverty, desperation and the desire for revenge – more than religious motivation – are pushing Syrians to join extremist groups, according to International Alert. (Guardian http://bit.ly/21x2G6F)

The UN Security Council met Wednesday afternoon to be briefed on the situation in Syria following a week of renewed violence, particularly in Syria’s second city Aleppo. (VOA http://bit.ly/1X75NlF

The British government’s claim that Saudi Arabia’s bombing campaign in Yemen has not breached international humanitarian law is “deeply disappointing,” the international development select committee has said. (Guardian http://bit.ly/23o1UbE

In response to mortar rounds fired by Hamas toward Israeli defense forces operating outside the Gaza Strip, Israel hit five targets in Gaza with airstrikes on Wednesday, a military spokesman said. (NYT http://nyti.ms/1NkduTc)

My Couch, My Pride...Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al Abadi has become the subject of countless memes after his press office released a photo of him gazing at a white couch in Parliament that was damaged during recent political riots. (HuffPo http://huff.to/1NkdvXj)

Asia

Afghan actress Marina Golbahari, and her husband have been chased from their home to the brink of suicide in a filthy French asylum shelter after she was photographed without a veil. (Yahoo! http://yhoo.it/1Y9fChb)

A young Tibetan monk appears to have been detained by police Monday for carrying a portrait of the Dalai Lama through the streets of Ngaba in western China’s Sichuan province. (VOA http://bit.ly/1rRVc2g)

Girls make up almost half the street children in Mumbai, India, a steep increase in recent years, according a local charity. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/24rTpCd)

Police in India’s southern state of Kerala faced stone-throwing protesters demanding justice over the rape, murder and mutilation of a woman as authorities hunted for the perpetrator of the crime. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1ZeoAty)

India’s highest court on Wednesday ordered cigarette manufacturers to comply with controversial new rules requiring bigger health warnings on packets that sparked weeks-long factory shutdowns. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1OeGlTO)

The Americas

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos reiterated that the peace processes with rebel groups FARC-EP and ELN should coincide in the future, but made the beginning of official talks with the latter group to releasing detainees. (Prensa Latina http://bit.ly/1X98UcO)

El Salvador rules out talks with gangs as a government crackdown fuels fears of more bloodshed. (Yahoo! http://yhoo.it/1rvx8BQ

Mexican Federal Police rescued 18 Central American migrants of Honduran and Guatemalan origin in the northern Mexican state of Coahuila. (Prensa Latina http://bit.ly/1Y9ebPN)

The rationing and shortages in Venezuela go beyond food and have now extended to basic medical care, meaning citizens are going hungry and unable to access the care they need to survive. (CNN http://cnn.it/1VIyBkZ)

…and the rest

Encouraging women to enter local politics, setting quotas in parliaments and pushing legislation on gender equality help narrow gender gaps in politics, participants at a conference in Amman of women lawmakers said Wednesday. (Yahoo! http://yhoo.it/1rvx991)

Indigenous and civil society leaders from Indonesia, Peru, Colombia and Liberia gathered in London Wednesday to urge a boycott of firms that commit human rights violations and land seizures to cultivate palm oil. (Yahoo! http://yhoo.it/1SZjakI

A bacterium known as Wolbachia, which is fairly common in insects, can reduce mosquitoes’ ability to spread the Zika virus. (Yahoo! http://yhoo.it/1T2dXfe)

Opinion/Blogs

Bangladeshi bloggers: What we want the world to know (CNN http://cnn.it/1VKuEMF)

Tracking the global goals: four steps to make data matter (Guardian http://bit.ly/1QS6CqI

Pregnant Women Are The ‘Forgotten Victims’ Of War (Goats and Soda http://n.pr/1OerRDr)

Education Cannot Wait: Proposing a Fund for Education in Emergencies (ReliefWeb http://bit.ly/1WJmMKb)   

Models of Press Freedom (IPS http://bit.ly/1X98XVK

The World Bank is again in the top 10 of the Aid Transparency Index (World Bank Open Data Blog http://bit.ly/1Tt8mJ6

The missing development trillions: where will they come from? (Guardian http://bit.ly/1VKuGnw

Canada’s Supreme Court Hands Corruption Fighters a Victory Worth Savoring (Global Anticorruption Blog http://bit.ly/1X990B0

Discussion

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