Six aid workers were ambushed and killed in South Sudan, the deadliest attack on humanitarian workers since the East African nation’s civil war began in 2013. The attack took place Saturday on the road from Juba, the capital, to Pibor, where there have been recent reports of fighting, said Eugene Owusu, the top U.N. humanitarian official in South Sudan in a statement issued Sunday. (AP)
The White House budget office informed State Department officials this week that the administration plans to eliminate all U.S. funding to the $326 million International Organizations and Programs account, which provides more than $130 million to the U.N. Children’s Fund, a sizeable chunk of the more than $500 million the U.S. contributed to UNICEF in 2016, and around $70 million to the U.N. Development Program.
Extreme weather and climate conditions, including Arctic “heatwaves,” are continuing this year, after 2016 topped the global temperature charts and…
At least 26 people died from hunger in the semi-autonomous Jubbaland region of southern Somalia in just a day and a half, federal government radio said on its website. Somalia, like other countries in the region, is facing a devastating drought that has killed livestock, cut harvests and left 6.2 million people, about half its population, in need of food aid.
Norway has jumped from fourth place in 2016 to first place this year, followed by Denmark, Iceland and Switzerland in a tightly packed bunch. All of the top four countries rank highly on all the main factors found to support happiness: caring, freedom, generosity, honesty, health, income and good governance.
Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson pledged in talks Sunday to work to strengthen a relationship strained by disputes over North Korea and trade. Xi met Tillerson in Beijing just hours after nuclear-armed North Korea tested the U.S.-China relationship anew by announcing a provocative rocket engine trial, and with delicate negotiations under way for a Xi summit with President Donald Trump. (PRI)
An Australian aid worker, kidnapped in Afghanistan in November, has been released. Najib Danish, the deputy spokesman for the Afghan Ministry of Interior, confirmed that the woman was released in Kabul. (VOA)
Gunmen from South Sudan killed 28 people and kidnapped 43 children in neighboring Ethiopia, a government official said on Wednesday, another demonstration of how Sudan’s civil war threatens the region. The raids on Sunday and Monday occurred in Gambella’s Gog and Jor areas, which border South Sudan’s Boma region, said Chol Chany, a regional government spokesman. (Reuters)
Pirates hijacked an oil tanker with eight Sri Lankan crew onboard, a Somali official said on Tuesday, the first time they have successfully taken a commercial ship since 2012. “The pirates hijacked the oil tanker and they brought it near Alula,” Mohamud Ahmed Eynab, the district commissioner for Alula, told Reuters on Tuesday by phone.
Unknown assailants have kidnapped two United Nations officials of American and Swedish nationality in Congo’s Kasai Central province, the Congolese government said on Monday. A government statement said Michael Sharp, a U.S. citizen, and Zaida Catalan, of Swedish nationality, had “fallen into the hands of negative forces not yet identified,” along with four Congolese they were with near the village of Ngombe. (Reuters)