News in the Humanosphere: Journalists sentenced to prison in Egypt

Two million children under five die each year in central and western Africa, accounting for almost a third of all deaths worldwide in that age range, the UN children’s agency said. (AP)

Egypt: Two of the journalists were sentenced to seven years in prison, and the third was given 10 years, the three additional years apparently for his possession of a single spent bullet. The case has drawn condemnation from international rights groups and Western governments because there was no publicly available evidence that the journalists had either supported the Brotherhood or broadcast anything inaccurate.

Africa

Chinese workers have abandoned road construction and mining exploration sites in northern Cameroon in the wake of last month’s kidnapping of 10 workers by suspected Boko Haram rebels. (VOA)

Thousands of people have fled their homes in northern Liberia following an invasion of caterpillars – which have overtaken houses and schools, destroyed crops and contaminated water sources. (VOA)

A Sudanese woman on death row for refusing to renounce her Christian faith had her sentence canceled and was ordered released by a Khartoum court on Monday, the country’s official news agency, SUNA, reported. (VOA)

South Africa’s AMCU union declared a five-month platinum strike “officially over” on Monday as thousands of miners roared their approval when leader Joseph Mathunjwa asked if they wanted to end the longest work stoppage in the country’s history. (VOA)

Residents of the Central African Republic city of Bambari say that a militia attacked a nearby Muslim village and killed 18 of its inhabitants. (AP)

At least 20 people were killed in inter-clan violence in northern Kenya on, the police said, further destabilizing one of Kenya’s most volatile regions. (Reuters)

The first-ever United Nations Environmental Assembly is underway in Nairobi, Kenya, where more than 150 high-level delegations are addressing environmental sustainability challenges. (AP)

MENA

Middle East analyst Nezar al-Sayyad said US Secretary of State John Kerry’s call on Egypt’s new leaders to embrace democracy and press freedom may fall on deaf ears because Egyptians do not seem to be interested. (VOA)

A group of Egyptian human rights activists is calling on the United Nations to send a fact-finding mission to Egypt to investigate human rights violations against women, including sexual abuse and rape. (VOA)

The international chemical weapons watchdog charged with ridding Syria of its stockpile says it has received the last of the country’s toxic chemicals identified for removal. (VOA)

Non-state armed groups in Syria have used children as young as 15 to fight in battles, sometimes recruiting them under the guise of offering education. (Humano Rights Watch)

Asia

A Thai police general has announced he will give cash rewards to those turning in photos or videos of anyone illegally expressing a political stance. (VOA)

Sri Lanka’s government should take action to prosecute acts of communal violence and promote peace, say observers, following the worst clashes in five years that left at least two dead and over 80 injured. (IRIN)

A shortage of viable evacuation centers in areas hit by Typhoon Haiyan has humanitarians and officials in the Philippines concerned that survivors will not have alternative accommodation in case of another one. (IRIN)

A mine in China, where people have worked for decades, leaves a nearby village poisoned by arsenic and hundreds of residents stricken with cancer. (Reuters)

The Americas

The World Health Organization says it found a strain of the polio virus at an international airport in Brazil in March, but there are no human cases. (BBC)

The Argentine government publishes an advert in US newspapers denouncing the recent US Supreme Court ruling in favor of hedge fund investors holding its defaulted bonds. (BBC)

Starting this fall, 25 percent of all US hospitals — those with the worst records for infections and injuries — will lose 1 percent of every Medicare payment for a year. (NPR)

Opinion/Blogs

The Good and Bad News in the Fight Against Polio (UN Dispatch)

Oxfam tweet stirs UK controversy for being too political (Humanosphere)

Analysis: Looking beyond IGAD in South Sudan (IRIN)

Eastern DRC: Stop Fixating on Conflict Minerals (Think Africa Press)

Somaliland’s leading lady for women’s rights: ‘It is time for men to step up’ (Guardian)

Transforming Development: Tackling sexual violence in war needs gender justice in peace too (IDS)

Is China’s Anticorruption Crackdown Really a Crackdown on Anticorruption Activists? (Global Anticorruption Blog)

Pacific women and contraceptive use: what are the barriers? (DevPolicy)

Using Knowledge to Fight Poverty in Africa (AfricaCan End Poverty)

Research/Reports

Landmine ban success reaps results; strict adherence, rapid clearance, and assistance for victims remain crucial (Campaign to Ban Landmines)

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About Author

Tom Murphy

Tom Murphy is a New Hampshire-based reporter for Humanosphere. Before joining Humanosphere, Tom founded and edited the aid blog A View From the Cave. His work has appeared in Foreign Policy, the Huffington Post, the Guardian, GlobalPost and Christian Science Monitor. He tweets at @viewfromthecave. Contact him at tmurphy[at]humanosphere.org.