News in the Humanosphere: Central African Republic Peace talks suspended; Widodo wins Indonesian presidency

Indonesian president-elect Joko Widodo.
Indonesian president-elect Joko Widodo.

Peace talks between the Central African Republic’s sectarian rivals were suspended Tuesday after the ex-rebel Seleka group failed to show up less than a day before the deadline of a deal. (Yahoo)

Indonesian Political Phenom Wins Presidential Election…Joko Widodo was certified the winner in a highly contentious election. He defeated the son-in-law of Suharto, Prabowo Subianto, a retired general who is not conceding defeat. “Mr. Joko, a thin, unassuming figure with what he has described as a typical “village face,” will be Indonesia’s seventh president and the first not to have emerged from the country’s political elite or to have been an army general.” (NYT)

HIV/AIDS

The ongoing International AIDS Conference in Melbourne has led to a spike in news reports about HIV/AIDS. We are collecting some of the top news here.

There is more good news about HIV treatment pills used to prevent infection in people at high risk of getting the AIDS virus: Follow-up from a landmark study that proved the drug works now shows that it does not encourage risky sex and is effective even if people skip some doses. (AP)

With HIV and AIDS disproportionately affecting indigenous people across the world, there is a strong need for culturally appropriate programs designed, championed and delivered by indigenous people, activists and experts say. Many indigenous women are living in silence with even their immediate families not knowing that they have HIV. (IPS)

A new series in the medical journal The Lancet says achieving an AIDS-free generation will not be possible unless the human rights of sex workers are recognized. Researchers say sex workers face violence and discrimination and are not able to access the care, treatment and prevention measures they need. (VOA)

As the reach of AIDS has expanded, stigma remains from Cambodia to Nigeria to Uganda. It even persists, in 2014, in developed nations like the US and Canada, according to immunologist Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. (VOA)

Africa

The recruitment and use of children by armed groups remained endemic in the Democratic Republic of the Congo between 2010 and 2013. (UN)

A massive assault by Boko Haram in the northeast Nigerian town of Damboa displaced more than 15,000 people as the security forces sent reinforcements to flush out the Islamist fighters. (AFP)

Pressure is building for lawmakers to pass a bill that would funnel billions of dollars of US investment into strengthening Africa’s electricity production and distribution capabilities, and could offer broad new support for off-grid opportunities. (IPS)

South Sudanese rebels who want to mend ties with Uganda and press for the withdrawal of Ugandan troops from South Sudan left Kampala without meeting the president, blaming miscommunication between the two sides, a rebel official said. (Reuters)

The Ebola outbreak has not hurt foreign investment in Sierra Leone but will inevitably require more spending to fight it, the country’s foreign minister said. (Reuters)

A former “cutter”, a community leader, and a teenager who narrowly escaped circumcision explain why the practice should be eradicated in Somalia. (Guardian)

A new initiative that aims to improve maternal and child health and nutrition in sub-Saharan Africa is being launched in September 2014 using digital technology. (VOA)

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan has met for the first time with some of the parents of the more than 200 schoolgirls who were kidnapped by militant group Boko Haram. (VOA)

MENA

A declining economy and a severe drought have raised concerns in Lebanon over food security as the country faces one of its worst refugee crises, resulting from the nearby Syria war, and it is these refugees and impoverished Lebanese border populations that are most vulnerable to this new threat. (IPS)

As a result of over two weeks of Israeli bombardment, thousands of Palestinian civilians have fled their homes in the north of Gaza and sought refuge in schools run by the UN agency for Palestinian refugees. (IPS)

Syria’s oil and gas industries have suffered total losses of $21.4 billion since the outbreak of the country’s war three years ago, Oil Minister Suleiman Abbas said. (Yahoo)

The UN called for help to vaccinate 765,000 young Syrian children against polio in a bid to prevent a resurgence of the crippling disease across the restive Middle East. (AFP)

Asia

The dwindling numbers of Indian girls, caused by the illegal abortion of millions of babies, has reached “emergency proportions”, fueling an increase in crimes such as kidnapping and trafficking, the United Nations warned. (TRF)

A recent UNICEF report shows that Nepal is among 10 countries in the world with the highest stunting prevalence, and one of the top 20 countries with the highest number of stunted children. (IPS)

Myanmar’s main opposition party says it has collected about five million signatures seeking reduced powers for unelected military members of parliament as the country, which emerged from dictatorship in 2011, moves towards an election next year. (Reuters)

Governments, academics, humanitarians, military leaders, and activists from across the Asia-Pacific region will gather in Tokyo today to glean expertise on responses to humanitarian crises across the region in the lead-up to the 2016 World Humanitarian Summit. (IRIN)

The Americas

Venezuelan soldiers remove hundreds of families from a notorious 45-storey Caracas skyscraper that dominates the city skyline. (BBC)

Some politicians say that the nearly 60,000 unaccompanied minors who’ve come to the US could put the nation at risk for everything from TB to mumps. Health officials tell a different story. (NPR)

The Panamanian Government will sue Colombia and Argentina managements at the Advisory Center on the World Trade Organization for disputes started in prior management. (Prensa Latina)

More than 4,000 intravenous drug users live in Vancouver’s downtown Eastside area, turning alleys around Hastings Street into open-drug markets and shooting galleries. A save haven is helping to control the spread of HIV. (VOA)

Opinion/Blogs

Inside the Fight Against Global Epidemics (UN Dispatch)

Why Isn’t the World Bank Asking What Works Before It Revamps Its Procurement Rules? (CGD)

From Havana to Bali, Third World Gets the Trade Crumbs (IPS)

Exploring Electronic Music in South Africa:The Future Looks Awesome” (Think Africa Press)

As long as it exists, child marriage will stand in the way of gender equality (Guardian)

Israel/Gazahow does it end? (IRIN)

US, Russia, China Hamper ICC’s Reach (IPS)

The Role of Government in Agriculture (CFR)

The Aid Diversion Dilemma (UN Dispatch)

Research/Reports

Successful sustainable development financing will require a reallocation of investment and the creation of innovative partnerships, according to the Intergovernmental Committee of Experts on Sustainable Development Financing. (IPS)

Ending extreme poverty and hunger will be impossible on a rapidly overheating planet plagued by punishing droughts, catastrophic floods and ever wilder weather, said climate activists involved in talks to set the Sustainable Development Goals. (IPS )

More than 700 million women worldwide were married as children, with one in three of them married before their 15th birthday, according to a global prevalence study. (Guardian)

British Prime Minister David Cameron called on Tuesday for a worldwide ban on female genital mutilation and child marriage as he launched the first UN-backed “Girl Summit” on issues that affect millions around the globe. (AFP)

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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.