News in the Humanosphere: Cholera comes to Camerooon

A view from space of Cameroon, including the Bamendjing Reservoir, the city of Kimi and the Mbam River, the main tributary of the Sanaga River. Credit: NASA

A cholera epidemic has hit northern Cameroon, killing more than 200 people in less than a month. The government of the central African nation and aid agencies say some of the affected persons are refugees fleeing the Nigerian militant group Boko Haram. (VOA)

More than 3,000 people were seeking refuge in a UN school when it was hit by Israeli mortar fire. At least 16 people were killed in the strike, all civilians. Elsewhere in Gaza, the shelling of a market killed 17 people, while three Israeli soldiers were killed by booby traps. The USA and UN condemned the attack on the school, with Ban Ki Moon saying “Nothing is more shameful than attacking sleeping children.” The latest:  (BBC)

Ebola Watch

In the midst of a national doctors’ strike, Nigerian authorities are now working to prevent an outbreak of Ebola, after the country’s first patient died last week. (VOA)

Nigerian health authorities are in the process of tracing more than 30,000 people who could be at risk of contracting Ebola, after the virus surfaced in Lagos. (VOA)

The 39-year-old doctor leading the fight against Ebola in Sierra Leone has died from the virus. The country’s chief medical officer says Dr. Umar Khan died Tuesday afternoon. (VOA)

Britain on Wednesday held a top-level government meeting to discuss the spread of the highly-contagious Ebola virus in West Africa, saying the outbreak was a threat it needed to respond to. (Reuters)

Africa

Ugandan activists opened a petition Wednesday at the constitutional court seeking to overturn tough anti-gay laws that have been condemned by rights groups as draconian. (AP)

The controversial South African politician Julius Malema has released a book entitled The Coming Revolution. The book and political ambitions of the young militant is causing worry within political circles. (VOA)

PEPFAR, the biggest funder of HIV programmes in Kenya, is set to significantly scale down its funding, a move activists and government officials believe could negatively affect the country’s fight against the disease. (IRIN)

Girls and young women who allege they were sexually abused by a British Airways pilot in African schools and orphanages plan to sue the airline, a law firm representing them said on Wednesday. (Reuters)

Human rights and gay rights activists urged President Barack Obama to ensure that the issue of anti-gay discrimination in Africa is on the agenda at next week’s summit in Washington with more than 40 African leaders. (Yahoo)

MENA

Lebanese authorities have started to enforce new measures that would limit the number of Syrians entering Lebanon as part of efforts to reduce the more than one million refugees from the war-shattered nation already within their borders. (VOA)

After days of fighting, Islamist groups in Libya have seized the headquarters of the Libyan special forces in the eastern city of Benghazi. (VOA)

Asia

More than 150 people are feared trapped after a landslide swept through a village in western India. Officials in Maharashtra state said the mudslide buried at least 40 homes in a village near Pune early Wednesday. (VOA)

A United Nations-backed tribunal has begun the second trial of the two surviving senior members of the Khmer Rouge. (VOA)

The effort to end polio is taking a toll on Pakistan’s already overstretched health system. With more children dying of measles and diarrhea, some question whether the focus on polio is worth it. (NPR)

Health workers in Pakistan are trying to convince parents to let their children take a vaccine, but the program faces violent opposition. Researchers from Harvard polled the parents; the results surprised them. (NPR)

The Americas

Argentina is in default, says S&P. (Guardian)

A US federal appellate court rejected arguments that women could seek abortions outside the state, saying no state can farm its constitutional duties out to its neighbors. (NPR)

The US imposes travel restrictions on Venezuelan government officials it says are linked to human rights abuses during recent protests. (BBC)

Opinion/Blogs

Why I have become more pessimistic about Israel (Vox)

“But they have a space programme!”: untangling the foreign aid debate (New Statesman)

How to End the Gaza War (IPS)

Somalia Food Shortages Worsened By NGO Policy and Anti-Terrorism Laws (African Arguments)

Diving Into The Challenge (850 Calories)

Is cash king? The revival of the cash versus food transfers debate (Impact Evaluations)

Letters Left Unsent (book review) (Aidnography)

why I think the fatality rate in the current Ebola epidemic suffers from undercounting (haba na haba)

Watch the men who harvest cocoa try chocolate for the first time (Humanosphere)

Research/Reports

The United Nations is calling for an end to Human Trafficking as it marks the first World Day Against Trafficking in Persons. The plan focuses on preventing trafficking, prosecuting offenders and protecting victims. It calls on states to set up national programs that implement these measures. (VOA)

A “pretty good” malaria vaccine is on track to be the first to market. It only prevents infection about one-quarter to one-half the time, so it’s not as good as most vaccines. (VOA)

New study shows ‘what works’ in terms of operational leadership in humanitarian agencies (ALNAP)

Sharply higher interest rates around the world could combine with weaker growth in emerging markets to slice as much as 2 percentage points off global growth in the next five years, the International Monetary Fund said. (Reuters)

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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.