News in the Humanosphere: Cases of Ebola confirmed in Congo, uncertain West Africa link

Ebola has come to the DRC. We can no longer refer to this as the ‘West Africa’ ebola outbreak Two out of eight cases tested in an outbreak of deadly fever in the northwest of the Democratic Republic of Congo were positive for the Ebola virus, the central African nation’s health minister confirmed on Sunday.”The results are positive. The Ebola virus is confirmed in DRC,” Felix Kabange Numbi said, referring to samples taken from people infected with the previously unidentified fever that has killed dozens since mid-August. (DW)

Libya on the Brink…The country’s main international airport has been overrun by Islamist militants. “The Islamist groups, led by a militia from the western city of Misrata under the umbrella of “Operation Dawn,” said they had captured the airport in Tripoli on Saturday after more than a month of fighting against the liberal Zintan militias, who have been assigned by the government to guard the airport since 2011…Neighboring Egypt is set to host a regional meeting on Monday to discuss the Libyan crisis. The meeting is expected to include foreign ministers from Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, Sudan and Chad, as well as representatives of the Arab League and the African Union’s envoy to Libya.”

Ebola
A Royal Air Force plane carrying a British healthcare worker who contracted Ebola in Sierra Leone – the first Briton to catch the deadly virus – took off from the capital Freetown on Sunday bound for Britain. (Reuters)

When disaster strikes a poor country, aid workers from all over the world normally flood the zone. This time, fear of the virus is keeping experts from answering West Africa’s calls for help. (NPR )

The Philippines is pulling out almost 3,500 workers from three West African states due to the Ebola outbreak, the foreign ministry said on Sunday, a day after Filipino troops in Liberia were ordered to go home. (Reuters)

Sierra Leone’s parliament has made the harboring of Ebola victims a crime punishable by two years’ jail in an attempt to stop the spread of the deadly virus, the justice minister said. (Reuters)

A meeting of African health ministers scheduled for early September in Benin has been postponed because of the Ebola epidemic, an official said Sunday.

The worst-ever outbreak of the Ebola virus is taking a heavy toll on west Africa’s economy as crops rot in the fields, mines are abandoned and goods cannot get to market.

Africa
Amnesty International is accusing Mali of holding children accused of belonging to armed militias in Mali and participating in the country’s ongoing unrest in jails and being held alongside adults. (ABC)

A member of an East African regional body monitoring a ceasefire in South Sudan died of a heart attack after some monitors were detained by rebels to the north of the country, further complicating a peace process. (Reuters)

Niger’s agriculture minister has been arrested on suspicion of involvement in a baby-trafficking network, a spokesman for his political party and legal sources said. (Reuters)

MENA
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Palestinian civilians on Sunday to leave immediately any site where militants are operating, one day after Israel flattened a 13-storey apartment block in Gaza. (Reuters )

The US government says an American held hostage for about two years by an al-Qaida-linked group in Syria has been released. (AP)

In a country where civil liberties remain the prerogative of the powerful and wealthy, the Lebanese gay scene is to be treaded carefully. The recent arrest of 27 members of the LGBT community shows that those not so lucky – those belonging to the more vulnerable tranches of society – are always at risk. (IPS)

Italy’s maritime search and rescue service saved 3,500 migrants and found 19 corpses in the Mediterranean since Friday as thousands attempted to cross to Europe by boat over the weekend, the Italian navy said. (Reuters)

Asia
The authorities in Xinjiang, the ethnically divided region in far western China, said on Saturday that eight people had been executed on charges related to separatist violence, including an attack last year in which a car plowed through tourists near Tiananmen Square in Beijing and erupted in flames. (NYT)

In Sri Lanka’s poverty-stricken Northern Province, residents say they must stretch the few resources they have in order to survive. (IPS)

A new UN report points to a sharp increase in numbers of boat people mostly from Myanmar and Bangladesh. Activists fear a further surge of refugee boat people, especially ethnic Rohingya fleeing squalid refugee camps and persecution in Myanmar. (VOA)

The Americas
Venezuela used to be a world leader in managing malaria, but is now the only country in Latin America where incidence of the disease is increasing. Around 75,000 people were infected last year, and according to government figures, 60% of cases were in Sifontes, a tiny region of the country where gold mining – where workers drill for gold in mosquito-friendly standing water – is booming, and healthcare is scarce. (BBC)
Opinion/Blogs
The Islamic State’s media logic (The Interpreter)

A New Focus on Peaceful Conflict Resolution at the UNSC? (UN Dispatch)

Development blog: Does Banning Child Marriage Really Work? (CGD)

A Bold New Way of Measuring A Country’s REAL Wealth (UN Dispatch)

Conflict and disaster reporting: Does the public still care? (ODI)

If It Looks Corrupt, It Is Corrupt (Global Anticorruption Blog)

Win $20,000 to be part of the problem? (Chris Blattman)

Which is more important – changing policies, or changing social norms and behaviours (and how are they connected)? (From Poverty to Power)

A Storm in a Bucket: Lessons from the Ice Bucket Challenge Controversy (Policy Innovations)

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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.