News in the Humanosphere: Jarring Revelations in Leaked UN Climate Report

(Credit: Ian Britton)

An early edition of the next big Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report was leaked. The topic was emissions. The conclusion is jarring to say the least. “Runaway growth in the emission of greenhouse gases is swamping all political efforts to deal with the problem, raising the risk of “severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts” over the coming decades, according to a draft of a major new United Nations report. Global warming is already cutting grain production by several percentage points, the report found, and that could grow much worse if emissions continue unchecked. Higher seas, devastating heat waves, torrential rain and other climate extremes are also being felt around the world as a result of human-produced emissions, the draft report said, and those problems are likely to intensify unless the gases are brought under control.” (NYT )

Following months of lobbying by poor island states and NGOs, action on climate change is to be a stand-alone goal among the 17 newly agreed Sustainable Development Goals. (IRIN )

This Gaza Ceasefire Agreement Looks Like it Will Hold… “Thousands of Palestinians are celebrating in Gaza after Israel and Palestinian groups agreed an open-ended ceasefire to end seven weeks of fighting in Gaza…Al Jazeera’s Andrew Simmons, reporting from Gaza, said that the deal agreed an immediate easing of Israel’s blockade of crossings into Gaza, and a gradual lifting of restrictions on fishing off the coast of the strip. “The embargo will be lifted and the five border posts will see considerable changes, with the Rafah border crossing opening,” he said in reference to the crossing between Egypt and Gaza. Discussions on the creation of a seaport and airport will take place in a month, when indirect talks betwen Israel and Palestinians are scheduled to resume.” (Al Jazeera)

This August UNICEF shipped 1,000 metric tons of life-saving supplies for children caught in the world’s most urgent crises — the largest emergency supply operation in the organization’s history in a single month. The amount delivered would fill 19 cargo jumbo jets.

Governments should ban the sale of e-cigarettes to minors, the World Health Organization said Tuesday, warning that they pose a “serious threat” to foetuses and young people.

The World Health Organization has withdrawn staff from a laboratory testing for Ebola at Kailahun in eastern Sierra Leone after one of its medical workers there was infected. (VOA)

The Ebola virus may have the “upper hand” in an outbreak that has killed more than 1,400 people in West Africa but experts can stop the virus’ spread, CDC Chief Thomas Frieden said at the start of his visit to the hardest-hit countries. (AP)

MSF said it could provide only limited support to tackle a new outbreak in Democratic Republic of Congo as it was already overstretched by the worst ever epidemic. (Reuters)

The outbreak of Ebola virus disease in West Africa is unprecedented in many ways, including the high proportion of doctors, nurses, and other health care workers who have been infected. To date, more than 240 health care workers have developed the disease in Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone, and more than 120 have died. (WHO)

The UN confirmed three people were killed when a Mi-8 cargo helicopter was shot down, apparently by rebels, in Benitu state South Sudan. (Guardian )

With a population of over six million, Sierra Leone has refocused its health initiatives, working tirelessly to strengthen the capacity and training of skilled midwives — an exceptional tool in reducing maternal and infant mortality. (IPS

Despite progress in five East African countries and Congo in ratifying the United Nations Convention against Torture, human rights abuse is still prevalent as governments are reluctant to draft and implement local laws, human rights experts said. (AP

Public health services in Uganda have long been poor because of limited government funding, and many qualified but poorly paid health workers have sought opportunities in Europe and the United States. Although private hospitals are springing up, most people cannot afford their services in a country where many live on less than $1 a day. (AP)

Malawian President Peter Mutharika has shot down a proposal to hike cabinet ministers’ pay to almost triple his own salary, a spokesman said Tuesday, amid austerity measures following foreign aid flight. (AFP)

The UN Security Council on Tuesday called for the “swift neutralization” of Rwandan rebels in Democratic Republic of the Congo as essential to bringing stability to the conflict-torn eastern regions of the country. (Reuters)

Family members and US officials say the Islamic State militant group has been holding a young female American aid worker hostage in Syria since last year. (AP )

Between government efforts to wipe out insurgents from Pakistan’s northern, mountainous regions, and the Taliban’s own campaign to exercise power over the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, the real victims of this conflict are often invisible. (IPS)

Thailand’s military-led government is planning to hold talks with separatist groups in Southern Thailand to try to end a decade of violence that has claimed more than 6,000 lives. Analysts remain cautious about potential progress after previous talks stalled. (VOA

Heavy flooding across Bangladesh has forced thousands of people from their homes and caused severe damage to crops, with officials on Tuesday warning the situation could worsen as floodwaters poured into the capital, Dhaka. (Reuters)

Doctors in India have removed the skeleton of a fetus that had been inside a woman for 36 years in what is believed to be the world’s longest ectopic pregnancy, a doctor has said.

On Thailand’s border with Myanmar a malaria research and treatment center is increasing efforts to kill, or eliminate, a drug-resistant form of the parasite before it spreads abroad. (VOA)

An international conference on small island developing states, scheduled to take place in Samoa next week, will bypass a politically sensitive issue: a proposal to create a new category of “environmental refugees” fleeing tiny island nations threatened by rising seas. (IPS )

As Bhutan – a nation best known for valuing “gross national happiness” above GDP – accelerates its development, its government and people have engaged in a new fight to preserve its culture and keep its unique identity alive. (Guardian )

The Americans
Salvadoran police have detained two Nicaraguan men who authorities say were transporting nine Nepalese and three Bangladeshi migrants who were bound for the United States. (AP)

Mexico’s president spoke of the need for US immigration reform on a two-day visit to immigrant-friendly California, saying those who reject diversity and inclusion will ultimately be proven wrong. (AP)

Young Colombians are taking part in a special squad of undercover agents trying to clamp down on sexual harassment on Bogota’s public bus network. (BBC)

Why have women been excluded from peace-building in Sudan? (Guardian)

Under-prepared aid agencies fail to disburse polio vaccines in Syria (Humanosphere)

International Day of the Girl: Map shows the U.N. Development Program’s gender inequality index. (Slate)

“Ebola is the Kardashian of diseases” (Chris Blattman)

Will the real humanitarians please stand up? (WhyDev)

A risky humanitarian relief gambit pays off (UN Dispatch)

Good economics and the right thing to do: how to eliminate hunger and malnutrition (DevPolicy)

Do ‘girl ads’ detract from girls’ empowerment? (The XX Factor)

Essential reading on foreign aid (Chris Blattman)

Ethiopia: Assessing the Impact of Abortion Law Change (Development Diaries)


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]