News in the Humanosphere: Whole lot of crazy going on

The United Nations has declared Iraq a Level 3 emergency. And there are only three levels. Previously CAR, South Sudan and Syria were the only top level emergencies. “‘Given the scale and complexity of the current humanitarian catastrophe, this measure will facilitate mobilization of additional resources in goods, funds and assets to ensure a more effective response to the humanitarian needs of populations affected by forced displacements’, the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Iraq (SRSG), Mr. Nickolay Mladenov said”…And in addition to the crisis on Sinjar Mountain, there’s the situation in Dahuk province, where there’s been an influx of some 400,000 IDPs since June.  (UN http://bit.ly/1ovPb7d)

Meanwhile, US Forces To Mount Possible Rescue Operation on Sinjar…“A team of US marines and special forces landed on Mount Sinjar in Iraq on Wednesday to assess options for a potential rescue of Yazidi civilians threatened by Islamic extremists and worn down by lack of food…The team that landed on Mount Sinjar on Wednesday conducted a reconnaissance mission before returning to the Kurdish regional capital, Irbil, officials said. “Today a team of fewer than 20 US personnel conducted an assessment of the situation on Mount Sinjar. All personnel have returned safely to Irbil by military air,” a US defence official said, on condition of anonymity.” (Guardian http://bit.ly/VmHQtD)

But on Twitter, a top White House Official says “Given the findings of the assessment team, an evacuation mission is far less likely” because there are far fewer stranded Yazidis than expected, and their condition is better than expected. — Ben Rhodes http://bit.ly/1ovQl2C

Africa
 Members of the United Nations Security Council arrived in Mogadishu this morning on a landmark visit to Somalia to review progress made by the Federal Government and to demonstrate their continued support for the country’s efforts to ensure a sustainable peace. (UN http://bit.ly/1p7uIo2)

An unusual glimpse into the wrenching ethical dilemma of when and how experimental drugs should be used to combat the Ebola epidemic in West Africa. (NYT http://nyti.ms/VmSlgD)

The “collapse” of healthcare systems in West Africa because of the Ebola outbreak could lead to thousands more people dying from malaria and other diseases, a leading expert has said, with the additional death toll from malaria and other diseases likely to exceed that of the outbreak itself. (Independent http://ind.pn/VmRgFH)

Peace talks between the Malian government and mainly Tuareg rebels will not resume until September 1 after both sides asked for more time to prepare, mediator Algeria said on Wednesday. (AFP http://bit.ly/1ovPCi2)

French forces in Mali captured three suspected members of terror group al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, an army spokesman said on Wednesday. (IOL news http://bit.ly/VmRkoX)

Investing in ways to adapt to climate change will promote the livelihood of 65 per cent of Africans, the United Nations environmental agency reported, warning also that failing to address the phenomenon could reverse decades of development progress on the continent. (UN http://bit.ly/1p7uxZW)

Middle East-North Africa

A ceasefire in Gaza was extended for another 72 hours despite reports of rocket fire into Israel. (Independent http://bit.ly/1ovMnae)

Libya’s parliament on Wednesday voted to disband the country’s militia brigades and called on the United Nations to protect civilians in an effort to end the worst fighting between armed factions since the 2011 fall of Muammar Gaddafi. (BBC http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-28774954)

Asia
 Five things to know about Pope Francis’ visit to South Korea (WaPo http://wapo.st/VmSsIX)

Suspected rebels killed two police officers and a civilian Wednesday in an ambush in Indian Kashmir a day after prime minister Narendra Modi visited the disputed region, police said. (AFP http://bit.ly/1ovPHCi)

The Americas
 Former governor and presidential candidate Eduardo Campos was killed in an airplane crash in Santos, Brazil. One political consequence of this tragedy is that a runoff is now more likely for incumbent Dilma Rousseff.  (CSM http://bit.ly/VmHQtD)

The Military Health System is under-recognized as a strategic asset to the United States, the assistant secretary of defense for health affairs said. (Defense.Gov http://1.usa.gov/VmRSed)

Opinion - Blogs

The response to West Africa’s Ebola Outbreak May end up doing a lot of good. (Quartz http://bit.ly/VmQZ5C)

Is a Famine Looming in Somalia? (UN Dispatch http://bit.ly/Vmqihn)

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About Author

Tom Paulson

Tom Paulson is founder and lead journalist at Humanosphere. Prior to operating this online news site, he reported on science,  medicine, health policy, aid and development for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Contact him at tom[at]humanosphere.org or follow him on Twitter @tompaulson.