News in the Humanosphere: Typhoon-battered Philippines in ‘fight for survival’

Super Typhoon Hagupit (Credit: NOAA, EPA)

At least 21 people were killed and 1 million forced into shelters when Typhoon Hagupit made landfall this weekend. With climate negotiations under way in Lima, Peru, officials from the Philippines offer an expert voice on the future for island states as the planet warms. “The Philippines has long experience coping with flooding and typhoons, including building warning and evacuation systems – but those measures may not be enough to cope with the worsening impacts of climate change, the country’s climate chief warned. As powerful Typhoon Hagupit hammered the Philippines this weekend – the second year in a row the country has been battered by a major storm during the U.N. climate negotiations – the country’s negotiators called for a work plan to establish a ‘loss and damage’ mechanism to help vulnerable countries deal with growing unavoidable losses.” (AlertNet http://www.trust.org/item/20141207230615-34ovv)

The ICC dropped its case against Uhuru Kenyatta … What’s next? On Friday afternoon, the ICC formally ended the prosecution of Kenyatta for alleged war crimes stemming from the disputed 2007 elections.The collapse of the case against Kenyatta demonstrated just how difficult it is to prosecute someone who can use the mechanisms of state power to affect the outcome of the case against him. (Guardian  http://bit.ly/1G5KlTL)

Climate change progress stalls in Peru … The momentum from a historic U.S.-China pact to resist global warming is showing signs of fading at U.N. climate talks as the familiar rich-poor conflict persists over who should do what to keep the planet from overheating. (AP http://yhoo.it/12fnshN)

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Ebola

A U.N. peacekeeper who contracted Ebola in Liberia arrived in the Netherlands on Saturday for treatment, the Health Ministry said in a statement. (Reuters http://bit.ly/12fjZ2L)

A Cuban doctor who contracted Ebola in Sierra Leone and was cured after experimental treatment in a Swiss hospital vowed on Saturday to return to West Africa and continue treating patients. (Reuters http://bit.ly/12fk6eT)

Another Sierra Leonean doctor has died from Ebola, the 10th to succumb to the disease, in what the country’s chief medical officer on Sunday called a shocking trend. (AP http://yhoo.it/1ImpMVc)

Liberia’s top court issued a stay on a government order banning public gatherings in the capital ahead of Senate elections next week that was imposed because electioneering risks spreading Ebola. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/12fnkPr)

Africa

Gunmen broke into a prison in the central Nigerian city of Minna, freeing around 200 inmates, a police spokesman and security sources said. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1Imn9TA)

Civil society groups in Burundi on Sunday urged the electoral commission to halt voter registration and said fake identification cards were being used, highlighting tensions before next year’s elections. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1ImnhSQ)

Suspected rebels stabbed and hacked to death at least a dozen people in a village in northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo on Saturday, a local government official said, in the latest in a series of attacks on civilians. (Reuters http://bit.ly/12fjG86)

At least 70 Ethiopians drowned on the Red Sea Saturday when a migrant boat, bound for Yemen, capsized in rough weather, adding to what was already a record year for maritime smuggling deaths. (VOA http://bit.ly/1Ims72t)

President Obama’s National Security Council has voiced concern over Gambia’s moves to block access to top U.N. human rights investigators and enact tough new legislation against homosexuality. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1ImrExr)

Sudanese security forces arrested two prominent opposition leaders late on Saturday, days after they signed an agreement aimed at unifying opposition to President Omar Hassan al-Bashir, a leading dissident said. (Reuters http://bit.ly/12foBpI)

MENA

Planes believed to be Israeli struck inside Syria on Sunday, the Syrian government and an opposition group said, but the two entities differed over whether the targets belonged to the Syrian military. (CNN http://cnn.it/1G5J9jg)

The European Union will press Turkey to cooperate more closely in the fight against Islamic State and urge it not to undermine EU sanctions on Russia on a visit this week intended to give new impetus to often fraught EU-Turkish relations. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/12fkUAr)

Israel’s military said it had opened eight new criminal investigations into its Gaza war operations, including cases involving the deaths of 30 Palestinians. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/12fllKV)

A woman, a 10-year-old boy and a local al-Qaida leader were among at least 11 people killed alongside two Western hostages when U.S.-led forces fought Islamist militants in a failed rescue mission in Yemen, residents said on Sunday. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1ImpxcQ)

Amnesty International is calling on the international community to do more to address the Syrian refugee crisis. Millions of Syrians have fled over the borders, but only a small fraction have been given asylum in countries outside the region. (VOA http://bit.ly/12fopqq)

Asia

Indian police on Sunday arrested a driver from the international taxi-booking service Uber for allegedly raping a young woman in the capital. (AP http://yhoo.it/12fl7n2)

The Americas

Tests have identified the remains of one of 43 trainee teachers abducted 10 weeks ago in southwestern Mexico, a source close to the investigation said. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1Imofyr)

Mexican authorities on Sunday said that mounting evidence and initial DNA tests confirmed that 43 trainee teachers who were abducted by corrupt police 10 weeks ago were incinerated at a garbage dump by drug gang members. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1Imrgie)

Six men held at Guantanamo Bay were transferred to Uruguay, the largest single group of detainees to be moved from the controversial military prison in Cuba, the Pentagon said Sunday. (LAT http://lat.ms/1G5Jene)

The clamor of indigenous peoples for recognition of their ancestral lands resounded among the delegates of 195 countries at the climate summit taking place in the Peruvian capital. (IPS http://bit.ly/12fouKI)

The U.S. Senate is considering a bill that would set back food aid reform. A provision sneaked into the act would change the agency that oversees cargo preference requirements for food aid shipments. Advocates warn that the proposal pits food aid delivery against a mandate to strengthen the U.S. shipping industry. (Humanosphere http://bit.ly/12HXXXv)

Opinion/Blogs

3 big story lines from the Lima climate conference (UN Dispatch http://bit.ly/12fxpfl)

Mapping infectious disease in real time (Humanosphere http://bit.ly/12fxwYc)

Ebola in Liberia: An epidemic of rumors by Helen Epstein (The New York Review of Books http://bit.ly/12fqB18)

Kenya needs to win war of ideas to stop Islamist advance (Reuters http://bit.ly/1ImnKo6)

Latin America’s posting its worst economic growth in 5 years, but it’s not all bad news (GlobalPost http://bit.ly/12fmUIX)

To fight Islamic State, we need jobs for youth in the Middle East (GlobalPost http://bit.ly/1ImrpSO)

Volunteering abroad with children: Some recommendations (WhyDev http://bit.ly/12U2pSV)

The challenges of fighting corruption in Papua New Guinea (DevPolicy http://bit.ly/12Ub8V8)

The lesson the ICC shouldn’t learn in the wake of Kenyatta (Justice in Conflict http://bit.ly/12UbfjM)

Sierra Leone’s Ebola battle is being led by local talent that deserves our support (Guardian http://bit.ly/12fx2kX)

Growth as the cornerstone of the SDGs (CGD http://bit.ly/12fxobk)

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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.