News in the Humanosphere: Tax fraud costs Africa $50 billion a year

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New data on how illicit corporate practices and organized crime are drains on African economies: “Africa loses at least $50 billion a year to illicit practices like tax fraud, corruption and organized crime, a worrying situation that is hurting the continent’s economies, a U.N.-mandated study group warned Sunday. Illicit financial flows – which range from international corporations dodging taxes to the trafficking of weapons and minerals – are a barrier to creating jobs on the world’s poorest continent,” according to a group headed by ex-South African president Thabo Mbeki. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1BR3siA)

Aid workers released
A spokeswoman for the U.N.’s World Food Program in Sudan says a six-person Bulgarian helicopter crew has returned to South Sudan and are well a week after they went missing in a conflict-torn area. (AP http://yhoo.it/1CnR4JS)

Africa

Talks to end the conflict in South Sudan were postponed on Saturday as President Salva Kiir and rebel leader Riek Machar continued to argue over the details of a power-sharing deal proposed by regional mediators. (AFP http://yhoo.it/161WYSU)

Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta has told fellow African leaders that the International Criminal Court’s crimes against humanity trial of his deputy will collapse, and again leveled fierce criticism against the tribunal. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1CnQTya)

Chadian forces have killed 120 militants from Boko Haram in a battle in the north of neighboring Cameroon that began when the insurgents attacked its troops, the army said in a statement on Saturday, adding that three of its soldiers were killed. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1CnQUlR)

The International Criminal Court should drop or suspend charges against Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir and Kenyan Deputy President William Ruto until African concerns about the court and proposals to change its founding treaty are considered, African leaders say. (AP http://yhoo.it/161XksK)

Several people are believed to have been killed in an airstrike in southern Somalia apparently targeting a house used by members of the Al-Qaeda-affiliated Shebab militia, officials and witnesses said Sunday. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1CnR10w)

Nigerian troops Sunday repelled Islamic extremists who attacked from four fronts on Maiduguri, the biggest city in northeast Nigeria, with several civilians killed by aerial bombs and grenades and mortar shells on the ground. (AP http://yhoo.it/1CnR2lc)

A suicide bomb attack targeting a political meeting killed seven people in northeast Nigeria’s Potiskum city on Sunday, just two weeks from national elections, witnesses and a police officer told AFP. http://yhoo.it/1CnR50i)

Liberia’s education ministry said on Sunday it had postponed by two weeks the reopening of the country’s schools, which were closed six months ago to limit the spread of the Ebola virus. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1HGilKN)

Malian rebels fought pro-government militia in the northern village of Kano overnight, three security sources said, firing rockets and briefly kidnapping at least 20 people in the latest spike of violence between armed groups. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1Ag8mrI)

As West Africa’s devastating Ebola outbreak begins to dwindle, scientists are looking beyond the endgame at the kind of next-generation vaccines needed for a vital stockpile to hit another epidemic hard and fast. (Reuters http://bit.ly/168Y4vK)

MENA

Egypt deported Al Jazeera journalist Peter Greste back to his home in Australia Sunday, releasing him from more than a year’s imprisonment after his conviction of allegedly aiding the banned Muslim Brotherhood. (VOA http://bit.ly/1EYcwDl)

The United Nations mission to Iraq said Sunday that violence in the country amid the war against the extremist Islamic State group killed at least 1,375 people in January. (AP http://yhoo.it/1CnR1O7)

A U.S. defense contractor confirmed Sunday that two of its American employees were shot at in Saudi Arabia, marking the second time in less than four months that the company’s staff has been targeted. (AP http://yhoo.it/161XujI)

Spain says 400 African migrants tried to storm border fences separating its North African enclave Melilla from Morocco and has warned of a build up in numbers across the frontier. (AP http://yhoo.it/1CnR5gK)

Asia
Thousands of pro-democracy protesters returned to the streets of Hong Kong for the first mass demonstration since they shut down parts of the city late last year, demanding full democracy in the former British colony. (VOA http://bit.ly/1EYcADe)
The Americas

Chilean President Michelle Bachelet has announced plans to end a total ban on abortions in the predominantly Roman Catholic country.  (BBC http://bbc.in/1HGjL8f)

Thousands of immigrants seeking legalization through the U.S. court system have had their hearings canceled and are being told by the government that it may be 2019 or later before their futures are resolved. (AP http://yhoo.it/1HGj6nc)

Opinion/Blogs

Talking about tribalism, terrorism, touchdowns and the us vs. them mindset (Humanosphere http://bit.ly/1tRL4Gg)

Is this the end of Ebola in Liberia? (UN Dispatch http://bit.ly/1tRLigE)

Analysis: The world’s problems enter Japan’s psyche, again (AP http://yhoo.it/1CnR0d8)

Ending hunger in Africa (Inter Press Service http://bit.ly/1LAP2sr)

When is a crime of hatred not a hate crime? (The Guardian http://bit.ly/1zrQ05J)

Obama-Modi bromance disguises true state of U.S.-India relations (The Interpreter http://bit.ly/168ZbLW)

A new must-read site on Ebola and capacity building in Liberia (Rachel Strohm http://bit.ly/1tRKyYF)

Can technology help address structural discrimination in the U.S.? (Wait… What? http://bit.ly/1tRKAQy)

Who will defend tax dodging? (Global Dashboard http://bit.ly/168ZbeU)

The news from South Africa (Africa is a Country http://bit.ly/1tRKuIr)

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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.