News in the Humanosphere: Peace Corps suspends Jordan program over security concerns

The U.S. Peace Corps said it is temporarily suspending its program in Jordan because of the “regional environment,” highlighting growing security concerns among some foreigners after Jordan raised its profile in the battle against Islamic State militants. “The Peace Corps announcement came after the U.S. Embassy in Jordan warned last month of a potential threat of attacks against ‘high-end malls’ in the capital Amman.” (AP http://yhoo.it/1BlYScq)

I pledge allegiance to the Islamic State
Nigeria’s militant Islamist group Boko Haram pledged allegiance on Saturday to Islamic State, which rules a self-declared caliphate in parts of Iraq and Syria, according to an audio clip posted online. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1NxLIPZ)

#IWD2015
The Clinton Foundation and Gates Foundation launched a new project for International Women’s Day yesterday. The website for “No Ceilings: The Full Participation Project” offers a trove of hard data and storytelling about global gender equality issues. The data visual elements may be particularly interesting. (No Celiings http://bit.ly/1wSqxTN)

Quote of the Day
President Obama on International Women’s Day, “the gap between women’s inherent value and how many of them are treated every day is one of the great injustices of our time.” (VOA http://bit.ly/1wRXPSQ)

Africa

Bomb blasts killed at least 50 people in Maiduguri in Nigeria’s northeast on Saturday in the worst attacks there since Islamist militants tried to seize the city in two major assaults earlier this year. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1EGr4ZN)

Niger and Chad on Sunday launched major ground and air strikes in northeast Nigeria against Boko Haram, after the militants formally pledged allegiance to the Islamic state group in Syria and Iraq. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1BlYSJo)

The United Nations Security Council strongly condemned an attack on a Bamako nightclub that killed five people Saturday, including two Europeans and a Malian policeman, calling for swift justice. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1NxLLv6)

Malian security forces mobilized Sunday to hunt the killers of two Europeans and three locals in a nightclub attack claimed by jihadists – the first to target Westerners in the capital. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1NxLOXK)

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Saturday expressed deep disappointment after troubled talks to end more than a year of bloodshed in South Sudan broke off without a deal a day earlier. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1BlYMBF)

Even in death, the former revolutionary leader of Burkina Faso, Thomas Sankara, helped inspire the uprising that ousted his successor last year, and he came to the fore again at the country’s annual film festival. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1NxLTe1)

Marking the progress in controlling its Ebola outbreak, the Liberian government dismantled a crematorium and removed drums containing the ashes of more than 3,000 Ebola victims cremated during the height of the epidemic, whose last patient was discharged last week. (AP http://yhoo.it/1A5otCx)

Guinea-Bissau said on Sunday it had dismantled a criminal operation trafficking 54 children to Senegal, where it is believed they would have been forced by Islamic schools to beg on the streets. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1EGqZFm)

Zambian President Edgar Lungu collapsed on the podium while presiding over a Women’s Day celebration in Lusaka on Sunday – less than two months after the 58-year-old took over from a leader who died in office. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1EGr38d)

The Somali government says it plans to use drones to fight the al-Qaida-linked group al-Shabab, targeting the militants’ bases and rural areas they still control. (VOA http://bit.ly/1DZqfHF)

MENA

An Egyptian court on Sunday adjourned until March 19 the trial of two Al Jazeera television journalists. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1EGr4sJ)

Tens of thousands of people rallied in Tel Aviv on Saturday against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and called for “change,” 10 days ahead of a general election. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1NxLKHF)

A Cairo schoolboy died on Sunday after being severely beaten by his teacher who has now been suspended, Egypt’s education ministry said as an inquiry was launched. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1EGr2B5)

A Moroccan woman was arrested at a Spanish airport Saturday on suspicion of recruiting European and North African women to join the Islamic State group, authorities said. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1BlYLh2)

The United Nations said on Saturday talks with Libya’s warring factions had made progress and delegates would return to Morocco next week for more negotiations after consultations at home on forming a unity government. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1NxLMz9)

Asia
Progress is being made on drawn-out border talks with India, China’s foreign minister said on Sunday, likening the process to climbing a mountain that becomes harder the closer to the summit you get. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1BlYN8C)
The Americas

The Colombian government and leftist guerrillas on Saturday jointly announced an agreement to remove landmines and other explosives from the battlefield in a sign of progress in their two-year-old peace talks being held in Cuba. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1NxLF6G)

Colombia’s government and the country’s biggest rebel movement announced an agreement Saturday to begin a pilot program for removing land mines as part of efforts to lower the intensity of a conflict that has lasted a half century. (AP http://yhoo.it/1NxLN66)

Hundreds of women are expected to participate Sunday in a march in New York City promoting gender equality by 2030. (VOA http://bit.ly/1DZquTc)

...and the rest

Beyonce Knowles and Lady Gaga are among 36 prominent women who have signed a petition calling Sunday on the G7 and the African Union to tackle female poverty. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1BlYVVI)

Human Rights Watch said all governments should ensure that women and girls with disabilities are included in programs to prevent gender-based violence. The group has released what it calls a resource designed for people with disabilities. (VOA http://bit.ly/1DZq7YH)

Opinion/Blogs

4 ways “House Of Cards” gets the U.N. wrong (UN Dispatch http://bit.ly/1EGz5xR)

Visualizing the booming business of big tobacco (Humanosphere http://bit.ly/181Z1HM)

Here are some of the countries where having a uterus can be dangerous (GlobalPost http://bit.ly/181Td0F)

Fifteen journalists, 15 voices for girls and women (Women Deliver http://tmsnrt.rs/1F0Cl7C)

Venezuela on the verge of collapse? (CNN http://cnn.it/1aVBvOd)

A 12-year-old girl shows us what it’s really like to face TB (NPR http://n.pr/1aVBTw5)

International Women’s Day: The fight for better maternal health care in Uganda (Guardian http://bit.ly/1DZqwdz)

Five myths about governance and development (ODI http://bit.ly/1F0FQLk)

Is gender inequality the main roadblock to achieving nutrition targets?  The Global Nutrition Report on gender equality (Development Horizons http://bit.ly/1F0G710)

The global women’s rights movement: what others can learn, a progress stocktake and some great videos for IWD (From Poverty to Power http://bit.ly/1A5u6AD)

Will there ever be peace in South Sudan? (Daily Beast http://thebea.st/1A5uKhv)

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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.