News in the Humanosphere: Nigerians turn out to vote, again, in local elections

Fresh off a successful presidential election, Nigerians are again casting ballots. This time, it’s for governorships. These are powerful posts that control large state budgets. In the past, contested governors races have been exceedingly heated. Presidential winner Muhammadu Buhari’s party is cementing its control over the country. Nigeria’s All Progressives Congress on Sunday made key gains in regional elections and kept power in the economic capital Lagos, strengthening its position nationwide after a historic win in the presidential vote last month. The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had controlled the presidency and a majority of Nigeria’s 36 state governments since the end of military rule in 1999. But the APC will take charge nationally when President-elect Muhammadu Buhari is sworn in on May 29, in the first-ever democratic change of power in Africa’s most populous country and its top economy. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1FDl1aM )

ISIS Destroys Ancient Archaeological Site
ISIS released a video Sunday that purportedly shows the terrorist group destroying the ancient Nimrud archaeological site near the northern Iraqi city of Mosul. Nimrud, once a capital of the Assyrian empire, was founded more than 3,300 years ago, according to the director of the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, Irina Bokova. “Its frescos and works are celebrated around the world and revered in literature and sacred texts,” she said in a statement condemning the destruction of the site. (NBC http://nbcnews.to/1Da9rA8)

Numbers of the Weekend: 1,000 and 1
Italian and merchant ships rescued around 1,000 migrants from three overcrowded skiffs near the coast of Libya and found one dead body, Italy’s coast guard said. (Reuters)

Africa

A Kenyan student died and more than 100 others were injured as they fled after an electricity transformer explosion before dawn on Sunday triggered fears that their campus was being attacked, officials said. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1z8Z6kf )

Burundi is deeply polarized and tensions are rising, even within the ruling party, because President Pierre Nkurunziza wants to stay in power despite a two-term constitutional limit. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1z8Zb7w)

Holdout rebels in Mali have refused to initial a peace deal agreed by other armed groups and the government, saying they could not accept the accord “in its current form”. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1z8Z9wm )

Sudan’s elections are of little concern to the latest arrivals at Darfur’s Zamzam camp, forced to flee their homes by fighting this year between rebels and President Omar al-Bashir’s forces. (AP http://yhoo.it/1z8Zj6P)

MENA

Unidentified gunmen fired shots at the South Korean embassy in the Libyan capital Tripoli on Sunday killing two local security guards, South Korean and Libyan officials said. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1Da8pEe)

Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi appointed his former prime minister as vice president on Sunday, a move apparently aimed at improving the chances of a peaceful settlement to the civil war that forced Hadi to flee to Saudi Arabia. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1z8ZgYT)

An Egyptian court sentenced Mohamed Badie, leader of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, and 13 other senior members of the group to death for inciting chaos and violence, and gave a life term to a U.S.-Egyptian citizen for ties to the Brotherhood. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1Da8wjb)

The head of the U.N. agency responsible for Palestinian refugees called from Damascus on Sunday for safe passage for people wishing to leave the Yarmouk camp on the city fringes that Islamic State insurgents are trying to take over. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1Da8CY0)

Asia
Thousands of Bangladeshis poured onto the streets to applaud the execution of an Islamist party official on charges of crimes against humanity during the country’s 1971 independence war, while security forces were on alert Sunday for a possible backlash from his supporters. (AP http://yhoo.it/1Da8Ez3)
The Americas

Tens of thousands of Brazilians took to the streets Sunday, venting anger over government corruption and economic drift just one month after widespread protests drew more than a million people. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1Da8HLq)

Cuban President Raul Castro told U.S. counterpart President Obama during historic face-to-face talks Saturday that negotiations to restore diplomatic ties will require much patience. (AFP  http://yhoo.it/1Da8GqL )

President Obama met privately with his Venezuelan counterpart Saturday amid a bitter dispute between the two nations over recent U.S. sanctions on seven senior Venezuelan officials. (AP http://yhoo.it/1Da8Mi2)

About 200 Central American migrants who were planning to take part in a traditional “Viacrucis” protest have been hemmed in by Mexican immigration checkpoints and threats to detain them, an activist said Saturday. (AP http://yhoo.it/1Da8N5I)

...and the rest
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott says that starting in 2016, welfare payments and childcare rebates will be cut off to families that take a “conscientious objector” exemption to avoid immunizations. (NPR http://n.pr/1Da8Qyi)
Opinion/Blogs

Jonas Salk’s Polio Vaccine Makes A Comeback (NPR http://n.pr/1Da8UhM)

Aid? What aid? Why the UK ignores its record on international development (Guardian http://bit.ly/1Da8Uyf)

Diaspora and development in Africa (Haba na Haba http://bit.ly/1Da8SXc)

7 things to know about Sudan’s elections (VOA http://bit.ly/1Da8XtO)

As Ebola is contained, what’s next for Sierra Leone? (Monkey Cage http://wapo.st/1Da8Yhw)

Measuring Women’s Empowerment: Is it worth it? Yes. (Development Horizons http://bit.ly/1Da90Wt)

Open Letter from Nabeel Rajab to President Obama (On the Ground http://nyti.ms/1Da93la)

Why Social Progress Matters (Project Syndicate http://bit.ly/1Da96xs)

How Guinea’s Journalists are Fighting to Win the War Against Ebola (USAID Impact http://1.usa.gov/1Da9ax5)

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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.