News in the Humanosphere: US Congress fast-tracks free trade pact

A summit with leaders of the member states of the Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement (TPP) in 2010. Wikipedia

A rare moment of unity that could have profound global development consequences. “Key congressional leaders agreed on Thursday on legislation to give President Obama special authority to finish negotiating one of the world’s largest trade accords, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), opening a rare battle that aligns the president with Republicans against a broad coalition of Democrats.” Some see the TPP as a gain for American consumers and international commerce while others see it as undermining national sovereignty, environmental, labor and human rights protections. (NYTimes http://nyti.ms/1b77prE)

“Evicted and Abandoned” How the World Bank Broke its Promise to the Poor…HuffPo has published a major investigative report. Key finding: “Over the last decade, projects funded by the World Bank have physically or economically displaced an estimated 3.4 million people, forcing them from their homes, taking their land or damaging their livelihoods.” (HuffPo http://huff.to/1EOpfLr)

More Tragedies At Sea in the Mediterranean…“Italian police say they have arrested 15 Muslim migrants after they allegedly threw 12 Christians overboard following a row on a boat heading to Italy. The Christian migrants, said to be from Ghana and Nigeria, are all feared dead. In a separate incident, more than 40 people drowned after another migrant boat sank between Libya and Italy.” (BBC http://bbc.in/1EOosdr)

“The Deepest Circle of Hell”…An Inside Look at the UN’s efforts to Help Palestinians in Syria escape the Yarmouk “death camp” (Global DIspatches Podcast http://bit.ly/1Hb6lOZ)

Africa

Nigeria’s successful presidential election was nearly derailed by a plot to disrupt the announcement by Jonathan’s supporters. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1czkDh5)

In an interview, Sierra Leone’s president said the Ebola outbreak undermined his government’s efforts to boost and restructure the economy after years of civil war. (VOA http://bit.ly/1D8novc)

The recent spate of xenophobic violence in Durban, South Africa has terrified foreign nationals – particularly business owners. (VOA http://bit.ly/1D6m6RD)

An in depth look at why violence is on the rise in central Mali. (Vice http://bit.ly/1EOpK8c)

MENA

ISIS militants are launching a major offensive to take the major Iraqi city of Ramadi, capital of the Anbar province. (Xinhua http://bit.ly/1EOpvd7)

A new study concludes that Iran has greatly increased the frequency and skill of its cyber attacks, even while negotiating with world powers over its nuclear program. (NYT http://nyti.ms/1FO21RB)

The United Nations’ special envoy to Yemen has stepped down after four years of efforts at a peaceful political transition fell apart. (Al Jazeera http://alj.am/1FYxZjy)

Asia

China’s ability to rally 57 countries to join its new Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has been seen widely as a major victory, but the task of getting the bank up and running before the end of the year will be a formidable challenge. (VOA http://bit.ly/1D8mfE6)

Pakistan’s Supreme Court on Thursday suspended the death sentences issued by the recently established military courts. (NYT http://nyti.ms/1HbvE3u)

India  Facebook’s Internet.org—the social networking giant’s initiative toprovide free wireless access to certain websites in the developing world—is slowly disintegrating in India. (QZ http://bit.ly/1EOpUfL)

Americas

A mayor, a journalist and a general embody the struggle of those who refuse to give into narcoterrorism, in Tamaulipas, Mexico’s most violent state. (El País http://bit.ly/1OHpk69; Spanish)

President Obama’s removal of Cuba from the list of state sponsors of terrorism goes only a short way to reconnecting American businesses with the country, experts said. (NYT http://nyti.ms/1IOP7Ji)

UCLA’s World Policy Analysis Center has issued a report examining progress in gender equality (and lack thereof) – including the poor state of maternity leave in the US. (VOA http://bit.ly/1JMV07F)

And the rest...

A prominent Ukrainian journalist has been shot dead on the street near Kyiv. (VOA http://bit.ly/1FOgqx4)

Nearly 1.5 million Armenians died at the hands of the Ottoman Empire in 1915, during World War I, but most Turks do not believe mass killings were planned. (NYT http://nyti.ms/1FO0fjk)

Opinion/blogs

Why We Should Be Paying Attention to Burundi Right Now (UN Dispatch http://bit.ly/1EOnkGs)

Paranoia and Polarization in Turkey (NYT http://nyti.ms/1HbxrWe)

React every which way (WhyDev http://bit.ly/1czmm60)

Generational shift threatens global progress against HIV (Reuters http://tmsnrt.rs/1czmoLm)

Malala Yousafzai: Champion of education (TIME http://ti.me/1E5eeGL)

Palestinians in Syria are stuck in the “the deepest circle of Hell” (UN Dispatch http://bit.ly/1b0fg9I)

Investigative Technique: Engaging Your Target (Covering Business http://bit.ly/1Oe3ipF)

The folly of barring pregnant girls from school in Sierra Leone (Africa is a Country http://bit.ly/1zgyXjf)

From Sweden, India to Kenya, men must take a stand to protect women: #HeForShe  (Trust.org  http://tmsnrt.rs/1EOmsSl)

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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.