News in the Humanosphere: Nepal toll keeps climbing

People stranded in remote villages and towns across Nepal were still waiting for aid and relief to arrive on Tuesday, four days after a devastating earthquake destroyed buildings and roads and killed more than 4,600 people. The government has yet to assess the full scale of the damage wrought by Saturday’s 7.9 magnitude quake, unable to reach many mountainous areas despite aid supplies and personnel pouring in from around the world. Prime Minister Sushil Koirala told Reuters the death toll could reach 10,000, as information of damage from far-flung villages and towns has yet to come in. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1ExQDg8)

The latest facts and figures of the damage and humanitarian response, from OCHA. http://bit.ly/1ExQKbJ)

3,000 Burundians are Fleeing Each Day
”UNHCR-Rwanda reports that as of 26 April, 20,408 Burundians had sought refuge in Rwanda over the past two weeks. UNHCR reports that together with the Government of Rwanda and partners, they are working to relocate a total of 16,000 refugees from the two reception centers, Bugesera and Nyanza, to the new Mahama refugee camp by Friday 1 May. The number of refugees being relocated on a daily basis to the new camp is increasing due to the sharply rising rate of new arrivals (almost 3,000 individuals arriving daily as of 25 April, up from an average of 500 daily arrivals between 16-21 April), overwhelming the two reception centers. UNHCR, the Government and partners are planning for a continued high rate of influx.”  (OCHA http://bit.ly/1A89E3k)

Africa

Pro-government armed groups in Mali seized the northern town of Menaka from Tuareg separatists on Monday during fierce fighting, a spokesman for the group and a resident said. (Reuters http://reut.rs/1A89Q2J)

Authorities in the Democratic Republic of Congo say armed men have crossed into the country from Uganda and set up bases in Beni territory. (VOA http://bit.ly/1OZHqPe)

South Africans celebrated the anniversary of the country’s first fully democratic elections at a time when the country is experiencing xenophobic violence, high unemployment and continued protests over the lack of basic services. (VOA http://bit.ly/1JvPEjy)

President Omar Hassan al-Bashir of Sudan won a race that was boycotted by the opposition and marred by low voter turnout. (NYT http://nyti.ms/1Fsv9lE)

More than 2,000 Zimbabweans displaced by xenophobic attacks in South Africa have packed their bags for home, but Zimbabwe is unlikely to offer them the means to restart their lives. (IRIN http://bit.ly/1QC4ebm)

MENA

A U.N. report found Israeli airstrikes hit shelters during the Gaza war, and that Palestinians likely fired weapons from two schools. (Al Jazeera http://alj.am/1ExGArq)

Arab and African migrants trying to cross the Mediterranean must cross through the lawlessness of post-Qaddafi Libya – a failed state in which human smuggling is proliferating. (NYT http://nyti.ms/1Dv6veg)

Syria’s government has introduced new rules to allow Syrian refugees and citizens trapped in neighboring countries due to expired or lost passports to apply for renewals abroad. (Al Jazeera http://alj.am/1Gqz5iR)

Asia

Afghanistan’s president was forced to briefly delay his trip to India after hundreds of Taliban attacked police and army check posts in the northern Kunduz province Monday. (VOA http://bit.ly/1Dv6I0P)

Election officials in Kazakhstan announced on Monday that voters had re-elected Nursultan A. Nazarbayev for fifth term with a whopping 97.7 percent of the vote. (NYT http://nyti.ms/1J50fyG)

Thailand’s draft constitution went to political parties for review on Monday, but they are forbidden by the junta from meeting to debate the charter. (VOA http://bit.ly/1KoSLYp)

The Americas

Brazil’s state-owned oil company, Brasileiro SA, has reported a huge loss for 2014, driven in part by a massive charge against earnings due to corruption – and the Petrobras scandal has reverberated to Brazil’s top political tiers. (VOA http://bit.ly/1GqzstO)

Middle-class Chileans, who once had high hopes after the election of Michelle Bachelet, are frustrated by dashed hopes of prosperity, persistent inequality, and distrust of the political system. (El Pais http://bit.ly/1bMGKk8; Spanish)

Grenadian fishermen say they have been catching less fish and their livelihoods are threatened by climate change. (IPS http://bit.ly/1Ow0KJ3)

...and the rest

A new report by the International Labour Organization finds people who live in rural areas have far less access to health care than do urban residents. (VOA http://bit.ly/1ExGZu2)

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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.