News in the Humanosphere: Tragedy continues in Mediterranean Sea

The Italian Navy rescues migrants on a rubber boat some 40 miles (65 kilometers) from the Libyan capital, Tripoli. (Credit: AP)

An untold hundreds of people are feared dead in the latest disaster at sea. “The fatal shipwreck may prove to be the Mediterranean’s deadliest migrant disaster ever and is only the latest tragedy in Europe’s migration crisis. Warmer spring weather has unleashed a torrent of smuggler boats, mostly from Libya, bearing migrants and refugees from the Middle East and Africa, often fleeing war and poverty for a foothold in Europe. Death at sea has become a grimly common occurrence: Even before this weekend’s sinking, humanitarian groups estimated that 900 migrants had already died this year, compared with 90 during the same period a year ago. That figure could rise sharply, as officials estimate that 700 people may have drowned in the weekend disaster.” (NYT http://nyti.ms/1O6re3A)

ISIS Stages Mass Execution of Ethiopian Christians in Libya…“ISIS released a video on Sunday that appears to show fighters from its branches in southern and eastern Libya executing dozens of Ethiopian Christians. “In the video released Sunday, Islamic State militants in Libya shot and beheaded groups of captive Ethiopian Christians. The attack widens the circle of nations affected by the group’s atrocities while showing its growth beyond a self-declared caliphate in Syria and Iraq. The release of the 29-minute video comes a day after Afghanistan’s president blamed the extremists for a suicide attack in his country that killed at least 35 people — and underscores the chaos gripping Libya after its 2011 civil war and the killing of dictator Muammar Qaddafi. It also mirrored a film released in February showing militants beheading 21 captured Egyptian Christians on a Libyan beach, which immediately drew Egyptian airstrikes on the group’s suspected positions in Libya. Whether Ethiopia would — or could — respond with similar military force remains unclear.” (FoxNews http://fxn.ws/1O6saVC)

Stat of the Day: 126 million…That’s how much USAID pledged over the weekend to help rebuild the broken health systems of the three countries most affected by the ebola outbreak. (My Central Oregon http://bit.ly/1O6rUWF)

Africa

International mediators in the conflict in northern Mali increased pressure on Tuareg-led separatists on Sunday to sign up to a U.N.-brokered peace deal by announcing a signing ceremony for May 15. (Reuters http://reut.rs/1O6rsrw)

The latest news and useful analysis of the xenophobic attacks in South Africa. (Reuters http://reut.rs/1O6riQV)

A proposed $10 billion tech hub on the outskirts of Ghana’s capital city is threatening to become a cautionary tale about over ambitious development in Africa. (Al Jazeera http://alj.am/1bh9ql6)

Nigerian agricultural minister Akinwumi Adesina is a leading contender for president of the African Development Bank. (VOA http://bit.ly/1DAgDpy)

Sudan’s opposition youth activists struggle to remain optimistic as the government cracks down on demonstrations and alternative candidates withdraw. (VOA http://bit.ly/1G9sVc8)

MENA

A court in Egypt moved closer towards imposing the death sentence on 11 fans accused of murder in the 2012 Port Said Stadium disaster after asking the country’s Grand Mufti for permission to execute the men. (Goal.com http://bit.ly/1O6rAXR)

For Eritrean and Sudanese asylum-seekers facing deportation from Israel’s Holot detention centre, the future is bleak. (IRIN http://bit.ly/1G3UvHO)

As the Saudi-led air campaign in Yemen entered a fourth week, civilians shared anguished, close-up views of life during wartime on social networks. (NYT http://nyti.ms/1IqBEUP)

Iran’s foreign minister on Friday submitted a letter to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon outlining a four-point peace plan for Yemen, where Iranian-backed Houthi rebels have been targeted for three weeks by Saudi-led air strikes. (Reuters http://reut.rs/1O6s1S0 )

Asia

A suicide bomber on a motorbike blew himself up in front of the Kabul Bank in Jalalabad early Saturday, an attack Afghan president Ghani has blamed on ISIS. (CNN http://cnn.it/1HIounP)

UNICEF is voicing concern about the decision by Australia to transfer asylum seekers detained on the Pacific island of Nauru to Cambodia. (VOA http://bit.ly/1O5QDdL)

A man set himself on fire in a heavily Tibetan region of southwest China, the second Tibetan to do so in a protest in the last two weeks. (NYT http://nyti.ms/1G8peRi)

Pakistani marine forces on Saturday arrested 47 Indian fishermen who were accused of violating Pakistan’s territorial waters in the Arabian Sea. (NYT http://nyti.ms/1OuJyhA)

Americas

People with no known contact with Western civilization nonetheless harbor antibiotic-resistant microbes, according to a study of a remote Amazonian tribe. (VOA http://bit.ly/1HIlt74)

Police abuses in Mexico, including torture to obtain false confessions, remain a “common and rooted phenomenon” in the country. (El País http://bit.ly/1Eh6W2B)

There are two dozen new HIV cases in the US state of Indiana, bringing the outbreak’s total cases to 130. (Al Jazeera http://alj.am/1IZAe76)

And the rest...

A record amount of electronic waste was generated last year, according to a United Nations University report. (VOA http://bit.ly/1zyntYP)

Opinion/blogs

Three world-changers: Drones, schools and sanitary pads (Humanosphere http://bit.ly/1DoKTAy)

Refugees who turn to sex work need support (Al Jazeera http://alj.am/1JRiCbh)

Kashmir’s Crossroads (FA http://fam.ag/1yw3vT2)

Mongolia’s Transitions: from Baikhgui to Baigaa (World Bank http://bit.ly/1EKjIp6)

Jobs and jail might not keep young men out of crime, but how about therapy? (Monkey Cage http://wapo.st/1CPu15p)

Mediating Maternal Health − Traditional Birth Attendants as Intermediaries in Western Kenya (Development Impact http://bit.ly/1bcqOH0)

The birth of a Kenyan activist in his own words (Humanosphere http://bit.ly/1H41OPN)

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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.