News in the Humanosphere: Thousands under quarantine in South Korea

Seoul, South Korea (credit: Emmanuel DYAN/flickr)

MERS has a death rate of about 27 percent. So far, most of the infected have contracted the disease in health-care settings. “South Korea has confirmed 23 more cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), bringing the total to 87, health officials say. The surge in numbers makes it the biggest outbreak of MERS outside the Middle East. On Saturday a 75-year-old man became the fifth person to die after contracting the virus. He had been in a Seoul hospital alongside other sufferers when he became ill. More than 1,600 people have now been quarantined, in a bid to stop the spread of the virus. It is caused by the coronavirus and can result in fever, breathing problems, pneumonia and kidney failure. (BBC http://bbc.in/1RWFZEp)

Turkey’s big elections
“Turkish voters delivered a rebuke on Sunday to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as his party lost its majority in Parliament in a historic election that thwarted his ambition to rewrite Turkey’s Constitution and further bolster his clout. The results represented a significant setback for Mr. Erdogan, an Islamist who has steadily increased his power since being elected last year as president, a partly but not solely ceremonial post. The prime minister for more than a decade before that, Mr. Erdogan has pushed for more control of the judiciary and cracked down on any form of criticism, including prosecuting those who insult him on social media, but his efforts appeared to have run aground on Sunday.The vote was also a significant victory to the cadre of Kurds, liberals and secular Turks who found their voice of opposition to Mr. Erdogan during sweeping antigovernment protests two years ago. For the first time, the Kurdish slate crossed a 10 percent threshold required to enter Parliament.” (NYT http://nyti.ms/1RWFtqc)

Africa

A bomb blast hit a cattle market in Nigeria’s northeastern state of Borno late on Saturday, with as many as 16 people dead, hospital and military sources said, in an attack that bore the hallmarks of Islamist Boko Haram militants. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1Qgi6dK)

Ebola-hit Guinea has extended a health emergency declared in March until the end of June, citing the persistence of the deadly virus in the country, the presidency said on Saturday. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1KOqlXA)

Burundi opposition leader Agathon Rwasa said a presidential election must be held by August at the latest, but a fair vote was unlikely without security and a free media. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1KOsZwE)

Senior officials of three African economic blocs held talks on a “one trade regime” that would forge a common market spanning the continent, at a meeting in Egypt on Sunday. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1KOqsmb)

It is in Guinea – the original epicenter but least-affected country – where the reaction to the fight against Ebola has been the most suspicious, however, manifesting itself in sporadic bloodshed. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1KjgD1i)

MENA

An international rescue fleet plucked almost 5,900 migrants from rickety boats making the perilous sea crossing for North Africa to Europe on Saturday and Sunday, Italy’s coastguard said. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1QgfyMy)

Only a handful of women have answered a call by a Tunisian rights’ group to protest the repression of women in the Muslim world by demonstrating in miniskirts. (AP http://yhoo.it/1KOqoTt)

Asia

Thailand is eager to show its new-found toughness on human trafficking, taking reporters on patrols and tours of former camps, cooperating with neighboring countries and the U.S., and arresting dozens of officials — including a high-ranking officer in the military that now controls the country. The junta even had a “National Anti-Human Trafficking Day.” (AP http://yhoo.it/1KOqpXi)

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has sealed a landmark agreement with Bangladesh to exchange tiny enclaves where thousands of people from both countries have been trapped for decades. The two countries signed several other agreements during the two-day visit, which is part of the Indian leader’s outreach to neighboring countries – intended to reduce China’s influence in the South Asian region. (VOA http://bit.ly/1Qgi6KG)

The Americas

Protesters burned ballot boxes in several restive states of southern Mexico on Sunday in an attempt to disrupt elections seen as a litmus test for President Enrique Pena Nieto’s government, while officials said the vote was proceeding satisfactorily despite “isolated incidents.” (AP http://yhoo.it/1KOqn1B)

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos says the kidnapped daughter of a high-profile security official has been freed after two days of captivity. (AP http://yhoo.it/1KOqlXM)

Tens of thousands of revelers thronged Sao Paulo’s main Paulista Avenue thoroughfare on Sunday to cavort at the city’s annual Gay Pride march. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1Qgi05U)

...and the rest
British Prime Minister David Cameron will use a meeting of the Group of Seven industrial nations to vent frustration at what he sees as poor progress toward a multibillion-dollar trade deal between the European Union and the United States. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1KOqjyV)
Opinion/Blogs

Our First Official Peak into the Document That Will Eventually Set The SDGs (UN Dispatch http://bit.ly/1cFiq35)

What can G7’s dwindling anti-poverty protesters learn from climate activists? (Guardian http://bit.ly/1InSzbm)

Are corrupt Africans really ruining FIFA? (Africa is a Country http://bit.ly/1InSFQe)

Agriculture in Africa – Telling Facts from Myths (Africa can end poverty http://bit.ly/1InSTXB)

Insights on Niger’s Economy (Sahel Blog  http://bit.ly/1AV7slM)

13 tips on data dashboards for decision-making (Wait…What? http://bit.ly/1cFivnm)

Why an opinion article on Delhi’s air pollution upset many Indians (Guardian http://bit.ly/1FDu3Qc)

Expats, the ‘scaffolds’ of locally led organizations (Devex http://bit.ly/1FDufz9)

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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.