News in the Humanosphere: Global immunization coverage improving, say WHO and UNICEF

Rotavirus vaccine given to child in Sudan

More countries are crossing the needed 90 percent vaccine coverage threshold, shows new data published by the World Health Organization and the U.N. Children’s Fund. “The number of countries reaching and sustaining 90 percent coverage of children with routine life-saving vaccinations has doubled since 2000. Updated data on the status of immunization worldwide in 2014 reveal that 129 countries, six more than in 2013, now immunize at least 90 percent of their children with the required three doses of diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis containing vaccines.” (WHO

Ebola “resurgence” in Liberia
A resurgence of Ebola in Liberia is likely to have originated in a survivor still carrying the virus, scientists said as the country announced a second death in the new outbreak. ( Yahoo

Study of the day
From the Natural Resources Defense Council:  “Bringing coal use to a peak by 2020 could save China billions of dollars in environmental costs, slash water consumption by nearly 30 percent and prevent tens of thousands of deaths from coal-related illnesses.” (Reuters


European timber companies have helped fund the conflict in the Central African Republic by doing business with logging firms that have paid millions of dollars to rebels, according to a watchdog group report. (AFP

Africa is likely to benefit from weak global growth by attracting more investment that will drive its development, experts said at a financing conference in Ethiopia. (Reuters

Desmond Tutu will remain in hospital for several more days to fight a persistent infection that is not related to his prostate cancer, his daughter Mpho said on Thursday. (Reuters

The NBA is holding an exhibition game in Johannesburg in which first and second generation African players square off against players from the rest of the world. (Yahoo

The fight against extremists in northern Mali has shifted from full-on combat to a phase of hide-and-seek with jihadists, who are outnumbered and avoid direct contact with French troops, the forces say. (ABC


Around 2,700 migrants were rescued from 13 boats near the coast of Libya on Wednesday, Italy’s coastguard said. (Reuters

Egypt’s cabinet has amended a draft counter-terrorism law so that journalists would be fined, rather than jailed, for contradicting the authorities’ version of any terrorist attack, the state news agency reported. (Reuters

A draft U.N. resolution on the Iran nuclear deal that says U.N. sanctions would “snap back” if Iran fails to meet its obligations also contains a surprise: The crucial mechanism will end in 10 years. (AP

In the wake of the nuclear agreement with Iran, President Obama will meet Friday with Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister, a White House official said. (WSJ


U.N. human rights investigators demanded an end to a Chinese crackdown on lawyers on Thursday after more than 100 people were detained, intimidated or went missing over the past week. (Reuters

The United States has launched a campaign to get U.N. accreditation for the nonprofit organization Freedom Now, which works to free prisoners of conscience around the world, but the effort is facing opposition, especially from China. (VOA

India and Pakistan have traded blame for a series of firefights and shelling over the past two days along their border in the disputed Kashmir region that killed five civilians and wounded nine people. (Guardian

The Americas
The United States is set to remove Cuba from the bottom tier on its list of worst human trafficking centers, U.S. sources said, in what will be another step in the historic rapprochement between the former Cold War foes. (Reuters
...and the rest

Angela Merkel has come under criticism for her awkward treatment of a young refugee girl brought to tears by the German chancellor’s comments on asylum. (AP

A fence on Hungary’s border with Serbia to stem the flow of migrants and refugees will be complete by Nov. 30, the Hungarian defense minister said Thursday. (AP

Scientists are reporting progress in the fight against a parasite that’s a major cause of diarrheal disease in the developing world. (NPR

Two Russian bloggers say they faced threats and violence when they walked through Moscow streets holding hands to gauge attitudes toward gays. (AP


The IAEA and Iran: How Inspections Work (Global Dispatches Podcast )

What if I told you every country on the planet just agreed to finance the eradication of extreme poverty by 2030–and do so in an environmentally sustainable way? (UN Dispatch

Americans and Middle Easterners are scared of the same thing after all (GlobalPost

Development finance summit: milestone or millstone for the world’s poor? (Guardian

Think Beyond Microfinance When Talking About Businesswomen (Africa Renewal

What Will It Take to Bring a Second Green Revolution to India? (Inter Press Service

How best to measure child poverty? (Guardian

Why peace won’t be enough in Colombia (IRIN

Hunting in Africa – to Ban or Not to Ban? (The Conversation Africa

Microfinance – Good for the Poor? (Africa Renewal


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]