News in the Humanosphere: Pope kicks off Latin American tour

Pope Francis. (Credit: Raffaele Esposito/flickr)

The crowds are ecstatic. “Ecuador marks the beginning of a weeklong, three-nation tour that includes Bolivia and Paraguay and that is being hailed as a homecoming of sorts for the Argentine-born pontiff. … Francis made most of the 24-mile trip from the airport to Quito in a conventional vehicle, but he spent the final leg in the “popemobile” – an open-air, converted Jeep. At times, the outpouring was so enthusiastic that the crowds seemed to be using him for target practice, flinging hats into the vehicle and pelting him with flowers and live doves. Women broke through police lines to try to shove babies into his arms.” (Miami Herald http://hrld.us/1ffh4ye)

A boost for renewables in Africa
”Kenya set in motion the construction of Africa’s biggest wind power farm this week, near Laisamis, 550km north of Kenya’s capital Nairobi. Known as the Lake Turkana Wind Power Project, the wind farm site covers 40,000 acres (162km2), which will be powered by the ‘Turkana Corridorwind.’ It is a low-level jet stream originating from the Indian Ocean and blows all year round. The project will consist of 365 turbines and expected to achieve 68% load capacity factor, which will make it the most efficient wind power farm in the world.” (QZ http://bit.ly/1evXcpK)

Africa

A suicide bombing in a church in northeastern Nigeria on Sunday killed five people, police said. (Bloomberg http://bloom.bg/1evWY1F)

East African regional heads of state plan to meet in Tanzania’s commercial capital, Dar es Salaam, on Monday to assess and find a way to resolve the crisis in Burundi. (AFP http://bit.ly/1M53yr8)

Burundi’s ruling party and its allies on Sunday told a United Nations mediator to step down, just two weeks after he was sent to help resolve the central African nation’s political crisis. (France 24 http://f24.my/1evY3GT)

Six hunters in the Democratic Republic of Congo who fell sick and were suspected to have Ebola have tested negative for the virus, the health minister said on Saturday. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1TeGoTr)

The father of a 5-year-old girl in Burkina Faso who a French prosecutor says was sexually abused by a French soldier has hired a lawyer and vowed on Sunday to follow legal proceedings closely to ensure justice is done. (AP http://yhoo.it/1NK64UP)

South Sudan’s government said Sunday it was investigating United Nations allegations that its troops raped then burned girls alive inside their homes during recent fighting in the country’s civil war. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1NK67jx)

Metema, with about 100,000 people, is one of a handful of towns across the region that serve as feeders for a booming trade in migrants from Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia and Sudan, many hoping to make their way to Europe. Life here is now a cat-and-mouse game: The authorities are cracking down, yet the migrants just keep coming, often risking death. (AP http://yhoo.it/1HGcfZn)

MENA

Secretary of State John Kerry warned Iran on Sunday that hard choices were still needed to seal a landmark nuclear accord, and that the United States was prepared to walk away if a sound agreement could not be reached. The deadline is in two days. (NYT http://nyti.ms/1evXiO0 )

Hezbollah fighters and Syrian army troops launched fresh attacks Saturday on the southern Qalamoun city of Zabadani, near the Lebanese border, tightening a siege on rebels holed up in the area. (Daily Star http://bit.ly/1evX4qa)

Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi declared a state of emergency on Saturday, saying the Islamist militant attack on a beach hotel that killed 38 foreigners had left the country “in a state of war.” (Reuters http://bit.ly/1S0O7C9)

A Moroccan journalist on hunger strike in Geneva, who was previously jailed for insulting the Moroccan king and is now being denied a passport, was told Sunday to return home to plead his case. (AP http://yhoo.it/1NK67A4)

The barren mountains separating the Lebanese village of Qaa from Syria have helped shield it from the war raging next door, yet fears of missile attacks, abductions and incursions have persisted since the conflict erupted more than four years ago. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1NK64Ew)

Iraqi Sunni political leaders are accusing the government of two bloody attacks on civilians in Anbar province in the past 24 hours. An Iraqi military spokesman denies the charges. (VOA http://bit.ly/1M53yaD)

Thousands of homes destroyed by Israeli strikes are yet to be rebuilt, a strict Israeli blockade and tightly controlled borders have added to Gazans’ misery and the risk of yet another conflict remains a threat. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1NK6iLK)

Asia

Floods inundated towns in the northern Philippines as Tropical Storm Linfa struck the northern edge of the archipelago, where relief agencies were braced for disaster on Sunday. (AFP http://bit.ly/1UplLoZ)

The World Bank has removed a sharply critical portion from a recently released report on China’s economy that called for reform of its financial system, saying the section had not been adequately reviewed and that its wording was inappropriate. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1LRjf8p)

A shoe factory collapsed in eastern China during a weekend shift, killing at least 11 people and injuring more than 30, officials said Sunday. (AP http://yhoo.it/1M53GH3)

The Americas
Pope Francis headed to Quito Sunday to begin his first South American trip in two years, for an eight-day tour of Ecuador, Bolivia and Paraguay highlighting the plight of the poor on his home continent. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1evWR6c)
...and the rest

The world needs to step up its efforts to tackle the crisis of 121 million children, particularly girls, who receive no formal schooling, Julia Gillard, the former Australian prime minister, has warned. (Guardian http://bit.ly/1TeGCKe)

Ukraine says five of its soldiers were killed and three wounded when a land mine exploded in the east of the country, where government troops are fighting Russia-backed separatists. (AP http://yhoo.it/1HGcdAB)

Opinion/Blogs

Need A Hand? Don’t Worry, The Ghanaians Got Your Back (Goats and Soda http://n.pr/1TeJmHJ)

South Africa: How History Textbooks Can Be Used to Build Children’s Empathy (The Conversation http://bit.ly/1HGckw4)

Is ‘China in Africa’ something to fear? (Monkey Cage http://wapo.st/1UpsmzV)

A Look at Hillary (and Bill) Clinton’s Past in Haiti (Africa is a Country http://bit.ly/1feYKVU)

We need to grow 50% more food yet agriculture causes climate change. How do we get out of this bind? (Guardian http://bit.ly/1feYXsj)

How Salt + Car Battery = Clean Water (Goats and Soda http://n.pr/1feZ8Uu)

On Being the Absolute Worst (Wronging Rights http://bit.ly/1feZdaG)

Can a new management tool help businesses align to SDGs? (Devex http://bit.ly/1feZVET)

Impact investing: hype v substance, the importance of ownership and the role of aid (From Poverty to Power http://bit.ly/1UpuYxK)

Should aid practitioners worry about economic inequality? (Devpolicy http://bit.ly/1UpvImw)

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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.