News in the Humanosphere: U.S.-Burundi relations under review following elections

The United States will review its relations and level of aid to Burundi over the next two months after the central African nation held elections that Washington says were not credible, the U.S. ambassador said on Thursday. “Over the next couple of months we will be reviewing very carefully the level of our assistance, what programmes will be continued or not,” Ambassador Dawn Liberi told Reuters, adding it would be driven by policy concerns and administrative issues. “It is a process that will obviously continue depending on what happens politically.” (Reuters http://bit.ly/1fpOAkU)

Do deworming programs really get kids back to school?
A new study casts some doubt on a long held belief in the the development community.  “Researchers from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) have now re-analysed the trial data and published two papers in the International Journal of Epidemiology. They found, as the original researchers had found, that there had been a decrease in worm infections, some evidence of small improvements to nutritional status and no benefit on exam results in the schools. But there had been no increased attendance in the schools where children had not been treated or taught about worms as the original study said – that was down to calculation errors and was wrong.”  (Guardian http://bit.ly/1ekfgma)

#WormWars
A lively debate broke out on Twitter and blogs in response to the deworming re-analysis. Researchers involved in the original study and others heavily criticized reports published by the Guardian and Buzzfeed. For more: http://bit.ly/1CSW236

Longread of the day
The Wall Street Journal take a deep dive into the awful phenomenon of dowry payments and immolation in India. (WSJ http://on.wsj.com/1ekfNET)

Africa

Burundian security forces crushed anti-government demonstrations, including shooting protesters running away from them, to silence those opposed to President Pierre Nkurunziza bid for a third term, a rights group said Thursday. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1gQYk8L)

Fighting in northern South Sudan is preventing lifesaving aid from reaching thousands of people living in “inhumane conditions”, including starving children, the medical charity Doctors Without Borders said on Thursday. (TRF http://yhoo.it/1HVOoS9)

Anti-corruption campaign group Global Witness on Thursday accused palm oil company Golden Veroleum of taking advantage of the Ebola epidemic in Liberia to double the size of its plantation. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1KngTho)

A video showing a South African and a Swedish hostage alive in Mali after three years, is a sign that their captors are willing to negotiate, the founder of a South African humanitarian organization said Thursday. (AP http://yhoo.it/1gQYlcY)

Opposition legislators have boycotted a vote in Angola’s parliament in a rare show of dissent against one of Africa’s most autocratic governments, accusing it of covering up details of lawmaking and new loan deals struck with China. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1KngNq5)

Ghana’s parliament was thrown into darkness by a power outage on Wednesday, leading to jeers from the opposition as MPs flipped open their mobile phones to use as flashlights. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1fpOB8q)

MENA

Turkey plunged into the fight against the Islamic State on Thursday, rushing forces into the first direct combat with its militants on the Syrian border and granting permission for American warplanes to use two Turkish air bases for bombarding the group in Syria. (NYT http://nyti.ms/1Op8x74)

Up to 40 migrants who were seeking to reach Europe are feared dead after their inflatable dinghy sank off the coast of Libya, according to survivors interviewed by the UN refugee agency Thursday. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1gQYqx4)

A close adviser to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said Iran’s nuclear accord with world powers will force the West to soften its stance against Damascus and deal with its government to find a negotiated solution to Syria’s civil war. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1HVOxVM)

Syria’s two main political opposition groups agreed on Thursday on a unified “road map” for a political solution to the country’s long-running civil war, representatives of the groups said. (AP http://yhoo.it/1HVOvwY)

Asia

Sri Lanka plans to store and use a billion cubic meters of rainwater per year, which would otherwise drain into the sea, in an ambitious effort to boost irrigation and power production. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1HVOucj)

A new report says human rights workers in Myanmar face threats to their personal security despite moves toward political reform since military rule gave way to an elected government four years ago. (AP http://yhoo.it/1HVOvNn)

Beijing on Thursday hit out at long jail sentences handed to more than 150 Chinese nationals for illegal logging in Myanmar, in the latest tremor to shake relations between the neighbors. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1gQYiOi)

Since China took control of Hong Kong from Britain in 1997, the city’s billionaires have played a leading role in hewing the Asian financial center to Beijing’s priorities. So too have a dwindling band of fishermen and farmers. (AP http://yhoo.it/1HVOtVQ)

India’s premier political parties have come up with a new strategy to get even with each other – scam versus scam. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1HVOv04)

The Americas

In the seven months since the U.S. and Cuba declared detente, American politicians have flooded Havana to see the sights, meet the country’s new entrepreneurs and discuss the possible end of the U.S. trade embargo with leaders of the communist government. (AP http://yhoo.it/1HVOt8h)

Venezuela’s opposition coalition announced Wednesday that it will list candidates on a single ballot card in parliamentary elections, signaling a commitment to unity. (AP http://yhoo.it/1HVOycg)

The U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee voted 18-12 on Thursday to end restrictions on Americans travel to Cuba, a committee spokesman said. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1HVOw3W)

Brazil’s government says the jobless rate in Latin America’s largest country rose for the sixth straight month in June. (AP http://yhoo.it/1gQYoFG)

Opinion/Blogs

The Myth of the Ethical Shopper (The Huffington Post http://huff.to/1ML21Hf)

Addis Outcome Will Impact Heavily on Post-2015 Agenda – Part 2 (IPS http://bit.ly/1LyXWc3)

Obama Thinks Solar Power Will Boost Kenya. Kenyans Aren’t So Sure (Goats and Soda http://n.pr/1GIeciQ)

Education in emergencies: The EU can lead the way (Devex http://bit.ly/1VCxDoh)

The Addis Agreement: a good foundation, now time to build (ODI http://bit.ly/1GIejL5)

Social movements v. social entrepreneurs (Find What Works http://bit.ly/1VCxpxF)

From Addis to New York: What does the FFD summit imply for the SDGs? (Devex http://bit.ly/1GIl4MX)

#WormWars Reactions

Dear journalists and policymakers: What you need to know about the Worm Wars (Chris Blattman http://bit.ly/1CXAO3T)

How much does the new deworming replication matter for Effective Altruists? (Roving Bandit http://bit.ly/1CSWgqQ)

Why the Social Sector Needs the Scientific Method (SSIR http://bit.ly/1CSWf6s)

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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.