News in the Humanosphere: Obama launches controversial clean power plan

(Credit: Kim Seng/flickr)

The move may hit some legal and political roadblocks in the United States, but it is an audacious step just four months before the Paris Climate Talks. “In the strongest action ever taken in the United States to combat climate change, President Obama will unveil on Monday a set of environmental regulations devised to sharply cut planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions from the nation’s power plants and ultimately transform America’s electricity industry. The rules are the final, tougher versions of proposed regulations that the Environmental Protection Agency announced in 2012 and 2014. If they withstand the expected legal challenges, the regulations will set in motion sweeping policy changes that could shut down hundreds of coal-fired power plants, freeze construction of new coal plants and create a boom in the production of wind and solar power and other renewable energy sources.” (NYT

Top Burundi general assassinated
A top Burundian general and right-hand man to President Pierre Nkurunziza was killed in a rocket attack on his car on Sunday, prompting fears of further instability in the crisis-hit country. Adolphe Nshimirimana was widely seen as the central African nation’s de facto internal security chief and even considered the regime’s No. 2. Police and witnesses said Gen. Nshimirimana’s pick-up was hit by two rockets and sprayed with automatic gunfire in the capital Bujumbura on Sunday morning. … The assassination came just more than a week after Nkurunziza was declared the outright winner of a controversial presidential election, securing a third consecutive term despite opposition protests and international condemnation. Nkurunziza’s candidacy was condemned as unconstitutional by the opposition and provoked months of protests that left at least 100 people dead in a fierce government crackdown, as well as an attempted coup in mid-May. Nshimirimana was seen as the mastermind behind the crackdown on the protests as well as a key player in foiling the coup attempt.” (AFP )

An ignoble anniversary
Yesterday marked the one-year anniversary in which 200,000 Yazidis were driven from their homes and faced a genocidal onslaught by ISIS. (UN Mission in Iraq


Nigeria’s army said late on Sunday that it rescued 178 people held by Islamist militant group Boko Haram in Nigeria’s Borno state, the heartland of the insurgency. (Reuters

Burundian journalist and AFP correspondent Esdras Ndikumana said he was arrested by government security forces and badly beaten on Sunday at the scene of the assassination of a top general. (AFP

Boko Haram fighters killed 13 people in an attack on Malari village in northeast Nigeria’s restive Borno state early Sunday, witnesses said. (AFP

At least one soldier with the U.N. peackeeping mission in Central African Republic was killed on Sunday during clashes with armed assailants in a northern neighborhood of the capital Bangui, a spokesman for the mission said. (Reuters

Thousands of civilians in South Sudan’s Upper Nile state face starvation after the government blocked aid groups from using the Nile River to deliver relief food, aid agencies said Friday. (VOA

Corruption in Kenya is sliding out of control, veteran anti-corruption activist and whistle-blower John Githongo has warned in an interview following a scathing audit of government finances. (AFP

Benin’s President Thomas Boni Yayi announced he will send 800 troops to join a new multinational force tasked with fighting Boko Haram militants after meeting with his Nigerian counterpart Muhammadu Buhari Saturday. (AFP

With the U.N. Climate Change conference later this year in Paris fast approaching, Zimbabwe’s climate change commitments face the slow progress on an issue that continues to stalk other developing countries – climate finance. (IPS


Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militants killed two soldiers and wounded 31 in a suicide attack overnight in eastern Turkey, the army said on Sunday, as violence escalated following Ankara’s air bombardment targeting Kurdish militants. (CBC

Five people were killed and 12 wounded during clashes in eastern Libya between forces loyal to its internationally recognized government and Islamist groups, medics said on Sunday. (Reuters

An Egyptian court on Sunday postponed delivering its verdict in the retrial of three Al Jazeera TV journalists, a decision a defense lawyer said was to avoid bad publicity during a visit by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and other dignitaries. (Reuters

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is in Qatar talks with Arab officials whose countries are wary of the nuclear deal world powers have struck with Iran. (WaPo )

Italy’s coast guard said about 1,800 migrants were rescued from seven overcrowded vessels on Saturday, while five corpses were found on a large rubber boat carrying 212 others. (TRF


India’s Home Ministry says heavy monsoon rains have killed more than 90 people in the past week and forced tens of thousands of people to take shelter in state-run relief camps. (FoxNews

The toll from flash floods and landslides in Myanmar caused by days of torrential rain is likely to rise, the U.N. warned Sunday, as monsoon downpours heaped misery on thousands across the region. (AFP

Iran said Sunday it will stop giving cash handouts to another million of its wealthiest citizens in order to ease a budget crisis caused in part by plunging oil prices and sanctions linked to its disputed nuclear program. (AP

The Americas

The International Olympic Committee said Sunday it will order testing for disease-causing viruses in the sewage-polluted waters where athletes will compete in next year’s Rio de Janeiro Games. (AP

Colombia aims to buy land from private owners and redistribute it among the poor after its 50-year-old war ends, the government said Sunday, addressing the root cause of the conflict. (AFP

A photographer for an investigative magazine who fled his home state after being harassed has been found dead in Mexico City along with other people. (VOA

...and the rest

Immigrants living in Britain illegally will face abrupt eviction from rental properties under new laws designed to make Britain a tougher place to live in, the government will announce as it redoubles its response to the Calais migrant crisis. (Guardian

The United Nations 193-member states agreed on Sunday on an agenda for the world’s sustainable development over the next 15 years that pledges to leave no-one behind and is now due to be formally adopted by world leaders at a summit in September. (Reuters


Why the SDGs will break your heart (Dev Policy

In South Africa Childhood Hunger and Obesity Live Side By Side (The Conversation

Rivers Run Through This Exhibit Of Colombia Art (Goats and Soda

Why Obama blundered by speaking out on LGBTQ rights in Kenya (Africa is a Country

Justice, But Only For Some: The Trial of Hissène Habré (Justice in Conflict

Trevor Noah reminds Britain of its colonial past… (Development Truths

Researcher Who Studied Cecil Talks About Impact of Lion’s Death (AP

What changes to expect from Obama’s final Clean Power Plan (Reuters

How Sierra Leone’s Most Famous Journalist Helped NPR Get The Ebola Story (Goats and Soda


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]