News in the Humanosphere: Warning cast by historic weather event

The global humanitarian system is already stretched extremely thin. The next few months could be rough. In a historic development this weekend, three major hurricanes were recorded over the Pacific Ocean for the first time since records have been kept. Hurricane Kilo, Hurricane Ignacio and Hurricane Jimena were all classified as Category 4 storms on Sunday, according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC), the second highest classification on the Saffir-Simpson scale. It was the first time on record that there were three Category 4 hurricanes in the Pacific at the same time, and the first time three major hurricanes – defined as Category 3 or higher – were recorded over the Pacific, according to Weather.com. ‘Sea surface temperatures are extremely warm, averaging 2 to 5 degrees above normal,’ said meteorologist Chris Robbins, a former NHC forecaster and founder of Robbins Meteorological Consulting and iWeatherNet.com. ‘This anomaly is well north of the oceanic warming associated with a typical El Niño.’” (MarketWatch http://on.mktw.net/1FdZmBj)

Journalists jailed
A court in southeastern Turkey has ordered two British journalists and their translator remanded to custody, ahead of an eventual trial on charges of engaging in terror activity. Monday’s court ruling in the city of Diyarbakir orders the reporting crew, who work for the U.S. Internet-based VICE News, back to jail two days after their arrests near the borders with Syria, Iraq and Iran. The French news agency says a fourth suspect, a driver, was freed.” (VOA http://bit.ly/1FdYsoC)

Quote of the day
“We are seeing the war in Syria manifest itself on the highways of Austria.”
—U.N. Spokersperson Stephane Dujarric (
http://bit.ly/1FdYFYF)

Africa

Suspected Boko Haram gunmen on horseback shot dead nearly 80 people in attacks on three villages in Nigeria’s restive northeast at the weekend, a vigilante and residents told AFP on Monday. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1JH4XRH)

Unidentified gunmen killed six elite presidential guard soldiers on Monday in an ambush in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, military and local sources said, a region still plagued by violence more than a decade after years of civil war ended. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1MXWbnT)

Central African Republic’s transitional government on Sunday adopted a new constitution that would limit future presidents to two terms in office as the country seeks to end more than a year of sectarian violence. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1Js3QpK)

South Sudan’s rebel leader is warning attacks by government troops on rebel-held areas could sabotage a peace agreement between the warring sides. (AP http://bit.ly/1Js3PC9)

As Liberia prepares to be declared once again free of the Ebola virus later this week, unions and civil society groups are beginning to question how the government spent money allocated to fight the outbreak. (VOA http://bit.ly/1fRsYOm)

The number of Somalis in hunger has risen in the past six months, the United Nations said on Monday, predicting a further spike as the Horn of Africa nation braces itself for the worst flooding in decades. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1JH527P)

Intra-African trade increased by 50 percent to $61 billion between 2010 and 2013, according to recent data released by the African Development Bank. (The East African http://bit.ly/1Js0JOB)

Africa’s richest man, Nigerian Aliko Dangote, said on Monday he would build a cement plant in Zimbabwe, a major boost for the southern African country that is desperate for foreign investment. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1JH50Nx)

MENA

A boat carrying migrants sank off Libya’s Mediterranean coast, killing at least 37 people, a local official said on Sunday, the second such fatal accident within days. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1MXW7V4)

Asia

The short-term future of China’s stock markets appears dismal, with industrial profits shrinking and an overwhelming majority of companies saying they will not invest additional sums in their business in the second half of 2015. (VOA http://bit.ly/1EtfkfU)

Chinese state media announced a new round of confessions by people alleged to have spread online rumors of stock market irregularities Monday, following the arrest of nearly 200 people Saturday and Sunday. (VOA http://bit.ly/1NJ1k4F)

More than 100 girls were taken to hospital from their school in western Afghanistan on Monday after breathing in toxic gas, officials said, and police were investigating whether the incident was deliberate. (VOA http://bit.ly/1Js3Q9g)

Cambodia said on Monday it did not intend to accept any more refugees from a South Pacific detention center under an agreement with Australia, dealing a blow to the controversial resettlement scheme criticized by rights groups. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1EtfpQC)

Indonesia is looking to increase its current pledges on cutting emissions growth, a senior government adviser said on Monday, with a final decision likely by mid-September. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1MXW8s6)

Fashion brands say moves to pay workers £1.82 for an eight-hour day will help Myanmar’s garment industry become “thriving economic driver.” (Guardian http://bit.ly/1NJ1hGa)

The Americas

Colombia is to offer citizenship to Venezuelan relatives of Colombians who have been deported from Venezuela, officials say. (BBC http://bbc.in/1Js3I9S)

The U.S. Agency for International Development’s U.S. Global Development Lab announced $10 million for 45 new research projects that will address evidence gaps and advance technical capacity in critical areas of development. (USAID http://bit.ly/1NJ1k4R)

Human rights groups accuse security forces of carrying out summary executions in Venezuela. But many here also say the government is right to take a more militarized approach to fighting crime. Venezuelans broadly support iron-fist policing. And it’s the poor – those more likely to be caught in the crossfire – who most want to see greater use of force, according to national polls. (AP http://yhoo.it/1Etfp33)

...and the rest

Greece’s coast guard has rescued about 2,500 migrants and refugees off the country’s eastern islands over the past three days, authorities said on Monday, as the flow of people trying to cross into Europe continued unabated. (Reuters http://reut.rs/1FdYdK0)

Slovakia’s prime minister has rejected criticism from the West that European Union members from Central Europe are not doing enough to share the burden of the unprecedented influx of migrants. (AP http://yhoo.it/1JH4XB5)

France plans to build a camp this winter for as many as 1,500 migrants in the northern port city of Calais where twice that many are living in tents and hoping to make the sea-crossing to Britain. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1JH4YVC)

Crunch climate negotiations opened in Bonn Monday with a U.N. official urging countries to replenish coffers for the critical Paris conference tasked with sealing a global carbon-curbing pact in December. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1JwWsf6)

A top EU official says the bloc must work faster to set up special migrant processing centers in Greece and Italy, acknowledging that European countries have acted too slowly to handle the huge waves of migrants this year. (AP http://yhoo.it/1MXWaQA)

U.N. climate talks began anew Monday in Germany, three months before world governments are supposed to adopt a landmark deal to fight global warming. (AP http://yhoo.it/1JwWvYa)

Austrian authorities toughened controls along the country’s eastern borders on Monday, stopping hundreds of refugees and arresting five traffickers in a clampdown that followed last week’s gruesome discovery of 71 dead migrants in a truck. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1JH53bW)

Opinion/Blogs

Africa: As the Need for Power Surges, Are Small – or Big – Dams the Answer? (TRF http://bit.ly/1Js0Hqb)

Who Will Carry Uganda Opposition’s Flag? (East African http://bit.ly/1LO67l8)

Neo-Liberalism for Africa – From Frying Pan to Fire (Ethopian Herald http://bit.ly/1Etf5S2)

Here today, gone tomorrow (IRIN http://bit.ly/1Kz7W3C)

So how was your first day? ActionAid UK’s new CEO talks transition (Devex http://bit.ly/1Js6GuT)

Three Things Secular Development Academics and Practitioners Can Learn from the Faith-Based Development Community…and Vice Versa (Across Two Worlds http://bit.ly/1hOqbaB)

How Much Good Does Your Country Do? (Tiny Spark http://bit.ly/1hOMRHK)

The Australian aid fraud beat-up (Devpolicy Blog http://bit.ly/1NSDxOX)

A problem for every solution on climate (Global Dashboard http://bit.ly/1NSDEtK)

Louise Shaxson on advising governments… and ugly babies (Kirsty Evidence http://bit.ly/1KzbumG)

Will Kenya End Female Genital Mutilation? (The Star http://bit.ly/1Fe131y)

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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.