News in the Humanosphere: U.S. to deploy 300 troops to fight Boko Haram in Cameroon

Sgt. Max Weinstock with the 1st Battalion, 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment, waits as members of the Uganda People's Defence Force prepare to plot and identify terrain features on a map during a squad competition at Forward Operating Location Kasenyi, Uganda. (Credit: U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Jeremy T. Lock) (Released)

The White House stresses that the troops will not take part in combat operations. “U.S. President Obama will deploy up to 300 military personnel to Cameroon for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance operations against militant Boko Haram insurgents, he informed Congress on Wednesday. In a letter released by the White House, Obama said 90 personnel had already been deployed, marking a modest but significant escalation of U.S. involvement in the fight against the Islamic State-allied group.” (AFP http://yhoo.it/1NHPAAd)

AIDS vaccine to undergo human testing
A vaccine that seeks to cure acquired immune deficiency syndrome, or AIDS, will undergo its first human trial, 15 years since it was developed. Dr Robert Gallo, the biomedical researcher who first discovered the cause of AIDS in 1984, is launching the clinical test in his role as the director of the Institute of Human Virology. In 1984, Gallo and a team of scientists revealed that AIDS is caused by the human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV. To date, HIV has remained incurable.” (IB Times http://bit.ly/1X4AXIx)

Quote of the day
“[E]very baby deserves the care of someone like our heroic ER nurse, to increase the chances of a safe and healthy delivery for mother and baby — at home, in a medical facility or, in some cases, in an old car.” (Washington Post http://wapo.st/1LkEFGI)

Stat of the day
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) reported Wednesday that the amount of opium produced in Afghanistan during the current year dropped by 48 percent. (VOA http://bit.ly/1K9avUV)

Humanity-affirming trend of the day
The world has now gone two consecutive weeks with no new Ebola cases reported. (WHO http://bit.ly/1LkJgJ0)

Africa

Guinea’s government called for calm on Wednesday after police fired teargas at protesters in Conakry, the capital, before provisional election results are announced later this week. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1K98F6r)

Amnesty International on Wednesday said there can be no impunity for Burkina Faso troops who shot dead unarmed civilians including children in the days following their Sept. 17 coup. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1K98GaI)

For weeks the government of Sudan has been refusing to release rations and other essential supplies for international peacekeepers in the conflict-torn Darfur region, Britain’s ambassador to the United Nations said on Wednesday. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1K97ROZ)

Ethiopia’s government is calling for international assistance to help feed 8.2 million people after erratic rains devastated crop yields. (AP http://yhoo.it/1K98IiQ)

European Union observers gave Guinea’s presidential elections a clean bill of health despite protests by opposition supporters who accuse President Alpha Conde of rigging the vote to win a second term. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1Gdn1aS)

Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete dismissed opposition accusations on Wednesday that his CCM party planned to rig a presidential vote next week and warned against violence ahead of the Oct. 25 elections. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1Gdn1ri)

At least seven people were killed in shootings and a grenade attack in Burundi’s capital, police and residents said, in a further spate of violence following the election of President Pierre Nkurunziza to a third term. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1Gdn5aC)

Blasts detonated by three suicide bombers in the northeastern Nigeria city of Maiduguri killed at least seven people, the Red Cross and a vigilante group member said. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1K97Ri1)

MENA

Islamic State militants battled rival insurgent groups on Wednesday north of the city of Aleppo, where officials say the Syrian army is preparing an offensive of its own backed by Iranian soldiers and Russian jets. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1QsKUvH)

China said on Wednesday it had no plans to send military ships to Syria to fight with Russian forces after reports in overseas media that it was planning to do so. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1QsKRzS)

Egypt’s state-run news agency says the Egyptian government is negotiating a $3 billion loan with the World Bank and another $500 million from the African Development Bank to finance its budget deficit. (AP http://yhoo.it/1K98Fn7)

Asia

An international panel of experts is ready to investigate the U.S. bombing of a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Afghanistan but awaits a green light from both governments, the group and the Swiss foreign ministry said on Wednesday. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1K98DLU)

The Philippine army on Wednesday rejected demands by Islamist militants to start negotiations for the release of three abducted foreign tourists and a Filipino woman and halt an offensive on a remote southern island. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1QsKOEl

With the failure of its scheme to resettle refugees in Cambodia and growing concerns about its offshore detention centers, the Australian government is hoping the elusive solution to what has become a policy nightmare might be found in the Philippines. (IRIN http://bit.ly/1QsPfif)

Just when Nepal was recovering from the devastating earthquake that killed thousands, flattened communities and chased away foreign tourists, protests by ethnic groups and severe fuel shortages are again keeping visitors away from the nation known for the world’s highest peaks. (AP http://yhoo.it/1ZDujLy)

Cambodian activist Phymean Noun has been awarded the $50,000 World’s Children’s Prize for helping children who live in garbage dumps in Cambodia’s capital, Phnom Penh. (AP http://yhoo.it/1K98FU6)

Bangladesh earned a place in the 2015 Global Impunity Index published by the Committee to Protect Journalists. Bloggers and rights activists say the ranking accurately reflects a growing “culture of impunity” in the country, particularly after four secular bloggers were hacked to death this year. (VOA http://bit.ly/1K9aws4)

The Americas

Planned Parenthood says it will no longer accept reimbursement for the cost of providing fetal tissue to researchers. The move is a response to sting videos and accusations that the organization unlawfully profits from such donations. (NPR http://n.pr/1K98J6i)

Prosecutors, narcotics police, former military officers and current and former U.S. drug agents say that Peru’s narco-flight plague is the military’s failure because it controls the remote jungle region known as the Apurimac, Ene and Mantaro river valley. (AP http://yhoo.it/1QsKZzf)

Embattled Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has accused the political opposition of seeking to oust her government by “coup-mongering.” Speaking at a meeting of union leaders, Rousseff also said her opponents were spreading hatred and intolerance across the country. (BBC http://bbc.in/1VSIBTT)

Chilean President Michelle Bachelet has announced the launch of a process to draw up a new constitution for the country. A new constitution to replace the one drawn up under military rule had been one of President Bachelet’s main campaign pledges. (BBC http://bbc.in/1VSJ48N)

… and the rest

Europe’s aging economy may just find that the biggest refugee crisis since World War Two gives it a new lease of life – even if huge uncertainty about the future scale of immigration and how refugees are integrated cloud any long-range forecasting. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1K97Uua)

The Swiss head to the polls Sunday to vote in a new parliament, with the populist right seen as likely to strengthen its already dominant position amid concerns over migrants and asylum rules. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1QsKWDM)

Basic rights, and sympathy, are in short supply for thousands of migrants around the northern French city of Calais, even though the travelers — many fleeing wars in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere — live in what may be the European Union’s biggest and most squalid ghetto. (AP http://yhoo.it/1ZDulTS)

Opinion/Blogs

Philanthrocapitalism: A Self-Love Story (The Nation http://bit.ly/1VSIJD4)

10 International development priorities for the UK: parliamentary (ODI http://bit.ly/1K93vaB)

Eat the Rich and Pay the Poor (Foreign Policy http://atfp.co/1OC1tGt)

Why Wal-Mart And Other Retail Chains May Not Fix The Food Deserts (Goats and Soda http://n.pr/1K93HXr)

Lowering the flag: The ANC and the ICC (Daily Maverick http://bit.ly/1K9afW0)

Why those promoting growth need to take politics seriously, and vice versa (From Poverty to Power http://bit.ly/1OC1qKD)

Piketty in Africa: heat, hype and heterodox economics (African Arguments http://bit.ly/1QsFjpc)

Africa’s Experience Useful in Achieving Goals (Nation http://bit.ly/1K99ooa)

Nobel Prize for Economics Reflects Issues on U.N. Development Agenda (Inter Press Service http://bit.ly/1OC12Me)

Uganda pullout boosts South Sudan peace prospects (IRIN http://bit.ly/1OC1c6e)

MSF is pressing for an independent investigation of the recent attack in Kunduz, but do they have legal leverage? (ATHA http://bit.ly/1NHQ5tV)

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