News in the Humanosphere: Protests begin as troubles delay Haitian elections

Outgoing President of Haiti Michel Martelly. (OAS-OAN/flickr)

Stone-throwing protesters stoked Haiti’s political crisis on Saturday, a day after they forced the Caribbean nation to call off a presidential election and despite calls for consensus from global powers. Haiti was due to choose a replacement for President Michel Martelly in a runoff vote on Sunday, but the two-man race was postponed indefinitely after opposition candidate Jude Celestin refused to participate on alleged fraud that spread anti-government protests and violence nationally. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1OIkfex)

Syria peace talks this week….While the Geneva talks are scheduled to begin Monday, officials say a delay of at least a day is likely because of a dispute about who will represent the opposition delegation. Still, officials from the United States and Russia — two principal backers of the Geneva talks — have said they are optimistic that the negotiations will take place. Washington and Moscow are on opposing sides of the Syrian conflict, but the two nations say a political settlement is needed to end the punishing conflict. (LA Times http://lat.ms/1ZM5wT2)

Africa

South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir and his former vice president and rebel leader Riek Machar failed to form a unity transitional government, which was a key demand in a peace accord signed in Ethiopia to end the country’s conflict. (VOA http://bit.ly/1OIk56Y)
Burkina Faso arrested 11 members of the dissolved presidential guard, a pillar of deposed President Blaise Compaore’s regime, in connection with the raid of an armoury near the capital this week, the army said. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1QtBqDf)

The United States urged African leaders to “work behind the scenes” before their annual summit next weekend to convince Burundi to accept a deployment of international troops in the tiny African state amid festering political violence. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1OIkjuT)

Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe and Equatorial Guinea President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo say Africa wants to see reforms enacted at the U.N. Security Council and they want the continent to be given at least one spot as a permanent member. The call came at the end of a visit to Zimbabwe by Nguema and ahead of an African Union General Assembly later this month. (VOA http://bit.ly/1QtEb7p)

MENA

Russia and the U.S. are close to reaching a compromise to unlock the start of Syrian peace talks next week, three Western and United Nations diplomats said, averting the threat of a collapse of efforts to end the five-year civil war. (Bloomberg http://bloom.bg/1ZM4p5L)

A video published on Sunday by the media center of Islamic State purported to show images and last statements of nine of the people who took part in the Paris attacks that killed 130 people on Nov. 13.(Reuters http://reut.rs/1ZM5B93)

The U.S. said it was deeply concerned about reports of harm to civilians amid escalating violence in Yemen, and called on all sides involved in the conflict to resume peace talks. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1KyAyGZ)

Thousands of demonstrators in Morocco have defied a government ban to march in a tense protest over planned cuts to Morocco’s education system. (AP http://yhoo.it/1QtE8Zt)

At least 63 people, including nine children, have died in airstrikes believed to be carried out by Russian warplanes on a town in eastern Syria, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1OIkiXM)

Asia

Malaysian police have detained seven men suspected of being an Islamic State militant cell that was plotting attacks, authorities said Sunday. (AP http://yhoo.it/1OIkjLn)

The Lao Communist Party has undergone a change in leadership during its 10th Party Congress, signaling the country’s future direction as it prepares to chair the Association of South East Asian Nations. (VOA http://bit.ly/1QtEak2)

Ethnic protesters in Nepal have rejected an amendment made by the parliament in the new constitution that was hoped to end months of conflict in southern Nepal. (AP http://yhoo.it/1OIkhTR)

Thailand has confirmed its second case of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome virus, the country’s health minister said. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1OIkiqG)

The Americas

The United States called for accountability for any violence related to Haiti’s delayed presidential election, saying electoral intimidation and destruction of property were “unacceptable.” (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1QtEcIt)

The Brazilian authorities have announced plans to prevent the spread of the Zika virus during the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games later this year. An outbreak of the mosquito-borne disease – which is being linked to severe birth defects – has caused growing concern in Brazil and abroad. (BBC http://bbc.in/1OIkeHv)

A report by a leading Brazilian news conglomerate says nearly 40 prisoners have been recaptured or killed after escaping from a prison in the northeastern coastal city of Recife by using explosives to detonate a hole in the facility’s wall. (AP http://yhoo.it/1OIkaHR)

Talks have begun between Chile and the widow of an American billionaire over the donation of a vast nature reserve in southern Chile. (BBC http://bbc.in/1QtBt1M)

…and the rest

Transgender athletes should be allowed to compete in the Olympics and other international events without undergoing sex reassignment surgery, according to new guidelines adopted by the IOC. (AP http://yhoo.it/1OIkd6y)

Opinion/Blogs

Oxfam warns that the widening gap between rich and poor endangers us all (Humanosphere http://bit.ly/1QtGHuq)

After Tragedy, a Successful UN Test Case in Peru for Reproductive Rights (UN Dispatch http://bit.ly/1QtHqvv)

Developing World Leapfrogs to Cashless Society (VOA http://bit.ly/1S4mlK1)

Satire: 12 refugee toddlers rocking winterization (The Pillar http://bit.ly/1NtOnGp)

Reasons to be cheerful in the fight against inequality (Global Dashboard http://bit.ly/1QtG8AS)

China Blames Goats For 2015 Drop In Birth Rate (Goats and Soda http://n.pr/1QtGyr1)

The dark side of Davos (Development Truths http://bit.ly/1KyCK10)

For hungry people, an internet connection isn’t a priority (DevPolicy http://bit.ly/1QtGyqJ)

El Chapo explains the possible link between poverty and drug trafficking (Deseret News http://bit.ly/1NtP0A2)

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