News in the Humanosphere: Civilians suffer ‘horrific’ losses as conflict in Iraq grinds on

Baharka IDP camp for displaced Iraqis on the outskirts of Erbil, northern Iraq. (Credit: ©UNICEF/Philip Hazou)

“Nearly 19,000 civilians were killed in Iraq between January 2014 and October 2015 — a toll the United Nations calls ‘staggering’ in a new report. The report, released Tuesday, outlined the horrific impact that Iraq’s ongoing conflict is having on its civilian population. … Other numbers in the report are mind-boggling. In the 21-month period in Iraq: At least 18,802 civilians were killed, about half of them in Baghdad. Another 36,245 were injured. About 3.2 million people were internally displaced, including a million school-aged children. The actual figures could be much higher, the report said.” (CNN

Full report from the U.N. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights →

CDC issues new Zika guidelines … “Pregnant women who feel sick and have visited countries in which the Zika virus is spreading should see a doctor soon and be tested for infection even though the tests are imperfect, federal health officials said on Tuesday. That advice was at the core of interim Zika-related guidelines for pregnant women issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The authors are specialists in emerging diseases and reproductive health. The guidelines included a ‘testing algorithm’ to show doctors how to proceed with a worried patient who is pregnant and has recently lived in or traveled to an area where the virus is being transmitted.” (NYT


RIP…Leila Alaoui, a French-Moroccan photographer whose hauntingly beautiful photographs explored themes of migration, cultural identity and displacement, died on Monday night from injuries suffered during a terrorist attack in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. She was 33. (NYT

Thousands of civilians in a remote area of Sudan’s war-hit Darfur could be affected by fresh fighting between rebel and forces nearby, the United Nations said on Tuesday amid ongoing clashes. (AFP

At least 640,000 people in Uganda’s northeastern Karamoja region – more than half its population – are facing food shortages as a result of a drought-affected harvest. (IRIN )

The U.N. Refugee Agency and its partners are struggling to help an estimated 100,000 people driven from their homes in recent weeks in south-east Niger’s Diffa region in attacks launched by Nigeria’s Boko Haram insurgency group. (UNHCR

A  new cholera outbreak has been reported in Migori County, Kenya. (Kenya Daily Nation )


Russian airstrikes hit Islamic State militants Tuesday in the eastern Syrian province of Deir al-Zour, in the village where the extremist group had been accused of massacring as many as hundreds of people over the weekend, the Russian military said. (NYT

The Israeli military is temporarily banning Palestinian workers from Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank, following two stabbings in two days. (BBC

An estimated 3,500 people, mainly women and children, are being held as slaves in Iraq by Islamic State militants, the United Nations said on Tuesday. (Reuters )

Libya’s Presidential Council announced a new government on Tuesday aimed at uniting the warring factions, though two of its nine members rejected it in a sign of continuing divisions over its U.N.-backed plan for a political transition. (Reuters


A young woman has been hospitalized in northern Afghanistan and is hoping to travel to Turkey for reconstructive surgery after her husband cut off her nose, the police and the woman’s family said on Tuesday. (NYT

Almost seven years after the end of Sri Lanka’s decades-long civil war, the majority of former Tamil Tiger rebels are struggling to find jobs despite billions of dollars of extra investment in their regions. (IRIN

North Korea’s Jan. 6 nuclear test did not expand its technical capability, but the U.S. government is keeping a close eye on Pyongyang’s efforts to develop a thermonuclear warhead capable of reaching the United States, the head of the U.S. Missile Defense Agency said on Tuesday. (Reuters

The Americas

A pregnant woman has been diagnosed with Zika in Bolivia, authorities said Tuesday, the first time the mosquito-borne virus, which has been linked to birth defects, has been transmitted here. (AFP

Police in Haiti’s capital Port-au-Prince fired tear gas at opposition demonstrators Tuesday who rallied in their thousands, five days before a presidential vote runoff is scheduled. (AFP

Colombia’s government and FARC rebels said Tuesday they have asked the United Nations to monitor the eventual end of their five-decade conflict, raising hopes they are close to a peace deal. (AFP

The first of several thousand Cuban migrants stranded in Costa Rica have crossed into the United States under a plan agreed to among Central American leaders. (VOA


Remembering what else Martin Luther King Jr. fought for (Humanosphere

Why the rich should do more to save the world (The Conversation

The slowing China economy: How worried should we be? (The Interpreter

Gender and Widowhood in Africa (Afrianist Perspective

Putting Children at The Center of the end of AIDS (Policy Innovations

They herded us into the aircraft like cattle (Africa is a Country

Broken System: The Failure to Punish High Level Corruption at the UN (Global Anticorruption Blog

Aid in contested areas – reflecting diversity in staffing and measurement (Devpolicy

The Tyranny of Distance (Foreign Policy

The Trevor Noah phenomenon: young, black South Africans are standing up (The Conversation

The $100 billion AIIB opens for business: Will China’s multilateral ambitions soar or sour? (The Interpreter


About Author