News in the Humanosphere: Top Indian court to review colonial anti-gay law

Bangalore Queer Pride Parade (Vinayak Das/flickr)

India’s top court on Tuesday agreed to re-examine a colonial-era law that makes homosexual acts punishable by up to a decade in prison. The Supreme Court set up a five-judge panel to reconsider its 2013 ruling that only Parliament can change the 1861 law banning gay sex. “It’s a very positive development and we are confident that we will get our rights,” said Vaijanti, an activist who uses one name. (AP

Where’s the money for Libya? The U.N. says that international donors have only pledged a “paltry” 1 percent of the $166 million funding appeal launched to assist over one million Libyans affected by the country’s raging conflict. (AP

Major Syria funding conference Thursday…World leaders gather in London on Thursday to try to raise $9 billion for the millions of Syrians hit by the country’s civil war and a refugee crisis spanning Europe and the Middle East. (AFP


The Kenyan authorities are holding three trucks carrying food aid on behalf of World Food Program at the border with Somalia because of suspicions the supplies could fall into the hands of militants, a senior regional official said on Tuesday. (Reuters

South Sudanese civilians are dying of starvation as warring forces flout a peace deal, the chief ceasefire monitor said Tuesday, adding he was “staggered” at conditions after two years of war. (AFP

A Ugandan general arrested after criticizing President Yoweri Museveni and voicing support for the opposition was charged in a military court on Tuesday and sent to a maximum security prison, according to his lawyer. (Reuters

At least one person was killed in a grenade attack on a bar in Burundi on Monday night, witnesses said, in more violence since the African Union backed away from sending in peacekeepers without the government’s consent. (Reuters

Uganda dispatched a team of more than 370 health workers to the northern part of the country where a malaria epidemic ravaging the region since July has killed about 658 people. (VOA

Harare has developed a huge appetite for bottled water. An estimated 300,000 liters change hands daily in this city of just over 1.6 million inhabitants, with Zimbabwe’s finance minister, Patrick Chinamasa, saying that imports have reached “crazy” proportions. (Reuters

The U.S. House of Representatives on Monday passed the Electrify Africa Act, after nearly two years of trying to get the measure through both chambers of Congress. It now goes to President Barack Obama for his signature. (VOA


Jordan’s King Abdullah says his country needs long-term aid from the international community to cope with a huge influx of Syrian refugees, warning that unless it received support the “dam is going to burst.” (Reuters

The Lebanese government prevents most refugees from working or even residing legally, meaning child labor and early marriage are widespread. (Guardian

An international coalition is pushing back Islamic State militants in their Syrian and Iraqi strongholds but the group is threatening Libya and could seize the nation’s oil wealth, U.S Secretary of State John Kerry said. (Reuters

While humanitarian actors meet in London on Thursday to fund the education of Syrian refugees, a multitude of anonymous shoestring initiatives are filling the gap on the ground. (AP


Malaysia may have absolved its prime minister in a huge corruption scandal, but foreign authorities investigating suspicious global fund flows are making clear the affair is far from over and that the net may be tightening. (AFP

India’s top court on Tuesday said it will review a decision over whether to uphold a colonial-era law that criminalizes gay sex in a victory for homosexual rights campaigners at a time when the nation is navigating a path between tradition and modernity. (Reuters

A man has contracted the Zika virus in Thailand, officials said Tuesday, as a global alert intensifies over the mosquito-borne infection blamed for a surge in serious birth defects in South America. (AFP

A special war crimes tribunal in Bangladesh on Tuesday sentenced two more men to death after finding them guilty of killing, kidnapping and looting during the country’s independence war against Pakistan in 1971. (AP

The Americas

Drugmaker Sanofi Pasteur said it is launching an effort to research and develop a vaccine to prevent the Zika virus, after the World Health Organization declared a global emergency over its explosive spread across the Americas. (AP

Escalating homicide rates in Mexico are affecting the country’s average life expectancy. According to research published in the journal Health Affairs, the life expectancy for Mexican men aged 15 to 50 fell by 0.6 percent from 2005 to 2010. (NY Times

Haiti’s prime minister resigned as part of an effort to clear the way for a temporary government to replace outgoing President Michel Martelly after a botched election and violent street protests last month, government sources said. (Reuters

A Haitian opposition alliance is declining to meet with a regional mission that traveled to this troubled Caribbean nation to help ease a political crisis that has postponed elections indefinitely. (VOA

Brazil has warned pregnant women to stay away from the Summer Olympics after the World Health Organization declared an international emergency over the Zika virus, blamed for causing a surge in brain-damaged babies. (AFP

…and the rest

Nine people, including two babies, were found drowned off the coast of western Turkey on Tuesday after a boat carrying people to Greece partly capsized, the coast guard said. (Reuters

World health officials mobilized with emergency response plans and funding pleas Tuesday as fears grow that the Zika virus. (AFP

Denmark on Tuesday extended random identification checks on its border with Germany until February 23 to curb the tide of migrants into the country and “guarantee public order,” the immigration ministry said. (AFP


From victims to agents of change: empowering Myanmar’s LGBT community (Guardian

How likely is international military intervention in Libya? (AFP

Are African Heads of State Dropping the Ball in Burundi? (ISS

Canada: Stop bean-counting Syrian refugees (Open Canada

Aid and national interest needn’t be uneasy bedfellows if the balance is right (Guardian

This is probably the best argument I’ve ever heard for admitting Syrian refugees, or really anyone (Chris Blattman

Yes, There Are African Solutions That Can Deliver a Peaceful and Prosperous Future (The East African

Enhancing aid architecture in the regional response to the Syria crisis (ODI

A new roadmap for Power Africa (Devex

The One Thing We Still Need In Order To Get To A Low-Carbon Economy (Policy Innovations

We must not let Syria’s health service fail (Guardian


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