News in the Humanosphere: Ebola returns to Guinea

Doctors Without Borders staff prepare isolation and treatment areas for their Ebola, hemorrhagic fever operations, in Gueckedou, Guinea. (AP Photo/Kjell Gunnar Beraas, MSF)

Two people from the same family have tested positive for Ebola in Guinea, the government said Thursday, the first re-emergence of the deadly virus in the country since the outbreak there was declared over in late December. The government’s announcement came on the same day that the World Health Organization said the latest flare-up of Ebola in neighbouring Sierra Leone had officially ended.  (AFP )

But on the brighter side…The latest flare-up of Ebola in Sierra Leone has ended with no confirmed cases of the virus now in West Africa, the UN said Thursday, as the country celebrated a “joyous” milestone. (AFP

Jacob Zuma, now even more embattled…President Jacob G. Zuma of South Africa, reeling from new allegations of corruption and growing criticism from inside his own party, on Thursday denied accusations that a wealthy family with close links to his own had influenced his appointment of ministers. In a parliamentary session, Mr. Zuma rejected statements made in recent days by current and former government officials that they had been offered ministerial positions by the Guptas, a family with widespread business interests and links to one of Mr. Zuma’s sons. (NYT

Stat of the day: At least 80 million children living in areas affected by war or natural disaster had their education disrupted last year, leaving them prey to child labor, trafficking and extremism, experts said on Thursday. (Reuters


Ethiopia’s leader on Thursday urged the international community to donate more toward emergency food aid for millions of people amid a drought. (AP

Jailed Niger opposition leader Hama Amadou was flown to Paris for medical treatment, days before he is due to face a run-off election against President Mahamadou Issoufou. (Reuters

Sudan threatened on Thursday to close its recently reopened border with South Sudan, accusing its neighbor of supporting rebel groups. (Reuters

A leading member of the East Africa Law Society has welcomed calls for the Kenyan government to declare corruption in public institutions a national disaster. (VOA

More than 36 million people face hunger across southern and eastern Africa, the United Nations has warned, as swaths of the continent grapple with the worst drought in decades at a time of record high temperatures. (Guardian

The Pentagon restricted U.S. service members’ travel to five West African countries, citing recent militant attacks in the region, U.S. defense officials said. (Reuters

The widespread killing of people with albinism for their body parts continues in some parts of Africa in the mistaken belief they bring good luck, wealth, and political success. (VOA


The United States declared Thursday that the Islamic State group’s slaughter of Christians, Yazidis and Shiites amounts to a genocide and vowed to halt it. (AFP

Morocco has asked the United Nations to remove 84 staff members in the coming days from its Western Sahara mission after U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon made what it called unacceptable remarks about the territory in a visit to North Africa, a Moroccan official source said on Thursday. (Reuters

Saudi Arabia said Thursday its military coalition will scale down operations in Yemen, an announcement that came as the death toll from an airstrike by the alliance on a market north of the Yemeni capital this week nearly doubled, reaching 119. (AP

Aid convoys were on their way to four Syrian towns on Thursday but the government was still refusing aid to six besieged towns and blocking the provision of medical care to needy people, needed it, U.N. humanitarian advisor Jan Egeland said. (Reuters


North Korea fired a ballistic missile into the sea off its eastern coast on Friday (March 18), just days after leader Kim Jong Un ordered further nuclear warhead and missile tests, South Korea’s defence ministry said. (Straits Times )

More than seven months after Cyclone Komen struck Myanmar, poor rural communities are still enduring increased levels of food insecurity, according to a UN report. (WFP

An investigation into the death of a teenage girl working in a spinning mill in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu has raised fresh concerns over the working conditions of textile workers, especially those trapped in bonded labor. (Reuters

Myanmar’s incoming government announced plans Thursday to create a ministry for ethnic affairs, marking the importance it places on relations with minorities in a country scarred by festering civil wars and sectarian tensions. (AFP

Some residents of the Indonesian capital, Jakarta, frustrated by the mounting trash problem across the sprawling metropolis, have started taking matters into their own hands. (Reuters

Iran’s foreign minister has criticized Australia’s policy towards asylum seekers.  Mohammad Javad Zarif also rejected continued scrutiny of Tehran’s human rights record and its ballistic missile program during a visit to the country. (VOA

Vietnam’s southern Mekong Delta, the country’s main rice growing region, is experiencing the worst drought and saline intrusion in recent history that has affected more than half a million people, officials said Thursday. (AP

Men in India and Pakistan are joining a campaign to end female genital mutilation, adding greater heft to the movement in the deeply patriarchal Dawoodi Bohra community. (Reuters

The Americas

Protests erupted in several Brazilian cities after President Dilma Rousseff named her predecessor Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva chief of staff and a taped conversation fed opposition claims the move was meant to shield Lula from prosecution. (Reuters

A Brazilian judge has blocked the appointment of ex-President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva as chief of staff to his successor, Dilma Rousseff, just hours after he was sworn in. (BBC

Unidentified gunmen killed a colleague of environmentalist leader Berta Caceres, who was slain almost two weeks ago in similar circumstances, Honduran authorities said Wednesday. (VOA

…and the rest

One of the leading figures in a U.N. bribery scandal has decided to plead guilty, according to his attorney. (CNN

European Union leaders pushed ahead Thursday with contested plans to send tens of thousands of migrants back to Turkey amid deep divisions over how to manage Europe’s biggest refugee emergency in decades. (AP

Bold promises to empower women economically will come to nothing if the structural barriers that prevent women from getting decent jobs are not removed, civil society groups have warned. (Guardian

Germany closed its embassy in Ankara, its general consulate in Istanbul and German schools in the two cities after security services received concrete leads of an imminent attack, Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said on Thursday. (Reuters

Maria Sharapova’s failed drugs admission has prompted the United Nations to suspend the Russian from working with the organization. (CNN

Doubling the share of renewables in the global energy mix to 36 percent by 2030 could save the world economy up to $4.2 trillion a year, research by the International Renewable Energy Agency showed on Wednesday. (Reuters


Where You Live is Trying to Kill You. (There’s a New UN Report to Prove It) (UN Dispatch

How ISIS Came to Libya (Global Dispatches Podcast

What’s it like to be a young Palestinian refugee in Lebanon today? (IRIN

Venezuela’s media reflect the country’s political divisions (BBC News

Do lenders make clear the risks of microfinance loans? (Guardian

Zanzibar Votes Again, but What Next? (African Arguments

Plea for Treaty On Drug Research (SciDevNet

Brazil tumbles like ‘House of Cards’ in crisis (BBC News

Resilience in the face of crisis: Women taking the lead (Devex

IMF’s new debt rules not vulture-proof (The Interpreter

It’s time for us to recognise that all girls matter. Period. (WhyDev


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