News in the Humanosphere: Zika linked to another neurological disorder, say researchers

A woman covers her mouth outside her home while city workers fumigate to combat the Aedes Aegypti mosquitoes that transmit the Zika virus in El Salvador, Jan. 26, 2016. (AP Photo/Salvador Melendez)

Brazilian scientists studying 151 patients who recently sought help at a local hospital for symptoms similar to those caused by Zika have made a worrisome discovery – that the virus may be associated with a second serious brain issue in adults. Maria Lucia Brito Ferreira, a doctor at Restoration Hospital in Recife, Brazil, wrote in an abstract that two of the patients experienced swelling of the brain and spinal cord that involved the myelin, or coating, around nerve fibers. They were diagnosed as having acute disseminated encephalomyelitis which is so similar to multiple sclerosis that many practitioners have trouble distinguishing between the two. (WaPo http://wapo.st/1T2y2ys)

More trouble in Burundi…Officials in Burundi say at least five people were killed and six injured when gunmen opened fire on a market…The unidentified gunmen are believed to be associated with exiles in Tanzania led by a former presidential spokesman.The spokesman was fired last year for advising President Pierre Nkurunziza to not seek a third term. (VOA http://bit.ly/1S4s2CS)

The U.N. Secretary-General hearings continue…On day one, we  saw a number of member states from the developing world ask questions which suggest that they want more high-level U.N. appointees to come from the developing world.The U.S. asked each candidate about U.N. peacekeeping reforms, the U.K. took questions from Twitter, and Russia did not ask any questions at all. Day Two kicks off at 9am with Danilo Turk, former president of Slovenia; Vesna Pusic, foreign minister of Croatia, at 11 am; and Natalia Gherman, of Moldova at 3pm. Highlights from day 1: (UN Dispatch http://bit.ly/1SLCbnS)

Africa

The deputy chief of South Sudan rebels returned to the capital Juba as part of a peace deal, raising hopes for the expected arrival next week of the opposition leader. (AFP http://yhoo.it/22snc7n)

The vast majority of companies that received money from the World Bank’s private lending arm last year to finance investment in Africa’s poorest region use tax havens, an anti-poverty group says. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1SLCoY9)

Twenty-one people have died of yellow fever in Democratic Republic of Congo, some of them from infections contracted in neighboring Angola, the World Health Organization. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1SLBJG4)

The number of children used in suicide attacks by Boko Haram has soared 11-fold over the past year, with more than three-quarters of bombings now carried out by girls, according to a UNICEF report, Beyond Chibok. (Guardian http://bit.ly/1SdY3Om)

Zambian police briefly detained two journalists over a story quoting an opposition leader saying President Edgar Lungu used public funds to pay for a holiday, in a further sign of rising political tension ahead of August elections. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1SdXTqm)

Kenya is preparing to deport another group of Taiwanese nationals to China, after a similar action prompted Taiwan to accuse Beijing of kidnapping. (VOA http://bit.ly/1Vktqa9)

About a dozen suspected militants from the al Qaeda-linked group al Shabaab were killed in U.S. airstrikes in southern Somalia on Monday and Tuesday, the Pentagon said. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1SdXSm2)

MENA

Loyalists and rebels have clashed on several fronts in Yemen, officials said Tuesday, the second day of a UN-brokered ceasefire the insurgents are warning is in jeopardy, less than a week before peace talks. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1qGBo0V)

The presence of recently discovered Desert Locust infestations in Yemen, where conflict is severely hampering control operations, poses a potential threat to crops in the region, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) warned today. (UN News Center  http://bit.ly/1SLE2sK )

Nearly 2,000 migrants and refugees were rescued Monday off the Libyan coast, reports the Italian Coast Guard. (VOA http://bit.ly/1TPvtSx)

The U.S. military said on Tuesday it has formally notified Egypt and Israel that it is reviewing multinational peacekeeping operations in the insurgency-wracked Sinai, including ways to use technology to do the job of some U.S. troops there. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1TPvoyh)

Iran is concerned that an uptick in violations of Syria’s ceasefire could harm planned peace talks this week aimed at ending the five-year-old civil war, a deputy foreign minister was quoted as saying on Tuesday. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1SLCkYi)

Asia

Activists in India have protested against a civil suit launched by the former head of the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change against a lawyer representing two women who have accused him of sexual harassment. (TRF http://yhoo.it/1SLBH14)

China will release more water from a dam in its southwestern province of Yunnan to help alleviate a drought in parts of Southeast Asia, China’s Foreign Ministry said, following an initial release begun last month. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1VkseUl)

A tough crime-fighting mayor in the Philippine came out on top in an opinion poll for the second time in two days on Tuesday, less than a month before an election to find a successor to President Benigno Aquino. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/22soPBY)

More than 80 percent of China’s underground water drawn from relatively shallow wells used by farms, factories, and mostly rural households is unsafe for drinking because of pollution, a government report says. (VOA http://bit.ly/1VktmHr)

India’s crucial monsoon rains are expected to be above average in 2016, the weather office said on Tuesday, easing fears over farm and economic growth after two straight droughts hit rural incomes and agricultural output. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1VktoiJ)

The Americas

Public health officials used their strongest language to date in warning about a Zika outbreak in the United States, as the Obama administration lobbied Congress for $1.9 billion to combat the mosquito-borne virus. (USA Today http://usat.ly/1SLEcAi)

Panamanian prosecutors have visited the offices of the Mossack Fonseca law firm to look into its allegations that a computer hacker was behind the leak of a trove of financial documents about tax havens the firm set up to benefit influential people around the globe. (AP http://yhoo.it/1Vkts1P)

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff branded her vice president a traitor Tuesday and said he was a conspirator in a “coup” using impeachment proceedings to bring down a popularly elected government. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1TPvplK)

Thousands of supporters greeted Argentina’s former president Cristina Kirchner as she returned to Buenos Aires on Monday to face corruption allegations. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1S4EsuK)

Venezuela’s Supreme Court has overturned an amnesty for jailed opposition leaders approved by the opposition-controlled parliament. About 70 activists opposed to President Nicolas Maduro’s socialist government had been due for release under the law approved last month. (BBC http://bbc.in/1TPFMpG)

World finance officials who meet in Washington this week confront a bleak picture: Eight years after the financial crisis erupted, the global economy remains fragile and at risk of another recession. (AP http://yhoo.it/1TPEg7e)

…and the rest

Paris police say protesters angry over a labor reform damaged stores and restaurants and injured two police officers during a rogue overnight march. (AP http://yhoo.it/22spbsz)

Opinion/Blogs

We street children need a legal identity. It’s a basic human right (Guardian http://bit.ly/1S4kvEj)

Time to let go: Remaking humanitarian action for the modern era (ODI http://bit.ly/1TPu1zM)

Could Brazil’s Rousseff be impeached? (BBC http://bbc.in/1S4rlcO)

Africa: Panama Papers Are Tip of Iceberg (AfricaFocus http://bit.ly/1qGtdBU)

Secret aid worker: what should doctors do when we witness human rights abuses? (Guardian http://bit.ly/1SdNN8R)

Africa, the Need for Greater Integration (IPS http://bit.ly/1S4q6dO)

Three unanswered questions about the EU-Turkey refugee deal (ODI http://bit.ly/22sn4VA)

Payment by results in aid: hype or hope? (Guardian http://bit.ly/1SdY4Sj)

What the Panama Papers Mean for Global Development (IPS http://bit.ly/1SdXRP5)

A Secretary or a General? UN Seeks New Chief (VOA http://bit.ly/1TPFKhy)

What sort of justice do survivors of sexual war crimes want? (Guardian http://bit.ly/1SLCkYo)

In poor countries, girls still lag boys in school (World Bank Data Viz http://bit.ly/1VkuGKr)

The next UN secretary-general: A candidate vision cheat sheet (Devex http://bit.ly/1SLD7bH)

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