News in the Humanosphere: Terror attack in Istanbul kills more than 40

Ataturk airport in Istanbul, Turkey. (Credit: zsoolt/flickr)

Turkey pointed the finger of blame at Islamic State jihadists Wednesday after suicide bombers armed with automatic rifles attacked Istanbul’s main international airport, killing 41 people, including foreigners. Witnesses described scenes of terror and panic on Tuesday evening as the attackers began shooting indiscriminately and then blew themselves up at the entrance to Ataturk airport, one of Europe’s busiest hubs. The assault, at the start of Turkey’s crucial summer tourist season, was the latest in a wave of attacks in Istanbul and the capital Ankara over the past year, putting the country on high alert. (AFP

U.N. Security Council elections get crazy...Five new members were elected to the U.N. Security Council yesterday. Or six – it depends on how you count. Ethiopia, Bolivia, Kazakhstan and Sweden were each elected the conventional way. But after five rounds of voting, neither Italy nor the Netherlands secured the requisite two thirds majority to win the last remaining seat open to the Europeans. So, they went dutch. In an agreement, the countries decided to split the two-year term, one year each. Diplomacy!  


A campaign to vaccinate 11.6 million people in the Democratic Republic of the Congo against yellow fever will start on July 20, the health minister said. (Reuters

South Sudan has cancelled its Independence Day celebrations as it struggles to end a civil war that has left thousands dead and ravaged the economy. (Al Jazeera

At least 43 people were killed in fighting between armed groups and government forces around the northwest South Sudanese town of Wau last week, a government official said on Tuesday. (Reuters

Zambian police on Tuesday charged three people, including two editors of a newspaper critical of the government that was shut down last week, as tensions rose in the run-up to elections in August. (Reuters

Access to basic services remains a challenge for Kenya’s fast-growing capital city, and in the informal settlements outside Nairobi, residents are risking their lives for access to cheap, illegal electricity. (VOA


Yemen peace talks officially kaput…An Islamic State affiliate claimed responsibility for a series of attacks in Yemen’s southern port city of Mukalla on Monday that killed at least 43 people and wounded several others, officials said. The attacks came as the government and Shia Houthi rebels planned to suspend talks on ending Yemen’s larger conflict after two months of negotiations held in Kuwait. (Guardian

An activist detained in Bahrain in an intensifying crackdown on dissent was taken to a military hospital Tuesday after suffering an irregular heartbeat following 15 days of being held in isolation, his supporters said. (AP


The Indian government is on course to biometrically register the country’s 1.25 billion population as part of plan to modernize administration. (Guardian

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in the Philippines face extortion, violence and rape when seeking help from the police and do not trust law enforcement officers to protect them, a rights group said. (Reuters

Bad romance…China warned the international community Tuesday of the dangerous motives of the Dalai Lama after he met with pop star Lady Gaga while in the U.S. (VOA

Myanmar is pushing back against a report that the U.S. will demote the country to the lowest level on Washington’s human trafficking index. (VOA

More extreme weather, linked to climate change, is raising the threat from disasters such as flooding, landslides and drought in a range of already at-risk places around the world. But moving people out of harm’s way is an enormous challenge in Sri Lanka, not least because safe places to relocate families are in short supply almost everywhere. (Reuters

The Americas

Amnesty International says that a vast majority of incarcerated Mexican women face sexual torture during arrest and in the hours following. (VOA

Nicaragua has expelled six foreign environmental activists after they were detained on allegations of handling explosive substances without authorization, a lawyer and the Mexican government said Tuesday. (AP

A surge in Chinese migrants seeking a better life in the United States by illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexican border is capturing the attention of U.S. media. (VOA

A judge in Mexico granted a temporary stay of extradition for Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman Tuesday until arguments can be heard on two appeals filed by his lawyers. (AP

…and the rest

French police fired tear gas at stone-throwing protesters on Tuesday during the latest march in Paris against the Socialist government’s labor reforms. (AFP

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights urged Britain on Tuesday to act to prevent further incidents of xenophobic abuse in the wake of the vote to leave the European Union, and to prosecute perpetrators. (AP

An experimental vaccine that completely protects animals from the Zika virus has raised hopes for a jab that can bring the fast-spreading disease under control. (Guardian

Britain should trigger the process for leaving the European Union as soon as possible, French President Francois Hollande said on Tuesday in Brussels, where he is attending a European Council summit. (Reuters


Over-populated or under-developed? The real story of population growth (Guardian

4 scenarios eyed to keep Britain in the EU despite exit vote (AP

Has Zika transmission begun in the continental United States? (Momentum Blog, Baylor College of Medicine

More people in less space: rapid urbanisation threatens global health  (Guardian

Drought prompts debate on Cuba’s irrigation problems (Inter Press Service

Venezuela’s never-ending downward spiral (IRIN

‘Nobody is immune:’ bracing for Zika’s first summer in the U.S. (Shots

Secret aid worker: ‘High-level’ really means a club of old white men (Guardian

So the SDGs are agreed – what now? (The Right to Happiness

Transforming the poverty industry (Transformation

Seizing the moment: from early warning to early action (International Crisis Group


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