News in the Humanosphere: African links in Panama Papers uncovered

Offshore companies connected to 44 of Africa’s 54 countries appear in the Panama Papers leak, according to new research. More than 1,400 companies in the files of the offshore law firm Mossack Fonseca have names that indicate mining or resource extraction interests – raising fresh concerns about how tax havens can be used to exploit the natural wealth of the world’s poorest continent. The files contain at least 37 offshore companies with operations in Africa that have been named in legal proceedings or criticized by national or international agencies. (Guardian http://bit.ly/2araxzS)

Did South Sudan’s rebel faction just split? A faction within South Sudan’s rebel movement says it has appointed a replacement for First Vice President and rebel leader Riek Machar, who has been absent from the capital Juba since violent clashes broke out earlier in July. At a gathering at a Juba hotel on Saturday, Taban Deng Gai, who had served as the mining minister in the country’s transitional government, was appointed to act in Machar’s place until he returned to the capital. (Newsweek http://bit.ly/2asmB6M)

No so humanity-affirming stat of the day: In the first six months of this year, 5,166 civilians were either killed or maimed in Afghanistan, a half-year record since counting began in 2009. (UN News Center http://bit.ly/2a05W5H)

Crackdown on journalists…Turkish authorities issued warrants for the detention of 42 journalists on Monday, private broadcaster NTV reported, the latest in a widening crackdown that followed a failed coup by the military. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/2a9zgcD)

Monkey business…Election officials in northern Thailand think they can buy off a gang of monkey vandals with fresh fruit and vegetables after about 100 macaques tore up voter lists publicly posted ahead of next month’s referendum on a proposed constitution. (AFP http://yhoo.it/2a8kQWU)

Africa

Uganda has received 30,000 refugees in just three weeks and reception facilities are overflowing. Recent fighting in South Sudan has caused a new wave of arrivals, putting pressure on its southern neighbor, which was already hosting half a million refugees. (IRIN http://bit.ly/2a8liVf)

Congo Republic opposition leader Paulin Makaya was sentenced to two years in prison on Monday for his role in protests against a referendum proposing a third term for President Denis Sassou Nguesso, the High Court of Brazzaville ruled. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/2a8kEac)

A Nigerian former militant group said on Sunday it has been holding talks with the government to end a wave of attacks on oil and gas facilities in the Niger Delta which has crippled the country’s crude output. (Reuters http://bit.ly/2a9gJgL)

The United States on Monday announced $127 million in aid for southern African countries where the worst drought in decades is affecting millions of people, stunting children and tempting some farmers to eat their grains instead of saving them as seed for the next crop. (AP http://yhoo.it/2a8kRdu)

Lack of investment and regulation means life is hard for the men, women and children panning for tiny fragments of gold along Madagascar’s river beds. (Guardian http://bit.ly/2a9yTz2)

MENA

Britain, France and the United States on Monday backed a U.N. call for a humanitarian truce in Aleppo after four hospitals were bombed and civilians were killed by airstrikes in the Syrian city. (AFP http://yhoo.it/2a8la8h)

Syria’s regime intensified air strikes on rebel-held areas of Aleppo province Monday as a U.N. envoy prepared to meet U.S. and Russian officials to try to revive peace talks. (AFP http://yhoo.it/2a9yLj1)

The United Nations warned on Monday that the Libya conflict was preventing some 279,000 children from attending school across the war-torn country. (AFP http://yhoo.it/2a8l8gp)

U.N. Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura will hold talks today with top U.S. and Russian officials in Geneva in a bid to revive flagging peace talks, his office said. (AFP http://yhoo.it/2a9zzEn)

Asia

More than 90 percent of rape cases in Indonesia go unreported, highlighting the country’s “deafening silence” around sexual violence as victims fear being blamed, organizers of a recent poll on the issue said on Monday. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/2a8ljIG)

The U.S. Embassy in Myanmar issued a public apology Monday after a tear gas grenade accidentally exploded during a security exercise, sending fumes out onto the street and sparking rumors of a bomb. (AP http://yhoo.it/2a9z2SR)

Police in Bangladesh are investigating the death of a 10-year-old boy at a textile mill who was killed after co-workers inserted the nozzle of a high-pressure air pump in his rectum and turned it on. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/2a9ySL7)

The police in India arrested two men on Monday and accused them of raping an Israeli woman in the tourist town of Manali the day before. (NYT http://nyti.ms/2a1lYwN)

China has ordered special teams to begin inspecting steel mills across the country to see how well they are complying with tough new pollution rules, its environment ministry said on Monday. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/2a9z2lX)

India has expelled three journalists of the Chinese official news agency, Xinhua, by refusing to renew their visas to work in the country, a move that could worsen the already strained relations between the two countries. (Hindustan Times http://bit.ly/2a9CGMr)

The World Bank and Vietnam on Monday signed agreements under which the country will get $371 million in loans and grants to support its economic competitiveness, green growth and water management. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/2a9yVXA)

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte declared a unilateral cease-fire with communist guerrillas effective immediately Monday and asked the rebels to do the same to end decades of deadly fighting and foster the resumption of peace talks. (AP http://yhoo.it/2a9yQTv)

Thai student protesters will use social media tools, from Facebook to Japanese messaging app Line, to persuade voters to reject a military-backed draft constitution, some of the activists said on Monday. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/2a9z6Cd)

The Americas

The Hospital of the State University of Haiti, the largest and most important public medical facility in this troubled country, is at the epicenter of the most punishing strike by Haitian medical workers in memory. (AP http://yhoo.it/2a9gS3K)

A Massachusetts man indicted for allegedly raping a child is expected to be arraigned in Boston after fleeing to Guatemala in 2006. (AP http://yhoo.it/2alx2qn)

…and the rest

The head of the Port of Calais says he’ll complain to French authorities about massive delays faced by people trying to cross the border at Dover. (AP http://yhoo.it/2alwwbK)

Four attacks in a week — three of them carried out by asylum seekers — have left Germany on edge and Chancellor Angela Merkel’s policies of welcoming refugees under renewed criticism. (NYT http://nyti.ms/2a6C2m2)

Britain will need months of preparation before Brexit talks can start, EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said on Monday, chiding the government in London for not preparing better for the possibility of a ‘Leave’ vote. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/2a8lRhL)

The Bastille Day attack in Nice – the third terrorist massacre to hit France in 18 months – has sparked anger and racism, putting further strain on an already tense political atmosphere. (AFP http://yhoo.it/2a8lnrP)

Austria has broken up an international people-smuggling ring that illegally spirited more than 1,000 migrants into Germany, France and other countries from Hungary, police said on Monday. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/2a9zlNw)

About 150 migrants, mainly from Afghanistan and Pakistan, on Monday started a hunger strike in a field in Serbia on the border with Hungary to demand passage to the European Union. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/2a6A4lh)

Opinion/Blogs

 

What can aid workers do to heal tensions in a post-Brexit vote world? (Guardian http://bit.ly/2a8kYWI)

How the failed coup affects Syrian refugees in Turkey (ODI http://bit.ly/2a1kpil)

Matt Taibbi on How Trump’s Disastrous RNC Doomed the GOP (Rolling Stone http://rol.st/2a86N3P)

Leaving no one (apart from migrants and refugees) behind (IRIN http://bit.ly/2a9zh0q)

The global community is failing to address mental health (Guardian http://bit.ly/2a9yOLz)

It’s not looking good for the TPP in US Congress (The Interpreter http://bit.ly/2a1jr5W)

We’re Live in Ghana! Call +233 307084585 to Report on Failed, Incomplete, or Ongoing Aid Projects! (The What Went Wrong? Foundation http://bit.ly/2a91xjC)

A toilet or safe drinking water? The stark choice facing many people in rural India (Guardian http://bit.ly/2aedk1d)

Uganda Ill-Equipped for Growing Cancer Burden (IPS http://bit.ly/2ao1ql7)

Can the internet reboot Africa? (Guardian http://bit.ly/2a8kJLh)

Should international NGOs fear Turkey’s crackdown? (Devex http://bit.ly/2aeEt4d)

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