News in the Humanosphere: Ethiopian security forces fire on protesters, killing at least 97

Protesters in Oromia region, Ethiopia, December 2015. (Credit: HRW)

At least 97 people were killed and hundreds more injured when Ethiopian security forces fired live bullets at peaceful protesters across Oromia region and in parts of Amhara over the weekend, according to credible sources who spoke to Amnesty International. Thousands of protesters turned out in Oromia and Amhara calling for political reform, justice and the rule of law. The worst bloodshed – which may amount to extrajudicial killings – took place in the northern city of Bahir Dar where at least 30 people were killed in one day. “The security forces’ response was heavy-handed, but unsurprising. Ethiopian forces have systematically used excessive force in their mistaken attempts to silence dissenting voices,” said Michelle Kagari, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes. (Amnesty http://bit.ly/2b96dcg)

Quetta blast…A suicide bomber in Pakistan killed at least 70 people and wounded more than 100 on Monday in an attack on mourners gathered at a hospital in Quetta, according to officials in the southwestern province of Baluchistan. The bomber struck as a crowd of mostly lawyers and journalists crammed into the emergency department to accompany the body of a prominent lawyer who had been shot and killed in the city earlier in the day, Faridullah, a reporter who was among the wounded said. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/2b96OuE)

The battle for Aleppo rages on… Fighting for Syria’s former economic powerhouse is intensifying after an opposition advance at the weekend broke through a three-week government siege of the city’s rebel-held east, dealing a major setback to regime troops. Rebel forces Sunday announced a bid to capture all of Aleppo city, which if successful would mark the biggest opposition victory yet in Syria’s five-year civil war. (AFP http://yhoo.it/2aGQz5f)

Africa

Uganda’s government said Monday it “will continue to suppress” the public activities of homosexuals and that a rehabilitation program had been developed to allow them to “lead normal lives again.” (AP http://yhoo.it/2aFGRMY)

Rebel fighters killed at least eight civilians in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo before fleeing when Congolese troops arrived, local sources said, in a region where a spike in ethnic violence has halted some aid deliveries. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/2aGQ1fN)

A struggle within Nigeria’s Islamic extremist group Boko Haram is playing out in public, with a new leader named by the Islamic State group accusing the longtime leader of killing his own people and living in luxury while fighters’ babies starve. (AP http://yhoo.it/2auQhQz)

The trafficking of Nigerian women from Libya to Italy by boat is reaching “crisis” levels, with traffickers using migrant reception centers as holding pens for women who are then collected and forced into prostitution across Europe, the U.N.’s International Office for Migration (IOM) warns. (Guardian http://bit.ly/2aA0xSS)

African countries must trade more between themselves to be better equipped to deal with shocks in the global economy such as that caused by Britain’s vote to leave the EU. (Guardian http://bit.ly/2aVLRyD)

Innovative ways to pay for solar power systems could make clean energy affordable for many of Zimbabwe’s 1.5 million households that lack electricity, campaigners say. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/2aA15IC)

Tanzania plans to spend $3.21 billion over the next five years to connect about 1 million rural households to electricity, a senior government official said on Monday. (Reuters http://bit.ly/2aVLMLa)

MENA

Syria’s brutal conflict has now claimed the lives of more than 290,000 people, a monitoring group said on Monday, giving its latest death toll for the devastating five-year war. (AFP http://yhoo.it/2aGQ6A2)

Experts painted a graphic portrait of barrel bombings, attacks on medical facilities, chemical weapons use and the ongoing suffering inside the besieged Syrian city of Aleppo, shaming the international community for its inaction at an informal Security Council meeting Monday organized by the United States. (NYT http://nyti.ms/2b93PCo)

The international charity World Vision said on Monday that Israel has accused the charity’s Gaza Strip director of funneling what appears to be an impossible sum of money to Hamas. (AP http://yhoo.it/2aGQxu9)

A Saudi-led coalition air strike killed nine civilians outside the Yemeni capital Sanaa on Sunday night, residents said, as forces loyal to the exiled government stepped up an offensive in the area. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/2aFF9ez)

Residents of a Libyan town have buried the decomposing bodies of 21 migrants who had washed up on their beach after authorities failed to act, an NGO and medics said Monday. (AFP http://yhoo.it/2auQO4G)

Asia

Government forces have arrested more than a thousand protesters in Indian-controlled Kashmir in an attempt to stem deadly anti-India demonstrations in the Himalayan region, a top policeman said Monday. (AP http://yhoo.it/2auS4Vq)

A Philippine lawmaker is seeking to permanently ban U.S. Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump from visiting the Southeast Asian nation after the billionaire called it one of the “terrorist nations.” (Reuters http://yhoo.it/2aFEg5M)

Dismissing its neighbors’ pleas, impoverished Laos is rapidly building a Mekong River dam that threatens fisheries crucial to millions of Southeast Asia’s poorest people. (AP http://yhoo.it/2aMcKaw)

Philippine boxing icon-turned-senator Manny Pacquiao used the Bible to defend restoring the death penalty for drug traffickers as “approved by God,” backing a controversial proposal of President Rodrigo Duterte. (AFP http://yhoo.it/2aFDYfp)

Millions of cases related to land and property are stuck in Indian courts, draining litigants of resources and highlighting the urgent need for land reform in the country, a legal advocacy group says. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/2aVLSCH)

The Americas

Tropical Storm Javier pushed closer to the resort city of Cabo San Lucas on the tip of Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula Monday, while the death toll from former Hurricane Earl rose to 40 in the country’s eastern mountains. (AP http://yhoo.it/2aA1L0L)

…and the rest

Turkish authorities have detained at least 10 foreign nationals suspected of ties to a U.S.-based cleric whom Turkey accuses of masterminding the July 15 failed coup, a senior official said Monday. (AP http://yhoo.it/2aGQfDn)

The Red Cross is launching its first search and rescue ship on Monday in an effort to save the lives of people crossing the Mediterranean in search of refuge and safety in Europe. (VOA http://bit.ly/2aGQe2r)

Despite Western opposition, the 134-member Group of 77 is continuing to pursue a longstanding proposal for an inter-governmental U.N.-affiliated tax body aimed at combating corporate tax dodging and curbing illicit financial flows, including money laundering and offshore banking. (IPS http://bit.ly/2aFErht)

Turkey’s migration agreement with the European Union may collapse if the EU does not keep its side of the deal on visa waivers, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan told France’s Le Monde newspaper. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/2aGPWIM)

New Zealand’s state-owned farming company said Monday it will stop using palm kernel products to feed its animals as it seeks to take better care of the environment. (AP http://yhoo.it/2aA1LO5)

Around 3,000 firefighters are trying to put out hundreds of forest blazes of varying sizes across Portugal, authorities said Monday. (AP http://yhoo.it/2aFGOAM)

Serbia’s prime minister-designate said Monday that his new government will include an openly gay minister for the first time in the conservative Balkan country. (AP http://yhoo.it/2auQq6v)

Opinion/Blogs

Did farming practices in China create an antibiotic resistant bacteria that’s spreading around the world? (UN Dispatch http://buff.ly/2aH2qAg)

The Olympics: Worst development investment a country can make (Humanosphere http://buff.ly/2aH34Ol)

The World Loves Refugees, When They’re Olympians (NYT http://nyti.ms/2b97T5y)

Sustainable Development in Africa Will Not Be Achieved Without Women’s Full Participation (IPS http://bit.ly/2aGLx8Z)

Experts explain: Why the Thai ‘yes’ vote is not so strange (AP http://yhoo.it/2aM5V96)

Be careful what you wish for (IRIN http://bit.ly/2aFDWnF)

U.S. air strikes show limits on Libya intervention (Reuters http://yhoo.it/2aFDsxT)

Will Trump wall create illegal immigration? (CNN http://cnn.it/2azZT8c)

Can the SDGs guide us to a ‘new economy’? (Devpolicy  http://buff.ly/2aFQvQ5)

How The West Was Won (Slate Star Codex http://buff.ly/2aH2zDN)

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