News in the Humanosphere: U.S. pledges $4.3 billion to Global Fund

The Obama administration pledged as much as $4.3 billion to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria. This is more or less in line with precedent, which is that the U.S. funds about a third of the Global Funds operations. The amount is subject to congressional approval. “The announcement, made today in Washington D.C., comes shortly before a Global Fund Replenishment Conference in Montreal on September 16-17 gathers world leaders and decision-makers to set funding for the next three years. ‘We are committing to match one dollar for every two dollars in pledges made by other donors through September 30th, 2017,’ said U.S. National Security Advisor Susan E. Rice in a statement. ‘We are calling on all partners to contribute generously in order to leverage our matching pledge to reach the Global Fund’s replenishment goal of $13 billion for the three year period from 2017 to 2019.'” (Global Fund http://bit.ly/2c1fIsX)

Trouble brewing in Gabon…Supporters of Gabon’s opposition leader Jean Ping have clashed with security forces in the capital Libreville, after incumbent President Ali Bongo was named the winner of a closely fought presidential election. Moments after the poll results were announced by the interior ministry on Wednesday, anti-government protesters shouting “Ali must go!” tried to storm the offices of the election commission, according to AFP news agency. Security forces used tear gas and stun grenades to push several hundred protesters back. Bongo won 49.80 percent of Saturday’s vote, against 48.23 percent for Ping, a narrow margin of only 5,594 votes of a total 627,805 registered voters, according to officials results announced by the interior ministry.” (Al Jazeera http://bit.ly/2c1gDJX)

Rousseff out…Brazil’s Dilma Rousseff was stripped of the country’s presidency Wednesday in a Senate impeachment vote ending 13 years of leftist rule in Latin America’s biggest economy. (AFP http://yhoo.it/2crmGJp)

Africa’s biggest economy is officially in recession…Nigeria released data on Wednesday showing its gross domestic product declined by 2.06 percent in the second quarter of the year. The oil- and import-dependent economy also declined by 0.36 percent in the first quarter. (AP http://yhoo.it/2bRkVjJ)

Africa

The chairman of Kenya’s anti-graft body said on Wednesday he had quit after lawmakers recommended removing him from office over an alleged conflict of interest between his family business and another state-run agency. (Reuters http://bit.ly/2bRl5ra)

The United States expressed horror Wednesday at reports that the South Sudan government is recruiting child soldiers to fight in its civil war and warned that officials may face sanctions. (AFP http://yhoo.it/2crl9Dh)

Tanzania’s main opposition party suspended protests scheduled for Thursday, to give time for negotiations with the government that has called its planned demonstrations illegal. (Reuters http://bit.ly/2c0P3MQ)

Zambia plans to cut subsidies as agreed with the International monetary Fund, with talks on an aid package at an advanced stage, a presidential spokesman said. (Reuters http://bit.ly/2bBISR5)

Shops and offices opened as usual across Zimbabwe on Wednesday despite a planned “shutdown” protest against President Robert Mugabe, who has vowed to end a series of anti-government demonstrations. (AFP http://yhoo.it/2crnk9U)

U.N. Security Council diplomats are expected to visit South Sudan this week, a foreign affairs ministry spokesman said on Wednesday without giving any details on the purpose of the trip. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/2bC9L65)

MENA

Airstrikes by the Saudi-led coalition hit a house in the northern city of Saada in the early hours of Wednesday, killing at least 16 civilians, Yemen’s rebel-controlled state news agency reported. (AP http://yhoo.it/2c8Y0Rh)

Israel approved Wednesday the construction of 463 homes for Jewish settlers in the occupied West Bank, the watchdog Peace Now said, drawing a sharp rebuke from the United States. (AFP http://yhoo.it/2crmiLb)

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu discussed the conflict in Syria over the phone on Wednesday, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/2crmlXk)

Egypt’s parliament has toughened penalties for female genital mutilation, adopting amendments that punish perpetrators with up to 15 years in prison if a child dies and up to seven years for carrying the procedure. (AP http://yhoo.it/2bRkEwY)

Denmark says a Danish-led international operation to rid Libya of its chemical weapons has removed 500 tons of chemicals from the North African country. (AP http://yhoo.it/2c8Y6Zl)

Asia

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said Wednesday he was ready to defend his bloody crackdown on illegal drugs, which has sparked U.S. and international concerns, when he meets with President Barack Obama on the sidelines of an Asian summit next week. (AP http://yhoo.it/2bVNjTP)

Human rights advocates have called on Myanmar to investigate the death of a young woman from the country’s persecuted Rohingya Muslim minority, who died this month after being found naked and unconscious near a military base. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/2c8XliH)

A new report by a U.N. anti-trafficking agency has detailed the experience of Cambodian women lured to China by the promise of a better life, only to be married off to local men. (VOA http://bit.ly/2c4W39L)

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on Myanmar to improve living conditions for its Rohingya Muslim minority on Tuesday, ahead of peace talks between leader Aung San Suu Kyi and many of the country’s ethnic armed rebel groups. (VOA http://bit.ly/2bRolD0)

The State Department says it’s evaluating a video released by the Afghan Taliban showing a Canadian man and his American wife warning that their Afghan captors will kill them and their children unless the Kabul government ends its executions of Taliban prisoners. (AP http://yhoo.it/2bCbt7q)

Three Danish lawmakers say Nauru has blocked them from taking part in a visit to a detention center where Australia sends asylum-seekers. (AP http://yhoo.it/2bC9LDq)

The Americas

Mexican immigration authorities say 424 migrants from African countries arrived at the southern state of Chiapas over two days last week. (NY Times http://nyti.ms/2bRneTO)

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro vowed to jail opposition leaders if they incite violence during upcoming protests seeking a referendum on removing him from power. (AFP http://yhoo.it/2bRmFcu)

…and the rest

A refugee center in western Switzerland burned down early on Wednesday, but nobody was injured and the cause of the fire was still unclear, police said. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/2crnZIx)

One year since Germany controversially opened its arms to Syrians fleeing war, the EU has tightened the borders of “Fortress Europe” but remains deeply divided over how to share the refugee burden. (AFP http://yhoo.it/2bRkyWo)

British Prime Minister Theresa May told members of her government on Wednesday that they would have to deliver Brexit, ruling out any second referendum or any attempt to stay in the European Union by the “back door”. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/2c8WVZE)

Denmark and Sweden will toughen up asylum rules further as the two countries look to prevent a repeat of last year’s record numbers and calm public fears about the financial burden on traditionally generous welfare states. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/2c4VXz0)

The reputation of the Karolinska Institute, one of Sweden’s top hospitals that awards the Nobel prize for medicine, has been badly damaged by allegations patients died as a result of a surgeon performing experimental operations without clearance, an official report said. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/2bRkQfV)

Opinion/Blogs

Big brands like Unilever aren’t the answer to helping Africa’s farmers (Guardian http://bit.ly/2croWQP)

How Kenya’s al-Shabab amnesty is a loaded gun (IRIN http://buff.ly/2bCclZM)

Lessons From Kenya About What’s Holding Back Solar (The Conversation http://bit.ly/2crl8iL)

Revisiting the Journey to the Sustainable Development Goals (Inter Press Service http://bit.ly/2c4VUTH)

Education is essential for giving refugee children hope for the future (Guardian http://bit.ly/2bRkSEd)

The designer loo revolutionizing Madagascar’s toilet crisis (Guardian http://bit.ly/2bC8lZD)

Cleaning the world’s water: ‘We are now more polluted than we have ever been’ (Guardian http://bit.ly/2bVNdeU)

When The U.S. Backs Gay And Lesbian Rights In Africa, Is There A Backlash? (Goats and Soda http://buff.ly/2bRqtL2)

If Public Universities Offer Free Tuition, Who Will Be Left Behind? (Tiny Spark http://buff.ly/2crrmiA)

Nigeria has a shockingly tiny government (An Africanist Perspective http://buff.ly/2c4YRnt)

What works in promoting governance reform in low-income countries? (Rachel Strohm http://buff.ly/2bRqK0A)

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