News in the Humanosphere: Colombia peace deal falters in narrow referendum loss

Colombian opposition led by former President Alvaro Uribe march to protest against President Juan Manuel Santos' government and denounce concessions they have made in peace talks with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, in Bogota, Colombia, April 2, 2016. (AP Photo/Fernando Vergara)

“This long-troubled nation appeared poised to leap into the void Sunday, narrowly rejecting a peace deal with the country’s largest guerrilla group that aimed to end more than a half-century civil conflict. If confirmed, the vote would be a brutal blow to President Juan Manuel Santos who has staked his presidency on the deal. Just last week, he was basking in the glow of world leaders as he signed off on the deal amid reports that the process was on the short list for the Nobel Prize. With 99.79 percent of the voting stations counted, election authorities said the ‘no’ vote was winning with 50.2 percent, versus 49.8 percent for the ‘yes’ vote.” (Miami Herald

Ethiopian protests turn deadly…Dozens of people died Sunday at a festival after security forces fired tear gas into a crowd during a political protest and provoked a stampede. There is no official toll, with opposition leaders estimating at least 100 dead. A statement by the government has said only that there was a ‘loss of lives.’ The Irreecha thanksgiving festival of Ethiopia’s Oromo people takes place in October every year with the conclusion of the rainy season at a sacred lake in the town of Bishoftu, around 25 miles southeast of the capital, Addis Ababa. The Oromo, Ethiopia’s largest ethnic group, making up around a third of the population, have for the past year been protesting their marginalization and the confiscation of their land for factories.” (WaPo

Hurricane bears down on Haiti…Haiti issued a red alert and evacuated families from tiny outlying islands as Hurricane Matthew, the strongest storm to cross the Caribbean in years, shifted its route toward the impoverished country. Matthew is expected to make landfall in Haiti on Monday as a major storm bringing 150 mile per hour (240 kph) winds and extreme rain to the southern coast, simultaneously lashing Jamaica. It will move on to Cuba early on Tuesday, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.” (Reuters

Global ivory ban endorsed…Delegates at a U.N. wildlife conference have endorsed calls for the closure of all domestic ivory markets. The non-binding proposal was approved at a meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites) in South Africa. Conservationists hailed it as a significant step towards ending the current elephant poaching crisis. However, Japan, which has a large domestic ivory trade, said the proposal did not apply there. While the international market in ivory has been closed since 1989, legal domestic markets have continued in many countries around the world. (BBC

Quote of the Day…I apologize profoundly and deeply to the Jewish community,” Philippine President Duterte, on Sunday. On Friday he favorably compared his anti-drug campaign to the Holocaust, saying he’d “be happy” to slaughter millions of drug addicts. (NYT


Gabonese intelligence wiretapped EU election observers who voiced grave doubts over the outcome of hotly disputed Aug. 27 polls in the oil-rich central African nation, a French weekly reported Sunday. (AFP

Police killings of Kenyans are on the rise, a Kenyan newspaper said on Sunday, as it published the country’s first comprehensive database detailing hundreds of such alleged killings in the past two years. (Reuters


Almost two-thirds of Israelis believe there will never be a peace agreement with the Palestinians, according to the results of an opinion poll published on Sunday. (AFP

The Syrian army said in a statement carried by state media on Sunday that rebel fighters should vacate the eastern quarters of the northern city of Aleppo and said it would guarantee them safe passage and necessary aid. (Reuters

Three photojournalists have been detained on charges of spreading false information after conducting interviews on the streets with members of the public in central Cairo, officials said Sunday. (AFP

The head of Morocco’s parliamentary opposition says he wants to use cultural programs, education and jobs as weapons to fight growing Islamic extremism, if his party wins a national election Friday. (AP

Civilians under bombardment in Syria’s rebel-held east Aleppo are facing “a level of savagery that no human should have to endure,” the U.N. aid chief said Sunday. (AFP

A Dutch journalist was killed on Sunday while covering a government-backed offensive against the Islamic State group in their Libyan stronghold city of Sirte, a medical official said. (AFP


The Paris climate agreement, the world’s strongest effort yet to try to curb the pace of climate change, sped even closer toward becoming active as India, the planet’s fourth-largest emitter of greenhouse gases, formally joined the accord Sunday. (WaPo

One month after devastating floods caused by a typhoon hit a remote area of North Korea, Red Cross officials said Sunday that more help is needed for thousands of displaced people before harsh winter conditions set in. (AP

The European Union on Sunday announced an aid plan for tens of thousands of civilians trapped in Syria’s war-ravaged city of Aleppo. (AFP

The Americas

Brazilians across the country appeared to be in a kick-the-bums-out mood Sunday as they voted for the first time since President Dilma Rousseff was removed from office. (AP

A judge in El Salvador has reopened an investigation into the 1981 El Mozote massacre – considered one of the worst atrocities in the civil war. (BBC

Guatemalan police on Sunday detained 50 migrants en route to the United States who said they were from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. (AFP

…and the rest

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban suffered a blow Sunday in his referendum against the EU’s migrant quota plan after he failed to rally enough votes to reach the required 50 percent turnout, according to the first polls from the ruling Fidesz party. (AFP

European commissioner Kristalina Georgieva, a latecomer to the race to be the next secretary-general, says being the first U.N. chief from Eastern Europe and the first woman to be the world’s top diplomat would demonstrate the inclusiveness and universality of the United Nations. (AP


Environmental Crimes Could Warrant International Criminal Court Prosecutions (IPS

After Zika, critical to monitor babies’ health but how long? (AP

Pregnant and homeless: South Sudan’s women refugees (IRIN

Mr. Zuckerberg goes to Africa (Africa is a Country

Will big agriculture mergers impact smallholder farmers? (Devex

Thailand’s economy: The dangers of farsightedness (The Economist


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