News in the Humanosphere: Insurgency in Mali spreads to neighboring Niger

Heavily armed gunmen riding motorbikes and other vehicles raided a village and killed five soldiers in Niger near the border with Mali early on Tuesday, the interior ministry said, amid signs of a growing Islamist insurgency in the region. Dozens of attackers entered Banigabou, about 12 miles from the frontier before dawn – gunshots rang out for two hours, said residents. The ministry did not name the raiders, though Islamist militants based in Mali’s desert north have been pushing south toward its capital and over borders in the fragile Sahel region into Niger and Burkina Faso. (Reuters http://reut.rs/2fwIwc8)

Quote of the day: “It is questionable at this point whether North Koreans will fight for freedom because they are too poor.” — Lech Walesa, the Polish leader of the anti-communist Solidarity movement in the 1980s. (VOA http://bit.ly/2fC3pkW)

Africa

A seven-year-old schoolgirl was killed and 32 Indian U.N. peacekeepers were injured early Tuesday in an explosion in Goma in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, the world body said. (AFP https://yhoo.it/2fC6rpb)

Two of the most popular radio stations in Democratic Republic of the Congo were jammed on Tuesday for the fourth day in a row, drawing criticism of the government from the United States and opposition groups. (Reuters https://yhoo.it/2fY9BrF)

Ivory Coast’s Third Republic came into being Tuesday with the signing into law of a new constitution overwhelmingly adopted last month in a referendum boycotted by opposition parties. (AFP https://yhoo.it/2eJXsof)

A motion of no confidence in South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma “has no chance of succeeding” when parliament votes on Thursday, the secretary-general of Zuma’s African National Congress party, Gwede Mantashe, said on Tuesday. (Reuters https://yhoo.it/2eJK6Z2)

A grenade detonated where a group of Indian peacekeepers were exercising on Tuesday morning in eastern Congo, killing at least two people and sparking an angry demonstration that was dispersed by tear gas, officials and witnesses said. (VOA http://bit.ly/2fBZqF1)

Merchant vessels sailing through busy shipping lanes between Somalia and Yemen may be underestimating the risk of piracy and terrorism following two attempted attacks last month, maritime officials say. (Reuters https://yhoo.it/2eJP5cr)

A group of Mozambique bond holders formed a creditors committee on Tuesday before an expected default, but they warned they would not begin restructuring talks with the government until it provided better information about its finances. (Reuters http://bit.ly/2eBmnag)

The influx of Central African Republic refugees to Cameroon has strained aid agencies and communities across eastern Cameroon, where more than 90,000 child refugees are out of school, and prey to violence, sexual abuse and early marriage, according to the U.N. children’s agency. (Reuters http://bit.ly/2eJM4sM)

The combination of crippling debt and threats of violence to Nigerian migrants helps perpetuate a cycle of exploitation in which many victims then become perpetrators, returning to Nigeria as “madams” to recruit more girls, police and rights groups say. (Reuters http://bit.ly/2fBZDYJ)

MENA

Air strikes and government artillery killed at least 20 people, including 10 children, in the largely rebel-held Syrian province of Idlib on Tuesday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. (Reuters https://yhoo.it/2fC4okQ)

The Saudi-led coalition battling rebels in Yemen accused the insurgents on Tuesday of having seized a total of 34 aid boats bound for the conflict-wracked country over a six-month period. (AFP https://yhoo.it/2fl3c6d)

Iraqi investigators carried out an initial examination on Tuesday of a mass grave site discovered in an area south of Mosul that was recently retaken from the Islamic State group. (AFP https://yhoo.it/2fdLsfy)

Syrian media activist Hadi Abdallah has won a prestigious international reporting award for covering his country’s war from its shattered, opposition-held areas. (AP https://yhoo.it/2fC5L37)

Seven African leaders met at the African Union headquarter in Ethiopia Tuesday to launch a new initiative to solve the 5-year-old Libyan crisis. (AP https://yhoo.it/2fYf8P4)

At least seven children and two pregnant women were killed in an air strike on Syria’s rebel stronghold province of Idlib on Tuesday, a monitor said. (AFP https://yhoo.it/2fAk1Nq)

IMF chief Christine Lagarde said Tuesday she will recommend the institution approve a $12 billion loan for Egypt when the board meets Friday to support the country’s “ambitious” reform program. (AFP https://yhoo.it/2eJQcc0)

Asia

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday announced that 500 and 1,000 rupee banknotes would be withdrawn from circulation at midnight to crack down on rampant corruption and counterfeit currency. (Reuters https://yhoo.it/2fC3IvT)

A leading Malaysian campaign for political and electoral reform is pressing ahead with a major rally this month despite pressure from the government and threats and violence against rally supporters. (VOA http://bit.ly/2fYcqJa)

Hundreds of Chinese business executives are attending an investment forum in Angola, a major supplier of oil to China. (AP https://yhoo.it/2eJVnZx)

Indian and Pakistani troops once again traded fire across the Line of Control in the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir on Tuesday, killing three civilians and wounding four others on the Pakistani side, and killing one Indian soldier, officials said. (AP https://yhoo.it/2eJR8xi)

Indian officials were trying Tuesday to restore the websites of seven Indian embassies in Europe and Africa that were hacked and had data dumped online. (AP https://yhoo.it/2fC6oK1)

Laos has notified its Southeast Asian neighbors that it’s moving ahead with a third contentious hydroelectric dam on the Mekong River’s mainstream. (AP https://yhoo.it/2eJY9On)

The Americas

Residents of Puerto Rico are American citizens, but they can’t vote in the U.S. presidential election, a fact that the island’s leading candidate for governor wants to change. (AP https://yhoo.it/2fdOMaf)

Brazil’s centuries-old tradition of protest through the martial art is seeing a resurgence as capoeiristas demonstrate against Temer’s regime. (Guardian http://bit.ly/2fBZWCE)

Haiti today is launching the largest emergency cholera vaccination campaign ever attempted. The plan is to try to vaccinate 800,000 people in parts of the country devastated by Hurricane Matthew. (Goats and Soda http://n.pr/2eJTlbQ)

Scientists say they may have found a way to protect babies in the womb from the harmful effects of Zika. So far the U.S. team has only had success in mice with its antibody treatment, but it says it might eventually lead to a therapy for women who catch Zika in pregnancy. (BBC http://bbc.in/2fC6l0N)

After clinching a third straight term by a landslide, Nicaragua’s president faces headwinds from an economic crisis in financial ally Venezuela and increasingly rocky relations with top trading partner the United States. (VOA http://bit.ly/2eJUCj7)

…and the rest

Britain remains committed to switching from coal-fired power plants to clean energy, a minister told parliament on Tuesday when asked whether the government was considering backtracking on a plan to close coal-burning stations by 2025. (Reuters https://yhoo.it/2eJQ4Jx)

Many of the deadly heatwaves and hurricanes, droughts and floods this decade have borne the imprint of man-made global warming, said a series of reports Tuesday that warned of worse to come. (AFP https://yhoo.it/2fdQrgh)

Several newly-elected mayors on Tuesday boycotted the swearing-in of a convicted war criminal as new mayor of the western Bosnian town of Velika Kladusa. (AP https://yhoo.it/2eBjbLO)

A report by a retired judge has strongly criticized London’s Metropolitan Police over a child abuse investigation that saw several prominent people publicly identified as suspected pedophiles. (AP https://yhoo.it/2fl6Flt)

Albanian authorities have sent army troops and other personnel to help people evacuated because of floods caused by heavy rain. No injuries or deaths have been reported so far. (AP https://yhoo.it/2eJTTyt)

Opinion/Blogs

Here are some surprising voting day practices from around the world (GlobalPost http://bit.ly/2fBB7Hg)

Options Lacking to Help Developing Countries Avoid Debt Crises (IPS http://bit.ly/2fA5GAC)

Podcast: The development plan for the 21st century (Guardian http://bit.ly/2fdOe4w)

Silence marks Ebola milestone, but scars remain (IRIN http://bit.ly/2eJOtn7)

Global observers are watching the US elections — literally, at polling places (PRI’s The World http://bit.ly/2fC0SqV)

Should we focus more on women’s political empowerment when democracy goes off the rails? Tom Carothers thinks so. (Public Spheres WB http://buff.ly/2fYlApg)

Hurricane Matthew undermines Haiti’s development hopes (Devex http://buff.ly/2fAr3C0)

The War on Terror vs. the War on Poverty (NYRB http://buff.ly/2flbXgA)

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