News in the Humanosphere: Turkey’s post-coup crackdown concerns European Union

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. (Credit: AMISOM Public Information/Flickr)

The European Union voiced grave concern about Turkey’s crackdown on opponents since a failed July coup in a highly critical report on Wednesday that made clear that Ankara’s prospects of joining the bloc have become ever more distant. Turkey has rolled back the independence of the judiciary, freedom of expression and other fundamental democratic standards since the coup attempt, the EU said in its most hard-hitting annual report on the country’s long-running membership bid. “The coup attempt of July 15 was an attack on democracy per se. Given the seriousness of the situation, a swift reaction to the threat was legitimate,” the EU’s top enlargement official, Johannes Hahn, said. “However, the large scale and collective nature of measures taken over the last months raise very serious concerns.” (Reuters https://yhoo.it/2fDjJWg)

Homecoming…Afghan’s president on Wednesday welcomed back Sharbat Gula, the green-eyed “Afghan Girl” whose 1985 photo in National Geographic became a symbol of her country’s wars, offering her a furnished apartment after she was deported by Pakistan. Pakistan security officials escorted Gula overnight from a Peshawar hospital, where she had been staying since her arrest last month for living illegally in Pakistan, and handed her over to Afghan authorities at the Torkham border. (Reuters https://yhoo.it/2fDjHh7)

Africa

The first batch of Kenyan troops who had served in a U.N. peacekeeping mission in South Sudan arrived home on Wednesday, after Nairobi ordered them to withdraw in response to the sacking of the Kenyan commander of the UNMISS force. (Reuters https://yhoo.it/2fmSGLY)

The 21 Chibok schoolgirls freed by Boko Haram militants last month say they were not abused or raped during two-and-a-half years’ captivity in northeast Nigeria, a source close to the presidency said on Wednesday. (Reuters https://yhoo.it/2fmTQqO)

Prolonged periods of drought along the Kenyan-Tanzanian border have depleted grazing land, forcing pastoralists to travel with their herds for weeks at a time – sometimes months – to look for greener pastures. (Reuters http://bit.ly/2fmTd07)

Kenyan teachers want the government to ban a chain of low-cost private primary and nursery schools, backed by Microsoft’s Bill Gates and Britain’s aid budget, after it faced criticism from a court in neighboring Uganda for hiring unlicensed teachers. (Reuters https://yhoo.it/2fmU68Y)

President Alassane Ouattara signed a new constitution into law on Tuesday, casting it as the way to a peaceful future for Ivory Coast, which has emerged as one of Africa’s rising economic stars after years of violent upheaval. (Reuters http://bit.ly/2fDnV8e)

MENA

The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court says her office is committed to making Libya a priority next year and expanding investigations, potentially including alleged crimes by Islamic State extremists and their affiliates. (AP https://yhoo.it/2fDjUAE)

Nearly 42,000 people have fled their homes since last month’s start of the operation to recapture Mosul from the Islamic State group, the International Organization for Migration said Wednesday. (AFP https://yhoo.it/2fDmwhZ)

The future of the historic nuclear agreement with Iran is in the air with the prospect that a Donald Trump administration could take steps that would cause Iran to abandon its commitments, experts said Wednesday. (WaPo http://wapo.st/2fTmbcu)

Asia

Indians awakened to confusion Wednesday as banks and ATMs remained closed after the government withdrew the highest-denomination currency notes overnight to halt money laundering in a country where many in the poor and middle-class still rely mainly on cash. (AP https://yhoo.it/2ffQrw)

Unrest in Myanmar’s northwest is taking a “terrible toll” on children UNICEF said and called for full humanitarian access to the Muslim-majority north of Rakhine state. (VOA http://bit.ly/2fmQTWT)

The Americas

Honduras’s president, Juan Orlando Hernandez, said Wednesday he wants to put aside a constitutional bar on his re-election just once, and would not stand again after elections in a year’s time. (AFP https://yhoo.it/2fmPXSE)

The website of Canada’s immigration ministry crashed as many Americans sought to emigrate to their northern neighbor to escape a Donald Trump presidency. (AFP https://yhoo.it/2fDkyy9)

World leaders reacted to Donald Trump’s victory in the U.S. presidential election with offers to work with him tinged with anxiety over how he would deal with a host of problems, from the Middle East to an assertive Russia. (Reuters https://yhoo.it/2fDtkKJ)

The United Nations will count on Donald Trump’s new US administration to help combat climate change and advance human rights worldwide, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Wednesday. (AFP https://yhoo.it/2fmTEYD)

The Brazilian doctor who first linked the Zika virus to brain damage in babies warns that rich countries are not safe from the disease, urging them to increase research funding. (AFP https://yhoo.it/2fDxm5s)

…and the rest

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government will hammer out the final details of a delayed climate plan in the coming days so it can be presented at global climate talks in Morocco next week, her spokesman said on Wednesday. (Reuters https://yhoo.it/2fDoWx1)

Opinion/Blogs

President Trump’s humanitarian agenda (IRIN http://bit.ly/2fmPJLm)

International Order Depends on a Well-Educated American Public. So Let’s Get to Work. (UN Dispatch http://bit.ly/2fTjPKw)

Why are we ignoring the sexual health of women who have sex with women? (Guardian http://bit.ly/2fDcICx)

What Trump Means for Africa (Daily Maverick http://bit.ly/2fSWTez)

Are South Africans the Eighth Highest Sugar Consumers in the World? (Africa Check http://bit.ly/2fSUPmU)

Who builds the walls? (IRIN http://bit.ly/2fE7WDt)

Will Free Expression Equal Terrorism in Zimbabwe? (IPS http://bit.ly/2fEigv8)

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