News in the Humanosphere: Ghanians vote in hotly contested presidential race

HE John Dramani Mahama, President of the Republic of Ghana (Credit: Chatham House/flickr)

President John Mahama accused Ghana’s main opposition leader of deliberately undermining confidence in the voting process before Wednesday’s election by failing to issue a clear call for peace whatever the outcome. The West African country prides itself on its record as a stable democracy with peaceful transitions of power, unusual in Africa, and civic leaders often call for a violence-free vote. But after a long court battle to settle the outcome of the 2012 vote, tensions have resurged ahead of this week’s election, with analysts giving opposition leader Nana Akufo-Addo a good chance of defeating Mahama’s bid for a second and final term. (VOA http://bit.ly/2gNEJtA)

Stat of the day: A survey conducted by UNICEF and the Philippine government has found a high prevalence of violence against Filipino children, with eight out of 10 suffering some form of physical or psychological abuse. (AP https://yhoo.it/2gOikfJ)

Strike’s negative consequences…Sick Kenyans were turned away from hospitals and patients left stranded in their wards as a crippling strike by doctors and nurses demanding pay rises entered a second day Tuesday. (AFP https://yhoo.it/2h2MwS6)

Top Stories

Severe flooding due to heavy rain in southern Thailand has killed 14 people, including five students, the interior ministry said Tuesday. (AP https://yhoo.it/2gOj4l3)

More than 20,000 Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh in recent weeks, humanitarian officials said on Tuesday, following a bloody crackdown by the army in neighboring Myanmar. (AFP https://yhoo.it/2gOpa4D)

Food rations to more than 400,000 refugees in Kenya have been halved due to severe funding shortages, and existing supplies will run out completely at the end of February, the United Nations said on Tuesday. (Reuters http://bit.ly/2gOpGje)

Former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, seeking reconciliation among ethnic groups in fractious western Myanmar, urged the army on Tuesday to respect civilians’ rights as concerns rise about treatment of the Muslim Rohingya minority. (AP https://yhoo.it/2gOaS47)

South Africa’s Supreme Court of Appeal overturned a ruling that granted a man the right to medically-assisted death and could have opened the way to legalize euthanasia. (AFP https://yhoo.it/2gOhek3)

Five West African countries have agreed to stop importing toxic fuels from Europe in a move that could improve the health of more than 250 million people, according to the United Nations. (Reuters http://bit.ly/2gOhRdp)

Egypt’s official anti-corruption body says it has uncovered a network for human organ trafficking, including physicians whom it said exploited the victims’ poverty in persuading them to sell their organs. (AP https://yhoo.it/2hd5sfQ)

A dozen Lebanese women, dressed as brides in white wedding dresses stained with fake blood and bandages, have gathered outside government buildings in Lebanon’s capital to protest a law that allows a rapist to get away with his crime if he marries the survivor. (AP https://yhoo.it/2gOkGLz)

A United Nations representative has pressed China to investigate the fate of prominent human rights campaigner Jiang Tianyong, who disappeared two weeks ago and is believed by friends to be held by state security agents. (AP https://yhoo.it/2gOf7g5)

Transgender women in India face persistent bias that denies them education and jobs despite India having progressive laws for transgender people, according to a leading activist. (Reuters https://yhoo.it/2hdUfeX)

Brazil’s government outlined a major pension reform proposal on Tuesday, in the hopes of shoring up public finances and pulling Latin America’s largest economy out of recession. (AP https://yhoo.it/2gNyIga)

Turkish authorities have forcibly evicted tens of thousands of people in security operations in a predominantly Kurdish district of southeastern Turkey, a human rights group said Tuesday. (AP https://yhoo.it/2h2IfOM)

Opinion/Blogs

Living Goods’ Avon-style model is more than a novelty, it saves lives (Humanosphere http://buff.ly/2hdUmrf)

How to end gender violence? Give money to visionary local groups (Guardian http://bit.ly/2gOp50K)

Why data is key to gender parity in politics (Devex http://buff.ly/2hdTmn0)

Will Trump Reinstate Reagan’s Abortion Rule For International Charities? (NPR Goats and Soda http://buff.ly/2hdUuXL)

Traveling with ease, carrying disease? Using mobile phone data to reduce malaria (Development Impact http://buff.ly/2gOuipD)

Power, Poverty and Inequality: a ‘love-peeve’ new IDS bulletin (From Poverty to Power http://buff.ly/2hdZdbQ)

Could this be the worst fundraising video of the year? (WhyDev http://buff.ly/2gOz7iq)

Kony’s killers – are child soldiers accountable when they become men? (IRIN http://buff.ly/2g7ANzO)

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