News in the Humanosphere: Red Cross searching for kidnapped aid worker

Red Cross car crossing convoy of Humvees, near Kabul, Afghanistan. (Credit: swiss.frog/flickr)

Unknown gunmen abducted a Spanish employee of the International Committee of the Red Cross in north Afghanistan, the organization said Tuesday, underscoring the increasing dangers faced by foreigners as security worsens in the country. The man was kidnapped from his vehicle on the highway between the northern cities of Mazar-e-Sharif and Kunduz on Monday, the ICRC said. He was in the car with local staffers who weren’t taken, it said. “Security forces have launched an operation to track the hostage,” said Kunduz provincial spokesman Mahmood Danish. “The motive behind the kidnapping is unknown.” (WSJ http://on.wsj.com/2hqRI1Q)

Deadly protests in Congo…More than 20 people have been killed in clashes between protesters and security forces in the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s capital, Kinshasa, over President Joseph Kabila’s failure to give up power, a U.N. official has said. Some of the dead were shot at close range by troops, witnesses said. Kabila’s 15-year rule was due to have ended on Monday at midnight, but has been extended to 2018. Kabila’s main rival said the refusal to give up power amounted to a coup. (BBC http://bbc.in/2iacdnp)

Obama imposes sweeping Arctic drilling ban…President Obama announced on Tuesday what he called a permanent ban on offshore oil and gas drilling along wide areas of the Arctic and the Atlantic Seaboard as he tried to nail down an environmental legacy that cannot quickly be reversed by Donald J. Trump. Mr. Obama invoked an obscure provision of a 1953 law, the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, which he said gives him the authority to act unilaterally. (NYT http://nyti.ms/2icLfr4)

Humanity affirming news of the day: More than 300 communities across four West African countries with some of the world’s highest rates of female genital mutilation are this month declaring themselves free of the practice in public ceremonies, a campaign group said on Tuesday. (Reuters http://bit.ly/2hQZNjE)

Top Stories

South African police fired rubber bullets on Tuesday at scores of protesters outside the Democratic Republic of the Congo embassy in Pretoria demanding President Joseph Kabila step down, a spokesman said. (Reuters http://bit.ly/2hWbIty)

Turkey’s coast guard says it has retrieved the bodies of five migrants, including a child, off the Turkish coast. (AP https://yhoo.it/2hQZqFK)

The Syrian army broadcast messages into the last rebel enclave of Aleppo on Tuesday, warning that it was poised to enter the area during the day and urging insurgents to speed up their evacuation of the city. (Reuters https://yhoo.it/2hWefnM)

Some 25,000 people have been evacuated from the rebel-held enclave of Aleppo since Thursday, including 15,000 on Monday and 10,000 last Thursday, the International Committee of the Red Cross said on Tuesday. (Reuters https://yhoo.it/2hRfiIt)

Senegal authorities have arrested a Guinean soldier linked to a 2009 massacre in Conakry where at least 150 people were killed and dozens of women raped, a Senegalese security source said on Tuesday. (Reuters https://yhoo.it/2hE6Rj2)

Gaza’s population will more than double in about 30 years, signaling even more serious economic problems ahead for Palestinians in the small enclave if the conflict with Israel is not resolved, a U.N. official said on Tuesday. (Reuters https://yhoo.it/2hE6WmQ)

Cambodia has agreed to let the U.N. human rights agency keep an office in the country for another two years, its foreign ministry announced Tuesday. (AP https://yhoo.it/2hR27r0)

Up to 15,000 people may have fled across Myanmar’s border into China in the past month, a United Nations agency has said, as fighting between Myanmar’s army and ethnic armed groups intensifies. (Reuters https://yhoo.it/2hWmRL4)

China’s Ministry of Public Security published on Tuesday a list of government bodies that will act as a go-between with the ministry and foreign non-governmental organizations, ahead of the enforcement of a controversial new law. (Reuters https://yhoo.it/2hE9cun)

Though highly hopeful about achieving the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals well ahead of the 2030 deadline, Bangladesh is upset over the procedures to access the Green Climate Fund, calling them ‘ridiculously complex’ and warning that they may slow down its drive to achieve the SDGs. (IPS http://bit.ly/2hWd0oL)

A Haitian electoral court is telling authorities to test the reliability of last month’s disputed elections by making a random sample of local vote count sheets. (AP http://bit.ly/2hQ4pEi)

 

Opinion/Blogs

A Church Bombing in Egypt Puts Two Trump Policies on a Collision Course (UN Dispatch http://bit.ly/2h6YWKE)

Study: ‘Uberisation’ of domestic work not necessarily empowering women (Humanosphere http://bit.ly/2hRwRIr)

Top Senate Democrat: Donald Trump Should Support the Paris Agreement (Baltimore Sun http://bsun.md/2icZJaE)

What is often called ‘illegal immigration’ isn’t really illegal (PRI http://bit.ly/2hQ4U1g)

The biggest donors of 2016 (IRIN http://bit.ly/2hElDpU)

12 memorable global development quotes of 2016 (Devex http://bit.ly/2h6XV57)

The corporatization of aid enables greedy consultants and high executive salaries (Aidnography http://bit.ly/2h6Emtz)

What happened to aid transparency under the Coalition? (Dev Policy http://bit.ly/2hWLCXJ)

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