News in the Humanosphere: Gambia declares state of emergency, regional body considers intervention

Gambian President Yahya Jammeh

The president of The Gambia declared a state of emergency in the west African country two days before he is due to leave office. The declaration is the latest in a series of attempts by Yahya Jammeh to hang onto power beyond his current tally of 22 years. Adama Barrow, a former estate agent who beat Jammeh in the December election, is due to be inaugurated on Thursday, but the incumbent is refusing to leave. Meanwhile, four government ministers, including the foreign and finance ministers defected on Tuesday, leaving Jammeh increasingly isolated. Thousands of Gambians are fleeing the country or sending their children abroad, afraid that the regional organization ECOWAS will make good on its promise to resort to force to remove Jammeh if necessary. Hundreds of women and children balancing suitcases on their heads took the ferry out of Banjul, the country’s capital, on Tuesday, many bound for the border. (Guardian http://bit.ly/2iyURky)

Stat of the day: At least 219 migrants and refugees are believed to have drowned in the Mediterranean already this year, more than double than during the same period a year ago, the International Organization for Migration said on Tuesday. (Reuters http://bit.ly/2jGme9q)

Quote of the day: “He won’t be worse than Obama, that’s the only thing I dare to say,” Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro in remarks about Donald Trump. (AP https://yhoo.it/2k1cOZo)

Boycott of the day: A Kenyan opposition MP has urged fellow women to impose a sex boycott until their men register to vote in August’s general election. (AFP https://yhoo.it/2iKE6RR)

Top Stories

The U.N.’s World Food Programme temporarily suspended air drops of vital supplies to the eastern Syrian city of Deir al-Zor due to heavy fighting there, a spokeswoman said on Tuesday. (Reuters https://yhoo.it/2iKrAC4)

Nearly 200 child workers, some as young as eight, were rescued from bangle factories in Hyderabad in southern India over the last week, as part of a crackdown that will continue until the end of the month, police said on Tuesday. (Reuters https://yhoo.it/2jGwmig)

Israeli forces rearrested a Palestinian journalist who was freed from prison last year after an extended hunger strike, his family and Israeli officials said Tuesday. (AFP https://yhoo.it/2jGfCaS)

Human rights organizations expressed alarm Tuesday over the disappearances of two Baptist pastors who had shown journalists a Catholic church allegedly damaged by airstrikes by Myanmar government forces who are fighting ethnic Kachin rebels. (AP https://yhoo.it/2iKxl2N)

Across Zambia, drought that swept across the region last year, leading to widespread crop failure, has sent cereal prices soaring. (Reuters http://bit.ly/2iKuZRb)

Millions of Ethiopians face a hunger crisis for a second consecutive year after drought hit sub-Saharan Africa’s second most populous nation, the United Nations said on Tuesday as it appealed for more than $900 million in aid. (Reuters http://bit.ly/2jGcWtQ)

Environmental group Greenpeace International on Tuesday slammed HSBC Holdings Plc for allegedly funding palm oil companies in Indonesia that it says have destroyed tropical rainforests. (Reuters https://yhoo.it/2iKsFd2)

The abortion rate in the United States fell to its lowest level since the historic Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision legalized abortion nationwide, a new report finds. (NPR http://n.pr/2jGrxWg)

The British government is failing to live up to promises to tackle corruption, according to the chair of the international development committee, Stephen Twigg. (Guardian http://bit.ly/2iKGY1d)

Amnesty International on Tuesday said European counterterrorism measures in the past two years are rapidly — and potentially permanently — eroding basic human rights throughout the continent. (AP https://yhoo.it/2jGreL2)

Opinion/Blogs

How Much Damage Can Trump Actually Do to Global Climate Efforts? (UN Dispatch http://bit.ly/2iKvRFq)

We’re not prepared for future Ebola outbreaks, experts warn (Stat News http://bit.ly/2j5wKpV)

Some Children Overcome Malaria Only To Confront Chronic Disease (Huff Po http://huff.to/2iKeFjr)

Can the African Union Save Itself? (The Herald http://bit.ly/2j5hsl2)

Surviving South Sudan’s escalating violence: life in a UN camp – in pictures (Guardian http://bit.ly/2k1mgMD)

Why Disclosures in Foreign Settlements Don’t Spur Domestic Prosecutions in Argentina (Global Anticorruption Blog http://bit.ly/2j5Eecs)

Will South Africa turn the corner in 2017? (Africa can end poverty http://bit.ly/2j5v8wi)

Alternative economics for Davos (From Poverty to Power http://bit.ly/2j5D9l0)

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