News in the Humanosphere: Gambian post-electoral crisis continues, government shutters 3 private radio stations

Gambian President Yahya Jammeh

Gambian security agents closed three private radio stations near the capital, Banjul, amid an escalating political crisis triggered by President Yahya Jammeh’s refusal to accept his election defeat. Jammeh, who seized power in a 1994 coup, initially conceded defeat to opposition rival Adama Barrow in the Dec. 1 vote, but then called for a fresh poll, drawing condemnation from local opponents and foreign powers. The veteran leaders’ refusal to step down has opened up the possibility of a military intervention by West African forces after the ECOWAS body said it was putting military forces on alert. Jammeh called that a “declaration of war.” (Reuters https://yhoo.it/2i33vDT)

IS strikes in Iraq. At least 35 people have been killed in a suicide car bomb attack in a busy square in Iraq’s capital, Baghdad, security and medical sources say. Sixty-one other people were injured by the blast in the predominantly Shia Muslim eastern district of Sadr City. Another car bomb later exploded in the car park of the nearby Al-Kindi hospital, killing three people. The jihadist group Islamic State said it carried out both attacks, targeting a “gathering of Shia” in the first. (BBC http://bbc.in/2iXllb9)  

Top Stories

Suicide bombers attacked the main peacekeeping base in Somalia’s capital, killing at least three Somali security officers. (Al Jazeera http://bit.ly/2iXmdfY)

Around 60 people were killed in a bloody prison riot in the Amazon jungle city of Manaus sparked by a war between rival drug gangs, officials said on Monday, in the worst violence in over two decades in Brazil’s overcrowded penitentiary system. (Reuters https://yhoo.it/2iXriFh)

The Islamic State issued a rare claim of responsibility on Monday for the New Year’s Day attack on an Istanbul nightclub that killed at least 39 people, describing the gunman who carried out the assault – and who has not been identified or captured – as “a hero soldier of the caliphate.” (NYT http://nyti.ms/2iXr9kZ)

Cuba paraded troops and hundreds of thousands of citizens through its emblematic Revolution Square on Monday in a traditional show of nationalist fighting spirit in the face of steep economic and diplomatic challenges. (Reuters https://yhoo.it/2hHQCxY)

Opposing sides in the crisis that has gripped the Democratic Republic of the Congo will this week hold their first talks on implementing a landmark deal on the country’s political future, mediators said Monday. (AFP https://yhoo.it/2j0OUg0)

At least 188 civilians have been killed in U.S.-led strikes against Islamic State targets in Iraq and Syria since the operation began in 2014, the U.S. military said in a statement on Monday. (Reuters https://yhoo.it/2hI6Xm0)

The U.N. has warned authorities that plans to demolish hundreds of homes belonging to ethnic minority Rohingya Muslims will “heighten tensions” in Myanmar’s Rakhine state, where the military is accused of abusing civilians during counterinsurgency operations. (IRIN http://bit.ly/2hI2vUI)

The government of State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi has made little progress in strengthening freedom of expression in Myanmar, according to activists, who warn it has failed to prevent a sharp rise in the number of arrests for online defamation. (VOA http://bit.ly/2i33fo0)

Colombian rebels may be preparing to lay down their guns, but the nation faces a deeper challenge to heal itself: treating mental illnesses stemming from the trauma of a half-century war. (AFP https://yhoo.it/2iqRqeq)

According to advocacy groups, transgender women in Costa Rica often turn to prostitution at a young age. Transgender prostitutes face the added difficulty that they suffer from an extremely high rate of HIV-infection – the result of poverty and social exclusion as well as institutional discrimination that can make them wary of the medical establishment. (CNN http://cnn.it/2i36T1t)

Farmers and activists are protesting legislative efforts in two south Indian states that would make it easier to acquire land for infrastructure projects, as the battle for scarce land in the country becomes more contentious. (Reuters https://yhoo.it/2iqZls8)

Opinion/Blogs

11 stories that will drive the global agenda in 2017. (UN Dispatch http://bit.ly/2iXwUza)

Ten humanitarian stories to look out for in 2017 (IRIN http://bit.ly/2ir4pgu)

Are voluntourists stupid? (The Voluntourist http://bit.ly/2j0IWf5)

7 Women Trailblazers Who Took A Stand In 2016 (NPR Goats and Soda http://n.pr/2iBsl10)

Germany’s Focus On Africa for 2017 (DW http://bit.ly/2iXqiRf)

Two Recent Items of Interest on Libya (Sahel Blog http://bit.ly/2iXqmk2)

For Foreign Aid and Fighting Corruption, Less Is More (Global Anticorruption Blog http://bit.ly/2iBAwu7)

It’s the SDGs’ first birthday: here are six things to celebrate (ODI http://bit.ly/2iXuzo1)

Global Long-Run Trends in Development (Africanist Perspective http://bit.ly/2iI5s9q)

Some Predictions for 2017 (Development Horizons http://bit.ly/2hKubNy)

Five rare humanitarian success stories of 2016 (plus caveats) (IRIN http://bit.ly/2iI9EG1)

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