News in the Humanosphere: U.N. head names new peacekeeping chief

Contingent of Nepalese Peacekeepers in Juba, South Africa. (Credit: UN Photo/Isaac Billy)

Secretary-General Antonio Guterres says he is extending the mandate of three top U.N. officials and appointing French diplomat Jean-Pierre Lacroix as U.N. peacekeeping chief while he undertakes a major reform of the U.N.’s peace and security operations. Guterres said in a statement Tuesday that the reform will require expertise and experience so he is extending the mandates of U.N. political chief Jeffrey Feltman, his deputy Oscar Fernandez-Taranco and the head of the U.N.’s field support operations Atul Khare. (AP https://yhoo.it/2l590E6)

North Korean female agents using poisoned needles have assassinated the half-brother of the North’s leader Kim Jong-Un in Malaysia, South Korean media reported Tuesday. (AFP https://yhoo.it/2kGSXvq)

No roses or chocolate…Valentine’s Day celebrations on Tuesday were banned by authorities in parts of Indonesia and Pakistan, home to Asia’s largest Muslim populations, saying the romantic tradition encouraged casual sex and ran counter to cultural norms. (Reuters https://yhoo.it/2l58jKU)

Top Stories

Doctors in Kenya’s private clinics, hospitals and practices will strike for 48 hours to protest a court’s decision to jail union officials over an ongoing strike in public hospitals, the head of the national medical association said on Tuesday. (Reuters http://bit.ly/2kGMalo)

The top UN official in Damascus has warned of a “looming humanitarian catastrophe” in four besieged towns in Syria, calling for immediate access to deliver aid to some 60,000 residents. (AFP https://yhoo.it/2l5eZci)

Brazilian President Michel Temer issued a decree on Tuesday to deploy 9,000 soldiers in Rio de Janeiro’s metropolitan area until Feb. 22, one week before Carnaval ends. That’s almost half the troops used during last year’s Olympic Games. (AP https://yhoo.it/2knfFMX)

The United Nations has formally received Gambia’s notice reversing its withdrawal from the International Criminal Court, a spokesman said Tuesday. (AP https://yhoo.it/2ldxhdy)

A huge newly-built Ethiopian dam is cutting off the supply of water to Lake Turkana in northern Kenya, rights group Human Rights Watch said on Tuesday. (AFP https://yhoo.it/2kGVghO)

The United Nations special envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, will visit Moscow for talks on Feb. 16, RIA news agency quoted Russia’s foreign ministry as saying on Tuesday. (Reuters https://yhoo.it/2l56xts)

Iran is implementing the deal on its nuclear program agreed with world powers, the head of the U.N. atomic energy watchdog said on Tuesday, amid concerns the United States will try to alter the terms. (Reuters https://yhoo.it/2lMuwge)

Police in Paraguay seized at least 25 tons of bolivar notes in a house in the northern city of Salto de Guaira, 400km from the capital, Asuncion. (BBC http://bbc.in/2lMx4uy)

Opinion/Blogs

The Amount of Sea Ice missing from the Arctic this winter is Roughly Twice the Size of France (UN Dispatch http://bit.ly/2l54dTh)

The story of two brothers, one green card and Trump’s ban (PRI http://bit.ly/2kGDcVa)

Despite many obstacles, the world is getting better (Guardian http://bit.ly/2l4Vro7)

Who pays the hidden price for Congo’s conflict-free minerals? (IRIN http://bit.ly/2kGLfRJ)

Why would US embassy move to Jerusalem be controversial? (AFP https://yhoo.it/2lHd2FS)

Are Your Valentine’s Roses Harming the Planet? (DW http://bit.ly/2kGVIwD)

Trump’s ‘global gag rule’ could endanger millions of women and children, Bill and Melinda Gates warn (Guardian http://bit.ly/2kGZHJH)

Water and sanitation in Australia’s aid program: building it back better (DevPolicy http://bit.ly/2l5bmCV)

Refugees and Humanitarian Assistance: Which Kind of Aid Is Best? (CFI http://bit.ly/2l5jIe2)

2017 Conflict Minerals Company Rankings (Enough Project http://bit.ly/2l5hnj2)

The ICC and the need for a global rule of law that is impartial, consistent and universal (Africa is a Country http://bit.ly/2kGRVQ0)

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