News in the Humanosphere: Some Iraqis returning to Mosul as battle forces others to flee

A man stands amidst relief kits being distributed by IOM for people displaced from Mosul, Iraq. (Credit: International Organisation for Migration / IOM Iraq/DfID/flickr)

Heavy two-way traffic of carts carrying children, clothes and the elderly crowded the main Baghdad-Mosul road on Sunday as hundreds of Iraqis fled heavy fighting or made their way back to areas seized back from Islamic State. Families paid no heed to the sound of heavy mortar, artillery and machine gun fire raging in the background as U.S.-trained Iraqi forces battled Islamic State about a mile away. Some had walked miles to a government checkpoint where the men were placed in army trucks and sent for security screening to ensure no militant sleeper cells get out of the city. Women and children were put on buses and sent to camps housing hundreds of thousands, some displaced since the offensive to retake the Islamic State stronghold began in October. (Reuters http://tmsnrt.rs/2pWTgYB)

French election … ”Right-wing politician Marine Le Pen claimed victory alongside centrist Emmanuel Macron for the French presidential runoff, with the future of the European Union at stake. With opponents conceding, the choice of far-right firebrand Le Pen and unconventional centrist Macron upends France’s traditional parties after the first round of elections. They advance to a head-to-head runoff May 7 that could further the worldwide march of anti-globalization populists.” (WaPo http://wapo.st/2q4i8tZ)

Top Stories

A military vehicle hit a roadside bomb in Somalia’s semi-autonomous Puntland region on Sunday, killing at least six soldiers and injuring another eight, a military official said. (Reuters http://bit.ly/2pUrgEZ)

A liberal blogger who wrote satirical critiques of the Maldivian government and the spread of radical Islam died Sunday after being stabbed in the stairway of his apartment building. (NYT http://nyti.ms/2q4mcdU)

Kuki Gallmann, one of Kenya’s most renowned conservationists and the author of the best-selling book “I Dreamed of Africa,” was shot and wounded in an ambush by raiders on Sunday morning. (NYT http://nyti.ms/2q4Cx28)

Thousands of Venezuelans dressed in white marched in the capital to pay homage to the 20 people killed in anti-government unrest in recent weeks. (VOA http://bit.ly/2pUHnT1)

Morocco summoned Algeria’s ambassador to express concern after 54 Syrians attempted to “illegally enter” the country from Algeria, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement on Sunday. (VOA http://bit.ly/2pTQIIb)

U.S. President Donald Trump made a new push for the construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexican border to thwart illegal immigration, with funding for the controversial barrier at the forefront of White House discussions with lawmakers to avert a partial government shutdown at the end of the week. (VOA http://bit.ly/2pTPdcW)

Narrowing the gap between rich and poor is key to avoiding a destructive rise in populism, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said on Saturday as he laid out a plan to boost private investment in Africa. (Reuters http://bit.ly/2pUxq8d)

A petition in India urging MPs to scrap levy on sanitary towels spirals into viral Twitter campaign as Bollywood stars throw their weight behind calls for change. (Guardian http://bit.ly/2p78AiJ)

The Trump administration is recommending sending tens of thousands of Haitians back to their homeland because it believes conditions have significantly improved in the disaster-prone, poverty-stricken nation. (Miami Herald http://hrld.us/2q4GDaE )

Opinion/Blogs

Elmo Joins the Forever War (Foreign Policy http://atfp.co/2p7533J)

Don’t Tell These Israelis That Peace Is Impossible (Bloomberg View https://bloom.bg/2p7920a)

Female genital mutilation is illegal in the US. So why is it still happening? (PRI http://bit.ly/2p6LYis)

Conservative cuts to overseas aid will destroy millions of lives – for a lie (Guardian http://bit.ly/2paKBRK)

#CuriousGoat: Will Climate Change Help Ticks And Mosquitoes Spread Disease? (NPR Goats and Soda http://n.pr/2paOAhf)

Resettled Zimbabwe farmers left high and dry. (IRIN http://bit.ly/2q4wlXP)

The Privilege of being Lazy: Problematizing the UN’s “Lazy Person’s Guide to Saving the World” (CHIA http://bit.ly/2p7l0at)

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