News in the Humanosphere: U.S. retaliates for Syrian chemical weapons attack

Aftermath of fighting in Aleppo, Syria. Creative Commons

President Trump said Thursday night that the United States had carried out a missile strike in Syria in response to the Syrian government’s chemical weapons attack this week, which killed more than 80 civilians. “Tonight, I ordered a targeted military strike on the air base in Syria from where the chemical attack was launched,” Mr. Trump said in remarks at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida. “It is in this vital national security interest of the United States to prevent and deter the spread and use of deadly chemical weapons.” Trump said his decision had been prompted in part by what he called the failures by the world community to respond effectively to the Syrian civil war. “Years of previous attempts at changing Assad’s behavior have all failed, and failed very dramatically,” the president said, referring to President Bashar al-Assad of Syria. “As a result, the refugee crisis continues to deepen, and the region continues to destabilize, threatening the United States and its allies.” (NY Times http://nyti.ms/2o53YZJ)

Top Stories

Angolan teachers held the first day of a three-day national strike over wages and conditions in public schools. (Reuters http://bit.ly/2oJab0d)

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said there is no “option except victory” in the country’s civil war in an interview, saying the government could not reach “results” with opposition groups that attended recent peace talks. (VOA http://bit.ly/2p5Ot31)

The Supreme Court in Brazil ruled that strikes by police are unconstitutional. In a seven to three ruling, the court banned federal and civil police officers as well as firefighters from going on strike. (BBC http://bbc.in/2p5Z3ax)

Nauru’s president said that Australia’s controversial policy of sending asylum seekers to his Pacific island nation was “working well,” as he met with the Australian prime minister amid questions over the fate of hundreds of refugees languishing at Nauru’s Australian-run detention camp. (VOA http://bit.ly/2oISpu0)

Somalia’s new president on Thursday declared the country a war zone and replaced its military and intelligence chiefs while instructing the army to prepare a new offensive against al-Shabab extremists. (VOA http://bit.ly/2oJ2mrv)

Hard-hit herder families in Kenya are selling drought-threatened livestock and using the money – along with government cash payments – to keep girls in school. (TRF http://bit.ly/2p5Z7Xt)

Thailand’s king signed a new constitution in a ceremony on Thursday, an essential step towards holding an election that the military government has promised to restore democracy after a 2014 coup. (Reuters http://bit.ly/2p5YXzH)

More than 1 million people have been affected by an unprecedented level of flooding, landslides and heavy rains in Peru. Twenty-four out of the country’s 25 departments are grappling with the crisis, including Lima, the capital, where a third of the population lives. (UNCPA http://bit.ly/2oIRBWg)

Abuses linked to mining in countries such as Myanmar and Colombia are being overlooked by technology companies focused only on eliminating “conflict minerals” from war-torn parts of Africa in their supply chains, researchers said on Thursday. (Reuters http://bit.ly/2oJ7dsS)

Opinion/Blogs

Podcast: What’s Next for US-China Relationship? (UN Dispatch http://bit.ly/2oJf7SI)

Old economics is based on false ‘laws of physics’ – new economics can save us (Guardian http://bit.ly/2oJ8G26)

Getting to grips with power: can NGOs improve justice in Bangladesh? (ODI http://bit.ly/2p6aVcp)

How advocacy gave Trump ammunition on conflict-free minerals (IRIN http://bit.ly/2oIUpTa)

This refugee camp in Jordan has turned into a frontier town for Syrians escaping war (PRI’s The World http://bit.ly/2p5Pyb4)

Unleashing the Power of Endowments: The Next Great Challenge for Philanthropy (Stanford Social Innovation Review http://bit.ly/2nPgagj)

Work, What Future? Seven Big Questions Needing Urgent Response (IPS http://bit.ly/2oJ4FuI)

Why Children Face The Greatest Danger From Chemical Weapons (NPR Goats and Soda http://n.pr/2oJ0Llu)

Feed the starving? Guns are the true cause of hunger and famine (Guardian http://bit.ly/2oJ26Zw)

DR Congo: What Next for the Political Process? (ICG http://bit.ly/2oIWQFq)

How one NGO could reverse Latin America’s urban migration by boosting rural life (Devex http://bit.ly/2oJeIzY)

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