News in the Humanosphere: Yemeni rebels abduct aid workers

Houthi rebels abducted seven local employees of a humanitarian aid group and accused them of spying for foreign intelligence, according to security officials. The rebels raided a hotel the humanitarian group was using in Ibb province, taking the employees to a prison in the capital, Sana’a. International Medical Corps said five staff members and two drivers had been detained, and that they were working to secure their release so they could continue to aid a population suffering from war. “Despite the ongoing conflict that has caused a steady deterioration of humanitarian conditions across the country since 2015, our relief efforts continue to provide a lifeline for families,” said Rebecca Gustafson, a group spokeswoman. (Gulf News http://bit.ly/2oqHy7O)

Tragedy in Colombia…Colombian rescuers searched frantically for hundreds of missing people after the southern city of Mocoa was engulfed on Saturday by a huge landslide of mud, rocks and gushing waters that swept away homes and cars and killed more than 200 people. The Colombian president, Juan Manuel Santos, arrived in Mocoa on Sunday to survey the crisis. Officials from the national disaster agency counted 207 dead by Sunday morning, with 43 children among the victims, and the death toll was expected to rise. A further 203 people were injured, many in a critical condition. Without power, gas or telephone service and with little clean water, about 600 survivors spent Sunday in makeshift shelters, on high alert for any further rainfall that could trigger another mudslide. (Guardian http://bit.ly/2oqtb49)

Top Stories

A four day-old baby was one of over 480 migrants rescued by humanitarian ships on Saturday during search and rescue operations in the central Mediterranean Sea. (Reuters https://yhoo.it/2n22bYm)

Witnesses and relatives in southern Afghanistan say a pre-dawn bomb blast killed at least 10 civilians, mostly children and women, in an area where Afghan national security forces were conducting anti-Taliban operations. (VOA http://bit.ly/2oyawQp)

The Sudanese government announced the opening of a new corridor for humanitarian assistance from central Sudan to northern South Sudan. (allAfrica http://bit.ly/2oybYm8)

Paraguay’s President Horacio Cartes has sacked the interior minister and the chief of police after violent protests on Friday against a bill that would allow the president to run for a second term in office. (BBC http://bbc.in/2oy6Jms)

Up to 10,000 migrants stranded in Libya will be flown back to their home countries this year, but the returns can only play a limited role in tackling migrant flows toward Europe, the head of the U.N. migration agency’s Libyan office said. (Reuters https://yhoo.it/2n1Qq3V)

Somaliland authorities say famine looms in the breakaway republic as the government suspends development programs due to a crippling drought that has killed dozens of people and most of the livestock in eastern regions. (VOA http://bit.ly/2oyarfz)

Tens of thousands of displaced Syrians and refugees have returned to an area controlled by Turkey and Turkish-backed opposition fighters in northern Syria, Turkey’s foreign minister said Saturday, and U.S.-backed Kurdish-led fighters pressed their offensive in the north near a town held by the Islamic State group. (AP https://yhoo.it/2n1QEby)

South Africa’s new finance minister signaled he would oversee a redistribution of wealth to the country’s black majority, as a row over the sacking of his predecessor laid bare bitter divisions within the ruling ANC party. (Reuters http://bit.ly/2oybtbr)

Niger’s President Mahamadou Issoufou said that he would not amend the constitution to allow him to seek a third term after his second and final mandate ends in 2021. (AFP https://yhoo.it/2n1RlSg)

U.S. President Donald Trump has written to Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang to promote more cooperation between the two countries, the government website cited Quang as saying. (Reuters https://yhoo.it/2oyfiO1)

Opinion/Blogs

Drought crisis in East Africa: ‘When the animals die, people do, too’ (Humanosphere http://bit.ly/2oylR3h)

Melinda Gates: Foreign aid cuts hurt millions of women. (USA Today http://usat.ly/2oqfIsV)

Is Uganda the world’s best place for refugees? (Guardian http://bit.ly/2n1TfCo)

Does Hope for the Poor Need to be Based in Reality? (Across Two Worlds http://bit.ly/2n1NnJe)

Filling the Infrastructure Gap in the Americas –What do people really want? (Development That Works http://bit.ly/2n1WsBN)

Is the Kimberley Process B.S.? (JCK http://bit.ly/2n1RhC1)

Failing in the field (book review) (Aidnography http://bit.ly/2oqdHwL)

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