News in the Humanosphere: Migrant arrivals in Europe dropped in first half of 2017, says U.N.

Refugees arriving in Greece by boat. (Ben White/ CAFOD, October 2015)

The number of migrants who entered Europe in the first half of 2017 is 35% of the number a year ago, new figures show. The United Nations’ migration agency said 73,189 migrants entered Europe by sea through Sunday. Of those, 85% landed in Italy while the rest disembarked in Greece, Cyprus and Spain. In the same time period in 2016, 211,433 migrants arrived in Europe by sea, the International Organization for Migration said. Those arriving were from countries including Nigeria, Bangladesh, Senegal and Sudan. The number of people entering Europe via Greece has dwindled since the EU signed a deal with Turkey in March 2016 to send Syrian refugees who arrive on the Greek islands back to Turkey. The agreement came soon after the Balkan migration route, which helped more than 1 million migrants enter Europe in 2015, was closed. (USA Today https://usat.ly/2spPw3s)

Another example of China rising…Panama switched diplomatic relations from Taiwan to China on Tuesday, dealing a major success to Beijing in its drive to isolate the self-governing island it claims as its own territory. Taiwan warned that the move would further alienate the island of 23 million from the 1.37 billion Chinese living across the Taiwan Strait. In Panama, President Juan Carlos Varela announced the change, which entails breaking off formal relations with Taiwan, saying in a televised address that it represents the “correct path for our country.” (CBS http://cbsn.ws/2sppDB3)

Worm diplomacy…The former N.B.A. star Dennis Rodman has been one of the United States’ most unlikely links to North Korea, traveling repeatedly to the authoritarian state and gaining rare access to its leadership. (NY Times http://nyti.ms/2sYLyMj)

Top Stories

At least 15 people are missing after a seven-story residential building gave way in Nairobi, Kenya, highlighting once again the problem of shoddy construction in one of the world’s fastest-growing cities. (NY Times http://nyti.ms/2tiiOxH)

Contaminated food killed at least two people and made around 750 others sick at a camp for Iraqi civilians who have fled fighting against Islamic State in Mosul, UN agencies have said. (Guardian http://bit.ly/2spfFQc)

Heavy rains triggered landslides in Bangladesh that killed at least 43 people. Officials warned Tuesday the death toll could rise as rescuers reach more areas of the hilly districts in the southeastern part of the country. (VOA http://bit.ly/2sp56ML)

The former governor of Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro state was sentenced to 14 years and two months in prison for corruption and money laundering. (BBC http://bbc.in/2sphjBb)

Staff working in South Sudan’s health centers and schools have been forcibly recruited by armed groups, causing facilities to close, the United Nations said, as it struggles to provide aid in one of the world’s most dangerous war zones. (Reuters http://bit.ly/2skI2OC)

The U.N.’s refugee agency called for better access to northern Syria’s Raqqa province, where U.S.-backed forces are trying to drive the Islamic State group out of its self-styled capital, saying close to half a million people are in need of assistance. (AP http://bit.ly/2sp9OKL)

Hit by one of its deadliest meningitis outbreaks in years, with more than 1,000 deaths, Nigeria could struggle to contain future epidemics due to a shortage of vaccines, health experts said. (Reuters http://bit.ly/2tidM49)

Thousands of children are languishing in “dangerous and harrowing” conditions in detention centers across south-east Asia, a report has revealed. Children, including babies, are being held in cells 24 hours a day, alongside dozens of unrelated adults, and are frequently separated from family members. (Guardian http://bit.ly/2sYJ8xu)

A drop in global cocoa prices threatens to undermine efforts to stamp out child labor in Ghana and Ivory Coast, the world’s two biggest growers, as falling incomes could force farmers to send their children to work, charities said. (Reuters http://bit.ly/2skxZsP)

Opinion/Blogs

Is platform capitalism really the future of the humanitarian sector? (Aidnography http://bit.ly/2sZ2rqk)

Aid Groups Assist Liberated Chibok Girls (VOA http://bit.ly/2rs6N7m)

Why do opposition coalitions succeed or fail? (African Arguments http://bit.ly/2sYs7Dm)

Brazil’s Judiciary Gives Itself a Black Eye (Bloomberg https://bloom.bg/2soULAN)

Trump’s Asia Policy Is More Confused Than Ever (Foreign Policy http://atfp.co/2rs8fqa)

Shredding the patriarchy — Two Moroccan women just surfed onto the world stage (PRI http://bit.ly/2soNukb)

Overfed and Underfed: Global Food Extremes (IPS http://bit.ly/2sYkCfS)

Daron Acemoglu on Inequality’s Foundations (Bloomberg View https://bloom.bg/2tif2V0)

Power to the people? (BBC http://bbc.in/2sp0OFi)

The deadly conflict tearing Nigeria apart (and it’s not Boko Haram) (IRIN http://bit.ly/2sYJT9G)

Thinking and Working Politically: where have we got to? (From Poverty to Power http://bit.ly/2spkPf6)

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