News in the Humanosphere: Sahara a ‘broadening death trap’ for migrants, says U.N.

Tuareg refugees ride camels to the desert area of Initkan, Niger, where they received UNHCR assistance. (Photo:UNHCR/Bernard Ntwari)

Warning that smugglers may now be “broadening” a death trap for migrants and refugees that could stretch from the Mediterranean to the vast Sahara Desert, the United Nations refugee agency has reiterated its call for safe pathways so that those in desperate need of international protection do not lose their lives. The alarm has been raised by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees as some 44 migrants and refugees – including women and children – are reported to have succumbed to extreme dehydration when the truck they were travelling in (to Libya) broke down in the desert in northern Niger, exposing them to extreme heat and lack of drinking water. Only six could be saved.(UN News Center http://bit.ly/2stdjfX)

First ever UN oceans conference kicks off in New York…The meeting is a step ahead in achieving the world’s 14th Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 14)—conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development. It will see participation from over 5,000 delegates and continue till June 9. The UN plans to finalise the text for its zero draft “Call for Action” by the end of the conference, along with reports of seven partnership dialogues planned during the meeting. In addition, stakeholders have been invited to give voluntary commitments to ensure that the oceans remain clean and provide a robust blue economy.  (Down to Earth http://bit.ly/2stmn4c)

New study on diarrhea deaths shows big declines…”Half a million children under the age of five died from diarrhoea-related illnesses in 2015, despite a significant reduction in the number of child deaths from such diseases over the past decade. The number of deaths fell by 34% between 2005 and 2015 after concerted efforts to improve water and sanitation worldwide, according to a study published in the Lancet Infectious Diseases journal on Friday. (The Lancet http://bit.ly/2stJz2C)

Top Stories

Over 800 people evacuated from the volcanic island of Manam are facing food shortages on Papua New Guinea’s mainland. (Radio New Zealand http://bit.ly/2stCHC3)

Several people have been killed and more than 100 wounded in three explosions in Kabul near the funeral of an Afghan senator’s son, one of five victims of deadly clashes between police and protesters a day earlier, witnesses and officials say. (RFE/RL http://bit.ly/2stkbKg)

Israel says it will return its ambassador to Senegal following a diplomatic spat with the West African nation over a U.N. resolution condemning Israeli settlements. (WaPo http://wapo.st/2stpzwT)

France and India have shown a united front to tackle climate change when French President Emmanuel Macron welcomed India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Paris on Saturday. (Al Jazeera http://bit.ly/2stpRnt )

Thousands of people have died in the Mediterranean Sea while seeking more sustainable living conditions in Europe. Despite various efforts by African and EU governments to curb migration, little has changed for refugees. (DW http://bit.ly/2s7L8FN)

The Trump administration is considering possible sanctions on Venezuela’s vital energy sector, including state oil company PDVSA, senior White House officials said, in what would be a major escalation of U.S. efforts to pressure the country’s embattled leftist government amid a crackdown on the opposition. (Reuters http://bit.ly/2s7rnyr)

The international funders behind the hydroelectric dam opposed by murdered Honduran environmentalist Berta Cáceres are withdrawing from the project. (Guardian http://bit.ly/2qVpYGx)

Human Rights Watch released a report marking 50 years of the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territory. (HRW http://bit.ly/2st7JtL)

A renowned gospel singer in Malawi has raised more than $20,000 in donations for the country’s only pediatric cancer ward. Patience Namadingo donated the money to Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital during the event Saturday at the hospital in Blantyre. (VOA http://bit.ly/2qOfk54)

Opinion/Blogs

Universal Basic Income Is Neither Universal Nor Basic (Bloomberg View https://bloom.bg/2s7jvg9)

A Different Kind Of Pickup: Prostitutes Turn To Driving Motorbike Taxis (NPR Goats and Soda http://n.pr/2qVtMay)

Aggression against children in the Arab region needs to come to an end (IPS http://bit.ly/2qVubtA)

No Excuses for Inaction on Adolescent Nutrition (Development Horizons http://bit.ly/2rqJjTn)

‘Winnie’–a portrait of South African masculinity and its discontents (Africas a Country http://bit.ly/2qVtDUP)

There was never a better time for the US to leave global climate talks (From Poverty to Power http://bit.ly/2qVtmko)

Is the future of global health safe with Dr. Tedros? (Devex http://bit.ly/2qVyLYO)

Let’s build African research centers in Africa (Rachel Strohm http://bit.ly/2qVsUTq)

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