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News in the Humanosphere: Egypt declares state of emergency following deadly Palm Sunday bombings

Egypt’s president has announced a three-month state of emergency after attacks on two Coptic churches that killed at least 45 people. Abdul Fattah al-Sisi’s measure will have to be approved by the parliament. He had earlier ordered the deployment of the military across the country. So-called Islamic State said it was behind the blasts in Tanta and Alexandria on Palm Sunday. (BBC)

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

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.” (NY Times)

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News in the Humanosphere: U.N. Security Council scrambles to meet after chemical attack kills dozens in Syria

The United Nations Security Council prepared for emergency talks on Wednesday after the worst chemical attack in Syria in years, as condemnation of the assault continued to pour in and donor nations met in Brussels and called yet again for an end to the six-year war.“The horrific events of yesterday demonstrate, unfortunately, that war crimes are going on in Syria,” António Guterres, the United Nations secretary general, said in Brussels on Wednesday. (NY Times)

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News in the Humanosphere: South Africa’s political woes lead to junk status rating

Credit rating agency Standard and Poor’s (S&P) downgraded South Africa’s rating to junk status, as the country’s currency continued to slide following a major cabinet reshuffle. In an unscheduled review that prompted a sell-off in South African assets, S&P cited the impact of divisions in the government of President Jacob Zuma that led to leadership changes, including the departure of former Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan. (Al Jazeera)

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