News Rounds

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News in the Humanosphere: Controversy over World Vision’s use of militia to deliver aid to Syrians

Some 70,000 Syrians are stranded in a demilitarized zone on the Jordan-Syria border, with aid severely limited and subject to tight restrictions. While the UN delivers assistance by crane or by contractor, the US NGO World Vision is taking a different and controversial approach: using a “moderate” Syrian militia to help bring in supplies. While this route has its critics, the NGO says it’s effective and getting aid where it needs to go.

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News in the Humanosphere: Trump makes good on pledge to pull U.S. out of TPP

President Donald Trump yanked the United States out of a major Pacific trade deal Monday, making good on an election campaign promise and delivering a hammer blow to Asian allies. Trump said he had “terminated” the Trans-Pacific Partnership — a trade deal binding the United States, Australia, Canada, Japan, Vietnam and seven other allies against growing Chinese economic clout. Together, TPP members represent 40 percent of the world economy.

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News in the Humanosphere: Trump steps in as 45th U.S. president

Donald John Trump was inaugurated as the 45th president of the United States on Friday, ushering in a new and more unpredictable era in which he vowed to shatter the established order and restore American greatness. From the West Front of the Capitol, overlooking a crowd of hundreds of thousands as rain began to fall, Trump presented a dark vision of a nation afflicted by division and dislocation, exploited and forgotten by a group of Washington elites and diminished around the world. His arrival, he promised, would finally turn it around.

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News in the Humanosphere: Suicide bomber strikes Mali military camp, kills more than 40

Al Mourabitoun, an Islamist group linked to al Qaeda, claimed a suicide bomb attack on a military camp in northern Mali on Wednesday that killed at least 42 people and wounded more than 100 others, according to a Mauritanian news agency. The attack struck at the heart of still-fragile efforts by the government and rival armed groups to work together to quell the violence that has plagued the restive desert north for years.

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News in the Humanosphere: U.N. agency cuts 173 jobs following scathing independent report

The U.N.’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs will reduce spending by at least $20 million in 2017. The 10 percent cuts, including at least 173 staff layoffs, come along with an internal reform process sparked by a damning independent review. … In the short term, OCHA will close offices in Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire and Mauritania. It will reduce its presence in Colombia, Haiti, Myanmar, Pakistan and the Philippines.

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