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News in the Humanosphere: U.N. uncovers 17 mass graves in DR Congo

U.N. investigators discovered 17 mass grave sites in central Democratic Republic of the Congo, bringing the total to 40 documented in an area where the army has clashed with a local militia, the United Nations said. The sites were reportedly dug by Congolese soldiers after fighting with the Kamuina Nsapu militia in Kasai Central province in late March, a U.N. statement said. (Reuters)

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News in the Humanosphere: Surge of violence against civilians in Central African Republic, says MSF

Violence against civilians in Central African Republic, including summary executions and mutilations, is reaching levels not seen since the height of its years-long conflict, Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said. Recent violence has been concentrated in four prefectures in the center and east, where the government and a 13,000-strong United Nations peacekeeping mission have struggled to contain the bloodshed, the medical charity said. (Reuters)

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News in the Humanosphere: Opposition protests ramp up in Venezuela

Venezuelans in poor areas blocked streets and lit fires during scattered protests across the country and two people were killed during the growing unrest in the midst of a crippling economic crisis. In a worrying sign for leftist President Nicolas Maduro, groups in Caracas’ traditionally pro-government hillside slums and low-income neighborhoods took to the streets, witnesses and opposition lawmakers reported. (Reuters)

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News in the Humanosphere: Development aid spending up by 9 percent in 2016, says OECD

Development aid from 29 of the world’s wealthiest countries hit $142.6 billion in 2016, a 9 percent increase from 2015. According to statistics published by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, almost 2 percent of this rise remained in donor countries, including EU states, to deal with the cost of hosting refugees, which has surged by 27.5% since 2015 to reach $15.4 billion. (Guardian)

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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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