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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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News in the Humanosphere: Aid workers ambushed in South Sudan, 6 dead

Six aid workers were ambushed and killed in South Sudan, the deadliest attack on humanitarian workers since the East African nation’s civil war began in 2013. The attack took place Saturday on the road from Juba, the capital, to Pibor, where there have been recent reports of fighting, said Eugene Owusu, the top U.N. humanitarian official in South Sudan in a statement issued Sunday. (AP)

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News in the Humanosphere: Trump eyes massive cuts to UNICEF

The White House budget office informed State Department officials this week that the administration plans to eliminate all U.S. funding to the $326 million International Organizations and Programs account, which provides more than $130 million to the U.N. Children’s Fund, a sizeable chunk of the more than $500 million the U.S. contributed to UNICEF in 2016, and around $70 million to the U.N. Development Program.

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