Several Latin American countries are considering relaxing their laws on abortion, including El Salvador and Chile, which have some of the world’s strictest legislation on the procedure.
Gunmen disguised as doctors stormed a military hospital in the Afghan capital on Wednesday, leaving at least 30 people dead and scores injured after a bombing and a six-hour gun battle. The assault was claimed by the Islamic State extremist group. (SMH)
Hundreds are gathering today in Washington, D.C., to protest President Donald Trump’s Global Gag Rule, which critics say will threaten the health of millions of the world’s most vulnerable women and families.
How does a country with the lowest birth rate in the world and a dramatically slowing economy encourage women to have more babies and work? South Korea is facing this question once again after a young mother’s sudden death from overwork recently captured headlines.
The top court in the European Union ruled that countries do not have to allow people in on humanitarian grounds. It allows countries to determine who is allowed in at a time when governments are under public pressure to address the increased flow of migrants and refugees into Europe.
The Indian government’s crackdown on foreign aid groups will claim its most prominent casualty this month with the shutdown of the charity, Compassion International, on suspicion of engaging in religious conversion, comes as India, a rising economic power with a swelling spirit of nationalism, curtails the flow of foreign money to activities it deems “detrimental to the national interest.” (NY Times)
A revived and revised travel ban issued by the Trump administration on Monday temporarily suspended refugee resettlement and visa processing for people from six countries. It also halves the number of refugees resettled for the fiscal year to 50,000. The order significantly affects Somalia where instability has created roughly 1 million refugees over the past three decades.
At least 30 people are dead after a day of intense fighting between Myanmar’s security forces and ethnic rebels in the town of Laukkai in northern Shan state, government officials reported Monday evening. The conflict is the worst to hit the Chinese-speaking Kokang region since 2015, stoking fears of escalation and another mass exodus of refugees into neighboring China.
Investors are pouring $25 million into an initiative to improve access to water and sanitation in some of the poorest countries of Latin America. The initial investment was announced over the weekend by the FEMSA Foundation, Coca-Cola Latin America, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the One Drop Foundation – an organization founded by the creator of Cirque du Soleil, Guy Laliberté.
At least eight people were killed and 28 others injured in a stampede in Zambia’s capital Lusaka on Monday as thousands of poor people struggled to claim food handouts, police said. Police have opened an inquiry into the deadly crush that followed 35,000 people trying to enter a sports complex where the Church of Christ was giving out food parcels. (Reuters)
More than a quarter of the deaths of young children every year are preventable by reducing pollution, World Health Organization (WHO) officials said on Monday. According to two new reports, 1.7 million children under 5 years old die every year from environmental risks, including “indoor and outdoor air pollution, second-hand smoke, unsafe water, lack of sanitation and inadequate hygiene.”
As the U.K. prepares to leave the European Union it is reworking trade deals to try to ensure a smooth transition. On the sidelines are developing countries putting some $395 million in annual trade at risk, according to the Overseas Development Institute (ODI). The London-based think tank warned that neglecting the preferential deals could hurt the countries that rely on the U.K. as a trading partner.
Ecuador’s government has called out the U.S. government on multiple human rights failures in a rejection of a recent annual report issued by the U.S. State Department. Ecuador’s Foreign Ministry rejected the report Friday in a statement on its official online portal, calling on the U.S. “to demonstrate a real commitment to international human rights law” through adhering to treaties it has so far refused to sign.