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News in the Humanosphere: 13 June 2014

Top Stories

India disagrees with the UN…The country has rebuffed accusations by a U.N. investigator that sex crimes are rife in the world’s biggest democracy, calling her analysis “simplistic” and full of “sweeping generalizations”. (VOA)

Ebola Emergency…Sierra Leone has declared a state of emergency in a district where an outbreak of Ebola virus is spreading. (VOA)


The UN Security Council is set to sanction Abubakar Shekau, leader of Nigeria’s Boko Haram, and its faction Ansaru, the first individual and entity to be designated by the world body since the Islamist militant group was blacklisted last month. (Reuters)

Central African Republic approved this year’s budget, 10 percent higher than that of 2013, with funds drawn mostly from external donations that aim to strengthen security and boost humanitarian assistance in the war-torn country. (Reuters)

Boko Haram violence has forced more than 6,000 people in the northeast Nigerian state of Borno to flee their homes within the last week, the country’s main relief agency said. (AFP)

A suicide bomber killed four Chadian United Nations peacekeepers at a military camp in rebel-infested north-eastern Mali, the UN and the government said. (AFP)

Governments in West Africa should decriminalize drug use and treat the issue as a health problem, because a “war on drugs” will fail in the region as it has elsewhere, a new report by regional experts said on Thursday. (Reuters)

Hard-won security gains in Somalia could be undermined unless the rest of the world steps up support to improve Somalis’ lives, the United Nations’ special representative for the country said. (Reuters)

With health authorities and medical personnel battling Guinea’s first outbreak of Ebola, there have inevitably been concerns about finding the human and physical resources to combat other diseases. (IRIN)

The violence in Central African Republic forced 97,000 civilians to flee across the border to Chad. Some 1,200 of those in flight were unaccompanied or separated children, who now long to find their families and return to school and to safety, or at least some semblance of normality. (IRIN)

Sierra Leone shut its borders to trade with Guinea and Liberia and closed schools, cinemas and nightclubs in a frontier region in a bid to halt the spread of the Ebola virus. (VOA)

The United Nations has launched a two-year, multi-million-dollar appeal to help one-quarter-million people in the tiny East African country of Djibouti recover from several years of persistent, recurring drought. (VOA)

Middle East and North Africa

At least 50,000 Syrian refugee children in Lebanon are working, often in dire conditions and for 12 hours a day, to pay for food and shelter for their families, aid organization CARE said. (AP)

The United States is preparing to send new aid to Iraq to help slow a violent insurgent march that is threatening to take over the nation’s north, officials said. (AP)


Draft laws in Myanmar aimed at protecting the country’s majority Buddhist identity by regulating religious conversions and marriages between people of different faiths have “no place in the 21st century” and should be withdrawn, a U.S. government agency said. (Reuters)

The Americas

Peru’s coca eradication efforts cut the area under cultivation by 17.5% last year, contributing to the South American nation’s highest cocaine prices in 15 years, the U.N. announced. (AP)

Drug gang members were responsible for the killing of three government aid workers whose beaten bodies were found this month in a clandestine burial site in Mexico’s southern Guerrero state, prosecutors said. (AP)


The Humanosphere World Cup: How do countries compare off the soccer field? (Humanosphere)

Dying for the World Cup (UN Dispatch)

Sexual violence in conflict: no impunity for those who commit crimes against women (Guardian)

Don’t shit on your own doorstep (Roving Bandit

If the 21st century is to be India’s it has to get rid of undernutrition–fast (Development Horizons)

“I contain multitudes”: Is Logical Consistency an Illusory Ideal? (World Bank)

Sex toys may be illegal in many African states but social taboos are fading (Guardian)

Fairtrade never worked. Why is everyone so excited now? (Open the Echo Chamber)


Overcoming the state/non-state divide: an end user approach to security and justice reform (ODI)


About Author

Tom Murphy

Tom Murphy is a New Hampshire-based reporter for Humanosphere. Before joining Humanosphere, Tom founded and edited the aid blog A View From the Cave. His work has appeared in Foreign Policy, the Huffington Post, the Guardian, GlobalPost and Christian Science Monitor. He tweets at @viewfromthecave. Contact him at tmurphy[at]