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News in the Humanosphere: Ebola continues killing in West Africa; Boko Haram does too in latest attack

Ebola’s Toll is Growing in West Africa…More than 200 people have died from Ebola virus in Guinea, making it one of the worst ever outbreaks of the disease. “The UN’s health agency said it so far had registered 328 confirmed or suspected cases of Ebola in Guinea, including 208 deaths, with 21 deaths registered between May 29 and June 1 alone. Neighbouring Sierra Leone and Liberia were also increasingly affected, said WHO, which has described West Africa’s first-ever outbreak of the deadly haemorrhagic fever as one of the most challenging since the virus was first identified in 1976 in what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo.  (AFP

Yet Another Boko Haram Attack…Suspected Islamist militants dressed as soldiers rounded up and killed at least 42 villagers in Nigeria’s northeast, the center of an escalating insurgency increasingly targeting civilians, a police source said. (Reuters


DR Congo accuses Rwanda of “protecting” M23 rebel leaders wanted for war crimes and delaying attempts to interview ex-fighters currently in Rwanda. (BBC

Authorities in Niger have destroyed safe houses owned by human trafficking networks for sheltering illegal migrants and forcibly turned back anyone without a valid identity document in towns near its northern border, a government minister said. (Reuters

Britain’s Foreign Secretary William Hague will host a meeting of African and Western officials in London next week aimed at stepping up international efforts to defeat Islamist group Boko Haram, his office said. (Reuters

US companies have promised $1 billion for off-grid power projects in Africa, putting a growing focus on small-scale and renewable energy in the push to ease the continent’s chronic electricity shortages. (AFP

NATO has decided to extend its Indian Ocean counter-piracy mission by two years to the end of 2016, judging that piracy remains a threat despite a sharp fall in attacks, the alliance said. (Reuters

Human Rights Watch called on the Democratic Republic of Congo to investigate attacks and threats against opponents of a major oil exploration project at one of Africa’s oldest national parks. (AFP

According to new research – published in the New England Journal of Medicine – involving 2,800 children hospitalized in South Africa, Malawi and Kenya, the key to better TB diagnosis could lie in 51 genes found in the blood of infected children. (IRIN

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Israel has announced plans to build about 1,500 more settlement homes in the West Bank and East Jerusalem in response to the Palestinians’ formation of a unity government. (VOA

China offered $16 million in humanitarian assistance Thursday for refugees from the conflict in Syria as part of Beijing’s growing engagement with the Arab world. (AP


International rights groups are questioning the independence of Burma’s election commission, after it accused opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi of speaking in violation of the constitution at public rallies. Her party, the National League for Democracy, has been urging the people to test parliament, and petition for constitutional change. (VOA

The average annual cost of natural disasters has quadrupled over the last three decades and it makes economic sense to boost spending on preparedness to ensure a stable future, a senior European official said at a conference in the Philippines. (AP

Having money in your pocket does not translate into a toilet in your home, so Cambodian sanitation campaigners are trying new ways to encourage latrine construction in a country where years of awareness and subsidy campaigns have not been flush with success. (IRIN

Angry paddy farmers blocked major roads in the Minneriya and Girithale areas in Sri Lanka’s North Eastern Polonnaruwa region last month, complaining the government had not released enough water for their rice to grow. (IRIN

The Americas

The state of Florida is “under an imminent threat from dengue and chikungunya” (Miami Herald


Global Dispatches Podcast: Understanding Al-Sisi’s election — with 96% of the vote(!) — And Egypt after the counter revolution.

Profile of a global health prankster, Bill Foege (Humanosphere

Scapegoating Africa’s immigrants (Monkey Cage

Did rice production create collectivism? Evidence from within China (Chris Blattman

Corruption? What kind? (Campaign for Boring Development

Jordan: Green (Medium

Bits and Atoms: ICTs in Areas of Limited Statehood (People, Spaces, Deliberation

Burma: There’s a Kind of Hush (NY Times

Measuring and Improving Social Impacts: A Guide for Nonprofits, Companies, and Impact Investors (SSI Review


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]