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News in the Humanosphere: Yet Another Mass Kidnapping by Boko Haram

Suspected Boko Haram militants have abducted more than 60 women and young girls, as well as 31 boys, in restive northeast Nigeria, a local official and a vigilante leader said on Tuesday. (VOA)

Surging environmental crime, from illegal logging to elephant poaching, is worth up to $213 billion a year and is helping to fund armed conflicts while cutting economic growth, a UN and Interpol report said. (Reuters)

Global spending on humanitarian relief soared to a record $22bn…last year as conflicts in Central African Republic, South Sudan and Syria combined with natural disasters such as typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, drove donors to pay out more emergency aid than ever before. (Guardian)


The United States welcomed the release from a Sudanese jail of a Christian woman sentenced to death by hanging for apostasy after refusing to revert to Islam under Sudan’s Sharia Law. (VOA) …and she was rearrested hours later. (Reuters)

The tit-for-tat attacks against rival religious groups in Central African Republic threaten to create the conditions for a genocide reminiscent of Bosnia in the 1990s and requires swift efforts by the government and the international community to stop the violence, said a new report by the International Federation for Human Rights. (AP)

Rebels have boycotted a new round of peace talks to end South Sudan’s conflict because of a dispute about who should attend, those involved in the protracted negotiations said. (Reuters

Cameroon’s military has arrested 40 suspected Boko Haram militants in the north of the country. (VOA)

In West Kordofan state, an estimated 67,000 displaced people and approximately 33,000 refugees from South Sudan are in urgent need of humanitarian aid according the Government’s Humanitarian Aid Commission and humanitarian actors. (OCHA)

The IMF warned that Zimbabwe’s economy remains fragile with a “precarious” level of external debt that needs to be addressed. (AP)

The United States said it was boosting its humanitarian aid to the Central African Republic to $118 million in fiscal 2014. (AP)

Representatives of some of Ethiopia’s biggest aid donors have announced that they will send a team to the southwest of the country to investigate persistent reports of human rights abuses among the tribes living there.

A government-approved program to give micro-loans and training to young people in rural areas is helping to stem the influx of migrants to Zimbabwe’s urban centers. (IRIN)


The United Nations estimates that over 2,000 people have been killed in the renewed Iraq violence. (UN News Center)

Shi’ite residents describe a massacre in northern Iraq. (WaPo)


About 50,000 Pakistanis have crossed into eastern Afghanistan to escape air strikes over the past 10 days and 435,000 have fled within their homeland, which could fuel the spread of polio as many are not vaccinated, U.N. agencies said. (VOA)

Vietnam’s rejection of 45 key recommendations in its UN human rights review has drawn criticism from activists. (VOA)

The first organized opposition to Thailand’s military coup has emerged, with an exiled leader vowing to work with fellow dissidents to restore “democratic principles.” The formation of the Organization of Free Thais for Human Rights and Democracy was announced Tuesday in an open letter by Jarupong Ruangsuwan. (VOA)

Tobacco companies have largely snubbed an Indonesian law requiring them to put graphic health warnings on all cigarette packs, another setback for anti-smoking efforts in a country that’s home to the world’s highest rate of male smokers and a wild, wild west of advertising. (AP)

As nations try to better plan for responding to and recovering from disasters, the United Nations has convened a gathering of some 40 countries in Bangkok to discuss how to ensure that human and economic losses are kept to a minimum. (VOA)

The Americas

The United States is telling Central American parents there is no path to American citizenship for the thousands of unaccompanied children who are entering the U.S. illegally in hopes of escaping poverty and crime in their native lands. (VOA)

A video depicts the conditions faced by child miners in Bolivia. (Guardian)

White House National Security Adviser Susan Rice cast the protection of gays from global discrimination, abuse and even death as one of the most challenging international human rights issue facing the United States. (AP)


Why polio in Brazil is as scary as Ebola in West Africa (Humanosphere)

Male gender-based violence: a silent crisis (ODI) Is Getting Bigger; Here’s How to Make It Better (CGD)

Five takeaways from Australia’s new foreign aid policy (WhyDev)

Individual versus community incentives for service provision (Running Randomized Evaluations: A Practical Guide)

A Piketty Protégé’s Theory on Tax Havens (NYT)

They Come in Ones and Twos (Warscapes)


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]