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News in the Humanosphere: Boko Haram Nabs a High Profile Hostage in Cameroon

A COCIN church newsletter on the ground outside the church gates after the bomb blast, Feb 2012. Boko Haram claimed responsibility for the bombing. --Carmen McCain

The Cameroonian military says members of the Nigerian militant group Boko Haram have abducted the wife of the country’s deputy prime minister in the northern Cameroonian town of Kolofata. A local religious leader and mayor was also abducted from the same town. (BBC)

A group of developing countries brought a tectonic shift at the World Trade Organization by turning the tables against the industrialized countries, when they offered a positive trade agenda to expeditiously arrive at a permanent solution for food security and other development issues, before adopting the protocol of amendment of the contested Trade Facilitation Agreement. (IPS)

The exceedingly high cost for the new hepatitis C wonder drug, sofosbuvir, has sparked protests. (VOA)


The United Nations has reported alarming rates of malnutrition in the Somali capital where aid agencies cannot meet the needs of 350,000 people due to insufficient funds, drought and conflict. (Reuters)

A 33-year-old American doctor working for a relief organisation in Liberia’s capital has tested positive for Ebola, according to a statement from Samaritan’s Purse. (Reuters)

A Sierra Leone Ebola patient whose family sparked a nationwide hunt when they forcefully removed her from a treatment center and took her to a traditional healer, died in an ambulance on the way to hospital, a health official said. (Reuters)

Police were guarding an Ebola treatment center in Sierra Leone, the day after thousands marched on the clinic following allegations by a former nurse the deadly virus was invented to conceal “cannibalistic rituals” there, a regional police chief said. (Reuters)

A South Sudan army spokesman that 140 fighters, most of them from the opposition forces, were killed in fresh rounds of fighting that broke out in Jonglei and Upper Nile states less than a week ago. Philip Aguer, a spokesman for the Sudan People’s Liberation Army said 83 rebels were killed in clashes in Nassir, in Upper Nile state, and 52 in Ayod in Jonglei state. (VOA)


Hamas Islamist militants agreed to a 24-hour humanitarian truce in its conflict with Israel in the Gaza Strip. (VOA)

Israel denies causing casualties at UN School on Thursday. (NYT)

Four children were killed and five other people were injured when a rocket landed near their homes in Rafah, an Egyptian town in Sinai near the border with Gaza, security officials said. (Reuters)

Health officials in Libya say heavy clashes between army troops loyal to a renegade general and Islamist-led militias have killed 38 people — including civilians — in the country’s restive east.’ (AP)


The United Nations’ new human rights envoy to Myanmar says camps housing tens of thousands of homeless Muslims are “deplorable.” (VOA)

Thailand’s military rulers have written a temporary constitution that lets the army keep a great deal of power. (VOA)

The Americas

A grave containing at least 400 people is unearthed in the Bolivian city of Potosi, with the remains thought to be those of colonial-era miners. (BBC)

UNASUR Economy and Finance ministers have given a boost to the creation of a Bank of the South, as an institution to foster sustainable and balanced regional development. (Prensa Latina)

Cuba marked the 61st anniversary of the beginning of Fidel and Raul Castro’s revolution with a leading official calling on islanders to be united and to defend the nation’s communist system. (AP)


The new UN Human Development Report on vulnerability and resilience: ignoring trade-offs and an epic fail on power and politics (From Poverty to Power)

The Affinity Between Iraqi Sunni Extremists and the Rulers of Saudi Arabia (IPS)

Imagining a brave new world for girls (ODI)

What countries are the most hypocritical on human rights? (Chris Blattman)

Uncertainty About How Best to Convey Uncertainty (Dart Throwing Chimp)

Editing ODA: What to Omit and Add in the Definition of Aid (David Roodman)

Migration and my own children (Wait…What?)

The BRICS Development Bank: Why the World’s Newest Global Bank Must Adopt a Pro-Poor Agenda (Policy Innovations)

The Ebola virus and the vampire state (Mats Utas)


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]