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News in the Humanosphere: US Surveillance Planes Spot Kidnapped Nigerian Girls

Credit: Michael Fleshman/Flickr

The good news is they have been spotted. The bad news is the US is reducing the number of surveillance flights and that there is no strategy to secure their release.  “Recent U.S. surveillance flights over northeastern Nigeria showed what appeared to be large groups of girls held together in remote locations, raising hopes among domestic and foreign officials that they are among the group that Boko Haram abducted from a boarding school in April, U.S. and Nigerian officials said. The surveillance suggests that at least some of the 219 schoolgirls still held captive haven’t been forced into marriage or sex slavery, as had been feared, but instead are being used as bargaining chips for the release of prisoners.” (WSJ)

Obama  Announces Big Pledges at Africa Leaders Summit…”In his remarks to the summit’s U.S.-Africa Business Forum, Obama discussed pledges of more than $14 billion by various American businesses for help with projects involving clean energy, aviation, banking and construction. Coca-Cola will help provide clean water, General Electric will assist with infrastructure development, and Marriott will build more hotels, Obama said…The president discussed a total of $33 billion in public and private commitments, including $7 billion in new financing to promote U.S. exports and investments in Africa and $12 billion in help from the president’s Power Africa initiative involving private-sector partners, the World Bank and the government of Sweden.” (USA Today)

Ebola Outbreak
The World Bank said that it would provide up to $200 million to Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone to help the West African nations contain a deadly Ebola outbreak. (AP)

Liberian officials say they are working hard to correct problems resulting in a backlog of the collection and burial of Ebola-related bodies. (VOA)

A US missionary who contracted Ebola has been evacuated from Liberia aboard a special medical flight. Nancy Writebol was flown out of Monrovia Tuesday and is expected to arrive in the United States later in the day. (VOA)

Doctors in Saudi Arabia are testing a patient suspected of having contracted Ebola during a trip to West Africa, hit by an epidemic of the virus, the health ministry said Tuesday. (Yahoo)

Lagos has eight suspected cases of Ebola, all in people who came into contact with Nigeria’s first victim who died last month, the health commissioner said on Tuesday, with one case confirmed. (Reuters)

Africa
Amnesty International accused Nigeria’s military and its supporting civilian militia on Tuesday of “extensive human rights violations” in their fight against Boko Haram in the country’s northeast. (AFP)

A leading Sudanese opposition party called for a transitional government to help resolve multiple crises in the impoverished, war-ravaged nation. (AP)

In a joint assault on a Ugandan rebel movement, the Congolese army and UN troops have freed more than 250 civilian hostages in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, a senior official said. (AP)

A new development bank launched by emerging economies will help all nations in distress to return to health, South African President Jacob Zuma said. (AP)

Security forces in the Democratic Republic of Congo on Tuesday arrested senior opposition lawmaker Jean-Bertrand Ewanga, a day after a rally to oppose any extension of presidential rule, his party said. (AFP)

The UN’s refugee agency says is it dismayed by the killing of an aid worker in a new outbreak of fighting in South Sudan. (AP)

Somalia’s government asked for help Tuesday, warning the war-torn nation once again faced a hunger and drought catastrophe three years after famine killed more than a quarter of a million people. (AP)

A humanitarian aid worker was shot and killed in Upper Nile state in South Sudan, as talks to restore peace in the country resumed in Addis Ababa. (VOA)

MENA
Israel’s continuing restrictions on economic development in Palestine are causing so much suffering and such “deep resentment” that they now threaten to undermine rather than preserve the country’s security, a cross-party group of British MPs has warned. (Guardian)

The UN Security Council has backed Lebanon’s military action against extremist groups but urged it to stay out of the conflict in neighboring Syria, as Beirut vowed no leniency for the “terrorist killers”. (AP)

Asia
Bangladeshi garment workers staging a hunger strike for nine days to press for back-pay and a holiday bonus clashed with police in the capital, Dhaka, on Tuesday, police and witnesses said. (Reuters)

Cambodia says it has asked China to restrict the number of visas it issues to single Cambodian women, to prevent the brokering of marriages to Chinese men. (VOA)

Not really Asia, but noteworthy: About 730,000 Ukrainians have left the country for Russia this year due to the fighting in eastern Ukraine, the European head of the United Nations agency for refugees said on Tuesday, pointing to a far bigger exodus than previously thought. (AP)

The Americas
A US program in Cuba that secretly used an HIV-prevention workshop for political activism was criticized by international public health officials and members of Congress who said such clandestine efforts put health programs at risk around the world. (AP)

Over the last few months some 13,000 Munduruku have been protesting against the Brazilian government’s plans to build a series of hydroelectric dams that will flood part of their land on the upper reaches of the Tapajos river. (BBC)

A group of banks may be about to buy some of the Argentine bonds owned by a group of creditors demanding repayment in full on their $1.5 billion stash of Argentine debt. (VOA)

USAID and The Rockefeller Foundation announced a $100 million Global Resilience Partnership that lays out a bold new vision for building resilience to chronic stresses and increasing shocks in communities across Africa and Asia. (USAID)

Opinion/Blogs
U.N.’s “Responsibility to Protect” Another Casualty in Gaza (IPS )

Why African Stats Are Often Wrong (CGD)

Interview with outgoing Africa Great Lakes Special Envoy Mary Robinson (IRIN)

We should defend the rights of Gaza’s children (ODI)

“Just Turn the Volume Up”: An Interview with Afrikan Boy (Think African)

Will Climate Change Lead to Conflict or Cooperation? (IPS)

Research/Reports
Her family said they were going on a vacation. But Nimco Ali was taken to a woman who performed female genital mutilation. Now Ali is helping the more than 100,000 girls in the UK possibly at risk. (NPR )

Poorly fed children rob Africa of up to 16 percent of its potential growth, making investment in programs to end malnutrition as critical to the continent’s future as building bridges and roads, African leaders and development officials said. (TRF)

Impact of religion on security risk management (EISF)

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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]humanosphere.org.