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News in the Humanosphere: Ebola Spreads in Europe

An unfortunate milestone. For the first time, Ebola has spread outside of Africa from one infected person to another. “Spanish Health Minister Ana Mato has confirmed that a nurse who treated two victims of Ebola in Madrid has tested positive for the disease. The nurse is said to be the first person in the current outbreak known to have contracted Ebola outside Africa. The woman was part of the team that treated Spanish priests Manuel Garcia Viejo and Miguel Pajares, who both died of the virus, officials say…The nurse was admitted to hospital in Alcorcon, near Madrid, on Monday morning with a high fever, she said.” (BBC

Meanwhile, the USA will start screening some airline passengers for symptoms of ebola. The president made the announcement after meeting with national security and health staff. (White House

Kenya’s President Relinquishes Power Ahead of ICC Trial…”In an unexpected move, President Uhuru Kenyatta on Monday surrendered power to Deputy President William Ruto for him to attend court on Wednesday at The Hague. The transfer of power was achieved with high theatre, with Mr Kenyatta arriving at Parliament to a guard of honour and the National Anthem and leaving his office at Harambee House without the usual ceremony of a presidential escort. The decree signed by Mr Kenyatta handing over to Mr Ruto was unprecedented in the country and his willingness to forego, for a while, the public ceremonies of power, was quite unusual.” (Daily Nation


Thousands of Nigerians who have fled attacks by Islamist militant group Boko Haram are crowded into Minawao refugee camp in Cameroon’s Far North Region, living in increasingly squalid conditions and at risk of contracting measles and other diseases, according to relief agencies. (IRIN

The Head of World Hope International says Sierra Leone has a shortage of ambulances and isolation centers, making it much more difficult to contain the Ebola outbreak. (VOA

Famine could strike one million people across South Sudan early next year if the civil war escalates, a report said. (TRF

A lengthy postponement of elections in Central African Republic meant to complete a return to democracy following a March 2013 coup would risk further worsening the crisis there, the top U.N. official in the region said. (Reuters

The Press Union of Liberia has urged the Liberian government to concentrate its energy on fighting the deadly Ebola virus outbreak and stop trying to prevent journalists from doing their work. (VOA

Reports of violence are on the rise in camps for displaced people in South Sudan’s capital, Juba. Growing frustration with the ongoing conflict in the country is starting to wear on an already stressed and traumatized population. (VOA

The president of the World Bank will appeal directly to President Uhuru Kenyatta to resolve a Kenyan human rights crisis in which thousands of indigenous forest people have been forcibly evicted from a reserve in the name of water conservation. (Guardian

A Ugandan health worker recently died of Marburg, a highly infectious disease that manifests as a viral hemorrhagic fever, Uganda’s Ministry of Health confirmed Monday as health workers moved to quarantine a total of 80 people who had been in contact with the victim. (AP


Nine months of shelling, airstrikes and street battles have taken a heavy toll on Iraq’s “forgotten” province of Anbar, the first to be overrun by Islamic State militants. (IRIN

More than 2,000 Syrian Kurds including women and children are being evacuated from border town of Kobani after Islamic State militants who have besieged the town for nearly three weeks have advanced towards the city center, a translator for the leading Kurdish political group in Syria said. (AP


Thailand’s military has appointed a 250-member advisory group dominated by people close to the traditional ruling elite to help write a new national constitution. (AP

Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protests have been getting massive coverage overseas. In China, however, state media continue to limit public information about what is happening in the port city, tailoring coverage to fit the government’s narrative and position that the gathering is “illegal,” is “doomed to fail” and is a threat to Hong Kong’s democratic development. (VOA

The World Bank trimmed this year’s growth forecast for developing East Asian economies on Monday and urged governments to improve conditions for investment and exports. (AP

The Americas

In Latin America’s latest challenge to Washington’s ‘war on drugs,’ Ecuador has quietly begun releasing thousands of convicted cocaine smugglers. (GlobalPost

It’s official: Brazil’s presidential vote is headed for a runoff. Preliminary election results from the South American country show President Dilma Rousseff in the lead with Aecio Neves in second place. (CNN


Meet Scott Guggenheim, the most influential international development expert you’ve (probably) never heard of. (Global Dispatches Podcast

Seven things we now know about how the world has handled ebola (The Washington Post

Ebola must never again be allowed to claim lives for want of basic healthcare (Guardian

Planet Racing Towards Catastrophe and Politics Just Looking On (IPS

Looking at Poverty…Through the Eyes of a Child (Africa Can End Poverty

Bundling mHealth Info and Microinsurance to Improve Health Outcomes in Kenya (CFI

More taxes for Africa (Chris Blattman

At the Heart of Ebola — Health Systems That Need Strengthening (USAID Impact

That story about Akon’s “giant Ebola air bubble” (Africa is a Country

USAID Wastes Billions Shipping American Food Abroad: Report (IB Times


Almost 40% of the world’s waste ends up in huge rubbish tips, mostly found near urban populations in poor countries, posing a serious threat to human health and the environment. (Guardian

Governments are failing to meet goals to protect animals and plants set out in a biodiversity plan for 2020 that also aims to increase food supplies and slow climate change, a U.N. report showed. (Reuters

Wealthy countries are still subsidizing their farmers at the expense of developing nations, undermining market access for some of the world’s poorest producers, two farm ministers told a Food and Agriculture Organization meeting. (TRF


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]