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News in the Humanosphere: More terror attacks in northern Nigeria

Northern Nigeria's experiencing repeated terror attacks. Police officers inspect a passenger bus following an explosion at a bus station in Kano, Nigeria. Thursday July 24, 2014.

Dozens of people have been killed, perhaps hundreds injured, in a new wave of explosions during Friday prayers at one of the biggest mosques in the Nigerian city of Kano. One rescue official, speaking to Agence France-Presse, put the casualty toll at 64 dead and 126 hurt, although this has not been independently confirmed. The terrorist organization Boko Haram is suspected to be behind the attacks, possibly retaliating against a local Muslim leader, Kano Emir Muhammad Sanusi, who recently called upon locals to arm themselves and fight back against Boko Haram due to the Nigerian government’s weak response to the threat. (BBC

BlackFridayThink today’s so-called Black Friday consumer-fest is a modern perversion of the Thanksgiving holiday? Not so, says historian film-maker Ken Burns. Black Friday is a tradition as old as the holiday itself,  Burns says, whose latest documentary features the nation’s very first unofficial shopping holiday that followed the first Thanksgiving ( Who knew the pilgrims had shopping malls?


Human Rights
The United Nations‘ committee on torture urged American officials to more aggressively investigate and prosecute police brutality. (Reuters

Thailand blocks access to report criticizing the current junta governing the country for human rights violations. “The fact that the (junta) feels the need to block Human Rights Watch’s Thailand webpage means that we must be doing something right,” said Brad Adams, Asia director for Human Rights Watch.(NPR)

Pope Francis calls for end to fundamentalism, terrorism and urges new interfaith dialogue for peace and tolerance (Voice of America)

The Obama Administration’s efforts to literally energize Africa, Power Africa, gets off the a dim start, critics say. The 48 countries of Sub-Saharan Africa, with a combined population of 800 million, produce roughly the same amount of power as Spain, a country of just 46 million. This constrains Africa’s growth and keeps hundreds of millions in poverty.  (Newsweek)

Looking past the turmoil. A more nuanced view of Africa that goes beyond the headlines, to look at both the root causes of many of today’s problems and signs of positive change (NYTimes)

Male survivors of Ebola infection are warned by the World Health Organization to abstain from sex for months, due to persistent presence of the virus in semen. (CBC news)

How the world’s worst Ebola outbreak began with one boy in Guinea. One of those patient zero tales, which is instructive but more symbolic than epidemiological reality. (BBC)

Ebola and inequality. Op-Ed from Nobel laureate and economist Joseph Stiglitz. (Policy Innovations)

Despite major advances in treating and preventing HIV, Europe and Central Asia have failed to tackle the epidemic, with some 136,000 people becoming newly infected with the incurable AIDS virus last year, WHO says (Reuters

Only a third of Americans with HIV are properly treating the infection, putting themselves and others at greater risk (Reuters

Elections offer little solace to Sri Lanka‘s poor. With the end of decades of civil conflict, many are now focusing on economic inequality that plagues ethnic minority communities especially. (InterPress News)

China’s bizarre ghost cities problem makes Humanosphere wonder what will happen with similar big development projects in Africa funded by the Chinese (Financial Times)

Huh? Myanmar-Burma and Thailand rank higher than the U.S. in new charitable giving index? (Chronicle of Philanthropy, NPQ)

About Author

Tom Paulson

Tom Paulson is founder and lead journalist at Humanosphere. Prior to operating this online news site, he reported on science,  medicine, health policy, aid and development for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Contact him at tom[at] or follow him on Twitter @tompaulson.