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News in the Humanosphere: WHO worried over pneumonic plague spread in Madagascar

WHO Headquarters

The WHO is sounding an alarm as the plague reaches Monrovia’s densely populated capital. “An outbreak of the plague has killed 40 people in Madagascar since late August, the World Health Organization said on Friday, warning that there is a risk of the disease spreading rapidly in the country’s capital, Antananarivo. … There are now 119 confirmed cases of the plague in the country. So far, there have been two cases and one death recorded in Antananarivo, but those figures could climb quickly due to ‘the city’s high population density and the weakness of the healthcare system,’ the WHO warned.” (France 24

Iran Nuke Deal on Hold … Today was meant to be the deadline for an agreement between Iran and the United States and the rest of the Permanent member of the Security Council and Germany in which Iran would curb its nuclear program in exchange for an easing of sanctions. It looks as if that deadline of the talks may be extended further. (BBC


Mali has recorded a new case of Ebola in the capital Bamako after the friend of a nurse who died of ebola this month tested positive for the disease, the health ministry said on Saturday. (Reuters

The United Nations Mission for Ebola Emergency Response is establishing an office in Mali to help support the West African country’s ongoing efforts to combat and contain the Ebola virus, according to Ari Gaitanis, head of the public information unit at the U.N. Officials say when established, the U.N. Office will reinforce Mali’s operational response by strengthening the West African nation’s level of preparedness and assisting with cross-border coordination of Ebola efforts. (VOA

A Cuban doctor who is being treated for Ebola in Switzerland is optimistic that an experimental drug will allow him to recover. (AP

Ebola has crippled the provision of treatment and care to people living with HIV/AIDS in Liberia, according to health workers and patients. (IRIN


Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe has changed the constitution of his ruling ZANU-PF party to allow him to directly appoint his deputies, giving the 90-year-old sole power to anoint his successor, party sources said on Sunday. (Reuters

The Somali Islamist militant group al Shabaab said it had staged an attack in Kenya on Saturday in which gunmen ordered non-Muslims off a bus and shot 28 dead, while sparing Muslim passengers. (Reuters

Witnesses and authorities in Nigeria say suspected Boko Haram gunmen killed at least 25 people in the country’s northeast. (VOA

Residents say hundreds of women have marched topless through a town in the Central African Republic to protest sectarian violence. (AP

The spokesman for the joint U.N.-African Union peacekeeping force in Darfur says the Sudanese government has asked his mission to prepare plans to exit the country. (AP


Tunisians went to the polls on Sunday to vote for their first directly elected president, in the final step to be taken to full democracy after the 2011 revolution that ended the rule of Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali. (Reuters

A prominent activist group monitoring Syria’s civil war says U.S.-led airstrikes in the country have killed more than 900 people since the campaign against Islamic State militants began in September. (VOA

A new congressional report concludes there was no wrongdoing by the U.S. military and the CIA in the response to the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 11, 2012. (VOA

The United States pledged an additional $135 million in aid for the victims of the Syrian war on Saturday, much of it to help the United Nations with a funding shortfall it had warned could force it to scale back food distribution. (Reuters

Iraqi forces battling the Islamic State group focused their offensive Sunday on the city of Ramadi, backed by Sunni tribal fighters that the U.S. plans to arm. (AP

Across the vast region under Islamic State control, the group is actively conscripting children for battle and committing abuses against the most vulnerable at a young age, according to a growing body of evidence assembled from residents, activists, independent experts and human rights groups. (AP

At least 45 people were killed and 60 wounded on Sunday in a suicide bomb attack at a volleyball ground in Afghanistan’s Paktika province, officials said. (The Hindu

Cambodian opposition members say they are worried about the country becoming too dependent on aid money from China. (VOA

The military chief of Myanmar, has told VOA the constitutional clause barring opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi from becoming president is not aimed at her in particular. (VOA

The Americas
A global deal to combat climate change in 2015 looks more likely after promises for action by China, the United States and the European Union, but any agreement will probably be too weak to halt rising temperatures. (Reuters
Why won’t the U.S. ratify the U.N.’s child rights treaty? (The Washington Post

Africa’s private sector can drive continent’s development (The Guardian

Why Save The Children’s global legacy award to Tony Blair matters for C4D (Aidnography

Jimmy Carter says Bible no justification for discriminating against women (GlobalPost

The double burden of malnutrition (Inter Press Service

How not to write about Africa: Use “African Spring” (Africa is a Country

International development: Murder, one log frame at a time (Daily Maverick

Hiding under Ebola to dehumanize Africans (Daily Independent


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]