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News in the Humanosphere: Ebola setback in Sierra Leone (updated)

A healthcare worker in protective gear sprays disinfectant around the house of a person suspected to have Ebola virus in Port Loko Community, situated on the outskirts of Freetown, Sierra Leone. (AP Photo/Michael Duff)

Update: It turns out that there was a false positive for the baby in Sierra Leone. The blood sample for the infant was taken from a person who died of Ebola. Read more from Reuters here.

A baby has died of Ebola in a part of Sierra Leone where the outbreak began, dealing a blow to the recovery weeks after the district had eradicated the virus, officials said. (AFP

What “ #147notjustanumber” is All About…A powerful social media campaign is underway to humanize the victims of the Garissa University attack in Kenya. This campaign is a rejoinder to al Shebaab. “Ory Okolloh Mwangi, also known as @KenyanPundit, started the campaign on Sunday before the official death toll had been raised to 148. She told the Wall Street Journal that the initiative was ‘an effort to humanise victims of terror’. According to social media monitor Topsy, the hashtag #147notjustanumber has been mentioned 52,000 times so far. In an effort to make sure each student is honoured a public google document has been created ‘to ensure we never forget the names of victims of internal and external acts of mass violence.’” (Guardian

(Unexpected) Quote of the day: Pamela Anderson makes appeal to Zimbabwe. “I am writing you to urge you to do everything in your power to assist in the efforts to stop such profiteering at the expense of wildlife…I have been deeply upset by the heart-breaking news about the 80 or so baby elephants who were torn away from their families, many even witnessing their own family’s gruesome slaughter.”


Now with Liberia closing in on a zero infection rate, some people worry that informal border crossings are risky because Ebola is still a problem in Guinea.  (VOA

Hoteliers from Kenya’s Indian Ocean coast region and sprawling game park reserves said tourists have started cancelling trips to the east African nation after Islamist gunmen last week killed 148 people at a university campus. (Reuters

Western advertising and public relations agencies are increasingly merging with African counterparts to attract international corporate clients looking to break into Africa — considered the last frontier for consumer markets. (VOA


The United Nations children’s agency says some 100,000 people have been displaced in the conflict in Yemen, while children continue to be killed, maimed, and at risk from disease. (VOA

India says 23 countries have sought its help in evacuating their citizens from war-torn Yemen after New Delhi mounted a massive operation to bring out its citizens both by air and sea. (VOA

The International Committee of the Red Cross aims to fly two planes carrying 48 tonnes of medical help and other aid to Yemen over the next two days. (Reuters


Amnesty International says the Afghan government is doing nothing to stop a trend of escalating violence, sexual assaults and assassinations targeting women human rights activists in the country. (VOA

Indonesia’s Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) has been battered in recent months by a combination of judicial decisions and investigations into its the leaders. (VOA

U.S. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter called the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, free trade agreement an important part of the Obama Administration’s re-balance toward the Asia-Pacific region. Carter also called for a strong, constructive U.S.-China relationship. (VOA

China called on other countries on Tuesday to respect its judicial sovereignty after former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton denounced as “inexcusable” the detention of five women activists. (Reutersd

One person died and 50 were arrested after some 2,000 police, using rubber bullets, tear gas and water cannons, put down a protest by villagers against pollution from a chemical plant in China’s Inner Mongolia, an overseas human rights group said. (Reuters

The United States said on Tuesday Myanmar’s failure to amend a military-drafted constitution raised questions about the credibility of reforms, but did not go so far as to say it would undermine the legitimacy of upcoming elections. (Reuters

The Americas

The first heavy rains of the wet season flooded parts of the Haitian capital Port-au-Price over the weekend, leaving at least six dead and damaging 8,000 homes, authorities said. (AFP

Diseases caused by contaminated food pose a serious problem for the health of the population and may jeopardize the development, trade and tourism in Latin American countries, today said Carissa F. Etienne, Director of PAHO/WHO. (Prensa Latina

The Summit of the Americas normally receives little media attention in the United States. But this year is different because Cuba, unlike previous years, is invited to the April gathering in Panama. U.S. officials say President Obama will interact with Cuban President Raúl Castro for the first time since announcing steps to normalize U.S.-Cuba relations. (VOA

A spring storm was expected to bring several inches of rain to some areas of drought-parched California and up to two feet of snow to mountains beginning late on Monday, just days after Governor Jerry Brown ordered sweeping cuts in water use. (Reuters

...and the rest

The head of the World Bank said Tuesday he will do everything he can to work with a new Chinese-led Asian infrastructure bank opposed by Washington. (AP

There is no need for concern over the long list of new U.N. development goals and the even longer list of indicators as they are essential for measuring progress, international charity WaterAid said. (TRF

Six activists with the environmental group Greenpeace climbed aboard a Royal Dutch Shell oil rig in the Pacific Ocean bound for the Arctic on Monday, the organization said. (Reuters

U.S. health regulators have questions about the data submitted by tobacco maker Swedish Match in its bid to become the first company to market a smokeless tobacco product as less harmful than cigarettes. (AP


How the Daughter of a Holocaust survivor became the head of the US Fund for UNICEF (Global Dispatches Podcast

This is the worst thing about Yemen right now (GlobalPost

A Long History of Predatory Practices Against Developing Countries (Inter Press Service

Almost 90% of Ghana’s children are now in school (Guardian

What future for the humanitarian capital of the world? (IRIN

Analyst: Al Shabab Purely Terrorist (VOA

Health sustainable development goal must tackle inequity head on to succeed (Guardian

When Restrictions Apply (Policy Innovations

A Hidden Human Rights Catastrophe is Unfolding in Afghanistan (UN Dispatch

Coup in Asian country: Hollywood Edition (Humanosphere


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]