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News in the Humanosphere: UNICEF staff killed by Somali militants

UNICEF aid workers were killed in northern Somalia when a bomb was exploded in their van. The terrorist group Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility. Photo credit: @hornexpert115

This was a rare attack in the Puntland region of Somalia. “Somali militant group al Shabaab bombed a minivan carrying staff to a United Nations office in the semi-autonomous Puntland region on Monday, killing six people including four from the global body’s children’s fund UNICEF, officials said. Images posted on social media show a blood-spattered white vehicle, its windows shattered and the roof blown off by the blast in the region’s administrative capital Garowe. UNICEF said in a statement the improvised explosive device attack occurred when its staff were travelling to the office from their guest house nearby and that four more of its staff were seriously wounded.” (Reuters

Asia-Africa Summit Kicks off in Indonesia… “34 Heads of State from the Asian and African Continent will meet at the Asia-Africa Conference in Jakarta this week. The five-day Afro-Asia Summit is held once in 10 years, and this is the sixth meeting of the group…trade between the two continents has grown from US$2.8 billion in 1990 to US$270 billion by 2012, as bilateral deals gained prominence. However, host Indonesia wants economic and other cooperation on a higher multilateral level.” (Channel Asia News

Quote of the Day: Prime Minister Joseph Muscat of Malta, on  Europe’s response to the ongoing tragedy in the Mediterranean…What happened on Sunday was a game changer. There is a new realization that if Europe doesn’t act as a team, history will judge it very harshly, as it did when it closed its eyes to stories of genocide — horrible stories — not long ago.” (NYT


Worried about their safety, hundreds of African immigrants headed out of South Africa in buses on Monday following deadly attacks on foreign-owned shops. (US News

The fabled Virunga park in the Democratic Republic of Congo is under pressure from oil developers. (VOA

The New York Times won two Pulitzers for its reporting on the ebola outbreak in West Africa, including for photography. (NYT

Six Ethiopian bloggers are in jail facing terrorism charges in what human rights and press-freedom advocates call an example of an alarming crackdown on government critics. (WaPo

South Africa’s government has vowed to crack down on xenophobic violence, after arresting more than 300 people for a range of crimes against migrants. (Al Jazeera


At least 46 people killed and hundreds injured after air strike targets suspected Scud missile base held by Houthis, in Sanaa, Yemen. An enormous explosion ensued. The video of the bombing is intense. (Al Jazeera

The aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt has moved off the coast of Yemen to prepare to intercept potential shipments of Iranian weapons to the rebels fighting the U.S.-backed government of Yemen, Pentagon officials said Monday. (USA Today

Iranian authorities are charging the Washington Post’s Tehran bureau chief, Jason Rezaian, with espionage and three other serious crimes, according to his lawyer in Tehran. (WaPo


China’s rapid reclamation around seven reefs in the Spratly archipelago of the South China Sea has alarmed claimants, including the Philippines and Vietnam. (VOA

The week-long Asia-Africa Conference 60th anniversary commemoration in Jakarta is seen by its Indonesian organizers as means to increase development and cooperation programs between developing countries. (VOA

Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived Monday in Pakistan’s capital, Islamabad, for a two-day trip in which he is expected to announce $46 billion worth of investment projects in energy and infrastructure projects. (VOA


The aging population threatens to strain funding for pensions in Latin America and the Caribbean, according to a report by the Inter-American Development Bank and the OECD. (El País; Spanish)

The construction of a hydroelectric plant in a poor rural area of ​​Guatemala has created sharp divisions in the community. (El País; Spanish)

Three media outlets said on Sunday that Mexican federal police killed 16 unarmed people in two separate attacks in January. (VOA

And the rest...

Five years since the explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the gulf of Mexico, recovery efforts are still underway and the ecological impacts have been devastating. (Al Jazeera

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urged caution for Ebola survivors after a man might have passed the virus through sex to his partner months after recovering from it. (NYT


Where, oh where, do regional organizations fit in the international humanitarian system? (Brookings

Realising Unfinished Business of MDGs: A Call for Greater Action and Investment for Malaria (IPS

Refugees don’t need our tears. They need us to stop making them refugees (Guardian

Not all data are equal (From Data to Impact

In Cahoots With the Houthis: Abdullah Saleh’s Risky Gamble (FA

Pillar of Neoliberal Thinking is Vacillating (IPS

Mohammad Javad Zarif: A Message From Iran (NYT


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.