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News in the Humanosphere: Ebola cases suddenly on the rise

(Credit: CDC)

Liberia is still Ebola free, but the other two hardest hit countries are experiencing an upsurge. “A rise in Ebola cases on the border of Sierra Leone and Guinea has sparked fears that efforts to rid the countries of the deadly virus are ‘back to square one.’ The spike in infections comes weeks after the World Health Organization reported a 10-month low, with just nine cases in both countries in the week ending 10 May.

“But, since then, the WHO has said: ‘Both the intensity and the geographical area of Ebola virus disease transmission have increased.’ In its latest situation report, it said 31 confirmed cases of the virus had been reported in the week ending 7 June – 16 cases in Guinea and 15 in Sierra Leone. ‘This is the second consecutive weekly increase in case incidence, and the highest weekly total number of cases reported from Sierra Leone since late March,’ it said.”  (Guardian

So far from Japan
The new center-right Finnish government has decided to cut development aid by 43 percent, prompting furious reactions from NGOs and fears other EU countries will follow its example. (Guardian

Envoy out
The U.N. special envoy to the Great Lakes region has quit his role facilitating talks between rival factions in Burundi’s political crisis but is staying on in his broader regional position, a U.N. official said on Thursday. (Reuters

Quote of the day:
“Evidence from two peacekeeping mission countries demonstrates that transactional sex is quite common but underreported in peacekeeping missions,” concluded a U.N. Office of Internal Oversight Services draft. (Reuters


Burundi’s government said on Thursday that weeks of protests against a third term bid by the president were over, claiming that the remaining demonstrators were only being organized by journalists. (AFP

A group of 17 political parties have agreed to boycott elections in Burundi because they don’t believe they will be free and fair, an opposition leader said Thursday. (AP

Ghana halted a plan to test two Ebola vaccines in an eastern town after legislators backed local protests against the trials sparked by fears of contamination, officials said. (Reuters

A court in Kenya’s coastal city of Mombasa ordered on Monday the removal of two Muslim human rights groups from a government list of individuals and organizations suspected of possible links to terrorist activities. (Reuters

The World Food Program plans to cut food rations for half a million mainly Somali and South Sudanese refugees living in camps in northern Kenya because of a shortfall in donor funding, the aid agency said on Thursday. (Reuters

Men in war-torn Somalia suffer high rates of drug addiction, divorce and mental illness, the World Bank said, urging donors to do more to support men and strengthen families. (Reuters

The Kenyan government announced a goal to get 100,000 Somali refugees to return home voluntarily by the end of the year, a government official said Thursday as funding shortages have forced the U.N to reduce food rations for the displaced. (AP

Renewable energy is at the forefront of the changes sweeping Africa, and a “triple win” is within the region’s grasp to increase agricultural productivity, improve resilience to climate change, and contribute to long-term reductions in dangerous carbon emissions, says a new report by the Africa Progress Panel. (IPS

At least 78,000 people and possibly as many as 130,000 have been driven from their homes during the Sudanese army’s offensive in Darfur this year, the United Nations said. (AFP


Turkey on Thursday said it was taking measures to limit the flow of Syrian refugees onto its territory after an influx of thousands more over the last days due to fighting between Kurds and jihadists. (AFP

Eighty percent of Yemen’s population, or more than 20 million people, need some form of humanitarian assistance as air strikes and civil war ravage the impoverished country, aid agency UNICEF said on Thursday. (Reuters

Palestinian officials say they are pressing ahead with their war crimes case against Israel in the International Criminal Court. (AP

Fighters from Syria’s al-Qaida branch, the Nusra Front, have killed at least 20 Druze villagers, raising fear for one of Syria’s minorities as insurgents including Sunni Islamists gain ground against President Bashar al-Assad. (Reuters

A Saudi-led airstrike earlier this week hit a public bus on a highway in southern Yemen linking the city of Aden with the north, killing at least 20 passengers, witnesses and officials said Thursday. (AP


A landslide triggered by heavy rainfall buried at least 21 people and left dozens missing as they were sleeping at night in six villages in Nepal’s mountainous northeast, officials said Thursday. (AP

Indonesia’s Foreign Ministry said Thursday it is “very concerned” by claims that Australian officials paid the crew of a boat carrying 65 migrants, including children and a pregnant woman, to return to Indonesian waters. (AP

Muslim guerrillas in the Philippines will begin turning over their weapons as part of a peace deal even as lawmakers are still debating a law creating a new autonomous Muslim region in the country’s south, rebel and government peace negotiators said Thursday. (AP

Myanmar has rejected assertions that Indian armed forces entered the country earlier this week in pursuit of separatists, saying foreign fighters would never be allowed to use Myanmar territory to stage attacks. (Reuters

The Americas
A United Nations working group says Peru needs to determine the exact number of people missing from its 1980-2000 civil conflict, develop a plan for researching the violence and create a national map of graves holding those killed. (AP
...and the rest

The World Bank has cut its forecasts for growth across emerging economies this year, warning that they face a double whammy from rising US interest rates and lower commodity prices. (Guardian

A mother’s diet before conception can affect her unborn child’s genetic makeup and immune system, according to new findings with profound implications for policy and development work. (Guardian

Two weeks of U.N. climate talks are set to end with negotiators trimming a draft global climate pact, but leaving core sticking points to be untangled at later sessions before the December summit in Paris where the landmark agreement is meant to be adopted. (AP


The G7 and Health: A Glass Half Full, but Undrunk (ONE

Can ISIS Be “Contained?” The White House is Betting on It (Global Dispatches Podcast

G7 Makes Commitment on Climate … to Climate Chaos (Inter Press Service

Creepy Or Comforting? South Korea Tracks Smartphones To Curb MERS (Goats and Soda

Making accountability accountable (IRIN

Confront corruption? Here’s how (Overseas Development Institute

Reforming FIFA: what can we learn from experience with (other) corrupt autocrats? (From Poverty to Power

Strengthen justice mechanisms to prevent land dispossessions in Africa (African Arguments

The take-aways from four dozen papers on conflict and fragility in Africa in under 2,000 words (Development Impact

Chaos is an Order We Don’t Understand (Policy Innovations

The ICC and ISIS: Be Careful What You Wish For (Justice in Conflict

Where Australia’s case for aid went wrong – and what we can do to rebuild (virtual economics


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]