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News in the Humanosphere: Fresh Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone

A Sierra Leonean doctor during training by British troops on Operation Gritrock, the UK's response to combat and defeat Ebola in the region. © Crown Copyright 2014 Photographer: PO (Phot) Carl Osmond

Yet another reminder that we are not out of the woods yet. Far from it. Sierra Leone’s capital Freetown has suffered a fresh outbreak of Ebola, dashing hopes that health authorities in the densely-populated city of 1.2 million had beaten the deadly epidemic. The government’s National Ebola Response Centre (NERC) told AFP late on Tuesday three cases had emerged in the east-end slum of Magazine Wharf — three weeks after the last known infections in the capital. Health officials said six people have been placed under observation since the first of the new cases — a casual labourer — tested positive on June 17. Authorities are concerned that the case could lead to a mini-outbreak in the overcrowded fishing community, which has poor sanitation and is regularly hit by outbreaks of malaria and cholera. (AFP

No End in Sight for Deadly Heatwave…”The death toll in Pakistan’s scorching heat wave, at least 838 deaths as of Wednesday afternoon, continues to rise. At its epicenter is Karachi, home to 20 million people and the capital of the southern Sindh province. With temperatures reaching 113 degrees, hours-long power outages and insufficient running water contributed to make this heat wave the worst in a decade, the Associated Press reports.” (Time

This is not good…Brazilian health authorities say an antibiotic-resistant bacteria has infected a hospital in the southeastern city of Guarulhos and has killed four people. (AP

Comings and Goings…Raj Shah been appointed to the board of directors of Seattle, Wash.-based biopharmaceutical company Omeros Corporation, which discovers, develops and commercializes therapeutics targeting inflammation, coagulopathies and disorders of the central nervous system. (India West


Suspected Boko Haram gunmen have shot dead at least 42 people in two separate attacks in northeast Nigeria, with no let-up in sight to the Islamist group’s targeting of civilians. (AFP

United Nations peacekeepers have been accused of sexually abusing street children in the Central African Republic capital of Bangui and an investigation has been launched by the country that contributed the troops, a U.N. spokesman said. (Reuters

Burundi’s government on Wednesday joined a fresh round of UN-led talks hoped to broker peace between rival parties following weeks of violence and ahead of elections on Monday. (AFP

Ugandan civil society groups are warning that a bill to regulate non-governmental organisations is a blow to basic freedoms and threatens to curtail the activities of some groups, reducing essential services to some of the country’s poorest people. (Guardian

A UN expert on Wednesday called for a probe into whether the Eritrean government should face justice for alleged crimes against humanity following a damning report on sweeping rights violations. (AFP

The European Union said it will offer counter-terrorism training to help east African security agencies improve cross-border investigations and prosecutions in a region hit by deadly raids carried out by Islamist militants. (Reuters

Uganda’s police chief has blocked presidential hopeful Amama Mbabazi from holding public meetings across the country, saying they are “illegal”. (AFP


The UN envoy for Yemen on Wednesday urged warring sides to agree to a ceasefire as fighting pushed the poor Arab country closer to famine and deeper into humanitarian crisis. (AFP

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on the U.N. Security Council to take “urgent action” on Syria amid daily atrocities and rights abuses, warning the war-torn country would otherwise slip deeper into chaos. (Reuters

Libya’s elected parliament has voted to stay in United Nations peace talks after calling for amendments to a proposed power-sharing deal aimed at ending the conflict between the country’s two rival governments. (Reuters

The rebuilding of thousands of homes destroyed in last summer’s Gaza war is to begin in the coming days, almost a year after the conflict began, the Palestinian housing minister said Wednesday. (AFP

An International Committee of the Red Cross ship has delivered 1,000 tonnes of emergency food aid — enough to feed 140,000 people for 30-40 days — to Yemen’s Hodeidah port, along with three large electricity generators, it said on Wednesday. (Reuters


Vietnam is having condom problems. Hundreds of thousands of condoms sold there are substandard. They tear easily and don’t offer reliable protection. While this might seem like a red flag, it’s actually a sign of progress. (NPR

China on Wednesday gave its first-ever assessment of the scourge of drug abuse, saying it caused annual economic losses of $80.54 billion and as many as 49,000 deaths last year. (Reuters

At least 5,000 residents of a Shanghai suburb protested Wednesday over a report that a petrochemical plant may be moved to their neighborhood, although authorities dismissed the report as untrue. (AP

The Americas

The worst drought in five years is creeping across the Caribbean, prompting officials around the region to brace for a bone dry summer. (AP

Prosecutors in Peru say they have found a mass grave containing 17 bodies high in the Andes, in the Ayacucho region. The bodies are believed to be those of local farmers kidnapped by the Shining Path rebel group in the 1980s. (BBC

The lack of clear regulations and guidelines on therapeutic abortion in Costa Rica means women depend on the interpretation of doctors with regard to the circumstances under which the procedure can be legally practiced. (IPS

South African Nobel peace laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu has written to members of a key United Nations body urging them to overturn the rejection of a U.N. accreditation request by the civil society organization Freedom Now. (Reuters

...and the rest

Tackling climate change risks must become a top foreign policy priority if the world is to combat the global security threat it poses in the 21st century, according to a new study commissioned by the G7 countries. (Guardian

The widespread use of digital technology – including satellite imagery, body cameras and smart phones – is fast becoming a new tool in monitoring and capturing human rights violations worldwide. (IPS

United Way Worldwide, the world’s largest charity, has launched a center to combat modern-day slavery and is pushing to make the eradication of human trafficking a priority for the next U.S. president. (TRF

Shrinking aid dollars threaten the major advances made over the past decade in fighting disease and preventable deaths, a task that will grow even more difficult under new United Nations’ development goals, experts in global health said. (TRF


How goes the hunt for Joseph Kony and the LRA? (IRIN

Britain’s Bashir-esque dilemma: What to do with the arrested Rwandan spy chief? (Daily Maverick

There are no quick fixes to warzone rape, but Hague’s summit was a vital first step (Guardian

Third International Conference on Financing for Development (Financing for Development blog

How do we improve public services? It’s not just about money (ODI

Brazil leader’s credibility tested as she woos U.S. investment (Yahoo

Can US, China Work Together on Economic, Security Issues? (VOA


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]