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News in the Humanosphere: U.N. issues final report on Millennium Development Goals

And the news is overwhelmingly encouraging. Not all of the goals were met, but humanity took historic steps to end extreme poverty and the pathologies associated with it. “A 15-year effort to implement eight goals adopted by world leaders at the start of the new millennium has helped lift more than one billion people out of extreme poverty, enabled more girls to go to school than ever before, and brought unprecedented results in fighting diseases such as HIV/AIDS, the U.N. chief said Monday. In the final report on the Millennium Development Goals released Monday, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the global mobilization to implement the goals by the end of 2015 has produced ‘the most successful anti-poverty movement in history.'” (NYT

Deadly Boko Haram attack in northern Nigeria
At least 44 people were killed in twin bomb blasts in the central Nigerian city of Jos, the emergency services said on Monday, after a wave of mass casualty attacks blamed on Boko Haram militants. (AFP

Comings and goings
Former member of congress and co-founder of Avaaz, Tom Periello will replace Russ Feingold as the president’s special envoy for the Great Lakes Region of Africa. (AFP

More money please
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai wants world leaders to spend more money, on top of their earlier promises, to secure 12 years of free primary and secondary education for all children across the world. (AP

Stranger than fiction
Chinese government researchers are using chickens, fish and toads to try to predict earthquakes, media reported. (AFP

Developing story
A customs officer was wounded and three freight trucks were torched when armed men attacked the town of Nimule near the border with Uganda, officials and residents said Monday. (VOA

So, about China
A top U.N. official is expressing concern about whether China-backed development projects overseas will have adequate protections for human rights. (VOA


The Malian Islamist rebel group Ansar Dine claimed it carried out a series of attacks against U.N. peacekeepers and Malian army targets in the country’s capital, Bamako, and border areas near Ivory Coast and Mauritania. (Reuters

Nigeria’s military has freed 180 detainees held for months, including women carrying babies with toddlers clinging to their skirts, declaring they are no longer suspected of being part of the Boko Haram Islamic extremist insurgency. (AP

Kenyan anti-gay protesters marched in Nairobi Monday warning U.S. President Obama not to speak about gay rights when he visits the country of his ancestors later this month. (AFP

A Burundian general who backed a failed coup in May threatened to launch an armed uprising after President Pierre Nkurunziza refused to bow to opposition and international demands to abandon a bid for a third term. (Reuters

The prime minister of Burkina Faso, Yacouba Izaac Zida, said he has not resigned – contrary to rumors and what the local news media have been reporting in recent days. The reports have circulated amid a dispute involving Zida and the presidential guard, the RSP. (VOA

It’s estimated more than 20 million Nigerians suffer from mental illness, but many opt for traditional healers instead of getting professional help. (VOA

President Robert Mugabe on Monday moved Zimbabwe’s information minister, who he branded a “devil incarnate” last year, to an education department role in his second cabinet reshuffle since December. (Reuters

As precision farmers in South Africa go high tech to boost yields, some are also adopting a “conservation” approach to land management, which involves limiting soil disturbance to build up nutrients in the ground and increase production. (TRF

In the advent of unpredictable weather, smallholder rain-dependent agriculture is increasingly becoming a risky business and the situation could worsen if, as seems likely, the world experiences levels of global warming that could lead to an increase in droughts, floods and diseases, both in frequency and intensity. (IPS

Ride-hailing service Uber said on Monday its drivers had faced intimidation in South Africa following a protest last week by members of metered taxi associations who say the online app competes unfairly for business. (VOA


Nearly 100 people were killed on Monday in air strikes across Yemen, the Houthi-run state news agency reported, as a Saudi-led coalition stepped up attacks that are likely to weigh on efforts to broker a humanitarian truce. (AFP

The Islamic State group has regained control of a northern Syrian town captured by Kurdish fighters two weeks ago, activists and IS-linked social media outlets reported Monday. (AP

Cash for educating children caught up in disasters, ranging from the war in Syria to the earthquake in Nepal, needs to rise sharply to cope with a surge in the number of young refugees, a U.N. envoy said on Monday. (Reuters

New anti-terrorism legislation in Egypt is targeting the media and making it a criminal offense to publish news contradicting the government’s version of events in terrorism-related cases. (VOA


A shoe factory collapsed in eastern China during a weekend shift, killing 14 people and injuring 33 others, local authorities said Monday. (AP

Fourteen Thai students who were arrested after staging anti-coup rallies must face military court and will not be released beforehand, Thailand’s army chief said on Monday, despite growing calls for charges to be dropped. (Reuters

A foreigner who flew to the Philippines from the Middle East has become the second confirmed case of MERS in the country, the health department said Monday, as a deadly outbreak in South Korea spreads alarm across Asia. (AFP

Dozens of Afghans have rallied to denounce last week’s court ruling that overturned the death sentences for four men convicted for taking part in the mob killing of a woman outside a Kabul shrine in March. (AP

A severe drought in Thailand is limiting the growing season of the country’s important rice crop. Farmers are blaming the government for not doing more to protect a key export. (VOA

The BRICS emerging economies will launch a development bank at a summit this week which Russian President Vladimir Putin hopes will help reduce Western dominance of world financial institutions and show Moscow is not isolated. (Reuters

The Americas

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos must make strong gestures to avoid another half-century of conflict in the South American nation, a commander for the FARC rebel group said. (AFP

Nothing like a good measles outbreak to get Americans thinking more kindly about vaccines. One third of parents say they think vaccines have more benefit than they did a year ago, according to a poll conducted in May. (NPR

Chilean President Michelle Bachelet’s approval rating fell to a record low in June after a month of political shakeups and protests, an opinion poll showed Monday. (Reuters

A Republican entrepreneur seeking to push his party to fight climate change and support clean energy in the U.S. said on Sunday he has given his first big campaign gift to Senator Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire. (Reuters

...and the rest

About 800 million people still live in dire poverty and suffer from hunger despite the United Nations Millennium Development Goals being the most successful anti-poverty push in history, the U.N. said on Monday. (Reuters

The World Health Organization says cholera vaccines are effectively controlling the spread of the deadly disease in a number of high-risk areas around the globe, but the lack of vaccines limits the ability to protect all people in need. (VOA

Hungary’s parliament passed legislation on Monday that tightens its asylum rules, providing the legal framework for the erection of a fence along the country’s southern border with Serbia to stem the flow of illegal migrants. (Reuters

New information uncovered by a U.N. panel on the death of former secretary-general Dag Hammarskjold should be investigated to establish whether his plane was attacked just before it crashed in southern Africa, the U.N. chief said Monday. (AFP

Advanced countries need to do more to address breaches of integrity by public officials and help win back citizens’ trust in national governments, a survey by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) found. (TRF


Make poverty history? A decade on from Gleneagles, it is a genuine possibility (Guardian

The number of children out of school is growing: What happened? (WhyDev

The biggest barrier to ending poverty is… our paternalism? (Chris Blattman

A Climate Apollo Program (Policy Innovations

Who will determine aid spending in the next 10 years? (Devex

On Horseshit (Aid Leap

Women’s Rights Advocacy – Why Am I Involved? (Fahamu

Ghana: What’s Holding Back Ghana’s Progress in Reducing Maternal Mortality (The Conversation

Africa Should Invest in Its Youth, Education and Agriculture (The Monitor

What have the millennium development goals achieved? (Guardian

Religion and the SDGs – The ‘New Normal’ and Calls for Action (IPS


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]