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News in the Humanosphere: Another migrant tragedy in the Mediterranean

A sailor from HMS BULWARK hands out water to rescued individuals on a Royal Navy Landing Craft. (Picture: LA (Phot) JJ Massey)

The search is on for survivors of a capsized boat in the Mediterranean. It is believed there were more than 600 passengers aboard – 400 were rescued and the rest are feared dead. A quote from Doctors Without Borders at the end of this story suggest that rescue operations are being stretched thin. It was a horrific sight, people desperately clinging to lifebelts, boats and anything they could to fight for their lives,” Juan Matias, a Doctors Without Borders project coordinator on the Dignity I, said in a statement. “The fact that we were first called to assist this boat and then shortly afterwards sent to another one highlights the severe lack of resources available for rescue operations.” (BBC

Big typhoon bears down on China and Taiwan
“Typhoon Soudelor, while no longer strong enough to be classified as a super typhoon, remained a powerful cyclone Wednesday that is taking direct aim at Taiwan and China, threatening damaging winds, destructive storm surge and flooding rainfall.The storm is forecast to strengthen again before making landfall and will likely be the equivalent of a Category 3 or Category 4 hurricane when it hits Taiwan. Current projections put it over the island early Saturday morning local time, before moving on to mainland China on Saturday night.” (CNN

Quote of the day
“Many of the same people who argued for the war in Iraq are now arguing the case against the Iran nuclear deal.” —President Obama during the launch of his big campaign to rally congress behind the Iran deal. (FT

This day in history
The U.S. dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan. The AP looks back:


A local leader of Burundi’s ruling party was attacked and killed in the capital Bujumbura, officials said on Wednesday, the third high-profile attack in three days. (Reuters

South Sudan’s army on Wednesday dismissed as “propaganda” rebel claims of an aid blockade aimed at starving them into submission ahead of peace talks to end the 19-month civil war. (AFP

The South Sudanese government has stopped operations of two newspapers, editors at the publications said Wednesday in an apparent crackdown on the independent media. (AP

At least 310 Kenyans have been killed and over 215,000 forced from their homes this year in ethnic violence in northern Kenya, the U.N. said Wednesday. (AFP

A Zimbabwean court on Wednesday postponed to Sept. 28 the trial of a local hunter accused of failing to stop American dentist Walter Palmer illegally killing the country’s most prized lion last month. (Reuters


Italian Coast Guard commander Filippo Marini says 400 migrants have been saved from a shipwreck off the coast of Libya and 25 bodies have been recovered so far. (AP

The U.N.’s top human rights official has expressed alarm at the death sentence imposed on an alternative health practitioner in Iran. (AP


The United Nations said Wednesday a growing number of women and children are getting hurt or killed in Afghanistan’s war against the Taliban and other insurgents. (AP

Two passenger trains derailed over a bridge in central India while crossing a track that was flooded by heavy monsoon rains, killing at least 24 people, officials said Wednesday. More than 300 people have been rescued. (AP

Residents of Myanmar’s low-lying delta region were bracing on Wednesday as flood waters from the north of the country began to flow into the area, pushing river levels dangerously high. (Reuters

Tens of thousands of people huddled Wednesday in monasteries and other makeshift evacuation centers in remote areas of Myanmar cut off by deadly floods, as rescuers struggled to deliver desperately needed aid. (AFP

A Cambodian court on Wednesday charged three activists from the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party with insurrection in connection with a protest last year that turned violent. (AP

Nepal villagers have recovered the remains of 17 people who went missing after their village was buried by a landslide triggered by the devastating earthquake that hit the country on April 25, officials said Wednesday. (AP

More than three months after a massive earthquake devastated Nepal, hundreds of thousands of people remain homeless as reconstruction efforts are blocked by logistical and bureaucratic hurdles. (IRIN

The Americas

A year ahead of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Amnesty International reports that military police committed 16 percent of the homicides in the city over the past five years. (CNN

The United States called on Venezuela to reverse a ban on opposition members from holding office and participating in the Dec. 6 parliamentary elections. (VOA

Mexico City was once seen as an island of refuge in one of the world’s most dangerous countries for reporters, but the brutal killing of a prominent photojournalist has shattered that image. (AFP

Chile took a step toward easing its strict abortion ban after legislators in the nation’s lower chamber voted to advance a bill that would overturn the prohibition. (Reuters

...and the rest

Mosquito-eating spiders from east Africa and Malaysia could become a weapon in fighting malaria, researchers have said. (SciDevNet

The U.N.’s Central Emergency Response Fund released 70 million to underfunded humanitarian emergencies (OCHA


Aid reform: Turkeys won’t vote for Christmas (IRIN

Aid should be seen as foreign public investment, not just charity (Guardian

Don’t teach a man to fish. Just give him the goddamn fish. (Vox

Editor’s take: What hope for reform? (IRIN

Rwanda is an international development success story. But can it survive climate change? (UN Dispatch

The Curious Case of Instagram and the Fake Migrant (Brendan Rigby

Podcast: Counting the cost of the Boko Haram crisis (Guardian

In Zimbabwe, We Don’t Cry for Lions (NY Times

Cecil the Lion and Robert Mugabe (The New Yorker

In pictures: Africa’s most obnoxious visitors? Feel free to hate them… (Mail & Guardian

Explainer: Where were you in the #wormwars? (Guardian


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]