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News in the Humanosphere: Ban Ki-moon sacks CAR mission chief

French forces patrolling in Sibut, some 200kms (140 miles) northeast of Bangui, Central African Republic. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay, File)

A day after Amnesty accused blue helmets in the Central African Republic of raping a 12-year-old girl and killing a boy and his father, Ban Ki-moon demanded the resignation of the head of the peacekeeping mission, Babacar Gaye. “‘I cannot put into words how anguished and angered and ashamed I am by recurrent reports over the years of sexual exploitation and abuse by UN forces,’ Ban said. ‘When the United Nations deploys peacekeepers, we do so to protect the world’s most vulnerable people in the world’s most desperate places. I will not tolerate any action by people who replace trust with fear,’ he added. ‘Enough is enough.’” (AFP

Tent-living U.N. intern resigns
A young New Zealander on Wednesday quit a prestigious but unpaid internship at the United Nations in Geneva after revelations he was sleeping in a tent to get by created uproar. “I just want to make it clear that no person forced me to sleep in a tent, but rather my circumstances and the conditions for this internship made it the only real possibility that I could see,” he told reporters Wednesday. (AFP

Education > Racism
The United Nations is planning to launch a global campaign against the spread of intolerance, extremism, racism and xenophobia – largely by harnessing the talents of the younger generation. (IPS

How do you say “Zulu” in Chinese?
South African state schools will introduce Mandarin lessons next year in a bid to bolster cultural relations with China, its largest trading partner, a government official said Wednesday. (AFP

Exciting new research
Want an effective way to prevent child marriages? Give families goats. Or chickens. (Humanosphere


Two top rebel generals have defected from South Sudan’s rebel movement, a rebel official said Wednesday, as the country’s warring factions negotiated in Ethiopia to secure a deal to end war in the world’s newest country. (AP

A measles outbreak in the copper-mining Katanga province in the Democratic Republic of Congo has killed 315 people and infected at least 20,000, the United Nations said on Wednesday. (Reuters

Top envoys warned Wednesday that Burundi’s government showed a “disturbing intent” to scrap ethnic quotas in positions of power, a key pillar of a peace deal that ended a 13-year war. (AFP

Agence France-Presse and Radio France International on Wednesday condemned the “total lack” of reaction by Burundi after their correspondent Esdras Ndikumana was detained and tortured by security forces. (AFP

A transitional government installed in the Central African Republic after the restive country’s worst unrest in years will stay in power until the end of 2015, a regional bloc said Wednesday. (AFP

Saudi Arabia has deposited $1 billion in the central bank of sanctions-hit Sudan over the past two months, the state minister for finance said Wednesday. (AFP

A 23-year-old Eritrean woman was found dead in a German refugee home Wednesday, the suspected victim of a homicide, police said. (AFP

Boko Haram has a new commander willing to negotiate with Nigeria’s new government, Chad’s President Idriss Deby announced Wednesday, fueling speculation the extremist group’s previous commander has been killed. (AP


At least 31 civilians were killed in Syrian government air strikes on Eastern Ghouta near Damascus on Wednesday, as a barrage of deadly rebel rocket fire hit the capital, a monitor said. (AFP

Egypt’s state news agency says 21 more people have died due to a scorching heat wave, raising this week’s death toll to more than 60. (AP

Around 60 migrants are missing in waters off Libya, the International Organization for Migration said Wednesday after interviewing survivors who were picked up from their stricken craft. (AFP

Two days of U.N.-brokered talks on Libya has ended in Geneva, with the U.N. envoy seeking agreement on a national unity government in the next three weeks. (AP


A midnight landslide at a mining community in central China buried several dormitories and homes, leaving more than 60 people missing, local authorities said Wednesday. (AP

Myanmar was evacuating parts of a city on Wednesday after mudslides wiped away hundreds of houses and torrential rain threatened further damage in the worst floods to hit the country in decades. (Reuters

A top government official in eastern Pakistan says he has fired a provincial intelligence chief and three senior police officers for failing to act against a gang that blackmailed the families of children it sexually abused. (AP

Another drop in China’s currency sent global markets mostly lower on Wednesday as the move raised worries about the world’s second-largest economy, but U.S. stocks recovered most of their losses in late trading. (AP

Myanmar’s health minister on Wednesday scrapped plans to fill more of the 300 vacancies at his ministry with military personnel, after thousands of people joined a rare online protest against eight initial appointments. (Reuters

Indonesian President Joko Widodo will replace his chief economics minister and trade minister in a cabinet reshuffle on Wednesday, according to several domestic media reports. (Reuters

The Americas

As the effects of a drought in Puerto Rico grow more severe, the commonwealth’s representative in Congress has called on the U.S. Department of Defense to provide assistance to the island. (Reuters

The Obama administration does not plan to invite Cuban dissidents to Secretary of State John Kerry’s historic flag-raising at the U.S. Embassy in Havana on Friday, vividly illustrating how U.S. policy is shifting focus from the island’s opposition to its single-party government. Instead, Kerry intends to meet more quietly with prominent activists later in the day, officials said. (AP

Mexico’s Supreme Court has overturned a law in the southeastern state of Campeche prohibiting adoptions by same-sex couples. (AP

...and the rest

The mayor of a Hungarian village at the end of a fence being built to block migrants at the Serbian border accused the government Wednesday of a ploy to win votes from the far-right Jobbik party – and said migrants will just try to circumvent the barrier. (AP

Developed nations are on track to cut their greenhouse emissions by almost 30 percent by 2030, Reuters calculations show, falling far short of a halving suggested by a U.N. panel of scientists as a fair share to limit climate change. (Reuters

Locked in a sunbaked football stadium without food, drinking water or sanitation, about 1,000 refugees queued for hours on Wednesday to register with Greek authorities on the island of Kos, which is now at the forefront of a humanitarian crisis sweeping the financially broken country. (AP


Why Stopping Peacekeeper Abuse is So Politically Difficult. And So Very Important (UN Dispatch

Crisis, Emergency Measures and Failure of the ISDS System: The Case of Argentina (Inter Press Service

Low-fee private schools and poor children: what do we really know? (Guardian

The Legacy Benefits From Africa’s Fight Against Polio (The Conversation

Why the Fuel Subsidies Pump Should Be Switched Off (Africa Progress Panel

Track Changes: Reports of Sexual Abuse by Peacekeepers Meets “Romantic Rights” (CIHA Blog

Goats May Be Unwelcome In Zimbabwe’s Capital, But D.C. Loves Them (Goats and Soda

7 Things That Need To Be In An Effective Plan B for South Sudan (Enough

Can the United State Avoid a Hypocritical Anticorruption Policy? (Global Anticorruption Blog

In India, ending open defecation requires more than just behavior change (Devex


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]