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News in the Humanosphere: More than 300,000 affected by Myanmar floods

(Credit: ADRA Myanmar)

Myanmar’s Irrawaddy delta region that is the worst affected is also the country’s main rice producing region. “Myanmar’s president has called for the evacuation of low-lying areas as the Irrawaddy river threatened to breach embankments, leaving villagers with just sand bags to hold back churning waters that have hit much of the country. Floods from a heavy monsoon season have cut through swathes of south and southeast Asia in recent weeks, claiming hundreds of lives and displacing millions. Twelve of Myanmar’s 14 regions have been struck, with officials saying 74 people have been killed and more than 330,000 affected, many forced into monasteries and other makeshift shelters after their homes were inundated.” (ABC-Australia

Amnesty International considers sex worker policy change
The rights group will vote on a proposal to support the decriminalization of prostitution. In doing so, the rights group has waded into a heated debate over the best way to ensure the safety and rights of sex workers around the world. (Humanosphere

The disturbing toll of ethnic clashes in Kenya’s Rift Valley
“At least 310 Kenyans have been killed and more than 215,000 forced from their homes this year in ethnic violence in northern Kenya, the U.N. said Wednesday. While violence between rival groups is common in Kenya’s northern Rift Valley regions, the number killed and forced to flee in the first six months of this year is already the same as the total for all of 2014. ‘Violent intercommunal conflicts continued to be widespread in northern Rift Valley,’ the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said in a statement.” (Yahoo


Sierra Leone has only four recorded cases of Ebola, the West African nation’s head of Ebola said Thursday, adding that he is hopeful the countdown to zero can soon begin. (AP

Uganda’s Supreme Court ruled Thursday that refunding of goods paid to a bride’s family after divorce was illegal, sparking celebration by rights groups who said women would no longer be “chained in violent relationships.” (AFP

By day, the streets of Burundi’s capital Bujumbura are filled with the sounds of market traders and the honking horns of traffic in the lakeside city. By night, they echo instead to the rattle of gunfire as the violence unleashed by President Pierre Nkurunziza’s successful bid for a third term in office rumbles on. (AFP

South Sudan’s bishops have called on leaders to put the fate of the country before their pursuit of power, and sign a deal to end 19 months of civil war. (AFP

A new report by Human Rights Watch said there’s also been a “spate of arbitrary arrests and torture” in Burundi since April. That’s when violence first erupted after President Pierre Nkurunziza announced he would seek a third term. (VOA

South African President Jacob Zuma defended the decision to let Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir evade an arrest warrant and leave the country in June, saying on Thursday the wanted leader had had immunity as a guest of the African Union. (Reuters


A passenger plane flew into Aden on Thursday, the first civilian aircraft to land in Yemen’s second city in more than four months, airport director Tarek Abdo said. (AFP

The U.N. Security Council is expected to adopt on Friday a draft resolution that would set up a panel to determine who is responsible for deadly chlorine gas attacks in Syria, diplomats said. (AFP

A suicide bomber killed at least 15 people in an attack on a mosque used by members of a local security force in southwest Saudi Arabia on Thursday, the interior ministry said, an assault that an online statement said was carried out by Islamic State. (Reuters


Pakistani authorities say the nationwide death toll from monthlong flooding has risen to 169, as rescuers use helicopters and boats to move stranded residents to higher ground. (AP

Australia has turned around more than 600 asylum seekers trying to reach its shores on 20 separate boats since enacting controversial new border controls in December 2013, Immigration Minister Peter Dutton said on Thursday. (Reuters

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi expressed concern Thursday that massive flooding in much of the country might be used as a pretext to undermine November’s general election. (AP

The Americas

The Dominican Republic has strongly denied allegations that citizens of Haitian descent have been arbitrarily and illegally deported to Haiti following the government’s implementation of legislation designed to document and regularize the country’s population. (Guardian

President Dilma Rousseff’s approval rating remains at rock bottom while a growing number of Brazilians want to see her impeached and fewer think she will see the end of her term, according to a poll published on Thursday. (Reuters

A severe drought in Puerto Rico is forcing businesses to temporarily close, public schools to cancel breakfast service and people to find creative ways to stay clean amid sweltering temperatures. (AP

While most of Latin America has been reducing poverty, Mexico is moving in the other direction: new official figures reflect an increase in the number of poor in the last two years, despite the billions of dollars channeled into a broad range of programs aimed at combating the problem. (IPS

After nearly four years of delays, legislative elections will take place Sunday in Haiti, but voters hardly seem to care. (AFP

A Brussels-based think tank has warned Venezuela of an impending humanitarian calamity in tandem with growing political instability. (IPS

...and the rest

TPP, bad for your health? The most recently leaked draft of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement shows it may pose a risk to public health because of excessive intellectual property protections for medicines, according to an expert on the impact of international trade agreements on healthcare. (Guardian

When the United Nations seeks outside financial assistance either for development needs or to advocate social causes, it invariably turns to the private sector these days. (IPS

According to data from the Population Reference Bureau, a nonpartisan Washington, D.C., research group, a staggering 506,795 girls and women in the United States have undergone or are at risk of undergoing FGM/C. (IPS


No Aid, No Tax, No Development (IPS

A Peace Deal with Colombia’s FARC Insurgency is Tantalizingly Close (UN Dispatch

52 signs you shouldn’t become an aid worker (WhyDev

Kenya’s rampant corruption is eating away at the very fabric of democracy (Guardian

Is Burundi really on brink of a bloodbath? (Daily Maverick

America is on the wrong side of history (Guardian

How does Change Happen in global commodities markets? The case of Palm Oil (From Poverty to Power

Are we ready for a ‘universal’ development agenda? (Devex

Weak governance is not always a bad thing (Cherokee Gothic

Can WASH deliver more than just sanitation? (People, Spaces, Deliberation

Challenges for a Public Private Partnership in Pakistani Healthcare (Prosper


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]