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News in the Humanosphere: The Pope and Chinese President make inaugural visits

Pope Francis. (Credit: Raffaele Esposito/flickr)

The Pope and Chinese President both make their inaugural visits to the United States. The Pope arrived in D.C. yesterday afternoon, the first leg of a four day visit that includes addressing congress on Thursday and the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals summit on Friday. Meanwhile, Xi Jinping arrived in Seattle on Tuesday where he was to meet with Bill Gates and an assortment of business leaders. In D.C., President Obama and Xi are expected to talk climate change.

Good rundown of the Xi visit. (Reuters

Useful day-by-day breakdown of the pope’s visit to the United States. (USA Today

Long read of the day
A year ago, 43 students disappeared in Mexico after they were attacked by the police in the middle of the night, and their relatives are still looking for answers. BuzzFeed News’ Karla Zabludovsky tells the story of a year of grief for the Abraján family.

All the news not fit to print
The local printer of the International New York Times decided not to publish Tuesday’s edition in Thailand because of an article on the future of the Thai monarchy that it called “too sensitive to print” in the country, where strict laws limit open discussion of the royal family. (AP


Cameroon’s army killed 11 Boko Haram militants in clashes in the northern town of Amchide early on Tuesday, the Ministry of Defense said. (Reuters

Several people were wounded as supporters of rival political factions clashed in northern Guinea, witnesses said Monday, as tension mounts in the race to elect a new president. (AFP

Mali’s government says it is postponing regional elections that have been opposed by a separatist group in the north. (AP

Northern Kenya, an arid region inhabited by nomadic pastoralists, is increasingly prone to droughts, a problem that has depleted livestock, water and pasture. Migration during drought periods exposes animals to diseases as they converge on remaining grazing land and watering points. (Reuters

Even as an international court tries Bosco Ntaganda for alleged war crimes, other ex-rebels hold key posts in the Democratic Republic of Congo, from President Joseph Kabila to government ministers, senators and generals. (AFP

China’s Shanghai Zendai Property on Tuesday launched the first phase of an $6.4 billion new city project in South Africa, saying the slowdown in the world’s second-largest economy would not affect construction. (Reuters

A Somali man has filed a complaint against the German government alleging it is partly responsible for the death of his herdsman father in a 2012 U.S. drone stroke. (AP

In Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, many people without formal addresses are denied access to services and a legal identity. But technology is set to change that. (Guardian

Burkina Faso in Turmoil

The leader of a coup in Burkina Faso said on Tuesday he was still in charge despite the passing of a deadline set by loyalist soldiers for his forces to surrender or face attack. (Reuters

Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari said on Tuesday that events in Burkina Faso, where loyalist soldiers moved to disarm the leaders of a coup last week, had undermined international efforts to negotiate a peaceful end to the crisis. (Reuters

The head of Burkina Faso’s transitional parliament, who has declared himself the West African nation’s interim leader, issued a decree on Tuesday dissolving the elite presidential guard, which carried out a coup last week. (Reuters

Burkina Faso’s Yacouba Isaac Zida, who had been held hostage since a coup led by the West African nation’s elite presidential guard last week, was freed on Tuesday, an adviser and a senior army officer loyal to the government said. (Reuters


Human Rights Watch on Tuesday accused Egypt’s military of having “violated international law” through mass home demolitions and evictions over the past two years along its border with Gaza. (AFP

Half of school-aged Syrian refugees in Lebanon will receive a free education under a new campaign launched Monday by the host country and the U.N.’s child and refugee agencies. (AFP

The U.N. envoy to Libya has presented the country’s warring factions a final draft of a peace deal and urged all parties to accept it. (AP


Protests against Nepal’s new constitution were abating, Nepal said Tuesday, just hours after police opened fire on a crowd and injured three in the east of the Himalayan nation. (AP

The Indian government backtracked Tuesday on a proposed requirement for all messages sent on social media and mobile chatting apps to be saved for several months as a way of defeating encryption technology. (AP

The top U.S. commander in Afghanistan on Tuesday denied there was ever a policy for forces to ignore Afghan officials’ sexual abuse of minors, days after a newspaper reported troops were told to look the other way to preserve relations with allies. (Reuters

The Asian Development Bank cut its growth forecast for the region’s developing economies, citing a softer outlook for China and India and a delayed recovery in the world’s advanced industrialized nations. (AP

On the occasion of World Car Free Day, India’s business hub of Gurgaon adjoining New Delhi experimented with encouraging people to leave their vehicles at home. It was not entirely successful, but was hailed as a much needed initiative to reduce alarming levels of pollution and traffic woes in Indian cities. (VOA

The Americas

Hillary Clinton has come out in opposition of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline. (NBC

Colombia and Venezuela have agreed to restore diplomatic dialogue and oversee “progressive normalization” of their border, after a meeting between Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and his counterpart Nicolas Maduro. (AFP

There has been a surge of killings in El Salvador, one of the world’s most violent countries, since the breakdown a year ago of a 2012 gang truce between the Barrio 18 criminal group and their rivals, the Mara Salvatrucha. And teachers and children are among the new targets. (VOA

...and the rest

Europe can expect a record 1 million people to request asylum this year as refugees flee war Syria and Iraq in droves, and EU leaders must set their differences aside to meet the challenge, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development said. (Reuters

A European Union proposal to find spaces for 120,000 refugees will not work unless reception facilities are provided for tens of thousands at any time, the U.N. refugee agency said on Tuesday. (Reuters

Deep in a tranquil Dutch forest a transformation is taking place, as the Netherlands scrambles to set up camp for thousands of migrants who will start arriving this week. (AFP


New Goals at the U.N. Reflect Failure of Imagination for International Development (Truthout

Can Burkina Faso – Africa’s most coup-prone state – become a stable democracy? (Monkey Cage

Surprised that Syrian refugees have smartphones? You’re an idiot (The Independent

South-South Cooperation Crucial for Sustainable Development Goals (IPS

There is no place for malnutrition in the 21st century (Guardian

The rocky road to democracy in Burkina Faso (IRIN

Public Interest, Private Sponsors (ActionAid

How we made Mozambique mine-free (Guardian

Wanted – a Binding International Instrument On Business and Human Rights (Fahamu

Why South Africa is primed for fundamental political realignment (The Conversation


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]