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News in the Humanosphere: Earthquake strikes Af-Pak border, killing hundreds

The aid effort will in earnest today as the international community spent much of the day yesterday getting mobilized. The extent of the damage, and its political implications, is yet to be determined. “The earthquake struck at 1:39pm local time (0909 GMT), its epicentre high in the mountains of northeastern Afghanistan, near the Pakistan border. By nightfall, at least 130 fatalities had been confirmed. This included 94 in Pakistan, 33 in Afghanistan and three in Indian-administered Kashmir. Casualties are almost sure to rise in the coming days once rescue teams are able to reach areas where roads and communications have been knocked out.” (Irin

Live Updates: (First Post India )

Indonesian fires are an ecological disaster…Raging Indonesian forest fires have advanced into dense forest on Borneo and now threaten one third of the world’s remaining wild orangutans, say conservationists.Satellite photography shows that around 100,000 fires have burned in Indonesia’s carbon-rich peatlands since July. But instead of being mostly confined to farmland and plantations, as they are in most years, several thousand fires have now penetrated deep into primary forests and national parks, the strongholds of the remaining wild apes and other endangered animals.” (Guardian

Get outta town…Pro-Russian insurgents in Ukraine’s eastern separatist Donetsk region said Sunday they had banned Doctors Without Borders from working in the area for alleged espionage activity and other crimes. (AFP

Disappointing Bacon fact of the day: Eating processed meat is linked to causing cancer. Basically, bacon is bad for you, says a study published in The Lancet. (NPR Before you give up bacon entirely, read this explainer on the study via Vox:


Three civilians died in northern Mali when their vehicle hit a landmine, and two U.N. peacekeepers who went to the rescue were wounded when a second mine exploded, a Malian military source said on Monday. (Reuters

Escalating violence in northern Cameroon combined with an influx of refugees from Nigeria and Central African Republic is placing immense strain on local communities already struggling to survive, the United Nations’ aid chief said on Monday. (Reuters

Tanzania’s opposition Chadema party said on Monday police had detained 40 of its volunteers after a combined presidential and parliamentary election at the weekend, in an incident marring an otherwise broadly peaceful voting process. (Reuters

A referendum held in Congo Republic to decide whether the president can legally stand for a third consecutive term should be cancelled due to low turnout, a senior opposition leader said on Monday. (Reuters

Election observers gave Ivory Coast’s presidential vote a clean bill of health on Monday and early estimates put participation at a healthy 60 percent, allaying fears poor turnout would mar the expected reelection of President Alassane Ouattara. (Reuters

Ethiopia may be portrayed as an emerging African powerhouse, but prolonged drought has left 8.2 million people facing a major food security crisis. (Guardian

Lion populations in West, Central and East Africa are in danger of declining by as much as half in the next two decades, according to a study published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. (CBS

Would you trust a banker in a bow tie? The curious sartorial choices of the new president of the African Development Bank (MG Africa )


The governor of Egypt’s Alexandria has resigned over a poor response to flooding that devastated parts of the Mediterranean port city following a weekend rainstorm. (AP

Human Rights Watch said Monday it had been able to meet slain Libyan dictator Moamer Kadhafi’s son Saadi in a Tripoli prison, where he said his rights were being violated. (AFP

Heavily armed police in eastern Turkey have clashed with members of the so-called Islamic State in a fierce gun battle that lasted several hours and killed nine people, the deadliest encounter between security forces of the NATO ally and the jihadists so far. (Daily Beast


Bangladesh has arrested four suspects in connection with the killing of an Italian aid worker who was shot in the South Asian nation’s capital in September. (VOA

Indonesian police have arrested one of India’s most wanted gangsters, sought in more than two dozen murder cases, on the resort island of Bali, Indian federal police said on Monday, ending a two-decade-long international manhunt. (Reuters

Landslides in mountainous northern Pakistan caused by unseasonably heavy rain and snow have left thousands of tourists stranded, officials said on Monday, while record October rainfall hit the capital, Islamabad. (Reuters

As economy and population expand, the Indian government looks for new ways to keep homes comfortable and stop crops being ruined before they get to market. (Guardian

The U.S. Navy plans to send the destroyer USS Lassen within 12 nautical miles of artificial islands built by China in the South China Sea within 24 hours, in the first of a series of challenges to China’s territorial claims, a U.S. defence official said on Monday. (Reuters

The Americas

Argentine voters seemed to call a draw in Sunday’s presidential election, giving the two men a neck-and-neck finish and forcing a runoff in their bid to succeed President Cristina Fernandez, a polarizing leader who garnered both devotion and loathing as she spent heavily on the poor and blasted political opponents and even other nations like the United States. (AP

Former Bogota Mayor Enrique Penalosa won a tight race to regain his old job on Sunday, handing a stunning defeat to Colombia’s left that has governed the capital for the last 12 years. (VOA

Colombians largely spurned far-right and far-left candidates as they elected Sunday hundreds of local officials who will have a crucial role in implementing any peace agreement reached with leftist FARC rebels. (AFP

Guatemala’s jailed former president, Otto Perez, says he regrets bowing to U.S. pressure to extend the work of an anti-corruption unit that then toppled him from power and that it was U.S. Vice President Joe Biden who forced his hand. (Reuters

Voting appeared orderly and largely peaceful in presidential and parliamentary elections that Haitians hope will help consolidate democracy in this impoverished country with a history of political turbulence. (AP

…and the rest

On Sunday, European leaders met for yet another summit on the refugee crisis, which shows no signs of abating as winter draws in, and agreed to yet another action plan. (IRIN

Norway raised its forecasts on Monday for how many asylum seekers will arrive in 2015, as the government prepares to offer an amendment to its 2016 budget that could increase state spending to deal with the increased arrivals. (Reuters


How Bill McKibben became a climate activist (Global Dispatches Podcast

“I was never prouder to be a young African.” The South African Student Protests Were a Lesson of a Lifetime (UN Dispatch

Justice and peace – why we can’t have one without the other (Guardian

Dear Mr President, I was hoping to see you at the Union Buildings (Thought Leader

Building African nations and communities’ financial resilience to climate and disaster risks (Africa Can End Poverty

This new study should give universal pre-K advocates pause (Vox

The Perverse Game Theory of Argentina’s Messed-Up Election (Foreign Policy

South African students and universities may now be trapped in a cycle of conflict (The Conversation

What leaders read (Reinventing Peace


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