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News in the Humanosphere: Taliban insurgency at its strongest since 2001, says U.N.

A U.N. report issued to member states, but not publicly released, says that the Taliban insurgency is at its widest reach since 2001. This puts in context the battle over Kunduz, in which the Doctors Without Borders hospital was destroyed. “The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan over the past two weeks has evacuated four of its 13 provincial offices around the country – the most it has ever done for security reasons – according to local officials in the affected areas. The data, compiled in early September – even before the latest surge in violence in northern Afghanistan – showed that United Nations security officials had already rated the threat level in about half of the country’s administrative districts as either ‘high’ or ‘extreme,’ more than at any time since the American invasion ousted the Taliban in 2001.” (NYT

Ankara bombing, the aftermath
“Protesters took to the streets across Turkey on Sunday, a day after two apparent suicide bombings killed nearly 100 demonstrators in the capital and set off incendiary political recriminations just three weeks before general elections. Thousands of flag-waving demonstrators gathered near the scene of Saturday’s devastating blasts, which occurred as peace demonstrators were gathering just outside Ankara’s main rail station. Many chanted “Murderer government!” – reflecting sentiment among critics of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that his administration has pursued a military campaign against Kurdish separatists in order to stir up nationalist passions.” (LAT )

South Africa to leave the ICC?
South Africa plans to leave the International Criminal Court (ICC), a deputy minister said on Sunday, as the government faces criticism for ignoring a court order to arrest Sudan’s president earlier this year. The ICC has “lost its direction” and the ruling African National Congress (ANC) wants to withdraw South Africa after following certain processes, Obed Bapela, deputy minister in the Presidency, told reporters after a ruling party policy meeting. (Reuters

Long read of the day: The chains of mental illness in western Africa
Religious retreats, known as prayer camps, set up makeshift psychiatric wards, usually with prayer as the only intervention. Nine camps visited recently in Togo ranged from small family operations to this one, Jesus Is the Solution, by far the largest and most elaborate.” (NYT


U.N. peacekeepers in the Central African Republic clashed with rebels who were attempting to march on the capital, a military source told AFP Sunday, adding that the offensive ended with the militants taking flight. (AFP

Five suicide bombers killed 33 people in Chad and wounded 51 more in a coordinated attack suspected to be the work of the Nigerian Islamist militant group Boko Haram, a local government official said. (Reuters

Long lines formed in front of guarded polling booths across Guinea on Sunday as the West African country voted in its second free election in nearly 60 years since independence. (Reuters


An Arab Israeli stabbed four people near a bus stop in northern Israel on Sunday, as security forces confronted a spate of attacks against Israelis, mainly by Palestinians, in the Jewish state and the West Bank. (Reuters

Russian warplanes pounded Syrian rebels unaffiliated with Islamic State on Sunday, insurgents said, helping Moscow’s ally Bashar al-Assad reclaim territory and dealing a fresh setback to the strategy of Washington and its allies. (Reuters


Nepal’s lawmakers on Sunday chose a new prime minister who must reunite a country deeply divided over a fresh constitution, tackle crippling fuel shortages and kick-start reconstruction after two devastating earthquakes. (Reuters

Left outside the U.S.-backed Trans-Pacific Partnership  trade pact struck last week, China and India approach this week’s talks for a huge Asia-wide equivalent with fresh urgency, lest competitor nations steal a march on export access. (Reuters

A look at a new program in Pakistan to improve maternal and child care in rural areas. (IPS

An in-depth report on the Kunduz Doctors Without Borders hospital that was destroyed by American bombs. (WaPo


The Americas

The Mexican government says it’s working to address findings by a U.N. committee that its soldiers tortured four men accused of kidnapping in Baja California. (AP

One of Honduras’ most powerful businessmen is trying to calm clients after the government announced it would force the immediate liquidation of his family’s bank. (AP

…and the rest

For all their efforts to get 200 governments to commit to the toughest possible cuts in greenhouse gas emissions, climate negotiators have all but given up on creating a way to penalize those who fall short. (Reuters

The family of a British nurse who has been re-admitted to hospital with Ebola complications says she received bad medical advice in Scotland when she fell ill. (AP

France’s prestigious Bayeux-Calvados award for war correspondents on Saturday honoured journalists covering conflicts in Syria and Ukraine, as well as Europe’s worst migrant crisis since World War II. (AFP

Britain is stronger and safer and families are better off in the European Union, the so-called “in campaign” said on Monday, launching its fight to keep the country in the European Union by branding its opponents “quitters.” (Reuters


Will African Leaders Fight for our Farmers? (IPS

Is Dodd-Frank Coming to Kenya? (Global Anticorruption blog

The Curious Timing of Announcements at the ICC (Justice in Conflict

How can UK aid pursue development and British National Interest at the same time? (From Poverty to Power

Syria: Whose war is better? (Reinventing Peace

Stop teaching people to fish – and send them cash (WhyDev

For International Day Of The Girl, A Battle Of The Hashtags (Goats and Soda

How this week’s TPP trade deal will affect the developing world (ODI

Drought is a global problem – we need a global solution (Guardian


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