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News in the Humaonsphere: Will Congo-Brazzaville go the way of Burkina Faso or Burundi?

Denis Sassou Nguesso, president of the Republic of the Congo, addresses the general debate of the 64th session of the General Assembly. (Credit: U.N. Photo/Marco Castro)

At least four people demonstrating against plans to lift presidential term limits in Congo Republic were killed when police opened fire after the crowd refused to disperse, protesters said. Thousands of opposition supporters took to the streets against Sunday’s planned referendum on removing constitutional term limits for President Denis Sassou Nguesso, who has ruled the oil producer for all but five years since 1979. Residents said the violence in Brazzaville was among the worst since Sassou Nguesso retook power in 1997 at the end of a brief civil war. (Reuters

More attacks on refugees in Sweden
Arsonists attacked asylum seekers’ housing in the small town of Munkedal in southern Sweden early Tuesday, the latest in a wave of attacks as migrant numbers, and tensions, rise. “A civilized country like Sweden cannot accept that housing centers of asylum seekers should become prey to arsonists.” Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom said on Twitter. (AFP

Fact of the day
More than half a million refugees and migrants have arrived by sea in Greece this year and the rate of arrivals is rising with more than 8,000 coming on Monday alone, in a rush to beat the onset of freezing winter, the United Nations said on Tuesday. (Reuters

Fact of the day No. 2
Nearly two-thirds of the world’s illiterate adults are women, a proportion that has remained stubbornly unchanged for the past 20 years, according to a global report assessing progress towards gender equality, published on Tuesday. (Guardian


Agence France-Presse and Radio France International filed a complaint after their correspondent in Burundi was held and badly beaten after being arrested by security forces in August. (AFP

Uganda’s army has begun its pull-out from neighboring South Sudan, in line with a peace deal aimed at ending nearly two years of civil war, an official said Tuesday. (AFP

Angola’s main opposition political party has asked President José Eduardo dos Santos to explain why the state was not using strategic oil funds from oil revenue to help the ailing economy in its response to last week’s state of the nation address. (Reuters


Ban Ki-moon has flown into Jerusalem for talks with the Israeli and Palestinian leaders amid mounting international efforts to end weeks of violence. (Guardian )

A U.N. official said Tuesday that recent fighting in northern Syria has displaced tens of thousands of people – some of them staying in open fields with nowhere to go – as clashes between Russian-backed Syrian government forces and opposition fighters intensified. (AP

Islamic State militants “most probably” used the banned chemical weapon mustard gas against Kurdish forces in Iraq and international inspectors have been asked to investigate, diplomatic sources. (Reuters

U.N. attempts to broker a national government with Libya’s warring factions stalled on Tuesday after the elected parliament rejected a draft of an agreement meant to end the crisis. (Reuters

Human rights experts at the United Nations have called on Qatar to release a poet sentenced to 15 years in prison over verses considered offensive to the Gulf nation’s former ruler. (AP

Bahraini officials have apologized over police taking down Shiite banners and flags marking Ashoura, an action that sparked clashes earlier in the day in the island kingdom. (AP


Bangladesh police said Tuesday they are investigating an email sent to various media organizations reportedly by a banned Islamist group threatening to topple “towering buildings” and telling the media not to run anything that goes against what it called jihad. (AP

India’s Women and Child Welfare Ministry on Tuesday denied that comments made to Reuters about the impact of budget cuts on a child nutrition program constituted a criticism of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s policies. (Reuters

Cambodia’s fight against malaria is at risk of being derailed because of a dispute over expenses payments between the Cambodian government and the Global Fund, the biggest donor to the country’s malaria program. (Guardian

An unlicensed medical practitioner who infected more than 100 villagers in northwestern Cambodia with HIV by reusing unclean needles went on trial Tuesday, facing three charges including murder, his lawyer said. (AP

The United States said on Tuesday that the use of religion in politics violated Myanmar’s constitution, calling on the government to de-escalate religious tensions running high ahead of next month’s election. (Reuters

The Americas

Deadly pre-election violence has flared up in and around Haiti’s most notorious slum and resulted in the killings of two pregnant women and at least 13 other people in the densely populated district of shacks, community organizers and politicians said. (AP

The United States has withheld $5 million in anti-drug aid to Mexico over concerns about human rights in the country, the State Department said. (AP

Brazil’s huge anti-corruption campaign, which has already snared leading politicians and business executives, is a “revolution” in the way Latin America’s biggest country is run, the head of the Supreme Court said. (AFP

Puerto Rico legislators are warning they will seek amendments to a bill that would create an independent fiscal control board as the U.S. territory pushes to restructure a portion of its $72 billion public debt before the government runs out of money. (AP

…and the rest

The World Health Organization chief said preparedness, awareness and transparency are at the heart of the WHO reform process. (VOA

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Monday more should have been done to tackle the “root causes” of the worst refugee and migrant crisis since World War II. (AFP

Cabinet ministers warned on Tuesday that right-wing radicalism and xenophobia are on the rise in Germany after the anti-Islam PEGIDA movement held its biggest rally in months, spurred on by the arrival of hundreds of thousands of migrants. (Reuters

Governments have begun negotiating on an updated draft of a global climate change deal that was released on Tuesday morning at the latest round of U.N. talks in Bonn, amid relief new additions had not seen the text balloon. (TRF


Secret aid worker: there is a new trend of sexual violence in South Sudan (Guardian

Piketty thinks South Africa needs to redistribute land. Democracies can’t do that. Dictators can. (WaPo

Why it’s time to put gender into the inequality discussion (From Poverty to Power

Climate change and conflict: it’s complicated (IRIN

Fee protests point to a much deeper problem at South African universities (The Converstion

Global Thinkers: What Are Africa’s New Missionaries Peddling? (Foreign Policy

What we learned from Nigeria’s polio victory (Devex

GloCon (AidSpeak

The Murder of Thomas Sankara (Africa is a Country

What Guatemala can teach fragile states about cleaning up the justice system (Guardian

Time to Reform the Global Casino (IPS


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