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News in the Humanosphere: Burkina Faso issues warrant for former leader

Former President of Burkina Faso Blaise Compaore. (CTBTO/Flickr)

Burkina Faso has issued an international warrant for ousted leader Blaise Compaore for his suspected role in the mysterious 1987 killing of his former comrade, ex-president Thomas Sankara, a judicial source said Monday. The source, speaking on condition of anonymity, told AFP that Compaore, who is living in exile in the Ivory Coast, had been charged with an “attack” and “assassination.” Compaore was toppled from power by a popular uprising in October 2014 after ruling Burkina Faso with an iron fist for 27 years. Sankara, a revolutionary figure who is still a hero to many in west Africa, was killed on October 15, 1987, during the coup that brought his friend and former comrade-in-arms Compaore to power. (AFP

Men who have sex with men permitted to donate blood in the U.S., but…The United States government on Monday overturned its 30-year ban on blood donations by gay men, saying they can now donate 12 months after their last sexual contact with another man. ‘Ultimately, the 12-month deferral window is supported by the best available scientific evidence, at this point in time, relevant to the U.S. population,’ Dr. Peter Marks, deputy director of the FDA’s biologics division, said in a statement. The move brings the United States in line with countries such as the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand which also have 12-month deferment periods. Gay rights advocates said the updated policy remains discriminatory. (Reuters

Humanity affirming story of the day…“Abdi Mohamud Abdi, a Muslim who was among the passengers in Monday’s incident, told Reuters that more than 10 al Shabaab militants boarded the bus and ordered the Muslim passengers to split away from the Christians, but they refused. ‘We even gave some non-Muslims our religious attire to wear in the bus so that they would not be identified easily. We stuck together tightly,” he said. ‘The militants threatened to shoot us but we still refused and protected our brothers and sisters. Finally they gave up and left but warned that they would be back,’ he said.” (Reuters

FIFA scandal fallout…Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini were each banned for eight years by the FIFA ethics committee on Monday in a stunning removal of world soccer’s most powerful leaders.


Nigeria’s army says that three child suicide bombers set off explosions that killed six others and injured at least 24 people. (VOA

Niger’s opposition parties rejected a newly audited voter register on Monday, saying the process did not meet their demands and casting doubt on presidential and parliamentary elections set for February. (Reuters

An African Union official says the continental body and the rest of the international community will not sit by and watch the escalation of violence and human rights violations and abuses continue in Burundi. (VOA

Two prominent Sudanese editors are facing the death penalty over claims they are “inciting an Arab spring” and have introduced anti-government editorial policies at their newspapers. (Guardian

A delegation of South Sudan’s rebels has returned to the capital after two years of exile to start implementing a peace agreement signed four months ago, officials said Monday. (AP


Forces loyal to Yemen’s government fought their way into the province surrounding the capital on Monday, tribal sources said, the closest they have advanced toward Sanaa since the Houthi movement seized it in September last year. (Reuters


In one of the deadliest attacks against American forces in Afghanistan this year, a Taliban suicide bomber on a motorcycle drove into a military convoy near Bagram Air Base on Monday, killing six American soldiers, a United States official said. (NYT

Some of the Indonesian men arrested at the weekend after tip-offs that they were planning a string of militant attacks had received funding from Syria, hardening evidence of their links to Islamic State, police said on Monday. (Reuters

At least 85 people were missing in China on Monday a day after a giant flow of mud and construction waste spewed out of an overfull dump in a boomtown and buried 33 buildings in its latest industrial disaster. (Reuters

After 50 years of military rule in Myanmar, one of the many challenges facing Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy when it takes power next year will be the country’s rampant child labor problem. (VOA

A court in India has sentenced seven men to death for the brutal rape and murder in February of a Nepalese woman. (BBC  

Beijing has ordered 2,100 factories to suspend or reduce production as part of its “red alert” measures to deal with smog, the government said Monday, as the city remained shrouded under toxic haze for the third consecutive day. (AFP

As the United States negotiated this year’s nuclear pact with Iran, the State Department quietly agreed to spare the Gulf sultanate of Oman from an embarrassing public rebuke over its human rights record, rewarding a close Arab ally that helped broker the historic deal. (Reuters

India’s top court said on Monday it had no power to detain the youngest of the men convicted of the 2012 gang rape of a woman on a bus in New Delhi in a case that shocked the nation, a day after he was released after three years in custody. (Reuters

Prosecutors in eastern China have filed a lawsuit against a county-level environmental protection department, accusing it of “failing to fulfil its regulatory duties” in its supervision of a local sewage firm, China’s top prosecutor said on Monday. (Reuters

The Americas

As Los Angeles grapples with a huge homelessness problem, El Nino weather patterns are likely to bring torrential downpours in coming months and add to the misery of the thousands of people who sleep on the city’s streets. (Reuters

The previous elected mayor is in jail, and the new one wants to “turn the page” on the ugliest chapter in the history of the Mexican city of Iguala. (AP

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff’s key ally in Congress is certain it can head off an impeachment threat, but in return the party demands a radical change of policy course to pull the economy out of its deepest downturn in 25 years. (Reuters

A year after work started on a canal across Nicaragua by a Chinese consortium there is no further sign of progress beyond the dirt paths the Hong Kong Nicaragua Development Group carved out near the mouth of the Brito River, meant to be the Pacific Ocean gateway to the $50-billion canal. (AFP

U.S. President Barack Obama said his administration is open to some “legitimate criticism” for failing to adequately explain its strategy to counter Islamic State, though he chided Republican presidential candidates for criticizing his policy without offering an alternative. (Reuters

…and the rest

Austria’s Vice Chancellor said on Monday that Austria could not accept much more than the roughly 100,000 asylum seekers it expects to receive this year, following a pledge from its larger neighbor Germany to limit arrival numbers. (Reuters

Hungary has accused Austria of confusing “solidarity and stupidity” after Vienna said that nations which do not accept their share of refugees under European Union quotas should face sanctions. (AFP

Belgian police raided homes in Brussels late on Sunday and on Monday, detaining five people for questioning in an investigation linked to militant attacks in Paris that killed 130 people in November, prosecutors said. (Reuters

Switzerland and the European Union are looking into an escape clause in bilateral economic accords that could let Berne curb admissions of EU workers in cases of severe economic and social disruption, officials said on Monday. (Reuters


Has the World Trade Organisation Failed Poor Countries? (Al Jazeera

Homeless people are not cockroaches or vermin – they are human and have rights (Guardian

Merkel and Trudeau on terror and multiculturalism (The Interpreter

Could the UN have done more to prevent Burundi’s escalating violence? (Guardian

Can trains solve Kampala’s traffic problem? (VOA

How a Drug Can Protect Girls Against HIV Infection (The Conversation

Fact file: same-sex marriage around the world (AFP



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