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News in the Humanosphere: Massive earthquake kills more than 350 in Ecuador

Ecuador earthquake map indicating the epicenter and the ShakeMap MMI contours. The earthquake was located at 0.371°N 79.940°W depth=19.2 km (11.9 mi) (Credit: USGS)

The death toll from Ecuador’s biggest earthquake in decades soared to 350 on Monday as survivors cobbled together makeshift coffins to bury loved ones, lined up for water and sought shelter beside the rubble of their shattered homes. The 7.8 magnitude quake struck off the Pacific coast on Saturday and was felt around the Andean nation of 16 million people, causing panic as far away as the highland capital Quito and destroying buildings, bridges and roads. (Reuters

Brazil’s lower house votes to impeach president…After six hours of voting, the lower house in the Brazillian government voted to impeach embattled President Dilma Rousseff. A total of 367 lawmakers voted against her, easily crossing the two-thirds threshold of 342 votes. The Senate will take up the vote next where only a simple majority is needed to force Rousseff to either step down within 180 or face an impeachment trial. (CNN

Quote of the day: “May all of our brothers and sisters on this continent, like the good Samaritan, come to your aid in the spirit of fraternity, solidarity and respect for human dignity,” Pope Francis, in Lesbos. He took 12 asylum seeker back with him to Italy.  (WaPo


Three Gambian opposition party members have died in detention following a demonstration earlier this week calling for electoral reforms in the tiny West African nation, the United Nations said Sunday. (WaPo

The death toll from a raid carried out by South Sudanese gunmen in western Ethiopia has risen to 208 people and the assailants kidnapped 108 children, an Ethiopian official said on Sunday. (Reuters

The African Union peacekeeping mission in Somalia apologized for accidentally killing four civilians Saturday after soldiers mistook them for al Shabab fighters when they failed to stop at a roadblock. (AFP

A Burundi official said Sunday that four members of the country’s ruling party were killed in an attack in continuing violence associated with the extended tenure of President Pierre Nkurunziza. (AP

Mali bid a final farewell on Saturday to Malick Sidibe, an award-winning photographer considered a national treasure for his unique studio portraits and candid black-and-white depictions of popular culture in his West African homeland. (Reuters


French President Francois Hollande met with Syrian refugee children in eastern Lebanon on Sunday before he was to head to Egypt as part of a four-day regional tour. (AFP

The United States on Saturday transferred nine Yemeni detainees from its wartime prison at Guantánamo Bay to Saudi Arabia, completing a long-sought diplomatic deal ahead of a planned visit to Riyadh by President Obama in the coming week. (NYT

The Syrian opposition’s chief negotiator on Sunday said there could be “no compromise” on Bashar al-Assad’s ouster, as he called for renewed attacks on regime forces despite a truce. (AFP

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held a cabinet meeting in the Golan Heights for the first time on Sunday, declaring that Israel would never return the territory to Syria. (WSJ

The United Nations said its staff had returned to Tripoli and Libya’s unity government vowed further steps to assert its authority Sunday, on the eve of a crucial confidence vote. (AFP

Many Syrian refugees in Lebanon say their lives have ground to a halt since new measures made it almost impossible for them to obtain or renew their residence permits. (AFP


Police in Bangladesh questioned a prominent journalist and close aide of opposition leader and ex-Prime Minister Khaleda Zia over the weekend for his alleged role in a conspiracy to kidnap the only son of the current prime minister. (AP

Myanmar’s new president has pardoned 83 prisoners held for political crimes, officials said Sunday, just weeks after the first government in half a century not connected to the military took office. (Reuters

Urban warfare has caused a spike in deaths and injuries among women and children in Afghanistan this year as the Taliban intensifies their campaign against the Kabul government, the United Nations said on Sunday. (Reuters

India and oil-rich Iran today decided to significantly expand engagement in their overall ties, particularly in boosting Indian investment in joint ventures in oil and gas sectors in the Persian Gulf nation where foreign investors from major economic powers are rushing in to get early footholds after lifting of nuclear sanctions. (Economic Times

The Indian government on Sunday announced that it proposes to simplify procedures for grant of Indian citizenship to minority Hindus from Pakistan. (Times of INdia )

The slow trickle of Afghan refugees returning home is at historic lows, dwarfed by the hundreds of thousands being displaced by ongoing fighting and economic problems, according to United Nations officials. (Reuters

Rescuers used shovels to dig through mountains of soil Sunday as they raced against the threat of more landslides to reach people still trapped by two big earthquakes in Japan. (AFP

The head of Papua New Guinea’s police anti-corruption unit has been sacked after arresting several high-profile figures close to the government, according to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. (Reuters

The Americas

Heavy rains have caused severe flooding and cut water service to 4.5 million people around Chile’s capital, Santiago, officials said Sunday. (AP

Storms and floods in Uruguay have killed seven people and driven 2,000 from their homes in recent days, authorities said Sunday. (AFP

Colombia’s FARC leftist rebel force called on Sunday for Pope Francis’s support to prevent other armed groups from disrupting its efforts to seal a peace deal with the government. (AFP

U.S. Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump has rung alarm bells around the world with his proclamations on foreign policy, but his targets are increasingly shrugging off his barbs. (AFP

Two major financiers of the Agua Zarca dam project in Honduras have suspended their financial support in the wake of the high-profile murders of Berta Cáceres and Nelson Garcia, activists who opposed the dam. (GlobalPost

…and the rest

The Czech Republic cannot rule out legal action if the European Union tries to put in place any permanent quota system for distributing asylum seekers, Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka said on Sunday. (Reuters

Thousands of people have rallied in Brussels for a “march against hate” in the wake of the suicide bombings in the city last month which killed 32 people. (AP


Peru’s Very Not Normal Election (UN Dispatch

7 questions we want the candidates for U.N. secretary-general to answer (Humanosphere

GiveDirectly just announced a basic income grant experiment. Here is how to make it better. (Development Impact

GiveDirectly is about to provide guaranteed basic income to 6,000 low-income Kenyans for 10-15 years (Africanist Perspective

While everyone was focused on Zika, yellow fever quietly became a global threat (Vox

Here’s why some people think Brazil is in the middle of a ‘soft coup’ (Monkey Cage

The Epidemiologist Who Gave CNN Sass For Asking A Stupid Question (Goats and Soda

No, aid doesn’t cause corruption – the problem starts with us (WhyDev

The solution to the migrant crisis is jobs in low income countries (Guardian

Maturing Microfinance Institutions: Gauging Results (Prosper CSIS

#allmalepanels in international development are about more than just the absence of women (Aidnography


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