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News in the Humanosphere: ICC throws out case against Kenya’s Deputy President

Deputy President of Kenya William Ruto at the WTO public forum. (WTO/flickr)

Judges at the International Criminal Court on Tuesday threw out post-election violence charges against Kenyan Deputy President William Ruto, giving him a major boost as he prepares to make another run for office in elections next year. In a complex ruling on Tuesday, ICC judges declared that there was no case for Ruto and his co-accused, broadcaster Joshua Sang, to answer.  (Reuters

Panama Papers, scalp # 1….The prime minister of Iceland stepped down on Tuesday, according to his deputy, succumbing to political pressure two days after an enormous leak of documents from a secretive Panamanian law firm about offshore shell companies and tax shelters. (NYT

Zuma survives…South Africa’s scandal-plagued President Jacob Zuma on Tuesday survived an impeachment vote in parliament launched after the constitutional court ruled he had ignored an order to repay state funds spent on his private home. (Reuters

Anti-polio justice league…Pakistan and Afghanistan, the two remaining countries where polio is endemic, have joined forces to eradicate polio by vaccinating their children in synchronised campaigns. (IPS

Monk of the Day…Myanmar’s former president Thein Sein has shed his formal attire and his hair to join the Buddhist monkhood. (AP


Congolese troops deployed across parts of the capital Brazzaville on Tuesday as business slowed to a trickle a day after heavy fighting in opposition bastions that sent thousands fleeing for safety. (AFP

Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita Monday decreed a state of emergency over the entire Malian territory for a period of ten days because of “terrorist threats,” an official source announced. (Algerie Press Service

The state broadcaster in Ethiopia says 28 people have been killed in severe flooding in two remote regions. (VOA

Uganda’s main opposition leader was arrested and charged on Tuesday during his first public outing since police lifted a weeks-long house arrest. (AFP

French prosecutors have opened a preliminary investigation into new allegations of sexual abuse against French troops based in Central African Republic, a judiciary source said on Tuesday. (AFP

Chad remains on alert for Boko Haram attacks four months after a state of emergency was declared around Lake Chad.  Local self-defense groups in the village of Baga Sola near Lake Chad are working alongside security forces. (VOA

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has expressed grave concern over a surge of mob killings in Malawi against people accused of murder and, in some cases, suspected of witchcraft. (VOA


U.N. Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura, the mediator of Syrian peace talks, is traveling to Moscow on Tuesday to discuss preparations for the next round of talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, de Mistura’s office said. (Reuters

The Islamic State militant group released a video on Tuesday suggesting it may carry out further attacks in the West, naming London, Berlin and Rome as possible targets. (Reuters

Residents of Tripoli have started to breathe a little easier since the head of a new unity government came to town promising a way out of Libya’s political and economic crises. (AFP


Two Vietnamese women have tested positive for the Zika virus, the Ministry of Health said on Tuesday, the first confirmed cases of the mosquito-transmitted infection in the Southeast Asian country. (AFP

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has ordered a multiagency investigation into the Panama Papers exposé, which includes the names of more than 500 Indians ranging from Bollywood stars to big industrialists and a real estate tycoon. (VOA

A leading international environmental group has called on the Cambodian government to investigate an attack on a young forest activist who was slashed with a machete while she slept in a hammock after patrolling for illegal loggers. (AP

Seychelles parliament voted on Tuesday to amend the archipelago’s constitution and limit presidents to two five-year terms in office, officials said, in contrast to wider Africa where many presidents have sought to extend term limits. (Reuters

A UN report obtained highlighted regulatory lapses between the United Nations and outside groups linked to a Chinese real estate mogul who is accused of bribing former General Assembly president John Ashe. (AFP

Cambodian lawmakers have approved a proposed law setting rules for creating and running trade unions, which rights groups decried Tuesday as designed to curb workers’ rights and limit their ability to stage strikes. (AP

Research commissioned by Vietnam has warned of devastating environmental and economic effects for millions of people living along the Mekong River if 11 proposed dams are built on its mainstream. (AP

The Americas

Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff on Tuesday said she is not planning a cabinet reshuffle, ignoring calls for immediate changes in her administration that would help secure political support to defeat an upcoming impeachment vote. (Reuters

Venezuela’s economy went into a tailspin last year when oil prices crashed. ­The government relies on oil exports for 95 percent of its revenue, including funding for state hospitals. A lack of resources is now crippling the public healthcare system, leaving pregnant women and young children especially vulnerable. (IRIN

As the Zika outbreak takes hold in Latin America, researchers thousands of miles away in Hawaii are using data to figure out where it might spread next. (AP

Refugee Crisis

EU member states reported a record 1.82 million illegal border crossings last year, a surge that made Europe more vulnerable to militant attacks, border agency Frontex said on Tuesday. (Reuters

France acknowledged on Tuesday that its intake of Syrian refugees had been slow and insufficient, but vowed to double efforts to meet commitments in light of a deal agreed between the European Union and Turkey. (Reuters

Several dozen migrants being detained at a holding camp on the Greek island of Lesbos protested behind the barbed wire fence of the compound on Tuesday, shouting “We want freedom!” (Reuters

Thousands of people being held in migrant detention camps with the prospect of deportation to Turkey have applied for asylum, Greek authorities said Tuesday, which could slow the rate of returns under a European Union-Turkey deal. (AP


It’s Campaign Season for UN Secretary General…And It Is Pretty Radical (UN Dispatch

Secret aid worker: fixing the humanitarian and development divide (Guardian

Panama Papers a very big deal (CNN

Panama Papers: How did Panama become a tax haven? (BBC News

Atrocities in conflict mean we need the Geneva conventions more than ever (Guardian

Some fascinating new research on how food prices affect people’s lives and politics (From Poverty to Power

Will the Panama leaks drive development action? (Devex

Between hype and frustration: social media in emergencies (WhyDev

Why I Love Riding On The Women-Only Car On Delhi’s Metro (Goats and Soda


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