News in the Humanosphere: Trouble in the Gambia

In recent days, the small West African country Gambia has seen a crackdown on opponents of long-serving dictator Yahya Jammeh. Several people have been arrested after organizing protests and a top political opponent is believed to have been tortured to death in jail. There will be an election later this year, and this crackdown appears to be intended to stifle dissent. Human Rights Watch, the U.S. and Ban Ki-moon have condemned this crackdown.  (HRW http://bit.ly/1qUwCgu)

Ecuador quake latest…Rescuers in Ecuador pulled three people out alive on Monday after being trapped for more than 32 hours in the rubble of a shopping center that was flattened by this weekend’s powerful earthquake. Televised images of the dramatic pre-dawn rescue in this port city gave Ecuadoreans hope that some of the scores of people still unaccounted for may yet be found even as the death toll from Saturday’s 7.8-magnitude quake, the worst to hit Ecuador in decades, climbed over 350. An American and two Canadians were among those confirmed dead.” (ABC http://abcn.ws/1qUuGV5)

A worthy Pulitzer pick…This is the investigation into slavery and seafood in South East Asia that netted the Associated Press a Pulitzer Prize for Public Service yesterday–oh, and also helped free 2,000 slaves. (AP http://bit.ly/1qUud5q )

Africa

A Mali official says four civilians have died, and seven have been wounded in protests at the airport of the northern city of Kidal against arrests made by French forces. (USN http://bit.ly/1qUv6uK)

Three officials with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) have been missing since Saturday in northern Mali, a spokesman for the organization said on Monday. (EuroNews http://bit.ly/1qUvgCe)

Somalia’s government said on Monday about 200 or more Somalis may have drowned in the Mediterranean Sea while trying to cross illegally to Europe, many of them teenagers, when the boat they were on capsized after leaving the Egyptian shore. (Reuters http://reut.rs/1qUvjxT)

Congo Republic’s government has intentionally bombed residential areas in the country’s south, reportedly killing at least 30 people, Amnesty International said on Monday. (Reuters http://bit.ly/23HdWCj)

The UN human rights chief voiced alarm Monday at a sharp increase in the use of torture in violence-torn Burundi, with nearly 400 cases recorded so far this year. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1SVnzCz)

From crowded cities to far-flung villages, women with unwanted pregnancies across West Africa are resorting to clandestine and unsafe abortions – driven by shame, stigma, and restrictive laws. (Reuters http://bit.ly/23TAoF2)

Boko Haram has been forced to produce its own fuel to power its motorbikes because of an acute petrol shortage caused by a military squeeze on supply lines. (AFP http://yhoo.it/23HdRP8)

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 http://bit.ly/1WBxS4e)

MENA

Jerusalem: Two buses burst into flames during Monday afternoon’s rush hour after an explosive device was detonated in one of the vehicles. More than 20 people were injured, two seriously, in what security officials called a terrorist attack. (WaPo http://wapo.st/1qUuQMi)

The situation is critical for more than 100,000 people trapped in the Azaz district of Aleppo governorate in northern Syria who are caught between an active Islamic State group frontline, Kurdish-controlled territories, and the Turkish border, warned Doctors Without Borders. (MSF http://bit.ly/1MDLzNK)

Around 50,000 Syrians are stranded in no man’s land along the border with Jordan, a three-fold increase since January because of increased security checks, state news agency Petra reported Monday. (AFP http://yhoo.it/23HdVhS)

A UN Security Council debate turned into a shouting match on Monday between the Israeli and Palestinian ambassadors, who exchanged cries of “Shame on you!” over ongoing violence. (AFP http://yhoo.it/23HdTq1)

Only 40 percent of the $3.5 billion donors pledged in October 2014 for Gaza’s reconstruction has been delivered, new World Bank figures reveal. (IRIN http://bit.ly/23HdZ0U)

Peace talks between Yemen’s warring parties have been delayed from their scheduled start on Monday, said a United Nations special envoy for the country. (VOA http://bit.ly/1MDMOwk)

Asia

India’s capital has banned chewing tobacco in an effort to lower the high incidence of mouth and throat cancers. (AP http://yhoo.it/1MDLAkW)

Afghan officials say flash floods in northern provinces have killed at least 38 people overnight. (AP http://yhoo.it/23TAhcD)

The United Nations warned Monday that growing attacks, as well as the misuse of medical and education facilities by all parties to the Afghan conflict, have reduced the availability of health care, and limited children’s access to these essential services in the past three years. (VOA http://bit.ly/1MDLF86)

Myanmar’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi vowed Monday to push for constitutional amendments to build a true democracy in the Southeast Asian country as it emerges from decades of military control. (AP http://yhoo.it/22Iljn8)

Authorities in China have launched an investigation after a report that hundreds of children attending a language school built near a polluted former industrial site developed health problems, including cancer, state news agency Xinhua reported on Monday. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1qCgAaE)

The World Health Organization is pressing Asian countries to cut their road death and injury toll in half by 2020. (VOA http://bit.ly/1qCgzDB)

The Americas

President Dilma Rousseff and her party allies seek to strike a defiant tone in Brazil’s streets and its Senate chamber after losing the first round of a bitter impeachment fight Sunday night. (WSJ http://on.wsj.com/1qUuXaO)

President Barack Obama’s bid to save his plan to spare millions of immigrants in the country illegally from deportation and give them work permits ran into trouble on Monday at the U.S. Supreme Court in a case testing the limits of presidential power. (Reuters http://reut.rs/1qUu6Xs)

A flood event of excessive proportions has crippled Houston and a vast region surrounding it.  Five to 17 inches of rain have fallen in the area in less than 24 hours, inundating homes and roads, while forcing more than 1,000 high water rescues. (WaPo http://wapo.st/1qUuzJn)

…and the rest

Greenpeace demonstrators have scaled statues around London, including the 169-foot Nelson’s Column in Trafalgar Square, fitting them with gas masks as part of a campaign to highlight air pollution. (AP http://yhoo.it/1MDLE47)

Opinion/Blogs

Can the IMF Help Angola Deepen Its Reform Agenda? (Chatham House http://bit.ly/1MDHn0D)

10 of the best humanitarians to follow on social media (Guardian http://bit.ly/1YDnBCX)

Why the Panama Papers Are a Feminist Issue (Fahamu http://bit.ly/1WBsxtw)

The war on drugs has failed: time to stop fighting and start thinking (Guardian http://bit.ly/1raX31H)

Climate Change Will the Middle East Become ‘Uninhabitable’? (IPS http://bit.ly/1raXqJO)

Ecuador, Japan quakes: Are they linked? (CNN http://cnn.it/1MDIgpZ)

Does Premature Paris Climate Deal Risk a Painful Birth? (TRF http://bit.ly/1qCaN4M)

A humanitarian’s guide to choosing the next UN chief (IRIN http://bit.ly/1SVmGKd)

Who will lead Brazil if Rousseff goes? (BBC http://bbc.in/1SVmISb)

Opposition brings down Rousseff, but can it lift Brazil? (AFP http://yhoo.it/1qTYqBx)

What Lies Behind Africa’s Lack of Access and Unreliable Power Supplies (The Conversation http://bit.ly/1WBxLpb)

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