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News in the Humanosphere: Iraqi army storms Falluja with US air support

Smoke billows on the horizon as Iraqi military forces prepare for an offensive into Fallujah to retake the city from Islamic State militants in Iraq, Monday, May 30, 2016.

The Iraqi army stormed to the southern edge of Falluja under U.S. air support on Monday and captured a police station inside the city limits, launching a direct assault to retake one of the main strongholds of Islamic State militants. The battle for Falluja is shaping up to be one of the biggest ever fought against Islamic State, in the city where U.S. forces waged the heaviest battles of their 2003-2011 occupation against the Sunni Muslim militant group’s precursors. Falluja is Islamic State’s closest bastion to Baghdad and believed to be the base from which the group has plotted an escalating campaign of suicide bombings against Shi’ite civilians and government targets inside the capital. (Reuters  

More than 50 people shot in Chicago, with four killed, during Memorial Day weekend holiday. Among the youngest shooting victims is a 15-year-old girl who was fatally shot while riding in a car with a documented gang member on Lake Shore Drive. (NBC

Progress in the global fight against extreme poverty is slowing due to a rise in income inequality. A new report shows that most progress against poverty has been in China and Latin America, where political and economic setbacks threaten to reverse those gains. More than 40 percent of the African population continues to live in extreme poverty. (VOA


Kenya seeks to oust some 600,000 people from refugee camps, including closing down Dadaab – the world’s largest refugee camp made up mostly of Somalis fleeing violence in their country. (USA Today

It’s not clear if Uganda has, or has not, cut ties to North Korea.  According to ABC News, Uganda has decided to abide by U.N. sanctions and ended its plan to collaborate militarily with the hermit kingdom to collaborate instead with South Korea. But one Ugandan newspaper notes some weasel words in the government’s lingo and raises doubts. (New Vision

Former Chad President Hissene Habre, a Cold War ally of the West, was convicted on Monday of war crimes and crimes against humanity for ordering the killing and torture of thousands of political opponents during his eight-year rule. The verdict capped a 16-year battle by victims and rights campaigners to bring the former strongman to justice in Senegal, where he fled after being toppled in a 1990 coup in his impoverished central African nation. (Reuters


A photograph of a drowned migrant baby in the arms of a German rescuer was distributed on Monday by a humanitarian organization aiming to persuade European authorities to ensure safe passage to migrants, after hundreds are feared to have drowned in the Mediterranean last week. (Reuters

A court in Saudi Arabia sentenced a member of an independent human rights organization to eight years in prison in the latest guilty verdict to be issued against the group’s members, rights group Amnesty International said. Abdulaziz al-Shubaily is the only founding member of the Saudi Association for Civil and Political Rights, known by its Arabic acronym HASEM, not behind bars. He acted as a legal representative for nine other founding HASEM members. (NYTimes


Rodrigo Duterte became the 16th president of the Philippines on Monday when a joint session of Congress declared him winner of a May 9 election, succeeding Benigno Aquino, who steps down next month after six years in office. (Reuters

India to drive world economic growth in the next decade: At a forum forecasting Asia’s future economic trends, Singapore’s former prime minister says India today is where China was 10 years ago and holds promise to be the prime driver of growth in the years ahead. (Economic Times

China is relying on millions of internal migrants taking up jobs in cities to boost the urban population and consumption. It hopes this will fuel more sustainable long-term economic growth and reduce the country’s reliance on big industry and exports that powered the country’s rise in the last three decades. But migration is slowing down, and workers are more reluctant to travel across the country to find jobs – trends that could undermine these efforts. (Reuters

The Americas

The police in Brazil said on Saturday that they had made the first arrest in the search for more than 30 possible attackers in the gang rape of a 16-year-old girl, a case that has prompted widespread outrage and vows by the federal government to combat crimes against women, news agencies reported. (NYTimes

Venezuela appears to be shutting down. This country has long been accustomed to painful shortages, even of basic foods. But in recent weeks, the government has taken what may be one of the most desperate measures ever by a country to save electricity: a shutdown of many of its offices for all but two half-days each week. But that is only the start of the country’s woes. Electricity and water are being rationed, and huge areas of the country have spent months with little of either. (NYTimes

…and the rest

A small Swiss village has opted to pay a hefty fine of £200,000 rather than offer shelter to just 10 Syrian refugees. The village, which has about 300 millionaires, thinks the refugees “won’t fit in.” (The Inquisitr


Ongoing U.S. military conflicts makes Memorial all too relevant (Kansas City Star

Africa is familiar with Donald Trump’s brand of populism (Quartz

Angelina Jolie should open her doors to refugees – or shut up (Telegraph


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