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News in the Humanosphere: Pope visits World Food Program

Pope Francis. (Credit: Raffaele Esposito/flickr)

Pope Francis told workers and diplomats Monday at the World Food Program it is “a strange paradox” that food often cannot get through to those suffering due to war but weapons can. Francis said that while aid is often obstructed, weapons are trafficked freely. “As a result, wars are fed, not persons. In some cases hunger itself is used as a weapon of war,” he said. “The death count multiplies because the number of people dying of hunger and thirst is added to that of battlefield casualties and the civilian victims of conflicts and attacks. We are fully aware of this, yet we allow our conscience to be anesthetized. We become desensitized.” (AP

It’s like Uber, but for navigating terrible traffic in the world’s sixth largest city… “The ride-hailing apps that are now part of daily life from New York to New Delhi and London are usually used to summon cars. Jakarta, the world’s sixth-largest urban sprawl and by some measures the most car-clogged, needed something different. In hindsight, the Go-Jek mobile app for hailing rides on motorcycles, to dodge and weave through traffic, was a no-brainer. But its sudden success over the past two years took even its founder by surprise. The app’s name is a play on “ojek,” the Indonesian word for freelance motorcycle taxis, now a rare sight in Jakarta after many drivers joined Go-Jek’s green-jacketed, GPS-coordinated ranks.” (AP


Eritrea on Monday accused arch-rival Ethiopia of attacking its heavily militarized border, but officials in Addis Ababa said they had no knowledge of the reported fighting. (AFP

Rwanda expelled about 400 Burundians back to their country accusing some of them of espionage and fueling tensions between the two small neighbors whose relations have been strained by Burundi’s political crisis, an official said. (Reuters

Leading opposition parties in the Democratic Republic of Congo say they have organized themselves under one umbrella called “Rassemblement” or “Rally” to force President Joseph Kabila to leave power. (VOA

Kenya’s parliament proposed giving the Supreme Court more time to hear petitions against future presidential votes, after weeks of protests by opposition parties accusing the main election body of bias. (Reuters

A group of 26 Mozambique civil society organizations said on Monday $1.86 billion of government debt arranged by Credit Suisse and Russia’s VTB Bank was illegal and should not be paid. (Reuters

Kenya must relax its November deadline for sending some 350,000 Somalis home from the world’s largest refugee complex as parts of their war-torn nation are unsafe, the United Nations refugee chief said on Monday. (Reuters

Villagers relocated to a sprawling government-owned farm complex in eastern Zimbabwe to make way for the nation’s biggest diamond field are hoping that President Robert Mugabe’s move to take control of the valued resource will benefit them. (Reuters


Bahraini police detained a prominent activist during a raid on his home early on Monday morning, rights groups and the activist’s family said, part of a wide crackdown on dissent more than five years after the Arab Spring. (AP

Iraq said Monday it had launched an investigation into possible human rights abuses against civilians fleeing the Islamic State-held city of Fallujah as an aid group said more than 4,000 more people had left the city over the weekend. (AP

Moroccan authorities said Tuesday they had arrested an Italian national on suspicion of plotting attacks in support of the Islamic State group. (AP

A Qatari court on Monday handed down a one-year suspended sentence for adultery to a Dutch woman that was drugged and raped in an upscale Doha night club. (VOA


The Indonesian capital’s reputation as one of the most congested cities is typically not an advantage with investors. But one company has become the country’s most visible technology success with an app that relieves some of the pain of its maddening traffic. (AP

Police found a severed head in the southern Philippines on Monday and are examining whether it belonged to a Canadian hostage who is believed to have been beheaded by Abu Sayyaf militants after a ransom deadline passed, officials said. (ABC )

A buying spree in the Asia-Pacific region propelled double-digit growth in the global arms market last year to a record $65 billion, defense analysts IHS Jane’s said Monday. (AFP

The United States is asking its allies helping with security in Afghanistan to maintain funding for Afghan forces at a cost of nearly $5 billion a year until at least 2020, a top U.S. military commander said on Monday. (Reuters

Some 4.7 million children below the Bangladesh’s legal working age of 14 spend their days as restaurant servers, ticket collectors on public buses, construction workers or laborers in garment factories and other hazardous industries, according to UNICEF. (AP

Campaigners say alcohol abuse fuels violence towards women and girls in India. But how would the state cope without funds from liquor sales? (Guardian

The Americas

A top Venezuelan opposition leader on Monday launched a tour of Latin American countries to rally support for his side in its bid to remove President Nicolas Maduro from office. (AFP

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday that Puerto Rico can’t restructure more than $20 billion in public debt as it tries to overcome a decade-long economic crisis. (AP

America’s presidential rivals offered sharply different approaches for tackling extremism Monday after the Orlando massacre, with presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump accusing Muslims of failing to report potential terrorists in their midst. (AFP

As Rio prepares to host the Olympic Games in August, rights groups are concerned that killings by police have increased by more than 50 percent in the past two years. In Rio state, 645 people were killed at the hands of police last year and more than 100 people have been killed by Rio police so far this year. (Reuters

A senior American official on Monday reaffirmed White House support for a treaty banning nuclear testing worldwide and urged other countries to move it toward its long-delayed enactment despite the “domestic political obstacles” keeping her country from ratifying it. (AP

…and the rest

Police detained 34 volunteers in northern Greece Monday while clearing makeshift migrant camps along the border with Macedonia. (AP

The U.N. human rights chief on Monday decried a “worrying rise” in detentions of migrants in Greece and Italy and urged authorities to find alternatives to confining children while asylum requests are processed. (Reuters

The United Nations said Monday it will try to resettle a record 170,000 refugees urgently in need of a new home next year as it grapples with an unprecedented displacement crisis. (AFP


The Orlando Massacre proves that anti-LGBT violence is a threat to international peace and security (UN Dispatch

Visualizing gun deaths – Comparing the U.S. to rest of the world (Humanosphere

The Muslim silence on gay rights (NY Times

Everything you need to know about UK aid and the 0.7% spending pledge (Guardian

To lead on international development, it is vital that Britain does not isolate itself from the EU (New Statesman

‘Likes’ That Can Kill (Inter Press Service

How to make Latin America’s most violent cities safer (Guardian

Africa needs a sustainable solution to deal with cataract blindness (The Conversation

3 reasons why we can win the fight against poverty (TED Talk

Brexit and the globalization trilemma (Dani Rodrik

The ‘internet of things’ is narrowing the gap between data and action (Devex

Everybody needs good neighbors: Australia’s immigration detention policies in a global context (DevPolicy


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