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News in the Humanosphere: Philippines continue harsh crackdown on drug trade

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte speaks before the protesting residents in 2009, when he served as Davao City Mayor. (Photo Credit: Keith Bacongco/flickr)

The Philippines’ new president, Rodrigo Duterte, on Sunday publicly accused scores of judges, mayors, lawmakers, military personnel and police officers of involvement with the illegal drug trade, giving them 24 hours to surrender for investigation or, he said, be “hunted” down. Mr. Duterte rejected calls last week from international human rights groups to observe due process in the war he has declared on both sellers and users of illicit drugs, after a photograph of a drug user shot and killed by vigilantes made it to the front pages and became a symbol for the bloody anti-drug campaign. (NYT

Stat of the day: More than 50 million people living in 17 conflict-ridden countries are in “severe food insecurity,” two U.N. agencies warned recently. The protracted conflicts in Yemen and Syria place those two nations at the top of the list established by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Food Program (WFP). In Yemen, 14 million people – over half the population – are now considered to be facing a food crisis or emergency. Meanwhile in Syria, 8.7 million people or 37 percent of the pre-conflict population, “need urgent food, nutrition and livelihoods assistance,” in particular aid to farmers, said the agencies. (AFP

More Russians banned from Olympics…After escaping a blanket ban from the Olympics, Russia was kicked out of the upcoming Paralympics on Sunday as the ultimate punishment for the state running a doping operation that polluted sports by prioritizing “medals over morals.” (AP


A United Nations peacekeeper was killed and four others were injured Sunday when their vehicle struck an explosive device in northeast Mali, the U.N. said. (AFP

Two people died in Ethiopia during anti-government protests, according to a resident of one of several towns where demonstrations took place. (Reuters

Anti-rape activists protested as South African President Jacob Zuma delivered his first remarks since local elections gave his African National Congress its worst results since 1994. (Reuters

Somalia has officially released new poll dates for the 2016 elections. In a statement, Omar Mohamed Abdulle, chairman of the Somalia’s election commission announced on Sunday that the country’s 2016 presidential election will take place on October 30. (VOA

South Africa’s main opposition Democratic Alliance said Sunday it was seeking coalition partners to run major cities including the capital and business center Johannesburg after defeating the ruling ANC in local polls. (AFP


Rebels breached the Syrian government siege on opposition neighborhoods in the city of Aleppo, opening a corridor in the south and marking a major military breakthrough. The push prompted an intensive airstrike campaign Sunday as insurgent groups put up a massive defense to protect the new corridor and gain new ground. (AP

A Palestinian representative of U.S.-based Christian charity World Vision denies Israeli allegations that he funneled millions of dollars in aid money to the Islamist militant group Hamas, his lawyer said on Sunday. (Reuters


Unknown armed men have kidnapped two foreigners, thought to be an Australian and a U.S. citizen, in the Afghan capital Kabul. (VOA

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte on Sunday identified about 160 serving and former town mayors and executives, judges, and policemen allegedly linked to the illegal drugs trade, stepping up a name-and-shame campaign in his five week war on drugs. (Reuters

Thai voters on Sunday overwhelmingly approved a new junta-backed constitution that lays the foundation for a civilian government influenced by the military and controlled by appointed – rather than elected – officials. (NYT

The Americas

Colombia has launched what it says is the world’s biggest operation for clearing unexploded mines as it closes in on an end to its half-century civil conflict. (AFP

Six people died in eastern Mexico when their homes were buried under landslides caused by heavy rain in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Earl. (Reuters

Havana on Sunday blamed Washington for a surge of Cubans trying to reach the United States by land and sea, accusing the Obama administration of encouraging illegal and unsafe immigration. (Reuters

…and the rest

Islamic State claimed responsibility on Sunday for an attack by a machete-wielding man in Belgium that left two female police officers seriously injured, the group’s Amaq news agency said on Twitter. (Reuters

Hundreds of thousands of people filled the streets of Istanbul, Turkey in a display of solidarity with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan after last month’s aborted coup. (VOA

Macedonia’s government declared a state of emergency Sunday in parts of the capital hit by torrential rain and floods that left at least 21 people dead, six missing and dozens injured, authorities said. (AP

With Turkey in crisis and Europe’s borders closed, smugglers in northern Greece are expecting a profitable summer. (AP

A pro-migrant activist group has called off an unauthorized protest after Italian border police detained three demonstrators trying to cross from France armed with clubs, knives, a hatchet, a wrench and hoods. (AP


We Know How Women Get Zika. But How Does The Virus Reach Their Babies? (NPR

Who’s Running Boko Haram? (VOA

The Gendering of Genocide: ISIS’s Crimes Against the Yazidis. (ATHA

To Advance Racial Justice, Philanthropists Will Need to be Courageous (Tiny Spark

The politics of urban renewal in Kampala (Rachel Strohm

South Sudan: What Went Wrong (The Cipher Brief

IS involvement in people smuggling is a red herring (IRIN

Expat Etiquette (book review) (Aidnography

Broken Promises for Syria’s Children (Project Sydicate


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