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News in the Humanosphere: Tokyo’s historic election of first woman mayor

Yuriko Koike (Credit: Wikimedia/WEF)

Yuriko Koike, a conservative former defense minister of Japan, became the first woman elected governor of Tokyo on Sunday, handily winning a vote to replace the city’s previous chief executive after he fell to a financial scandal. Koike’s biography is unusual for a Japanese politician, even apart from her gender. A divorced former newscaster, she attended a university in Egypt and speaks fluent Arabic. She won what was essentially a three-way race, defeating her closest opponent, Hiroya Masuda, another former cabinet minister, by more than a million votes, according to preliminary tallies by Japanese news media. Masuda was the official candidate of the national governing party, the Liberal Democrats. (NYT

India comes to aid of hungry workers in Saudi Arabia…Thousands of Indian workers in Saudi Arabia haven’t been paid for months, prompting the Indian government to hand out food to hungry workers. The Indian government over the weekend stepped in to assist some 10,000 Indian workers who New Delhi says are without a job, pay and food. Many of the workers who say they were dismissed were employed by the conglomerate Saudi Oger Ltd. Several Indian citizens who work for the firm said they haven’t received a salary in seven months and that they last received food from the company on July 20. (WSJ

Yemen’s government accepts peace deal… Yemen’s exiled government says it has accepted a peace deal proposed by the U.N. that calls on Houthi rebels – who control large swaths of the country – to concede power after more than 14 months of war. The announcement came on Sunday after a high-level meeting in Riyadh chaired by Yemen’s President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, the AFP news agency said. The meeting approved a draft agreement by the United Nations that called on the Houthis to withdraw from the Yemeni capital Sanaa, as well as the cities of Taiz and Hodeida, which would pave the way for a comprehensive political dialogue to start 45 days after the signing of the agreement. (Al Jazeera


Tens of thousands of Congolese demonstrators chanting anti-government slogans and waving opposition flags rallied in the capital on Sunday to demand President Joseph Kabila step down when his mandate ends in November. (Reuters (AFP

A spokesman for Sudanese opposition leader Riek Machar has called on the international community not to engage or acknowledge Taban Deng Gai, who recently replaced Machar as the deputy to South Sudan President Salva Kiir. (VOA

On the road with Niger’s peacekeepers in Mali (Al Jazeera

Efforts to combat AIDS in Africa are seriously faltering, with drugs beginning to lose their power, the number of infections rising and funding declining, raising the prospect of the epidemic once more spiraling out of control, experts have warned. (Guardian


Attacks on energy facilities in northern Iraq killed at least five, including a top police commander, and wounded others. (Al Jazeera

Tunisia’s parliament passed a vote of no confidence in Prime Minister Habib Essid on Saturday, effectively disbanding the government of the U.S.-trained agricultural economist. (Time

Islamic State, losing territory and on the retreat in Iraq and Syria, has claimed credit for a surge in global attacks this summer, most of them in France and Germany. (Reuters

More than 120 bodies of migrants who died trying to cross the Mediterranean to Europe have washed up around Sabratha in western Libya this month, the city’s mayor said on Sunday. (Reuters

Iraqi military commanders should prevent militias with records of serious abuses from taking part in a planned offensive on the Islamic State-held city of Mosul, campaign group Human Rights Watch said on Sunday. (Reuters


A Pakistani official says the death toll from a bus that was swept away by flash floods has risen to 27. (AP

A group of men has allegedly robbed a family and sexually assaulted a woman and her daughter near New Delhi, police officers said. Police detained several people but the main suspect was still on the run. (DW

The Philippines may still re-impose a cease-fire with Maoist-led guerrillas, a senior administration official said on Sunday, a day after it was withdrawn by President Rodrigo Duterte. (Reuters

An international human rights group Sunday demanded authorities in Afghanistan prosecute militia forces linked to a top government official for recent killings and other abuses against civilians in the northern Faryab province. (VOA

The Americas

The conflict between Venezuela’s socialist government and its opposition-led Congress is growing even sharper. The country’s attorney general says the National Assembly is now illegally constituted because in recent days it swore in three members who’d been ruled out by the government-friendly Supreme Court. (AP

Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets in Brazil on Sunday, some calling for the permanent ouster of suspended President Dilma Rousseff and others demanding her return to office. (AP

A Brazilian state governor is asking the president to send troops to a region where dozens of arson attacks have erupted after officials blocked cell phone service at a prison. (AP

and the rest…

Muslims in France and Italy flocked to Mass on Sunday, a gesture of interfaith solidarity following a drumbeat of jihadi attacks that threatens to deepen religious divisions across Europe. (NYT

Turkey would have to back out of its agreement with the European Union to stem the flow of migrants into the bloc if the EU does not deliver visa-free travel for Turks, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has said. (Reuters

Prime Minister Theresa May set out a drive to tackle modern slavery in Britain on Sunday, pledging more funding and a new cross-government task force to help stamp out what she called a “barbaric evil.” (Reuters

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan issued a new presidential decree Sunday that introduced sweeping changes to Turkey’s military in the wake of a July 15 failed coup, bringing the armed forces further under civilian authority. (AP


Meet the angels of Rio’s favelas and their creator (BBC

Think the Aids epidemic is over? Far from it – it could be getting worse (Guardian

It Takes A Village To Determine The Origins Of An African Proverb (Goats and Soda

Is your leather from China? It might be made of dog or cat skin (Guardian

The Sustainable Development Goals Come to the USA (UN Dispatch

Update from the UK government about the Worst Aid project in the world (Roving Bandit

How Turkey Coup Attempt Will Impact Aid Groups and Syrian Refugees (Aid Works

Demography is Destiny (or why two heads are better than one) (Africanist Perspective


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