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News in the Humanosphere: Category 4 hurricane bears down on Haiti

A handout satellite image made available Tuesday morning by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) from NOAA's GOES-East satellite shows Hurricane Matthew's clear eye as the storm moved through the south central Caribbean Sea and battered Haiti and Jamaica. (EPA/NOAA)

Haiti braced for a catastrophe early Tuesday as Hurricane Matthew, a dangerous Category 4 storm, edged closer to the nation’s south, bringing winds of up to 140 miles an hour and rainfall that could exceed three feet in some areas. “Haiti is in deep, deep trouble tonight,” said Dennis Feltgen, a meteorologist and spokesman for the National Hurricane Center in Miami. “The potential for Haiti is what I would describe as catastrophic.” (NY Times

And the best-governed country in Africa is….The Ibrahim Index of African Governance (IIAG) – the most comprehensive survey of its kind on the continent – rates 54 African nations against criteria such as security, human rights, economic stability, just laws, free elections, corruption, infrastructure, poverty, health and education. Mauritius held onto its top spot, followed by Botswana, Cape Verde, the Seychelles and Namibia while South Africa – the continent’s most industrialized country – was in sixth place. While overall the index has improved by just one point over the 10 year period starting in 2006, three out of the top 10 countries have seen their score fall in this period, and major economies like South Africa and Ghana registered some of the largest deteriorations on the continent. (Reuters

Quote of the day: “For all its difficulties, life expectancy in Africa has risen astonishingly as that country has entered the global economic system.” — U.K. foreign secretary Boris Johnson forgetting that Africa is a continent, not a country. (Africa news  


Violence flared again Monday in Ethiopia’s restive Oromia region, where dozens of people were killed a day earlier in a stampede when police tried to disrupt an anti-government protest amid a massive religious festival. (AP

Gabon’s prime minister named a new government in the wake of disputed elections, but it contained no representatives of opposition leader Jean Ping, who says the vote was rigged. (Reuters

Severe drought conditions are still afflicting most of South Africa and temperatures are expected to remain above normal until mid-summer, which would be around December, the national weather service said on Monday. (Reuters

Cape Verde’s President Jorge Carlos Fonseca won a second term in Sunday’s election with nearly three-quarters of the vote, preliminary results showed. (Reuters

Governance across Africa has improved very little over the past decade as deteriorating safety and rule of law have held back progress made in other areas such as human rights or economic opportunities, a survey said on Monday. (Reuters


The Palestinian high court Monday ordered municipal elections only in the West Bank and not the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip, possibly ending hopes of the first competitive Palestinian polls in a decade. (AFP

Morocco has dismantled a suspected Islamic State militant cell and arrested 10 women believed to be planning attacks in the North African kingdom, the Interior Ministry said on Monday. (Reuters


The EU has signed an agreement with the Afghan government allowing its member states to deport an unlimited number of the country’s asylum seekers, and obliging the Afghan government to receive them. (Guardian

Ethnic activists and community leaders from northern and southeastern Myanmar have condemned recent outbreaks of fighting, large-scale civilian displacement and alleged rights abuses in their areas. (VOA

At least 600,000 people in North Korea have been affected by heavy flooding that damaged or destroyed 30,000 homes, the Red Cross said, calling for urgent humanitarian aid ahead of the winter. (Reuters

At least six people were killed and 35 wounded on Monday, when an improvised explosive device tore into a crowded marketplace in a northern Afghan province on the border with Turkmenistan, officials said. (Reuters

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is rebalancing his foreign policy away from old ally the United States to former U.S. Cold War foes China and Russia, in a move that may generate a windfall of aid for the developing Southeast Asian country. (VOA

The World Bank is indirectly financing a boom in some of Asia’s dirtiest coal-fired power generation despite commitments to end most funding for the sector, a development advocacy group charged on Monday. (AFP

Textile workers from Bangladesh to Turkey are using cellphones to report child labor, delayed wages and trafficking – a trend rights groups say shows the promise of technology in tackling abuses in the garment industry. (Reuters

Thailand is considering testing all pregnant women for Zika, the health ministry said on Monday, following confirmation last week of its first known cases of microcephaly, a birth defect marked by small head size, linked to the Zika virus. (Reuters

Villagers in the eastern Indian state of Jharkhand vowed to continue their protest against a coal mine after four people were killed when police opened fire during clashes at the weekend, forcing a halt to operations at the site. (Reuters

Hundreds of protesters took to the streets of the Thai capital on Monday calling on the junta to address land rights and housing needs in what police and organizers said was one of the biggest demonstrations since the May 2014 coup. (AP

Afghanistan’s leaders will head to Brussels this week, seeking billions of dollars in aid as the country confronts an increasingly powerful Taliban insurgency and pervasive corruption. (AP

The Americas

Mexican authorities say hundreds of people evacuated from their homes over the weekend must remain in shelters as eruptions continue at the Colima volcano. (AP

Brazil’s Workers’ Party – PT – lost big Sunday when Brazilians voted in the first local elections since Dilma Rousseff’s impeachment. (VOA

Mexico: A lawyer for imprisoned Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman says that the drug lord’s sons want the public to know they had nothing to do with an ambush that left five soldiers dead. (AP

Colombia peace deal failure fallout

Political leaders in Colombia are looking for a way forward after voters unexpectedly rejected a peace deal with leftist FARC rebels that would have ended a 52-year-old war. (VOA

Latin America bemoaned Colombian voters’ rejection of a peace deal with Marxist insurgents but regional leaders urged Bogota to keep pursuing efforts to end the longest-running conflict in the Americas. (Reuters

A timeline of Colombia’s conflict with largest rebel group (AP

Why divided Colombia said ‘No’ to peace deal (AFP

…and the rest

Polish women donned black, waved black flags and took to Poland’s streets on Monday, boycotting jobs and classes as part of a nationwide strike to protest a legislative proposal for a total ban on abortion. (AP

Greek police fired tear gas and pepper spray at protesting pensioners who challenged a cordon near the office of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, whose left-wing government faces mounting pressure over planned austerity measures. (AP

Estonia finally has chosen a new president, who will be the Baltic country’s first woman to hold the post. (AP

A global agreement on climate change is set to win enough ratifications by signatory nations this week to go into force in November, heralding a harder phase of turning promises into cuts in greenhouse gas emissions. (Reuters


New York Times Journalist Scott Shane Tells The Inside Story of President Obama’s Most Controversial Foreign Policy Decision (Global Dispatches Podcast

Migration summit failed: 2 weeks later nothing has changed (Humanosphere

Why SDGs and the Paris Climate Agreement Are Intimately Linked (New Times

Good Governance Is Our Right, Not a Privilege (Daily Maverick

Keith Knight’s cartoons get to the heart of the US conversation on race (PRI

Is Facebook neutral on Palestine-Israel conflict? (Al Jazeera

Ten years on, WikiLeaks and Assange as controversial as ever (Yahoo

Five ways to deliver UK aid in the national economic interest (ODI

The $10-a-month teacher – and the slum school she rescued (Guardian


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