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News in the Humanosphere: Cease-fire deal reached in Yemen

Saudi forces take part in military exercises during a visit by Yemeni Prime Minister Khaled Bahah at the Saudi-led coalition military base in Yemen's southern embattled city of Aden. (Credit: Ahmed Farwan/flickr)

The United Nations is hoping a 72-hour cease-fire in Yemen due to start on Wednesday will allow vital aid to reach parts of the country that have been cut off by months of fighting and are in dire humanitarian need. A cease-fire between warring factions in Yemen will begin at 2359 local time (2059 GMT) on Wednesday, the U.N. said on Monday, raising hopes of an end to a war in the country that has killed thousands of civilians and left people starving. Aid agencies may try during the cease-fire to reach families trapped in towns and villages where fighting – and a sea, air and land blockade imposed by a Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen – has left people short of food and in need of vital medical supplies. (Times of Oman

Cholera epidemic in Yemen…“The World Health Organization and health partners urgently require support from the international donor community to contain the spread of acute watery diarrhea/cholera in Yemen. A total of $22.35 million is required by the Health and Water, Sanitation and Hygiene clusters, of which $16.6 million is immediately required. As of Oct. 17, a total of 340 suspected cases have been reported, of which 18 have tested positive for Vibrio cholerae in Taiz, Al-Hudaydah, Aden, Al Bayda, Lahj, and Sana’a governorates. Patients are currently receiving treatment. No deaths have been reported.” (WHO

Renewed interethnic violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo…More than a dozen people have died since the weekend in fighting in southeastern Congo between Bantus and Pygmies, local activists said on Tuesday, in the latest escalation in a bloody three-year ethnic conflict. The Luba, a Bantu ethnic group, and the Twa, a Pygmy people who inhabit the Great Lakes region, have been in conflict since May 2013 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s Katanga region, known for its rich deposits of copper and other metals. The violence, which has killed hundreds of civilians, has been fueled by social tensions between Bantu villagers and the Twa, a hunting and gathering people who have long been denied access to land and basic services. (Reuters

Stat of the day: More than 70 percent of migrants traveling overland through North Africa to Europe have become victims of human trafficking, organ trafficking and exploitation along the way, according to the U.N.’s International Organization for Migration. (Guardian


Burundi’s parliamentary vote last week to leave the International Criminal Court poses “a setback in the fight against impunity,” the court’s governing body said on Tuesday. (Reuters

Islamist militant group Boko Haram, which last week freed 21 of more than 200 Chibok schoolgirls it kidnapped in April 2014 in northeast Nigeria, is willing to negotiate the release of 83 more of the girls, the president’s spokesman said on Sunday. (Reuters

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta accused the judiciary and other agencies of undermining efforts to root out corruption, addressing a campaign pledge from his 2013 election and one which he is likely to be challenged on in next year’s vote. (Reuters


International aid groups including the Red Cross said Tuesday they were preparing for the possible use of chemical weapons in the battle for the Iraq city of Mosul. (AFP

The International Committee of the Red Cross appealed to all sides including Islamic State on Tuesday to show humanity on the battlefield and spare civilians in the Iraqi city of Mosul as government forces close in to retake the city of 1.5 million. (Reuters

Residents of Mosul said Islamic State was using civilians as human shields as Iraqi and Kurdish forces captured outlying villages in their advance on the jihadists’ stronghold. (Reuters

Two Iranian Americans, a father and son, have been sentenced to 10 years in prison in Iran, according to a report published Tuesday by Mizan, the Iranian judiciary’s news service. (LAT

The Russian and Syrian air forces have halted all air strikes on Aleppo, two days ahead of a planned pause in bombing designed to allow rebels and civilians to leave the city, the Russian defense minister said on Tuesday. (Reuters

The United Nations said on Tuesday that Russia’s plan for a cease-fire will not mean any supplies get into besieged eastern Aleppo because Russia, Syria and other groups fighting in the city have not yet given guarantees of safety for aid workers. (Reuters

UNESCO’s executive board on Tuesday approved a resolution that Israel says denies the deep historic Jewish connection to holy sites in Jerusalem and that has angered Israel’s government and many Jews around the world. (AP


At least 19 people were killed when a fire broke out at a private hospital in India’s eastern state of Odisha on Monday, officials said. (Reuters

The World Bank is to provide $2 billion in loans for Bangladesh to help the impoverished South Asian country become less vulnerable to climate change, the bank president said on Tuesday. (Reuters

Vietnam needs more time before it ratifies the Trans-Pacific Partnership, an official said Tuesday, dealing a blow to the trade deal that includes the United States and Japan. (AP

Australia’s government has become increasingly secretive through a range of new laws, including a gag on officials speaking out about conditions at an Australia-run immigration camp in Nauru, a United Nations human rights investigator said Tuesday. (AP

The Americas

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has praised Panama’s response to the offshore accounts scandal that followed leaks of documents from a Panamanian law firm. (AP

The Venezuelan government’s attempts to downplay the country’s most pressing public health issues have likely contributed to this year’s alarming increase in malaria cases. (Humanosphere

Venezuela’s Supreme Court has raised another obstacle to an opposition drive for a referendum on recalling leftist President Nicolas Maduro, who is blamed for a deepening economic and political crisis. (AFP

The Colombian army has killed one rebel group member and captured four others just days before peace talks are scheduled to get under way. (CNN

…and the rest

France transferred another dozen mostly Afghan teenagers to Britain on Tuesday as efforts to rehouse the most vulnerable migrants of the “Jungle” camp in northern France accelerated ahead of its demolition. (Reuters

Britain must fulfill its duties towards unaccompanied migrant children in the Calais “Jungle” camp, French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said in an article published Tuesday, just a day after more than a dozen teenagers were transferred to the UK. (AFP

After months of painstaking autopsies, authorities on Tuesday put the death toll in the April 2015 migrant shipwreck at between 750 and 800 people, confirming survivors’ initial estimates. (AP

Wind power could supply as much as 20 percent of the world’s total electricity by 2030 due to dramatic cost reductions and pledges to curb climate change, the Global Wind Energy Council said in a report released in Beijing on Tuesday. (Reuters


The #FeesMustFall Student Protest is Shaking South Africa to Its Core (UN Dispatch

Analyst: Mosul Will Be Taken, But What Then? (VOA

Arsenic in Bangladesh: how to protect 20 million from the world’s largest poisoning (Guardian

Fighting Food Insecurity and Undernutrition in Urban Slums (IPS

Will Theresa May’s fight against slavery inform her trade and migration policies? (Guardian

Reimagining South Asia in 2030 (IPS

Does UK’s landmark anti-slavery law live up to the hype? (TRF

Modern Slavery Act gives UK companies a free pass to profit from slavery overseas (Guardian

Aid workers were asked about the future of humanitarianism. Their responses will surprise you (WhyDev

What to expect from Habitat III (Devex

Australia downplays the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (The Interpreter


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