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News in the Humanosphere: Burundian presidential aid survives assassination attempt

Burundi's President Pierre Nkurunziza talks to the media during a joint press conference with European Union Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, unseen.

A senior aide to Burundi’s president Pierre Nkurunziza was injured in an attack that also killed one of his bodyguards, officials said. The assassination attempt on Willy Nyamitwe, a senior communications officer for Nkurunziza, occurred in the Kajaga suburb of the capital Bujumbura, according to a security official who requested anonymity. “Nyamitwe was slightly wounded on his arm during the attack. He is receiving treatment,” the official told Reuters, adding that the incident took place near Nyamitwe’s home at about 7:30 p.m. “One of his bodyguards died on the spot, while another was seriously injured.” (Reuters http://bit.ly/2fIWd5X)

World’s largest solar power plant…Images have been released showing the sheer size of the new solar power plant in southern India. The facility in Kamuthi, Tamil Nadu, has a capacity of 648 MW and covers an area of 10sq km. This makes it the largest solar power plant at a single location, taking the title from the Topaz Solar Farm in California, which has a capacity of 550 MW. At full capacity, it is estimated to produce enough electricity to power about 150,000 homes. (Al Jazeera http://bit.ly/2fJlX21)

Resignation in South Korea? President Park Geun-hye of South Korea said Tuesday that she was willing to resign before her term ends, in an effort to head off a pending impeachment vote over a devastating corruption scandal. “I am giving up everything now,” she said in a dramatic, five-minute televised address, offering her third public apology for the scandal that has paralyzed her government for weeks. It was the first time South Koreans had heard from their cloistered leader since a previous televised public apology on Nov. 4. (NY Times http://buff.ly/2gIxuki)

Brazilian tragedy…A chartered plane with a Brazilian first division football team crashed near Medellin while on its way to the finals of a regional tournament, killing 75 people, Colombian officials said. Five people survived. (Telegraph http://bit.ly/2fzumu1)

Tweet of the Day…Troop increase in Equatoria, #SouthSudan huge red flag, esp given @UN Envoy’s warning of potential for genocide. #UNSC must halt arms flow.” — @AmbassadorPower

Top Stories

Uganda rejected on Tuesday charges by rights group Amnesty International that its security forces carried out extra-judicial killings during clashes with the royal guards of a tribal king at the weekend. (Reuters https://yhoo.it/2gD1P6v)

Zimbabwe’s cash shortage problem appears to be far from over, despite the government issuing $10 million worth of “bond notes” that officially trade on par with the U.S. dollar. The new currency has already lost some value against the greenback. (VOA http://bit.ly/2fz9rHg)

Russia plans to send 100,000 tons of wheat in humanitarian aid to Syria this year, government officials said on Tuesday. (Reuters https://yhoo.it/2gtLdeo)

The United Nations’ envoy on Syria offered a dire prediction for the future of Aleppo on Tuesday, as fighting in the city continues to intensify and more civilians try to escape. (VOA http://bit.ly/2fNwLzG)

Qatar said it would provide $1.25 billion in aid to shore up Tunisia’s post-revolution economy as regional and Western partners pledged extensive financial backing at an investment conference on Tuesday. (VOA http://bit.ly/2fITqcY)

Egypt’s parliament overwhelmingly endorsed a law regulating non-governmental organizations on Tuesday that human rights groups and activists say effectively bans their work and makes it harder for charities to operate. (Reuters https://yhoo.it/2ggkvbn)

The U.N. refugee agency reports thousands of refugees from the Horn of Africa, desperate to escape difficult conditions at home, continue to make the perilous journey across the Gulf of Aden to war-torn Yemen, despite the risks. At least 79 people have been reported dead or missing at sea this year. (VOA http://bit.ly/2gtHyNT)

Water supplies to about 650,000 residents of the Iraqi city of Mosul have been cut off after a pipeline was hit during fighting between the army and Islamic State militants, a local official said on Tuesday. (Reuters https://yhoo.it/2gCTUGo)

The conviction rate for rape cases in Cambodia is “disturbingly low”, as corrupt officials mediate illegal settlements and pocket kickbacks, deterring women from coming forward and hampering efforts to tackle the crime, activists said. (Reuters https://yhoo.it/2gCYMuS)

A U.N. food agency said Tuesday it is putting off the start of work for the former first lady of Peru after the country’s government asked for her appointment to be scrapped amid an investigation into whether she received illegal payments. (VOA http://bit.ly/2fIFqzW)

The number of new Zika cases in Puerto Rico has dropped dramatically in recent weeks, yet health officials worry the full effect of the outbreak on the island may not be known for months or years to come. (NPR http://n.pr/2fID3gv)

A rapid response fund backed by Sir Elton John that provides emergency support to LGBT communities under threat around the world has received 235 applications in its first month of operation. (Guardian http://bit.ly/2fNuh48)

Opinion/Blogs

Better Know Nikki Haley, the next US Ambassador to the UN (Global Dispatches Podcast http://buff.ly/2fzrBJ6)

‘They said they would rape me’: defenders of women’s rights speak out (Guardian http://bit.ly/2gFEP2S)

South Africa’s Jacob Zuma Keeps Getting Embroiled in Scandal…and Keeps Bouncing Back. (UN Dispatch http://bit.ly/2fJ3Klr)

Standing Rock is the Civil Rights Issue of our time–Bill McKibben (Guardian http://bit.ly/2gDUUKl)

Save South Sudan from destroying itself (Al Jazeera http://bit.ly/2fJDLdq )

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