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News in the Humanosphere: Terrorism deaths fell last year

Shakir Waheib, a senior member of the Islamic State, on left, next to a burning police vehicle in Iraq's Anbar Province. (AP Photo via militant website)

Terrorism deaths fell last year thanks to a weakening of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Boko Haram in Nigeria, but both groups expanded their geographic reach, a new index revealed Wednesday. Some 29,376 people died from terrorism in 2015, down 3,389 on the previous year and the first fall since 2010, according to the Global Terrorism Index published by the Institute for Economics and Peace. This fall was thanks largely to 5,556 fewer deaths in Iraq and Nigeria – a reduction of one third since 2014 – as military operations weakened IS and Boko Haram. However, both groups also expanded their geographical reach last year, with Boko Haram killing more people in Niger, Cameroon and Chad than in the previous year. (AFP

Quote of the day: “While I can’t stand here and speculate about what policies our president-elect will pursue, I will tell you this: In the time that I have spent in public life, one of the things I’ve learned is that some issues look a little bit different when you’re actually in office compared to when you’re on the campaign trail.” — U.S. Secretary State of John Kerry in a speech delivered at the international climate conference in Marrakesh. (Reuters

An appropriate choice…Oxford dictionary editors have chosen their word of the year: “post-truth,” a term sometimes used to describe the current political climate. (AP

Top Stories

Syrian government and Russian warplanes pounded rebel-held parts of northern Syria Wednesday, including battered second city Aleppo, where food aid rations were all-but-exhausted after months of regime siege. (AFP

Hundreds of Rohingya Muslims are fleeing a military crackdown in western Myanmar to Bangladesh, trying to escape an upsurge of violence that has brought the total number of dead confirmed by the army to more than 130. (Reuters

One in three people living in Europe and Central Asia think that corruption is one of the biggest problems facing their country, a figure that rises to two in three in Spain, Moldova and Kosovo, showing that urgent action against the abuse of power and secret deals is needed. (IPS

Supporters of the International Criminal Court appealed for unity Wednesday in the aftermath of three African nations announcing plans to withdraw and Russia symbolically turning its back on the court. (AP

Egypt’s parliament on Tuesday approved a bill to regulate non-governmental organizations in a move human rights groups say effectively bans their work. (Reuters

Authorities in Beijing warned Wednesday that heavy pollution will persist this week, urging the suspension of outdoor school activities and construction projects. (AP

Conflicts related to land and resources are the main reason behind stalled industrial and development projects in India, affecting millions of people and putting billions of dollars of investment and the economy’s health at risk, two reports said. (VOA

More than 360 businesses and investors called on U.S. President-elect Donald Trump and world leaders on Wednesday to continue to support agreed curbs on global warming and to speed up efforts to move to a low-carbon economy. (Reuters


A bevy of U.N. Officials Just Lent their Support to the Standing Rock Protesters (UN Dispatch

New Colombia-FARC peace deal keeps focus on gender (Humanosphere

How Cuba came of age on early childhood development (Guardian podcast

Is Africa Attempting to Undermine the Credibility of the ICC? (Deutsche Welle

Smallholder Farmers Suffer Most Due to Climate Change (Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa

Can Senegal stop child begging, trafficking by Islamic teachers? (TRF

What Does India’s Demonetization Experiment Mean for Financial Inclusion? (CFI

Doing Development Differently: two years on, what have we done? (ODI

The long run effects of job training (Development Impact

Joyce Banda on why Hillary Clinton’s defeat ‘goes deeper’ (Devex


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