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News in the Humanosphere: Incoming U.N. chief makes major staff appointments

Antonio Gutterres

Incoming United Nations chief Antonio Guterres on Thursday appointed Nigeria’s Environment Minister Amina Mohammed as his deputy secretary-general amid a push by more than a third of the 193 U.N. member states for gender parity at the world body. He also appointed Brazilian diplomat Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti as chef de cabinet and Kyung-wha Kang of South Korea to a newly created position as special adviser on policy. “These appointments are the foundations of my team, which I will continue to build, respecting my pledges on gender parity and geographical diversity,” Guterres, a former Portuguese prime minister, said in a statement. “I am happy to count on the efforts of these three highly competent women, whom I have chosen for their strong backgrounds in global affairs, development, diplomacy, human rights and humanitarian action,” he said. (Reuters

Secret meeting on Syria…The U.N. Security Council will meet behind closed doors on Friday to discuss the crisis in Aleppo after civilians began evacuating and Syrian forces moved to assert full control over the city. (AFP

Call me, maybe…Kosovo has received an important mark of recognition eight years after declaring independence from Serbia: its own telephone country code. (AP

Top Stories

A second convoy carrying evacuees from rebel-held districts of Aleppo left for the countryside to the west, Syrian state television reported on Thursday. (Reuters

The European Union offered $635 million to Niger on Thursday for keeping a lid on migration from Africa through the Mediterranean to Europe. (Reuters

The World Bank said on Thursday that 48 governments have ratcheted up the fight against extreme poverty by committing $75 billion in new funds to the International Development Association, the bank’s fund for the poorest countries. (Reuters

Brazilian prosecutors charged former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and eight other people with corruption and money laundering in a case regarding the leader’s relationship with mega-construction company Odebrecht. (AP

Zambia is set to tackle its housing shortage with the start of a project early next year to build 15,000 houses at an estimated cost of $1.04 billion, Housing and Infrastructure Development Minister Ronald Chitotela said on Thursday. (Reuters

Turkey is considering establishing a camp in Syria for civilians being evacuated from Aleppo and the number of people brought out of the city could reach 100,000, Deputy Prime Minister Veysi Kaynak said on Thursday. (Reuters

Dozens of asylum seekers were expelled from Europe to Afghanistan this week, the first to be affected by a controversial migration deal that allows the EU to deport unlimited numbers of rejected Afghan asylum seekers. (Guardian

The United States said Thursday it had withheld a major aid package to the Philippines because of significant concerns about the rule of law under President Rodrigo Duterte, days after he boasted about personally killing people. (AFP

Malawi on Thursday launched Africa’s first drone-testing corridor as developing countries explore how drones could be used during humanitarian crises such as floods, or to deliver blood for HIV tests. (AFP

Only five child migrants who reached Italy and Greece without their parents were transferred to Britain in 2016, aid agencies said on Thursday, warning that many others risked falling prey to traffickers and smugglers. (Reuters

Governments are offering more incentives to landowners who protect their watersheds to improve conservation, but must expand these efforts in order to provide reliable water supplies to growing populations, researchers said on Thursday. (Reuters


Here’s Why Top Republicans Don’t Want John Bolton in the State Department (UN Dispatch

Things May Have to Get Worse to Get Better in Africa. They Certainly Got Worse in 2016 (African Arguments

Donald Trump is assembling a “team of generals.” Should we be concerned? (Global Dispatches podcast

More of the Same: World Bank Doing Business Report Continues to Mislead (IPS

The never-ending harvest: Syrian refugees exploited on Turkish farms (IRIN

To Stop Ebola, An Epidemic Of Fear Had To Be Stopped (NPR Goats and Soda

The Giving Code – Silicon Valley’s ‘Prosperity Paradox’ (Tiny Spark

Why is Africa’s Civil Society under Siege? (From Poverty to Power

Aid Agencies Need to Improve Their Anticorruption Strategies and Implementation in Fragile States (Global Anticorruption Blog

What Does Vaccinating Cows Have To Do With A Girl’s Education? (NPR Goats and Soda


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