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News in the Humanosphere: Syrian forces summarily killing men escaping Aleppo, says U.N.

In East Ghouta, Syria, rural Damascus, a child's plush toy lies in the rubble of a destroyed building. (Credit: UNICEF/UN013166/Al Shami)

Hundreds of Syrian men escaping from rebel-held areas of eastern Aleppo to government-controlled parts of the city are missing amid reports of government reprisals, including numerous arrests and several cases of summary killings of people perceived to be opposition supporters, United Nations human rights officials said on Friday. At the same time, the officials said, rebels have in some cases prevented civilians from leaving, and there were reports that some groups had killed or kidnapped residents who had demanded that insurgents leave their neighborhoods. (NYT

Boris, Upbraided…Boris Johnson, Britain’s famously undiplomatic chief diplomat, finally seems to have gone too far. In an unusual upbraiding of a foreign secretary by a sitting prime minister, Downing Street on Thursday was forced to issue a statement that Mr. Johnson was not representing the “government’s position” on Saudi Arabia. Mr. Johnson had accused the country, a British ally, of “puppeteering” in “proxy wars” across the Middle East and of “abusing Islam.” (NYT

Quote of the day: “What I said (in a tweet) is true. I’m HIV positive and happy! That is all I can say…Look out for an essay I’m writing in January.” — Award-winning Kenyan author Binyavanga Wainaina (Daily Nation

The mannequin challenge just jumped the FARC: FARC rebels in Colombia have posted a video of themselves doing the Mannequin Challenge. (BBC

Top Stories

Police in Cameroon shot dead four anti-government demonstrators in one of the central African nation’s minority anglophone regions on Thursday, police sources said, after a month of sometimes violent protests in the area. (Reuters

Doctors Without Borders says 70 severely wounded Syrians, including 16 children, have been blocked from life-saving treatment since Jordan closed its border with Syria six months ago and that some have likely died. (AP

Forms of sexual harassment in public in the Argentine capital could now land perpetrators with a $60 fine. (BBC

Democratic Republic of the Congo’s Catholic Church launched “reconciliation” talks on Thursday aimed at ending a political stalemate threatening to push the country back into civil war. (AFP

Sudanese security agents have arrested a prominent rights activist, Mudawi Ibrahim Adam, as part of an ongoing crackdown on dissent, Amnesty International said on Thursday. (AFP

Kenyan doctors and nurses warned Thursday they will extend a strike crippling public hospitals to private clinics as well next week, unless the government offers them more in a pay dispute. (AFP

The International Criminal Court will hold a public hearing next April to probe whether South Africa failed its duty in refusing to arrest Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, the court said Thursday. (AFP

The White Helmets rescue group on Thursday urged international organizations to protect its members in rebel-held parts of Syria’s east Aleppo in the face of an advance by government forces. (AFP

President Vladimir Putin says Russia will continue to counter foreign influence over its domestic affairs through non-government organizations. (AP

A human rights group says the Philippines is facing one of the fastest growing epidemics of HIV in the Asia Pacific, fueled by government policies that restrict intervention, including access to condoms by men who have sex with men. (AP

The EU recommended Thursday that member states resume sending asylum seekers back to Greece from March next year, after transfers were halted for five years because of poor conditions there. (AFP


Income inequality: How can the business sector close the gap? (Humanosphere

Mali’s foot-dragging traps peace mission in unending conflict (Reuters

Another possible fallout of the US Presidential Election? Genocide in South Sudan (UN Dispatch

South Sudan: “This fighting will continue to our children” (IRIN

Fiscal austerity has been blocking economic recovery (Inter Press Service

‘Impunity has consequences’: the women lost to Mexico’s drug war (Guardian

Five questions we should be asking about the impact of UK aid (Guardian

Harbingers of Doom? Bank Failures in Africa – How to Interpret These (CFI

Finishing the unfinished business of aid effectiveness (Devex

Adaptive Management looks like it’s here to stay. Here’s why that matters. (From Poverty to Power

What happens in the Democratic Republic of Congo after December 19th? (Africa is a Country


About Author

Tom Murphy

Tom Murphy is a New Hampshire-based reporter for Humanosphere. Before joining Humanosphere, Tom founded and edited the aid blog A View From the Cave. His work has appeared in Foreign Policy, the Huffington Post, the Guardian, GlobalPost and Christian Science Monitor. He tweets at @viewfromthecave. Contact him at tmurphy[at]