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News in the Humanosphere: WHO leadership race tightens to 3 candidates today

WHO main entrance, Geneva. Wikimedia

Margaret Chan’s term as head of the World Health Organization is expiring and there is much intrigue as the race to replace her heats up. Later today, the WHO’s executive board will announce the three finalists from the following “shortlist” of five candidates: Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus; Flavia Bustreo; Professor Philippe Douste-Blazy; David Nabarro; and Sania Nishtar. All member states of the WHO will vote among the three finalists at the World Health Assembly in May. (WHO

Oscar nod…Syria’s White Helmets rescue workers said they were “proud” that a documentary film about their work saving civilians in their country’s devastating war was nominated for an Oscar. (AFP

Top Stories 

At least 8,000 Gambians who fled the country have returned since strongman Yahya Jammeh went into exile after being threatened with regional military intervention, the UN refugee agency said. (AFP

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu approved a 2,500 home expansion of settlements in the West Bank, most of which will be located within areas where settlers already live. (VOA

The United Nations is appealing for $4.63 billion to assist nearly five million Syrian refugees and millions of people hosting them in neighboring countries. The appeal is being launched in the Finnish capital of Helsinki on behalf of U.N. agencies and 40 non-governmental organizations. (VOA

In the Central African Republic, two million people, nearly half the country’s entire population, face hunger as a result of reduced funding for the U.N. World Food Program. (VOA

Australia and New Zealand said they hope to salvage the Trans-Pacific Partnership by encouraging China and other Asian countries to join the trade pact after U.S. President Donald Trump kept a promise to abandon the accord. (Reuters

Thousands of Iraqi children are heading back to school in east Mosul after weeks of fighting and more than two years of jihadist rule, the UN children’s fund UNICEF said. (AFP

Indonesia denied that United Nations peacekeepers from the country had sought to take weapons out of Sudan’s conflict-wracked Darfur after they were allegedly caught leaving the region with arms. (AFP

South Sudan’s ambassador to Ethiopia is dismissing reports that relations are strained between the two countries after President Salva Kiir visited Egypt and met with President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi in Cairo earlier this month. (VOA

Opportunistic relatives in Zimbabwe routinely trample the property and inheritance rights of widows, and the government lets it happen, according to a new Human Rights Watch report. (VOA

An infestation of armyworms, a pest that has hit maize fields in southern Africa, has spread across Malawi, a senior government official said. (Reuters

Activists and relatives say hope is fading fast for the new Sri Lankan government to act against the perpetrators in the killings and disappearances of journalists during the long civil war or the country’s previous administration. (AP

Lead levels in Flint, Michigan’s drinking water have receded below federal limits, state officials said, although they cautioned residents to continue using filtered water as work went on to replace the city’s old lead pipes. (Reuters

Health officials in Brazil say there has been a sharp rise in the cases of yellow fever in the country. They said there had been 63 confirmed cases of the mosquito-borne illness so far this year, up from seven in the whole of 2016. (BBC

An Australian project that aims to revolutionize water delivery and sanitation in urban slums has been awarded $27m in funding. (Guardian


Liberians fear mass violence amid elections preparations, aid group reports (Humanosphere

TPP unravels: Where the 11 other countries go from here (CNN

Do Fewer Than 20% of Nigerians Have Access to Oral Health Services? (Africa Check

Who’s who in the Syria conflict (AFP

Trump to Pull Out of the UN, Expel It from the US? (IPS

Bye bye Jammeh: Hope and challenges in The Gambia (IRIN

Is Russia Dominating the Middle East Geopolitics Narratives? (VOA

4 ways to address menstrual stigmas, taboos and discrimination (Devex

Portraits of the resistance: Illustrating the Women’s March on Washington (PRI

No American President in Recent Past Did As Little As Obama Did for Africa (Monitor


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