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News in the Humanosphere: Regional summit fails to end Gambia’s political crisis

Gambia's President Yahya Jammeh. (Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita told reporters on Saturday that leaders from the West African regional bloc, ECOWAS, had reached no deal after mediation efforts in the Gambia. The bloc has said it would consider military action if Gambian President Yahya Jammeh does not step down. Jammeh has said he will not give up power after 22 years, despite a December vote that saw the opposition coalition’s Adama Barrow win. Barrow is expected to take power on Jan. 19 when Jammeh’s mandate runs out, but the strongman has refused to cede power after disputing the result of a Dec. 1 election won by Barrow. Barrow made a surprise appearance to meet with west African leaders seeking their help to end the impasse. French President Francois Hollande also met the president-elect. (DW

Another deadly prison riot in Brazil…The death toll of a riot in a penitentiary in northeastern Brazil rose on Sunday to at least 25 prisoners, increasing the number of prison killings this year in the country to more than 120. Decapitations and mutilations are common in Brazil’s violent, overcrowded prisons, in which 40 percent of inmates have yet to be sentenced, but the latest wave of brutality has appalled many here.  (NYT

A peace conference to nowhere… Britain cited “reservations” over Sunday’s Middle East peace conference and refused to sign a joint statement that called for a negotiated two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. A Foreign Office spokesman said the British had “particular reservations” about the meeting in Paris taking place without Israeli or Palestinian representatives, “just days before the transition to a new American president.” Britain had therefore attended the talks as an observer only, the spokesman said.  (AFP

Top Stories

Regime bombardment of a flashpoint region near Syria’s capital on Sunday killed seven civilians, a monitor said, in the deadliest attack there since a nationwide truce came into force. (AFP

The International Committee of the Red Cross says a staff member who was abducted in northern Afghanistan last month has been released. (AP

Spain’s maritime rescue service says the bodies of seven African migrants have been found dead along the Strait of Gibraltar since Friday. (AP

Sudan said on Sunday it would extend a unilateral cease-fire in fighting with rebels in the country’s warring regions to six months, state news agency SUNA reported. (Reuters

Thailand faces more hardship from unseasonable floods that have killed 40 people in its south, with more rain expected in the major rubber-producing and tourist region in coming days, a top disaster agency official said Sunday. (VOA

Venezuela’s leader Nicolas Maduro angered his opponents Sunday by refusing to deliver his annual presidential address in the legislative chamber, fanning tensions in the volatile country. (AFP

Bahrain on Sunday executed three men found guilty of killing three policemen, sparking violent protests and stoking tensions between the country’s Shiite majority and its Sunni rulers. (AFP

South Sudan’s government is claiming that the U.N. Security Council mandate to send a new contingent of 4,000 peacekeepers to boost the existing force has expired. (AP

The president of the Philippines is threatening martial law for his country. Speaking to members of the Chamber of Commerce in the southern city of Davao Saturday, Rodrigo Duterte said if the war on drugs descends into something “really, very virulent,” then he would declare martial law. (VOA


Turkey in Crisis (Global Dispatches Podcast

The Guardian view on child soldiers: stop recruiting, start reintegrating (Guardian

How Martin Luther King Jr. Changed The Life Of A Street Kid In Kenya (Goats and Soda

Answers to Some of Team Trump’s Questions on Foreign Aid to Africa (Africanist Perspective

Have we reached peak global? (Owen Barder

The Aid-Corruption Paradox: How Should the U.S. Allocate Foreign Aid? (Global Anticorruption Blog

Development community weighs implications of Rex Tillerson Senate hearings (Devex

Confronting the Use of Child Soldiers in Iraq (Justice in Conflict

Psychology’s Favorite Tool for Measuring Racism Isn’t Up to the Job (NY Mag


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