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News in the Humanosphere: Thousands displaced in Myanmar fighting

Displaced persons camp in Rakhine state, western Myanmar. (Credit: DFID / Flickr)

More than 3,000 people have fled airstrikes and heavy fighting in northern Myanmar since the weekend as the government tries to flush out rebel positions, activists said Wednesday. The government prevented a U.N. official from visiting the area on Tuesday as waves of people crossed the border into China to escape the turmoil. The unrest in Kachin state, where rebel groups have been seeking greater autonomy for decades, is just one of the simmering conflicts in Myanmar. The military is also under fire for alleged human rights abuses against the Muslim Rohingya minority in Rakhine state. (AP

Massive drop in number of asylum seekers in Germany…Germany has seen an immense drop in the arrival of asylum seekers, with the total number in 2016 slumped to less than a third of the 890,000 who arrived in 2015, according to the interior minister.  Thomas de Maiziere said on Wednesday that about 280,000 new asylum seekers arrived in 2016, while an estimated 80,000 people either left voluntarily or were deported. The minister said authorities hoped the number of those who leave or are deported will increase. (Al Jazeera

Top Stories

An Egyptian court on Wednesday approved a freeze on the assets of three human rights activists, one of them said, the latest twist in a five-year-old case in which NGOs are accused of receiving foreign funds to sow chaos. (Reuters

Kenya’s main opposition leaders on Wednesday announced the formation of a super alliance in a bid to unseat incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta in August elections. (AFP

Reforming the very nature of capitalism will be needed to combat the growing appeal of populist political movements around the world, the World Economic Forum said Wednesday. (AP

The Catholic bishop behind a key political deal in the Democratic Republic of Congo appealed for support at the U.N. Security Council on Wednesday as a top U.N. official warned of potential pitfalls for the accord. (AFP

Plans for a dramatic increase in the amount of U.K. aid that can be channeled through the CDC Group, the government’s controversial private equity arm, have moved closer to fruition after crucial legislation passed through the Commons on Tuesday. (Guardian

Nigeria is facing mounting pressure to find some 200 schoolgirls abducted 1,000 days ago in Boko Haram’s most infamous attack after the rescue of 24 girls raised hopes that they are alive. (Reuters

Nearly 1,400 children have been killed, hundreds more injured and many schools closed by the war in Yemen, the UN children’s fund said on Wednesday. (AFP

More than 9,400 undocumented Afghans have returned home from Iran and Pakistan in the first week of 2017, raising concerns over how the war-torn Asian nation will cope with the rising influx, the United Nations said on Wednesday. (Reuters

Facing pressure from agricultural interests, Brazil has stopped formally demarcating land for indigenous communities in a threat to rainforest conservation efforts, according to a former senior government agency official and campaigners. (Reuters


Why a Political Crisis in this small African Country May Have Big Global Implications (UN Dispatch

Welcome to the global war on aid (IRIN

The poor state of development journalism: Daily Mail, BBC & ‘Ethiopian Spice Girls’ (Aidnography

Where is the money? Donor funding priorities shift in eastern Africa (IDS

Islamic State ramps up recruitment in Pakistan (IRIN

Is the Anti-Politics machine still a good critique of the aid business? (From Poverty to Power

Experimental Conversations (Roving Bandit

The beginning of the end of “free education” in PNG? (Devpolicy

Blockchain Could Be A Force For Good. But First You Have To Understand It (Goats and Soda

“Doing good” in an age of parody (Africa is a Country

Can an app help with the UK fundraising drought? (Devex


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