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News in the Humanosphere: U.N. head names new peacekeeping chief

Contingent of Nepalese Peacekeepers in Juba, South Africa. (Credit: UN Photo/Isaac Billy)

Secretary-General Antonio Guterres says he is extending the mandate of three top U.N. officials and appointing French diplomat Jean-Pierre Lacroix as U.N. peacekeeping chief while he undertakes a major reform of the U.N.’s peace and security operations. Guterres said in a statement Tuesday that the reform will require expertise and experience so he is extending the mandates of U.N. political chief Jeffrey Feltman, his deputy Oscar Fernandez-Taranco and the head of the U.N.’s field support operations Atul Khare. (AP

North Korean female agents using poisoned needles have assassinated the half-brother of the North’s leader Kim Jong-Un in Malaysia, South Korean media reported Tuesday. (AFP

No roses or chocolate…Valentine’s Day celebrations on Tuesday were banned by authorities in parts of Indonesia and Pakistan, home to Asia’s largest Muslim populations, saying the romantic tradition encouraged casual sex and ran counter to cultural norms. (Reuters

Top Stories

Doctors in Kenya’s private clinics, hospitals and practices will strike for 48 hours to protest a court’s decision to jail union officials over an ongoing strike in public hospitals, the head of the national medical association said on Tuesday. (Reuters

The top UN official in Damascus has warned of a “looming humanitarian catastrophe” in four besieged towns in Syria, calling for immediate access to deliver aid to some 60,000 residents. (AFP

Brazilian President Michel Temer issued a decree on Tuesday to deploy 9,000 soldiers in Rio de Janeiro’s metropolitan area until Feb. 22, one week before Carnaval ends. That’s almost half the troops used during last year’s Olympic Games. (AP

The United Nations has formally received Gambia’s notice reversing its withdrawal from the International Criminal Court, a spokesman said Tuesday. (AP

A huge newly-built Ethiopian dam is cutting off the supply of water to Lake Turkana in northern Kenya, rights group Human Rights Watch said on Tuesday. (AFP

The United Nations special envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, will visit Moscow for talks on Feb. 16, RIA news agency quoted Russia’s foreign ministry as saying on Tuesday. (Reuters

Iran is implementing the deal on its nuclear program agreed with world powers, the head of the U.N. atomic energy watchdog said on Tuesday, amid concerns the United States will try to alter the terms. (Reuters

Police in Paraguay seized at least 25 tons of bolivar notes in a house in the northern city of Salto de Guaira, 400km from the capital, Asuncion. (BBC


The Amount of Sea Ice missing from the Arctic this winter is Roughly Twice the Size of France (UN Dispatch

The story of two brothers, one green card and Trump’s ban (PRI

Despite many obstacles, the world is getting better (Guardian

Who pays the hidden price for Congo’s conflict-free minerals? (IRIN

Why would US embassy move to Jerusalem be controversial? (AFP

Are Your Valentine’s Roses Harming the Planet? (DW

Trump’s ‘global gag rule’ could endanger millions of women and children, Bill and Melinda Gates warn (Guardian

Water and sanitation in Australia’s aid program: building it back better (DevPolicy

Refugees and Humanitarian Assistance: Which Kind of Aid Is Best? (CFI

2017 Conflict Minerals Company Rankings (Enough Project

The ICC and the need for a global rule of law that is impartial, consistent and universal (Africa is a Country


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