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News in the Humanosphere: Kony aide surrenders day after U.S. ends LRA hunt

This July 31, 2006 file photo shows Joseph Kony, leader of the Lord's Resistance Army, during a meeting with a delegation of 160 officials and lawmakers from northern Uganda and representatives of non-governmental organizations in Congo near the Sudan border. (AP Photo, File)

The Ugandan military says an aide to Lord’s Resistance Army chief Joseph Kony has surrendered, a day after the United States said it will withdraw from the task force chasing the notorious rebel group. Ugandan military officials said Thursday that Michael Omona, Kony’s chief communications officer, gave himself up in the Central African Republic. Omona was part of the LRA for 23 years after being kidnapped by the group in 1994. On Wednesday, the U.S. military said it will remove its forces from Operation Observant Compass, the task force established in 2013 to hunt down bands of LRA fighters roaming across Central Africa and bring Kony and other LRA leaders to justice. (VOA http://bit.ly/2od6DTT)

Report: Thailand is failing to stamp out slavery in fishing industry…Thailand is failing to protect migrant workers on fishing trawlers from murder and starvation, with trafficking and forced labor still rampant despite new government legislation, according to a new report. In an unusually critical ruling by the UN’s labor agency, the International Labour Organisation has urged the Thai government to remedy continued abuses on fishing vessels operating in Thai waters. (Guardian http://bit.ly/2ocMhtH)

Top Stories

Israel’s government approved the building of the first new settlement in 20 years in the occupied West Bank –  a move swiftly condemned as an obstacle to peace based on a two-state solution. (Al Jazeera http://bit.ly/2nQouz8)

Venezuela took its strongest step yet toward one-man rule under the leftist President Nicolás Maduro, as his loyalists on the Supreme Court seized power from the National Assembly in a ruling late Wednesday night. (NYT http://nyti.ms/2nQC5GN)

Ethiopian lawmakers extended the country’s six-month state of emergency for an additional four months. The widely expected move came amid reports of continued violence and anti-government activities in some remote, restive areas. (VOA http://bit.ly/2od9vzY)

Austria wants to stop refugees from coming into its borders, officials from the country said, asking the European Union to be exempt from taking in more asylum seekers. (IBT https://yhoo.it/2olBjiQ)

Campaigners are calling on the UK government to allow children who have been granted refugee status to apply for family members to join them. (Guardian http://bit.ly/2ocUI8u)

El Salvador has made history after becoming the first country in the world to ban metal mining. Lawmakers in the water-parched country passed the ban in a unanimous vote, declaring El Salvador a mining-free territory. (Guardian http://bit.ly/2olso15)

The Rohingya Muslim insurgency, whose sneak attacks in October killed nine border guard officers in Myanmar’s northern Rakhine State, issued a detailed list of demands this week that struck a far more pragmatic note while describing the use of violence in the past as self-defense. (VOA http://bit.ly/2olqwp0)

Reducing inequality, securing water supplies and strengthening disaster prevention is crucial to bolster Chile’s quake-prone capital against climate change and other hazards, Santiago’s authorities said. (VOA http://bit.ly/2oluvSi)

A Boko Haram faction led by the son of the group’s founder is trying to win over civilians by shunning the indiscriminate violence of its longtime figurehead that has alienated locals. (AFP https://yhoo.it/2olz52V)

Opinion/Blogs

Meet the Smugglers Who Make Mass Migration Possible (Global Dispatches Podcast http://bit.ly/2olxdHs)

Combating the Global Threat to Public Health (The Daily Star http://bit.ly/2olqIV7)

So is ‘Doing Development Differently’ a movement now? And if so, where’s it going? (From Poverty to Power http://bit.ly/2od5HPl)

Time to See TB Patients As True Champions in Fight Against Disease (The Conversation http://bit.ly/2ofbynA)

How successful were the millennium development goals? (Guardian http://bit.ly/2od6hwx)

Fighting famine in Yemen vs. aid for Saudis. Does the US have to choose? (CSM https://yhoo.it/2olt7Pw)

Rep. Chris Smith pushes stronger US role on aid worker security (Devex http://bit.ly/2od700I)

Agriculture in Africa–Telling Myths from Facts (Marc Bellemare http://bit.ly/2olyhLp)

A research agenda on education & institutions (Roving Bandit http://bit.ly/2ocRhOZ)

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