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News in the Humanosphere: Venezuela braces for more opposition protests

Protest over long lines to buy basic goods during economic crisis in Caracas, Venezuela. (Credit: Carlos Díaz/Flickr)

Latin American powers warned against violence in Venezuela as it braces for big protests on Wednesday in a deadly political and economic crisis. Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos expressed “serious concern” about the Venezuelan army’s role, after his and 10 other countries urged peaceful demonstrations. Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro rallied the military and civilian militia on Monday as he vowed to resist the opposition’s efforts to remove him from office. “We view with serious concern the militarization of Venezuelan society. We call for good sense,” Santos, winner of the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize, wrote on Twitter. The center-right opposition is demanding elections to remove Maduro and protesting moves by authorities to tighten his grip on power. (Reuters

A bizarre hostage situation…A group of 100 unarmed South Sudanese refugees have taken 13 United Nations mission staff hostage in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, demanding to be moved to another country, a UN official based in the area said. The hostage takers were among 530 people living in the Munigi base outside Goma since fleeing South Sudan last August, the UN’s Goma bureau head, Daniel Ruiz, told Reuters. Most are former fighters loyal to the former vice-president Riek Machar. (Guardian

Guitarist’s quote of the day: South Sudan, Somalia, Nigeria, and Yemen are facing famine. Over 20 million people are at risk of starvation. We hope that support from the band and our community serve to inspire others to donate and take action as well. If we act now, and if we encourage our governments to act now, we can help prevent the starvation of millions of people.” – Pearl Jam guitarist Stone Gossard, announcing the group’s donations to the ICRC, Oxfam and Mercy Corps. (Pearl Jam

Top Stories

Libyan fishermen found the bodies of 28 illegal migrants who appeared to have died of thirst and hunger after their boat broke down off the coast of Sabratha city, a ministry of interior official said on Tuesday. (Reuters

A doctors’ strike in Cameroon left patients without critical care in the capital Yaoude, the latest in a string of union actions that have crippled a country in the midst of political crisis. (Reuters

They have been driven from their homeland in Myanmar and into desperate conditions. Now, newly-arrived Rohingya in Bangladesh are facing a new threat – the disappearance of their children. Fears are growing about their fate in a district known for its human trafficking networks. (VOA

The showdown South Africans have been demanding for weeks is not likely to happen soon, as a no-confidence vote for the increasingly unpopular president has been postponed from Tuesday pending a ruling from the nation’s top court. (VOA

The trial of a French soldier charged with molesting two young girls while serving in Burkina Faso in 2015 is due to start. (BBC

Ethiopia’s state-affiliated Human Rights Commission says 669 people died, including 63 policemen, in the wave of anti-government protests that began in November 2015. (BBC

Nearly 9,000 mainly African migrants were rescued in the Mediterranean this past long weekend, after setting out from Libya on unseaworthy boats to try to reach southern Italy and a gateway to Europe, U.N. aid agencies said on Tuesday. (Reuters

Biochemists may have discovered a type of antibiotic that sounds like something out of a fairy tale: It is based on dragon blood. Scientists from George Mason University recently isolated a substance in the blood of a Komodo dragon that appeared to have powerful germ-killing abilities. (NY Times

IOM appealed for $4.3 million to provide humanitarian aid to the population affected by the floods on the north coast of Peru. (IOM


What has Esther Afua Ocloo done for women? Google knows (Guardian

China Is Playing Peacemaker in Myanmar, but with an Ulterior Motive (Foreign Policy

The Rise of Philanthropy’s ‘Shadow Giving System’ (Tiny Spark

Demand for Lower Peacekeeping Dues to Pit US Against UN (IPS

President Trump, do you plan to prosecute those who give aid or shelter to undocumented immigrants? (GlobalPost

Turkey Takes a Stride in the Wrong Direction (Bloomberg View

As global famine aid comes up short, Somalis abroad step up (CSM

IMF Reforms and the Path to Development (Sri Lanka Sunday Times

Get Ready for Another Famine-Fueled Migrant Crisis – In Nigeria (Foreign Policy

Watch The MTV Soap Opera That Is Secretly Teaching Sex Ed (NPR Goats and Soda

Lessons from Burkina Faso’s inclusive education system (Devex


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