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News in the Humanosphere: U.S. details anti-abortion rule expansion, affecting $9bn in global health funds

Birth control consultation at a clinic in Mayange, Rwanda. (Photo Credit: Tom Paulson)

The Trump administration released new anti-abortion rules — including a policy name change — that will apply to almost $9 billion in global health funding, including a massive HIV/AIDS prevention program, the State Department announced on Monday. The rules — dubbed the “Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance” plan, and approved by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson — restrict any foreign nongovernmental organization receiving US global health aid from using any of their other funding to “perform or actively promote abortions as a method of family planning,” according to a senior administration official who briefed the press on the plan. “Referrals for the termination of a pregnancy in cases of rape, incest, or endangerment of the life of the woman are not prohibited under this policy,” the official added. (BuzzFeed

Macron is going to Africa…French President Emmanuel Macron will be undertaking his first African trip days after officially taking over at the Elysee Palace. According to AFP news agency, the 39-year-old’s first stop on the continent will be in West Africa, specifically in Mali. He is expected to visit troops fighting insurgents in the country on Thursday or Friday. France has been involved in the fight against militancy in the Sahel region. Under the Operation Barkhane mission, the French join United Nations troops in counter-insurgency efforts. (Africa News

Top Stories

Syria’s Foreign Ministry is denying U.S. allegations that the Assad government carries out mass killings of prisoners on a daily basis and then burns their bodies in a large crematorium outside the capital of Damascus. (VOA

An Indian court ruled that doctors were free to carry out an abortion on a 10-year-old girl who was raped and impregnated by her stepfather. (NY Times

Amnesty International launched a campaign to highlight what it says is a dramatically worsening situation for human rights activists across the globe. The group hopes its ‘Brave’ campaign will persuade governments to live up to their United Nations treaty commitments on protecting human rights defenders. (VOA

Chaos erupted in Venezuela this week during another round of protests against the socialist government, with buildings set afire, tear gas canisters lobbed back and forth, and at least three new deaths reported. (AP

The two gang rapes occurred just days after India’s Supreme Court upheld death sentences for the rapists in that 2012 case, proving that the strengthened laws and more severe sentences aren’t deterring violent crimes against women in India, experts said. (AP

Food shortages in northern Cameroon are raising tensions between local communities and Nigerian refugees displaced by the Boko Haram conflict. (VOA

A new study outlining containment strategies for the Ebola virus may help prevent an epidemic similar to the one that engulfed a number of western African countries two years ago. (VOA

Cyclone Enawo was the biggest storm in more than a decade to hit Madagascar. It left scores dead and triggered floods and landslides, destroying tens of thousands of homes. Two months on, the remarkable story of the village of Antanandava is a testament to Madagascan resilience. (Guardian

Thousands of girls from all over Ethiopia are trafficked to Addis Ababa to work in domestic service, some ending up in conditions comparable to slavery. (Reuters

Billboards advertising glamorous apartments and other luxury items loom high above impoverished neighborhoods on the highway leading to Peru’s Pacific coast and the South American country’s wealthy beach communities. (VOA


Nigeria: After Buhari…? (African Arguments

Assad Avoids Justice With Help From the U.S. (Bloomberg View

How Google Maps could help settle the Afghanistan-Pakistan border dispute (PRI

Why A Man Is On An IV In His Car Outside A Hospital In Yemen (NPR

Genetically Engineered Disappointments (IPS

Memo From Myanmar: As Myanmar Democratizes, Women’s Rights Lag Behind (NY Times

Solar Power Gains Popularity in Africa (VOA

Promising Developments in Mobile Financial Services (CFI

Building Capacity vs. Building Capability: Why Development Needs ‘Systems Thinking’  (Public Spheres WB

In southern Philippines, a test for WHO’s unconventional venture (Devex


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