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News in the Humanosphere: Babatunde Osotimehin, UNFPA chief and reproductive health advocate, dies

Babatunde Osotimehin, Executive Director of UNFPA, speaking at the London Summit on Family Planning in London. (Credit: Russell Watkins/Department for International Development)

The head of the United Nations Population Fund, Babatunde Osotimehin, a champion for girls’ and women’s health, has died suddenly at his home, the UNFPA said on Monday. “This is a devastating loss for UNFPA and for the people, especially women, girls and youth, he dedicated his life to serving, starting from when he became a doctor in Nigeria,” the U.N. agency said in a statement. The cause of death was unclear. “Dr. Osotimehin was bold and never afraid of a challenge and his strong leadership helped keep the health and rights of the world’s women and girls high on the global agenda.” (Reuters

Qatar cut out…Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain severed their ties with Qatar on Monday, accusing it of supporting terrorism and opening up the worst rift in years among some of the most powerful states in the Arab world. Iran — long at odds with Saudi Arabia and a behind-the-scenes target of the move — immediately blamed U.S. President Donald Trump for setting the stage during his recent trip to Riyadh. Gulf Arab states and Egypt have already long resented Qatar’s support for Islamists, especially the Muslim Brotherhood which they regard as a dangerous political enemy. (Reuters

Top Stories

Seven African migrants died, apparently from suffocation, after being locked for two days in a refrigerated truck that was abandoned by people smugglers on the Libyan coast, officials said. (Reuters

Philippine opposition lawmakers petitioned the Supreme Court on Monday to review and nullify President Rodrigo Duterte’s imposition of martial law in the southern third of the country. (AP

China complained to Zambia after 31 of its nationals were arrested at the weekend for alleged illegal mining practices. (BBC

A 22-year-old who was set alight last month at an anti-government protest in Venezuela’s capital Caracas has died. Photographs had showed the man, Orlando Figuera, surrounded by an angry crowd in the Altamira district. President Nicolás Maduro has said the victim was set upon because he was a government supporter. (BBC

Kenya’s most flamboyant anti-corruption activist, Boniface Mwangi spent years enraging politicians with headline-grabbing stunts, once herding blood-drenched pigs to parliament to highlight legislators’ sky-high salaries. Now he’s running for office. (Reuters

Weeks after becoming U.S. President Donald Trump’s ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley described the U.N.’s Human Rights Council as “so corrupt.” Expect some sparks to fly, then, when she addresses that body for the first time. (VOA

Asian cities will gain by about $1.5 trillion a year by 2030 if predictions on green and sustainable growth are proved correct, with tens of millions of new jobs created, and cities across the region seeing improvements in their liveability and environment. (Guardian

A successful drive to curtail the practice of wedding dowries in certain Muslim areas of India is reaping dividends – and even crossing religious boundaries. (Guardian

Campaigners who believe funding for schooling in the world’s poorest countries has hit crisis levels say next month’s G20 meeting will be a “make or break” moment for education. (Guardian


The Fallout Begins from Trump’s Decision to Leave the Paris Agreement (Global Dispatches Podcast

On Climate, China Should Think Small (Bloomberg View

Silk Road Hub or Tax Haven? China’s New Border Trade Zone May Be Less Than It Seems (Reuters

Amid silence, atrocities in Darfur have restarted (African Arguments

Is Saudi Arabia’s Massive Economy Reform Coming Off the Rails? (Foreign Policy

Trump Will Make the US Face Loss and Damage Claims (Inter Press Service

The Venezuela Debt Dilemmas (Blomberg View

#50MillionTrees: how young people are fighting deforestation in Tanzania (Guardian

The Toll Corruption Takes on Afghan Security Force Capacity (Global Anticorruption Blog

4 recommendations to prepare for climate-related migration (Devex

Latin America’s Constitution Problem (Bloomberg View

Women Small-Holder Farmers, Key Drivers for Sustainable Production (Inter Press Service


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