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News in the Humanosphere: Corruption, drugs and crime top agenda at conference with U.S. and Central American leaders

Vice President Mike Pence. (Credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

Vice President Mike Pence praised Central American leaders for their efforts to attack crime, corruption and narcotrafficking and assured them that “your success is our success” as a two-day summit on the region’s security and prosperity opened Thursday at Florida International University. Pence’s speech was the highlight of a charm offensive between the United States, Mexico and the leaders of Central America’s so-called Northern Triangle — Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador — that dominated the Conference on Prosperity and Security. (Miami Herald

Blackouts…The Gaza Strip is in the midst of an electricity shortage that has left residents with just a few hours of power a day, turning many aspects of everyday life in the Hamas-ruled territory upside down and raising concerns about a humanitarian crisis. The reduced supply, combined with peak demand during the Ramadan holiday season, has created rolling blackouts that give people just two to four hours of power at a time.” (Fox

Top Stories

At least 18 people have died after gunmen posing as soldiers stormed a restaurant in the Somali capital after detonating a car bomb outside another. The militant group al-Shabab has claimed responsibility for the attack. (DW

Humanitarian rescue ships picked up more than 1,000 migrants from nine rubber and wooden boats off the coast of Libya on Thursday, Italy’s coastguard said. (Reuters

Rescuers recovered the body of a woman from the mass of mud that collapsed onto a village in southeastern Bangladesh, and were searching Thursday for several more missing after landslides killed at least 141, officials said. (VOA

The United Nations Mission in Colombia says it has received 40% of the weapons registered by the Farc rebel group, a figure which falls short of the 60% they should have received by now. (BBC

At least nine children are reported to have died as houses in Niger’s capital, Niamey, collapsed following heavy rain. (BBC

Burundian security forces and allied militia are still abducting, torturing and killing people with almost total impunity, U.N. investigators said on Thursday, an accusation fiercely denied by Burundi. (Reuters

A U.N. humanitarian aid adviser for Syria says trucks are being prepared to ship polio vaccine into Islamic State group-held areas of Deir Ezzor governorate following confirmation of a “very dangerous” outbreak of the virus. (VOA


Activists behind an app designed to assist doctors document evidence of sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo aim to go beyond obtaining justice for rape victims and collect data which could help secure prosecutions for war crimes. (TRF

Amnesty International criticized Nigeria’s military Thursday for dropping an investigation into senior officers accused of war crimes in the northeast during the conflict with Islamist Boko Haram insurgents. (Reuters

A Senior United Nations official says intense fighting in Syria and bureaucratic red tape are impeding the delivery of desperately needed humanitarian assistance to hundreds of thousands of people trapped in besieged areas. (VOA

Activists criticized the Ugandan president for failing to cater for gay men in his new plan to end HIV by 2030. (Guardian

UN war crimes investigators have denounced a “staggering loss of civilian life” caused by the US-backed campaign to reclaim Raqqa, the de facto capital of Islamic State. (Guardian

Human rights groups have disputed Russian claims that Aleppo has been “liberated” from Jabhat al-Nusra terrorists and affiliated extremists, accusing Russian and Syrian forces of having bombed Syria’s second largest city into submission. (VOA

The Amazon basin could suffer significant and irreversible damage if an extensive dam building program goes ahead, scientists say. (BBC

Some fifty million people currently bear the brunt of war in cities around the world. (ICRC


Is Right Wing Populism on the Decline in Europe? Because of Trump? A Member of the European Parliament Explains. (Global Dispatches podcast

Reversing U.S. policy on Cuba will not improve human rights, experts say (Humanosphere

Rio: Empty promises (BBC

Why migration from west Africa is slowing (The Economist

How to reduce inequalities in access to WASH (ODI

How Asia Can Take the Lead on Climate (Bloomberg View

What will Trump change about US-Cuba relations? (BBC

What Turkey’s crackdown on NGOs means for Syrian war relief (CSM

How to Avoid a Bloodbath in Venezuela (Foreign Policy


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