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News on the Humanosphere: U.S. refugee and travel ban goes into effect

A family of Afghan asylum seekers waits to enter the Moria registration center on the Greek island of Lesbos. (Zalmai/Human Rights Watch)

At 10:30 AM Eastern time Thursday, 72 hours after the Supreme Court gave the Trump administration a rare and significant court victory, the Trump “travel ban” was legally allowed to go into effect. But zero hour for the ban — which temporarily bars some people from getting visas if they come from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, or Yemen for the next 90 days, as well as barring an untold number of refugees for 120 days — is 8 pm Eastern time, when the administration will formally put it into effect in airports around America and consular offices around the world…Only certain family members, however, will count as “bona fide” relationships. According to the State Department cable, applicants (or refugees seeking to be admitted to the US) who have a “parent (including parent-in-law), spouse, child, adult son or daughter, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, sibling” or half sibling — or a “step” version of any of those relationships (stepparent, stepchild, etc) — in the US will be approved, because that relationship counts as “bona fide.” But other relationships don’t — including grandparents and grandchildren, fiancés, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins. (Vox

Child mortality skyrocketing in Venezuela…More and more children in Venezuela are dying from preventable causes during a rapidly worsening health crisis, according to doctors, patients, and official and private data…Of the young patients, infants suffer most. Last year 31 Venezuelan infants died every day on average. Many were victims of diarrhea, bacterial infections and other diseases that, according to the local pediatric society, could have been prevented or easily treated. “There are vaccines and antibiotics available, but Venezuela is so lacking that these illnesses are coming back,” said Dr. Huniades Urbina, president of the Venezuelan Society of Childhood and Pediatrics. Deaths of babies younger than 1 year old jumped 30 percent in Venezuela in 2016, according to government figures. That is a stark contrast to declines across Latin America.” (VOA

Top Stories

Gunmen fired at a United Nations convoy in Libya and seized seven U.N. observers. (VOA

Thousands of children continue to be trapped in relentless violence in West Mosul’s Old City neighborhoods as the fighting heavily intensified over the past hours. (UNCIEF

Italy has threatened to stop vessels of other countries from bringing migrants to its ports. (BBC

United Nations states struck a deal on a $7.3 billion annual peacekeeping budget, diplomats said, cutting $600 million from current costs and slicing 7.5 percent off the U.S. bill following calls by President Donald Trump to slash funding. (Reuters

An inside look at how reporters choose to cover lynchings in India. (NYT

Malawi launched Africa’s first air corridor to test the use of drones, or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, in humanitarian missions in partnership with UNICEF. (BBC

More than 20,000 children across nine districts in Somalia risk starving to death in a few months unless the international community continues to provide life-saving aid to the drought-stricken country. (Save the Children

After 13 years, the UN is completing the peacekeeping phase of its engagement with Côte d’Ivoire, after successfully assisting the country in restoring peace and stability following the post-2010 election crisis. (UN News Center

The UN Refugee Agency is alarmed over a fresh incident of forced returns of refugees from Cameroon into northeast Nigeria. This follows similar incidents earlier in the year, and more recently, repeated warnings that refugees are returning to a dangerous situation in which conditions do not yet exist to make returns safe and sustainable. (UNHCR


Here’s What Trump’s Travel Ban Means for Refugees Around the World (Global Dispatches podcast

Peace is Breaking Out in Colombia (UN Dispatch

China spent $100 billion on reforestation. So why does it have ‘green deserts’? (CSM

Brazil Needs to Look Beyond Scandal (Bloomberg View

Nikki Haley and Trump’s Doctrine of Diplomatic Chaos (Foreign Policy

Mutant Strains Of Polio Vaccine Now Cause More Paralysis Than Wild Polio (NPR Goats and Soda

Insurance: A Valuable Incentive for Small Farmers’ Climate Resilience (IPS

5 Things to Know About Venezuela’s Political Crisis (AP

After Helicopter Attack, Venezuelans Ask, What Was That About? (NY Times

Let’s invest in mobile phone surveys to monitor crises (Africa Can End Poverty

Ending famines and chronic hunger requires good governance (Devex


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