Vatican Announces Pope Visit to Africa, CAR on the Itinerary

Interesting to note that at the height of the CAR crisis, Muslims were driven from the country en masse in an apparent campaign of ethnic cleansing. “Pope Francis will make his first trip to Africa in November, for a six-day visit that will take him to three countries, the Vatican said Thursday. The pope will visit Kenya, Uganda and the Central African Republic from Nov. 25-30, an itinerary that extends his practice of focusing his international travel on the developing world. Pope Francis has made poverty and the inequities of globalization major themes of his pontificate and is likely to address those topics during his African visit… Pope Francis’ visit to the CAR will take place a month after scheduled general elections, the first since 2011. Since that time, the country has been wracked by civil war between government forces and several rebel groups. The government still lacks control of the entire country.” (WSJ )
Iran Deal Survives Congressional Test…The Senate failed to advance a motion to disapprove of the Iran nuclear deal, saving President Obama from having to cast a veto. (NYT

Cool finding of the day: Scientists say they’ve discovered a new member of the human family tree, revealed by a huge trove of bones in a barely accessible, pitch-dark chamber of a cave in South Africa. (AP

Stat of the day: More than 80 percent of the 120 million Africans using Facebook access the site through their mobile phones, the social media group said Thursday. (AFP

Intriguing Film Plot Starring Danny Glover of the Day….U.S. actor Danny Glover said Thursday that he is in Nigeria to star in a movie based on people who risked and sacrificed their lives to stop the spread of Ebola in Africa’s most populous country. (AP


South Sudan’s parliament unanimously voted on Thursday to adopt a peace deal agreed last month by President Salva Kiir and rebel leader Riek Machar, amid mounting pressure for both sides to lay down their arms. (Reuters

The World Food Program says it is scaling up aid for hundreds of thousands of hungry people, many severely malnourished, who have fled to Chad, Niger and Cameroon to escape attacks by Boko Haram militants in northeastern Nigeria. (VOA

The International Criminal Court on Thursday unsealed, or made public, arrest warrants against two Kenyan men for “corruptly influencing witnesses” in the east African nation. (Reuters

A new report by UNICEF says the majority of Nigerian children suffer violent abuse. The report says that for some kids, the abuse starts before their fifth birthday. (VOA

Ghanaian authorities on Wednesday suspended 22 junior judges accused of bribery after they were captured on video, the Judicial secretary said in a statement. (Reuters

Guinea Bissau’s President Jose Mario Vaz dismissed his two-day-old cabinet on Wednesday after the Supreme Court ruled that his appointment of a new prime minister was unconstitutional, a presidential decree said. (Reuters

Bulldozers, homes in ruins, anger: after years of war the people of Goma in eastern DR Congo now are bearing the brunt of moves to clear a neutral zone on the border with Rwanda to prevent further conflict. (AFP

Isolated flare-ups of Ebola may point to a higher risk of transmission via the semen of male survivors than previously thought, undermining hopes of ending West Africa’s deadly outbreak by the end of the year. (Reuters

Somalia may be wracked by conflict, politically fragile and braced for potentially devastating floods, but Abdusalam Omer believes it is ripe for foreign investment. (Guardian


Organisers of mass protests in Lebanon over trash festering in the streets said Thursday the government’s long-awaited plan to deal with the crisis is too vague and does not meet their demands. (AFP

The influx of refugees to Europe was triggered in part by donors taking the “cheap option” and not giving enough aid to displaced Syrians in Middle Eastern asylum countries, the head of the U.N. refugee agency in Jordan said in an interview. (AP

A flood of desperate refugees and images of a toddler lying dead on a beach have thrown Syria’s chaos into stark relief, but global powers are still far from seeing eye-to-eye on a solution to the conflict. (AFP

Russia flies both military equipment and humanitarian aid to Syria, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Thursday. (Reuters


Tens of thousands of people were ordered to flee homes across Japan on Thursday as heavy rain pounded the country, sending radiation-tainted waters into the ocean at the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant. (AFP

Two Nepalese maids who alleged they were beaten and raped by a Saudi diplomat in India were taken to a women’s shelter in Nepal on Thursday. (AP

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi on Thursday urged voters to opt for “real change” and back her party in the first general election since the end of military rule, as she took her campaign into the backyard of a close presidential ally. (Reuters

Cambodia has agreed to take more refugees from an Australian detention center on the island of Nauru, giving a boost to a $40 million resettlement deal that so far has been widely seen as an expensive failure for Australia. (VOA

Bangladesh has arrested three members of an Islamist group, including its leader, for their alleged involvement in the killings of online critics of religious militancy, a spokesman for a Bangladesh security unit said on Thursday. (Reuters

The Americas

After months of trying to shore up Brazil’s public finances, President Dilma Rousseff now faces political and business pressure to ease up on painful austerity measures in a country long hooked on the helping hand of a big state. (VOA

Presidential campaigning began in Haiti Wednesday, where 54 candidates are vying for the top office amid heightened criticism of the country’s electoral commission. (AFP

Refugee Crisis

USA to take in 10,000 Syrian Refugees next year. (BBC

Pope Francis is expected to focus on the need for peace in a conflict-torn world facing the biggest refugee crisis since World War II when he addresses the United Nations later this month, the Holy See said Wednesday. (AP

A potent mix of fear, ignorance and Islamophobia is fuelling widespread opposition in eastern Europe to taking in refugees despite EU pressure for a new quota system. (AFP

Danish police will no longer try to stop migrants and refugees from transiting through the country to get to Sweden and other Nordic countries, the police chief said Thursday. (AP

As if fear, hunger, thirst, worry and exhaustion were not enough to endure, new trials emerged Thursday for those on the 1,000 mile-plus trek into Europe: torrential rains and thick mud. (AP

Finland’s government on Thursday proposed increasing capital gains tax and income tax on high earners to help pay for a 10-fold increase in refugees expected to arrive this year, its finance minister said. (Reuters

EU member Hungary recorded on Thursday a new record number of migrants entering the country with 3,321 refugees crossing the border from Serbia in the past 24 hours, police said. (AFP

Sweden will increase spending on better integrating immigrants into the labor market and increase compensation for municipalities where refugees settle, the government said on Thursday. (Reuters

A record-breaking influx of refugees could help ease Germany’s skills shortage and companies should start training programs for asylum-seekers to speed up integration, Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel said on Thursday. (Reuters


Why is it so hard to prioritize development goals? (Humanosphere

Why do countries REALLY build border fences? The answer may surprise you. (Global Dispatches Podcast

What has the United Nations ever done for women? (Guardian

How Did Polio Pop Up In Two Polio-Free Countries: Ukraine And Mali? (Goats and Soda

Strong Climate Deal Needed to Combat Future Refugee Crises (Inter Press Service

In Angola we’re proud – we have the upper hand over our former coloniser (Guardian

Innovative financing for development: as if social returns, incentives, and value for money really mattered (PDF

Developing World Tourism ‘Not Living Up to Its Promise’ (SciDevNet

Food Insecurity Is More Than Just Severe Hunger (The Conversation

A Strong Welfare State Produces More Entrepreneurs (The Atlantic

A problem for every solution on climate (Global Dashboard

What’s Missing in Vox’s Negative TOMS Piece (Across Two Worlds

The Millennium Development Goals Were Bullsh*t. And That’s Okay (Huffington Post