Secy State John Bolton?

The choice is apparently between a true radical or more traditional neocon with no diplomatic experience. “Aides to President-elect Donald Trump are focusing on former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton as the leading candidates to be the next secretary of state, two people familiar with the process said. The choice between the two would force Mr. Trump to choose between Mr. Giuliani, a longtime friend and ally in New York, and Mr. Bolton, a hawkish conservative diplomat who called last year for the U.S. to bomb Iran. A final decision could be several weeks away, these people said.”  (WSJ

From COP 22 in Marrakech…China and other countries will stay committed to the Paris Agreement on climate change, irrespective of what the next U.S. administration decides to do, the outgoing U.S. climate envoy said Monday. Jonathan Pershing told reporters at U.N. climate talks in Morocco he doesn’t know what President-elect Donald Trump’s “outlook” on climate policy will be. But Pershing said his Chinese counterpart, Xie Zhenhua, told him that China intends to move ahead regardless. “Of course they are going to move forward,” he said. “I’m hearing the same from the Europeans. I’m hearing the same from the Brazilians. I’m hearing the same from Mexico, and from Canada, and from smaller nations like Costa Rica and from Colombia.” (ABC

ICC Sets Sight on US Torture in Afghanistan…The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court said Monday that she had a “reasonable basis to believe” that American soldiers committed war crimes in Afghanistan, including torture. The international prosecutor has been considering whether to begin a full-fledged investigation into potential war crimes in Afghanistan for years. In Monday’s announcement, the prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, signaled that a full investigation was likely. Still, the prosecutor did not announce a final decision on an investigation, which would have to be approved by judges, and it is unlikely that the United States will cooperate. (NYT

Smoggy shutdown...Iran shut schools and apologised to tourists Monday as its cities were hit by choking levels of air pollution. (AFP

Fact of the day: The U.N. weather agency says 2016 is set to break the record for the hottest year since measurements began in the 19th century. (AP

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Meanwhile, Food Rations in Aleppo Will Run Out Next Week

A bad situation is about to get worse. “Jan Egeland, the special adviser to the U.N. envoy for Syria, said the last time the over a quarter of million people inside east Aleppo received any humanitarian aid was at the beginning of July. “The reports we have now from within east Aleppo is that the last food rations are being distributed as we speak. There will not be more to distribute next week. Some families have not had any distributions, families in need of relief, have not had any distributions for several weeks already,” Egeland said.” (AP

A Day of Protests in Egypt? A little-known group calling itself Movement of the Poor called in recent months for Egyptians to protest on Nov. 11 against rising prices and deepening austerity. The call gained traction on social media after Egypt floated its pound and raised fuel prices last week, a move hailed by bankers but bemoaned by ordinary people as the latest blow to their dwindling spending power. But the Movement of the Poor said on its Facebook page on Wednesday it canceled the protests due to a police crackdown.” (Reuters

The Top Contenders for Trump’s Foreign Policy Cabinet…Some steady hands and some radicals included in this list. (Foreign Policy

Reinstated celebrity U.N. ambassador…Maria Sharapova will be reinstated as a UN goodwill ambassador when her suspension from tennis expires next April. (Guardian


Some 30,000 residents of the Nigerian megacity Lagos have become homeless because of state-ordered demolitions and riots among slum dwellers competing for jobs and space, residents and a rights group said on Thursday. (Reuters

The Gambia’s controversial leader Yahya Jammeh on Thursday submitted his candidacy to seek a fifth term in December’s presidential election, saying he would listen only to God for guidance in governing. (AFP

Wider economic repercussions feared in Sudan as unexpected announcement to cut fuel and energy subsidies triggered a 30% price spike and opposition members are arrested for criticism of measures. (Guardian

Prosecutors have accused a Congolese rebel leader on trial at the International Criminal Court of tampering with witnesses, court documents published on Thursday showed, weeks after it found a former Congolese vice president guilty of the same. (Reuters

It has been almost three years since Somali pirates successfully hijacked a large commercial vessel but they retain the capacity and intent to resume the attacks and have lately shifted to targeting smaller foreign fishing boats, according to U.N. report. (VOA


Miracle at sea…Cyprus police say a Syrian woman says she gave birth aboard a boat loaded with 128 other migrants as they made their way from Turkey to the eastern Mediterranean island. (AP

Russia’s defence ministry on Thursday dismissed as “counterproductive” a request from the United Nations to extend future pauses in fighting to allow aid into rebel-held eastern Aleppo as winter comes. (AFP

More than 5,000 civilians have fled their homes since the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces launched an offensive on the Islamic State group’s Syrian bastion Raqa, an SDF spokeswoman said Thursday. (AFP

The United Nations special rapporteur to the occupied Palestinian territories said Thursday he was “very concerned” by Israel’s use of live fire in dealing with Palestinian knife attackers. (AFP


Millions of pounds of climate change aid to Bangladesh has been returned unspent to the British government following a long-running dispute over its delivery. (Guardian

A World Bank investigation into a tea plantation project in India that it jointly finances with tea giant Tata Global Beverages has found that it has failed to tackle alleged abuses of impoverished workers, the group said on Wednesday. (Reuters

A Philippine law enforcement agency filed bribery, graft and drug-related complaints against a senator and former minister on Thursday, in the first step towards prosecuting the biggest critic of President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs. (Reuters

Domestic violence is plaguing Cambodian communities beset by land conflicts linked to a mix of unclear ownership deeds, booming urban construction and large-scale agricultural investment, according to a report by the Cambodian Centre for Human Rights, echoing findings of an earlier U.S. study. (Reuters

A state in western India has launched a mobile app for people to report child abuse, in an effort to protect children after a series of abuses came to light. (Reuters

Su Shan and her partner are raising 5-month-old twins together, but only one of the women is their legal parent. That could soon change as Taiwan appears set to become the first place in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage. (VOA

The Americas

A Mexican congressional committee voted to reject a bid by President Enrique Pena Nieto to legalize gay marriage in the country, marking a setback for the president and gay rights in the traditionally conservative country. (Reuters

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump could use legal short-cuts to pull out of a global agreement for fighting climate change within a year, keeping a campaign promise and by-passing a theoretical four-year wait, lawyers say. (Reuters

Mexico is willing to “modernize” the North American Free Trade Agreement with US President-elect Donald Trump’s incoming administration and Canada, but will not renegotiate the pact, the foreign minister said. (AFP

For the second time in a week, the Brazilian government has frozen the accounts of the state of Rio de Janeiro because of a large outstanding debt. (AP

A U.S. government weather forecaster on Thursday said that previously predicted La Niña conditions have arrived and are slightly favored to persist into the Northern Hemisphere winter 2016-17. (Reuters

…and the rest

People in some of the world’s worst conflict zones believe the presence of humanitarian organisations is declining even as their need for them increases, according to an investigation into the impact of violence and insecurity on relief efforts. (Guardian

Many Muslims around the world expressed dismay on Wednesday at Donald Trump’s election as U.S. president, saying they feared it might raise tensions between the West and Islam and contribute to radicalisation. (Reuters

A refugee shelter with beds for 400 single men opened in Paris on Thursday, part of an ongoing drive to take asylum-seekers off French streets after the demolition of the Calais “Jungle” camp. (AFP

Supermarket obsession with perfect-looking produce and the use of arbitrary “best before” labels are causing massive food waste that if reversed could feed the world’s hungry, a UN panel said Thursday. (AFP


What Can We Expect from President Trump’s Foreign Policy? (UN Dispatch

Seeing past the shock of the Trump victory (Devex

Changing Determinants of Global Income Inequality (IPS

What will be the impact of the Trump presidency on women’s rights? (TRF

Will the UN become complicit in Pakistan’s illegal return of Afghan refugees? (IRIN

Why Africa Should Be Worried About Trump’s Win (Nation

The US election shows us why the SDGs are so important right now (ODI

Screening for Islamic State in Iraq: an inexact science (IRIN

5 questions aid workers should be asking ahead of Trump  (Aid Leap

Can Africa’s current education policies help build the scientists of tomorrow? (Africa can end poverty

A vote for the world’s health, absent from the headlines (Devex

What Trump Means for the World

Here’s a collection of content about the implications of the coming Trump presidency.

An uncertain global order. “Whether or not Donald J. Trump follows through on his campaign pledges to diminish or possibly abandon American commitments to security alliances such as NATO, his election victory forces nations around the world to begin preparing for the day they can no longer count on the American-backed order. This creates a danger that derives less from Mr. Trump’s words, which are often inconsistent or difficult to parse, than from the inability to predict his actions or how other states might respond to them. That uncertainty puts pressure on allies and adversaries alike to position themselves, before Mr. Trump even takes office, for a world that could be on the verge of losing one of its longest-standing pillars of stability.” (NYT

Whither the Paris Deal (and the UN?) While Trump has not laid out a detailed policy plan on the United Nations, he has offered his perspective on how “we get nothing out of the United Nations” and its financial support to the institution is “disproportionate” and not worthwhile.  Trump has also pledged to withdraw U.S. support from the Paris climate change agreement, a deal to cut greenhouse gas emissions and limit dangerously high global temperatures that went into effect this month. First steps from his transition team reportedly will involve canceling billions of dollars from U.N. climate change programs.” (DEVEX )

PODCAST: Foreign policy in the age of Trump. What the Trump era means for American alliances, Syria, the Iran nuclear deal and reproductive health around the world. Global Dispatches Podcast

Homecoming…”Afghan’s president on Wednesday welcomed back Sharbat Gula, the green-eyed “Afghan Girl” whose 1985 photo in National Geographic became a symbol of her country’s wars, offering her a furnished apartment after she was deported by Pakistan. Pakistan security officials escorted Gula overnight from a Peshawar hospital, where she had been staying since her arrest last month for living illegally in Pakistan, and handed her over to Afghan authorities at the Torkham border. Gula’s deportation comes amid Pakistani pressure to send 2.5 million Afghan refugees back home even though Afghanistan is facing a bloody Taliban insurgency and would struggle to look after so many returnees.”



The first batch of Kenyan troops who had served in a U.N. peacekeeping mission in South Sudan arrived home on Wednesday, after Nairobi ordered them to withdraw in response to the sacking of the Kenyan commander of the UNMISS force. (Reuters

The 21 Chibok schoolgirls freed by Boko Haram militants last month say they were not abused or raped during two-and-a-half years’ captivity in northeast Nigeria, a source close to the presidency said on Wednesday. (Reuters

Prolonged periods of drought along the Kenyan-Tanzanian border have depleted grazing land, forcing pastoralists to travel with their herds for weeks at a time – sometimes months – to look for greener pastures. (Reuters

Kenyan teachers want the government to ban a chain of low-cost private primary and nursery schools, backed by Microsoft’s Bill Gates and Britain’s aid budget, after it faced criticism from a court in neighboring Uganda for hiring unlicensed teachers. (Reuters

President Alassane Ouattara signed a new constitution into law on Tuesday, casting it as the way to a peaceful future for Ivory Coast, which has emerged as one of Africa’s rising economic stars after years of violent upheaval. (Reuters


The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court says her office is committed to making Libya a priority next year and expanding investigations, potentially including alleged crimes by Islamic State extremists and their affiliates. (AP

Nearly 42,000 people have fled their homes since last month’s start of the operation to recapture Mosul from the Islamic State group, the International Organization for Migration said Wednesday. (AFP

The future of the historic nuclear agreement with Iran is in the air with the prospect that a Donald Trump administration could take steps that would cause Iran to abandon its commitments, experts said Wednesday. (WaPo


Indians awakened to confusion Wednesday as banks and ATMs remained closed after the government withdrew the highest-denomination currency notes overnight to halt money laundering in a country where many in the poor and middle-class still rely mainly on cash. (AP

Unrest in Myanmar’s northwest is taking a “terrible toll” on children UNICEF said and called for full humanitarian access to the Muslim-majority north of Rakhine state. (VOA

The Americas

Honduras’s president, Juan Orlando Hernandez, said Wednesday he wants to put aside a constitutional bar on his re-election just once, and would not stand again after elections in a year’s time. (AFP

The website of Canada’s immigration ministry crashed as many Americans sought to emigrate to their northern neighbor to escape a Donald Trump presidency. (AFP

World leaders reacted to Donald Trump’s victory in the U.S. presidential election with offers to work with him tinged with anxiety over how he would deal with a host of problems, from the Middle East to an assertive Russia. (Reuters

The United Nations will count on Donald Trump’s new US administration to help combat climate change and advance human rights worldwide, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Wednesday. (AFP

The Brazilian doctor who first linked the Zika virus to brain damage in babies warns that rich countries are not safe from the disease, urging them to increase research funding. (AFP

…and the rest

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government will hammer out the final details of a delayed climate plan in the coming days so it can be presented at global climate talks in Morocco next week, her spokesman said on Wednesday. (Reuters

The European Union voiced grave concern about Turkey’s crackdown on opponents since a failed July coup in a highly critical report on Wednesday that made clear that Ankara’s prospects of joining the bloc have become ever more distant. (Reuters


President Trump’s humanitarian agenda (IRIN

International Order Depends on a Well-Educated American Public. So Let’s Get to Work. (UN Dispatch

Why are we ignoring the sexual health of women who have sex with women? (Guardian

What Trump Means for Africa (Daily Maverick

Are South Africans the Eighth Highest Sugar Consumers in the World? (Africa Check

Who builds the walls? (IRIN

Will Free Expression Equal Terrorism in Zimbabwe? (IPS

On to Raqaa

The fighting to retake ISIS’ de-facto capital has begun. “A second front against Islamic State militants has been announced, with US-backed Kurdish and Arab forces in Syria declaring that they have begun an operation to recapture the Syrian city of Raqqa, the group’s de facto capital. Defence analysts say the attack ratchets up pressure on the militant group at a critical moment, with its fighters already battling an offensive in their Iraqi stronghold of Mosul. The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) alliance of Kurdish, Arab and Christian forces said it had set up a command centre to coordinate with the US-led coalition in the operation, code-named Euphrates Rage. In a press conference in the Syrian town of Ain Issa, a town about 60 kilometres northwest of Raqqa, an official read a statement saying 30,000 fighters would take part, and the US would provide air cover. Residents were urged to vacate the city and avoid areas where the militants were present so as to avoid harm.” (NPR

UN investigating US Bombing in Afghanistan…The United Nations said it was investigating an incident in which more than 30 civilians were killed in U.S. air strikes called in support of a special forces raid on suspected Taliban militants in northern Afghanistan on Thursday. The U.N. Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said at least 32 people had been killed and 19 wounded in the strikes in Buz Kandahari near Kunduz, the vast majority women and children. The deaths add to a growing civilian casualty total in Afghanistan, where 95 have been killed and 111 injured in the past week alone, according to U.N. figures. (Reuters


A UN peacekeeper from Togo was killed and two civilians seriously wounded Sunday when a mine exploded as a military convoy passed through central Mali. (AFP

Police in Guinea-Bissau’s capital used tear gas to disperse hundreds of protesters demanding fresh elections on Saturday as a regional mission pushed for the implementation of a deal to end a year-long political crisis. (Reuters

South African Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan will be charged this year over a surveillance unit at the tax agency he once ran, the City Press reported on Sunday, six days after separate charges were dropped against him. (Reuters

A week-old ceasefire between the forces of two semi-autonomous regions of Somalia broke down on Sunday as fighting over a disputed border area erupted again, killing at least 20 people, army officials on both sides said. (Reuters

A U.S. citizen who believes his computer was hacked by the Ethiopian government is appealing for the right to have his case against a foreign government heard in a higher U.S. court. (VOA


Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) fighters have claimed responsibility for several suicide bombings that have killed at least 21 people and wounded dozens in two cities in northern Iraq. (Al Jazeera

A former Marine detained in Yemen for more than a year was released Sunday after diplomatic negotiations, senior American officials said. (NYT

Libyan pro-government forces fighting the Islamic State group in Sirte evacuated 14 civilians from a battleground district of the city, they said on Sunday. (AFP

Libya’s coastguard said it rescued 115 migrants on Sunday who had been aboard a rubber boat that broke down off Tripoli, and that one migrant had drowned. (AFP

President Bashar al-Assad claimed Western powers are “becoming much weaker” in Syria, in a confident interview published in The Sunday Times. (AFP

Lebanon’s newly elected President Michel Aoun has vowed to uproot corruption and strive for nation-building in the deeply divided country. (AP


Hong Kong police fired pepper spray and protesters threw bottles and road cones in clashes near China’s representative office on Sunday night where activists had gathered to demonstrate against Beijing’s attempts to stop a fledgling independence movement. (Reuters

Unknown gunmen kidnapped a female Australian employee of a non-governmental organization in the Afghan capital, Kabul, Afghan police said Sunday. (AP

Officials in the Indian capital shut down schools, halted construction activity and closed a coal-fired power plant temporarily as alarm bells were sounded about the deadly haze of air pollution that has shrouded the city this past week. (VOA

South Korean prosecutors arrested two former top presidential aides Sunday in a snowballing influence-peddling scandal which has seen tens of thousands of people take to the streets to demand President Park Geun-Hye resign. (AFP

A Pakistani provincial minister says his administration should intervene with the central government to prevent a world-famous Afghan refugee from being deported. (VOA

Police in Bangladesh have arrested dozens of people following fresh violence against Hindus, a senior officer said on Sunday, after a spate of attacks prompted concerns the authorities were not doing enough to protect the country’s biggest minority. (Reuters

Two Indonesians were kidnapped from fishing vessels in waters off Malaysia’s Sabah state in two separate incidents on Saturday, Indonesia’s foreign minister said, the latest in a string of abductions in the region. (Reuters

The Americas

If upcoming Vatican-backed talks between Venezuela’s bitterly antagonistic government and opposition fail, the result could well be “bloodshed,” a papal envoy warned Saturday. (AFP

…and the rest

More than 2,200 migrants were rescued in the Mediterranean on Saturday as they tried to reach Europe and 10 bodies were recovered, Italy’s coast guard said in a statement. (Reuters

The German Interior Ministry wants to stop migrants ever reaching Europe’s Mediterranean coast by picking them up at sea and returning them to Africa, the Welt am Sonntag newspaper reported on Sunday. (Reuters

Kosovo police say an opposition party member in detention has died under still unclear circumstances. (AP

Efforts to build a new global deal to tackle climate change were for many years criticized for moving at glacial pace. But this week climate negotiators meeting in Morocco find themselves facing an entirely new problem: a deal that, astonishingly, has come into effect more than three years ahead of schedule. (Reuters


Fred Bauma: On the front lines of Congo’s fight for democracy (Humanosphere Podcast

Liberia is Currently Under an Unprecedented Cyber Attack. This is how much it costs countries–rich and poor—when their Internet is down (UN Dispatch

Cholera 101: Why An Ancient Disease Keeps On Haunting Us (NPR Goats and Soda

Every tobacco death is an avoidable tragedy. The epidemic must stop here (Guardian

Five facts on the jihadist-held Syrian city of Raqa (AFP

The Perils of Writing about Toilets in India (IPS

Challenging gender inequality: in conversation with UN Women Asia and the Pacific (DevPolicy

Egypt’s All-Woman Roller Derby Team Is Skating Past Stereotypes (NPR Goats and Soda

Learning how to ‘get stuff done’ — skills for a humanitarian career (Devex

Editor’s take: Can UN peacekeeping be fixed? (IRIN

Why the way we vote matters for fighting poverty (Global Dashboard

Do unskilled migrants push down living standards in the OECD? (DevPolicy

Today is the Day the Paris Agreement Officially Kicks into Force

This happened much faster than negotiators originally expected. “The Paris Agreement, which aims to hold the global average temperature increase to “well below” 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit that increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius, enters into force Friday. Just three days later, the Twenty-Second Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP22), kicks off in Marrakech, Morocco. But, discussion of fundamental issues of the Paris Agreement’s implementation such as transparency rules, climate finance or pre-2020 carbon cuts may be overshadowed—at least in the first few days—by the results of the Nov. 8 U.S. presidential election reports Climate Home.” (NatGeo

Massive Loss of Life At Sea…Again…”At least 239 migrants, believed to be from West Africa, have died in two shipwrecks off Libya, a spokesman for the United Nations migration agency, said on Thursday. Five rescue ships, coordinated by the Italian coastguard, were within sight of the migrants but, despite attempts to rescue them, most died, the International Organization for Migration’s (IOM) chief spokesman, Leonard Doyle, said. “Two rubber dinghies, which is what they are, rubber dinghies, packed with migrants, totaling over 300 we think in all … have succumbed to the waves off Libya in very bad weather,” he said. Migrant arrivals in Italy surged to 27,388 in October, more than the two previous Octobers combined, and bringing this year’s total to more than 158,000, IOM’s Italy spokesman, Flavio di Giacomo, said.” (Reuters

Haiti, One Month On, Prepares for Elections…”As campaigning for Haiti’s on-again, off-again presidential vote begins for the fifth time Thursday, questions continue about whether the storm-ravaged country can hold fair and effective elections so soon after Hurricane Matthew hammered its southern region. “I can’t see the election going forward,” a doubtful Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Miami, said after visiting Haiti’s hard-hit Grand’ Anse Department last weekend with Miami Republican Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and North Miami Mayor Smith Joseph. “I don’t see how.” A month after Matthew‘s Category 4 winds and rains left at least 546 dead and upended the lives of some 2.1 million Haitians, huge challenges remain as relief efforts sparked at least two more deaths and aid groups struggle to reach victims in remote, mountain communities. The election is set for Nov. 20.” (Miami Herald


Police in Kenya’s capital fired tear gas Thursday on protesters demanding that the president act on rampant corruption or resign. (VOA

Kenya’s U.N. ambassador said Thursday that the Kenyan general who was in charge of peacekeepers in South Sudan during a violent episode in July has been made a ‘scapegoat’ for systemic U.N. peacekeeping failures. (VOA

South Africa’s justice minister presented a bill in parliament on Thursday to repeal the country’s membership of the International Criminal Court  – which the government has said clashes with diplomatic immunity laws. (Reuters

Uganda told the UN rights council on Thursday that it does not “tolerate” discrimination based on sexual orientation, a claim directly undermined by the government’s widely condemned record on gay rights. (AFP

South Africa’s Jacob Zuma faces a no-confidence vote in parliament next week with his presidency mired in crisis, after investigators documented allegations of government corruption and thousands of people took to the streets to demand he resign. (Reuters

The African Development Bank’s board approved a $600 million loan for Nigeria on Wednesday aimed at helping Africa’s largest economy plug its budget deficit as it grapples with its first recession in more than 20 years, a senior bank official said. (Reuters

The World Health Organization’s battle to eradicate Guinea worm is being hampered by conflict and infections in dogs but cases have fallen to just 17 so far in 2016, the doctor leading the fight told Reuters on Wednesday. (Reuters


Thousands of Yemenis protested Thursday against a new UN plan to end the devastating conflict between rebels and the Saudi-backed government, saying it would legitimise the insurgents’ power grab. (AFP

Lebanese Prime Minister-designate Saad al-Hariri said on Thursday he hoped for the quick formation of a government of “national accord.” (Reuters

A standoff with Morocco, which controls the majority of Western Sahara, is renewing pressure for a diplomatic solution to ensure footsoldiers don’t return to fighting as the last generation of commanders once did. (Reuters

Men and boys from Iraqi villages recaptured from the Islamic State group in the operation to retake Mosul have been unlawfully detained, tortured and ill-treated by tribal militia, Amnesty International said Thursday. (AFP

Egypt devalued its currency by 48 percent on Thursday and announced the pound would be allowed to float — measures that meet a key demand by the International Monetary Fund in exchange for a $12 billion loan over three years to overhaul the country’s ailing economy. (AP


US airstrikes early Thursday killed at least 30 Afghan civilians, including women and children, in the volatile northern province of Kunduz, officials said, after a Taliban assault left two American soldiers dead. (AFP

Vietnamese police have arrested a blogger for allegedly posting anti-state comments in the communist country’s latest crackdown on dissent. (AP

Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi said Thursday that her government is following the law in dealing with the situation in Rakhine state, where police have reportedly beaten and raped minority Rohingya Muslims. (AP

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte held talks with a wanted Muslim rebel leader at the presidential palace on Thursday, immediately after a court suspended a warrant for his arrest, in an effort to bolster his nationwide peace process. (Reuters

More than two dozen schools have been burned in Indian Kashmir by unidentified arsonists during the last two months as education becomes a new flashpoint in the unrest that has gripped the region since July. (VOA

Despite the process of democratic transition, farmers in Myanmar’s Karen state are being pushed off their land and face arrest and prison for standing up for their rights, an international watchdog reported Thursday. (AP

As clocks passed midnight into Friday, remote islands in the Pacific Ocean, many in danger of rising seas from global warming, kicked off a rolling coming into force of last year’s global agreement to slow climate change. (Reuters

Land conflicts in Myanmar have escalated in recent years, with military and armed groups driving people from their land, and new laws failing to protect farmers, a rights watchdog said on Thursday. (Reuters

Thailand’s top court Thursday dismissed a criminal defamation case against British labor activist Andy Hall that had been brought by a local fruit canning company and the attorney general, but his suspended prison sentence in a related case still stands. (AP

The Americas

The Venezuelan Armed Forces are taking control of the distribution of medicine and medical equipment to public hospitals, Defence Minister Vladimir Padrino announced. (BBC

As US politicians argue on how best to tackle illegal immigration — which has emerged as a dominant issue in the White House race — activists pieces together the human cost of an exodus along America’s southern border that has proved a challenge to successive administrations. (AFP

Police in Quebec secretly tracked phone calls received and made by six French-language reporters in 2013, according to press reports on Wednesday, widening a media surveillance scandal that has already sparked a furor in the Canadian province. (Reuters

…and the rest

Greenhouse gas emissions in 2030 will exceed by 12 billion to 14 billion tonnes what is needed to keep global warming to an internationally agreed target, the United Nations said on Thursday. (Reuters

The leadership of a World Health Organization treaty aimed at controlling tobacco could be about to get tougher with the global tobacco industry. (Reuters

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative ‘Union’ is anything but unified, with her Bavarian allies preparing to hold their annual party conference without her as the alliance struggles to repair divisions over her open-door migrant policy. (Reuters

More companies have promised to cut back deforestation in their supply chains for agricultural commodities since the Paris climate change deal last December, but progress in implementing those pledges is mixed, research groups said on Thursday. (Reuters

Post-communist countries in Europe have made significant headway since transition, but inequality poses a growing threat to long-term development, a report from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development said on Thursday. (Reuters

Greek retirees staged an anti-government rally in Athens on Thursday to protest a new round of cuts under the country’s international bailout program. (AP


How Hot Sauce can Explain the US Elections (Global Dispatches Podcast

Sustainable Development Will Be Impossible Without Radically Transforming How People Move Around the World (UN Dispatch

Khwezi showed how to challenge rape culture – the rest is up to us (Guardian

Voluntourism – What’s Wrong With the ‘White Savior Complex’? (DW

Hope Defines Obama’s Legacy in Africa (VOA

Why aren’t ‘Diaries of the Poor’ a standard research tool? (From Poverty to Power

Margaret Chan attempts one last WHO funding boost (Devex

The US presidential election: dollar transmission important for developing economies (ODI

The death knell of Zuma’s rule echoes transitions elsewhere in Africa (The Conversation

Foundation CEOs Shouldn’t Serve on Corporate Boards (Chronicle of Philanthropy

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