UN-Style Justice for Cecil the Lion

| July 31, 2015

The General Assembly passed a first-ever resolution on combatting wildlife crime. The resolution, coincidentally, comes as world attention is focused on the poaching death of a Zimbabwean lion at the hands of an American hunter. “Adopting a consensus text resolution, the 193-Member body encouraged Governments to adopt effective measures to prevent and counter the serious problem of crimes such as illicit trafficking in wildlife and wildlife products, including flora and fauna and poaching. The resolution suggests “strengthening the legislation necessary for the prevention, investigation and prosecution of such illegal trade, as well as strengthening enforcement and criminal justice responses, acknowledging that the International Consortium on Combating Wildlife Crime can provide valuable technical assistance in this regard.” (UN News Center http://bit.ly/1KDbKPK)

Big Cyclone Bears Down on Bangladesh…”Cyclone Komen, forming in the Bay of Bengal, has destroyed dozens of makeshift homes on Bangladesh’s southernmost point of Saint Martin’s island as it moves towards the coast, local police chief Ataur Rahman said. ‘At least 150 houses of local fishermen were reportedly destroyed due to the storm,’ he said. Three men were killed in separate incidents when trees fell onto their tin houses, Rahman said. The storm, currently southeast of the city of Chittagong, was packing winds of only about 54 kilometres (33 miles) an hour and was expected to lose strength after making land, meteorologist Abdur Rahman said. “The storm is slowly moving northwest and likely to hit the southern coast in the afternoon,” he said. Some 60,000 people have been evacuated from coastal villages in the southern resort district of Cox’s Bazar following concerns of high waves, senior local official Anupam Saha told AFP.” (AFP http://bit.ly/1KDdx7j)

Africa

Nigeria’s army said Thursday it had set free 59 people held by Boko Haram, among them 29 women and 25 children, amid an ongoing offensive against the Islamist group in the country’s restive northeast. (AFP http://bit.ly/1KDdbxn)

The US special envoy to South Sudan said Thursday that patience has run out over the country’s civil war, pressing the message that the warring parties were running out of time to strike a deal and stop fighting. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1IttRnh)

Burundi’s main opposition leader Agathon Rwasa was Thursday elected as deputy head of the national parliament, despite having condemned recent elections and supported months of civil unrest. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1LU9fKd)

Botswana has allocated emergency funds in response to the worst drought conditions in 30 years with agricultural land badly hit by the lack of irrigation, the government said Thursday. (AFP http://bit.ly/1ORUZ4M)

Authorities in Sierra Leone said Thursday they had quarantined 500 people after a man died from Ebola in an area where the deadly virus had been gone for months, in another setback for the fight against the disease. (AP http://yhoo.it/1DU9YF0)

The number of children working on cocoa farms in the world’s top producer Ivory Coast is on the rise as production climbs, a Tulane University report showed on Thursday, ramping up pressure on chocolate companies to ethically source beans. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1IvPyrf)

Eritrea urged the U.N. Security Council to help bring human traffickers to justice on Thursday and said smuggling groups, not human rights abuses, were causing an exodus of migrants to Europe. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1IttPM9)

Soldiers believed to be with the South Sudanese army and allied militia stole relief supplies and killed seven people in an attack on a rebel-held part of Unity state, a local official said Thursday. (AP http://yhoo.it/1IvPBTY)

Nigeria’s Defense Ministry has appointed a new general to head the multinational army it is hoped can defeat the Boko Haram Islamic uprising that has killed 20,000 people and driven nearly 2 million from their homes. (AP http://yhoo.it/1IvPBDf)

Stephen Ellis, the British historian who wrote extensively about Africa and particularly about South Africa, died of leukaemia at his home in Amsterdam on July 29, aged 62. He was the Desmond Tutu Professor of Social Sciences at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam when he died. (Mail and Guardian http://bit.ly/1KDcTGT )

MENA

An ultra-Orthodox Jewish man who had recently been released from prison after serving 10 years for stabbing participants in the annual Gay Pride Parade here in 2005 struck again on Thursday, stabbing and wounding six marchers in this year’s parade, according to the police. (NYT http://nyti.ms/1KDclRn)

The commander of a group of Syrian fighters trained by the United States has been kidnapped by Al Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria, his group said in a statement Thursday. (NYT http://nyti.ms/1KDcfZU)

The $274 million that Saudi Arabia promised months ago to fund a U.N. emergency aid appeal for Yemen hasn’t arrived because the kingdom and the world body are still discussing the terms of the funding, while aid groups begin to warn that people trapped by the conflict are on the brink of starvation. (AP http://yhoo.it/1DU9Rcw)

Morocco’s King Mohammed VI urged the government Thursday to develop remote regions of the North African nation, in a speech marking the 16th anniversary of his accession to the throne. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1Mxr7LI)

Asia

The Taliban has conceded Mullah Mohammad Omar, the one-eyed Afghan cleric who transformed a mob of 50 madrasa students into a national insurgency, is dead amid reports it has appointed a supporter of peace talks as his successor. (Guardian http://bit.ly/1KDcLXV)

Landslides in a mountain area of Nepal buried three villages Thursday, killing at least 20 people, authorities said. (VOA http://bit.ly/1IttQQ7)

Authorities in Papua New Guinea have rescued eight fishermen held on board a Thai-owned refrigerated cargo ship, and dozens of other boats are still being sought in response to an Associated Press report that included satellite photos and locations of slave vessels at sea. (AP http://yhoo.it/1DUabYO)

The Americas

Hundreds of Chileans took to the streets of affluent Santiago neighborhoods on Wednesday night, clanging kitchenware and waving banners to protest what they say is an explosion in crime in one of South America’s safest nations. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1LU9aqb)

Tens of thousands of children in El Salvador flee their homes each year to escape gang violence, and the government is “either unwilling or unable” to protect them from persecution, a U.S.-based advocacy group said on Thursday. (TRF http://yhoo.it/1DU9sXs)

Floods are forcing thousands of people to flee their homes in a slum near Paraguay’s capital that was recently visited by Pope Francis. (AP http://yhoo.it/1DUaqD4)

AP Investigation: What’s in Rio’s water? AP explains tests http://yhoo.it/1LU9c17)

…and the rest

The world’s forests are taking longer than expected to recover from increasingly frequent droughts, meaning their ability to store climate-changing carbon dioxide is smaller than previously thought, Utah University researchers said on Thursday. (TRF http://yhoo.it/1IttWHv)

With up to 450,000 asylum-seekers expected this year, a wave of xenophobic attacks has swept Germany, though many others are welcoming the foreigners. (Guardian http://bit.ly/1LU9cye)

UK Prime Minister David Cameron faced heavy criticism Thursday for saying a “swarm” of migrants was trying to come to Britain, as authorities in France struggle to stop them crossing the Channel. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1LU9gOp)

Small island nations that say climate change threatens their very existence are asking the U.N. Security Council to do more to address the issue as a matter of international peace and security, especially with a critical climate summit in Paris coming late this year. (AP http://yhoo.it/1LU9ntf)

Opinion

Mapped – the world’s conflicts (IRIN http://bit.ly/1IttWr2)

Why We Need to Tread Carefully in Drawing Up Human Rights Rules for Business (The Conversation http://bit.ly/1SQ336r)

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