Author Archives: Humanosphere

Climate change may be good for one thing – killing mosquitoes

Climate change is bad news for the planet, including the mosquitoes living in West Africa. Reduced rainfall will make it hard for mosquitoes to thrive and lead to lower rates of malaria in parts of the region, shows new research. It overturns earlier assumptions that malaria will get worse due to climate change. By looking

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U.N. sanctions on North Korea hurts aid efforts

North Korea is among the 37 countries the Food and Agriculture Organization said is in need of outside food assistance because of problems caused by El Niño. The authoritarian regime rejects help from most countries, making it difficult to support the 18 million North Koreans who do not have a sufficiently diverse diet. To make matters worse,

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News in the Humanosphere: Zika-linked microcephaly comes to Europe

A woman infected with the Zika virus gave birth on Monday to a baby with microcephaly in Barcelona, in what is probably the first case of its kind in Europe, according to the hospital where the infant was born. The woman is believed to have caught the Zika virus while traveling in Latin America, where

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News in the Humanosphere: African links in Panama Papers uncovered

Offshore companies connected to 44 of Africa’s 54 countries appear in the Panama Papers leak, according to new research. More than 1,400 companies in the files of the offshore law firm Mossack Fonseca have names that indicate mining or resource extraction interests – raising fresh concerns about how tax havens can be used to exploit

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Bolivia reaches goal of reducing land used to grow coca

In the latest evidence of the country’s success, a recent report from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) found that the area of land dedicated to coca leaf cultivation in Bolivia dropped from 20,400 to 20,200 hectares – 1 percent – from 2014 to 2015. A one percent drop seems insignificant, but

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Internet in Greek migrant camps as important as food and water, aid groups say

By Lin Taylor LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) — One of the first questions aid worker Isaac Kwamy was asked in Greece’s camps for refugees and migrants was not whether there was food or water, but whether there was internet access. “Very few of them (migrants) said, ‘We are hungry, we need food. Or we are

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Harsh winter takes a huge toll in the Peruvian Andes

This year’s winter in Peru has been particularly harsh. At least 105 people have died and thousands of children have suffered respiratory illness across the southern region of the country, according to the government. The bitter cold has also killed an estimated 50,000 alpacas, putting a serious strain on Andean farmers who rely on selling

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Researchers use city pigeons to study air pollution

Air pollution is one of the greatest threats to humans, caused by humans, today. The public is increasingly aware of the health and economic costs of air pollution, which has a disproportionate impact on the world’s poor. But efforts to combat the pollution problem have yet to outpace the speed at which we’re polluting the atmosphere,

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HIV infection rates increasing in 74 countries


DURBAN, South Africa — While the world has made progress reducing the number of people who die from AIDS every year by expanding access to life-saving drug treatments, many countries are increasingly failing to prevent the spread of HIV. That’s the disturbing gist of a new report released here at the 21st International AIDS Conference

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Playing for Change: Making peace through music

Grammy Award-winning producer, engineer and film director Mark Johnson stopped to listen to a subway musician on his way to work one morning, when he had an epiphany: “The greatest music I had ever heard was on the way to the studio and not in the studio.” According to his web site, he decided to bring the

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AIDS 2016: How Seattle scientists’ frustration turns to hope in hunt for an HIV vaccine

Editors note: As part of our coverage of the 21st International AIDS Conference, we are reposting part two of a series from the Seattle Times about the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center’s effort to find an effective HIV vaccine. View the full report here. By Nina Shapiro, Seattle Times staff reporter CAPE TOWN, South Africa

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Earth on track for hottest year ever as warming speeds up

By Stephanie Nebehay GENEVA (Reuters) — The earth is on track for its hottest year on record and warming at a faster rate than expected, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said on Thursday. Temperatures recorded mainly in the northern hemisphere in the first six months of the year, coupled with an early and fast Arctic

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News in the Humanosphere: Southern Africa food crisis as bad as Syria and South Sudan, warns…

The World Food Program activated its own internal emergency response mechanism, elevating the food crisis caused by El Nino in southern Africa to a “level 3” emergency. That’s the highest level, putting it on par South Sudan, Yemen, Iraq and Syria. Speaking from Malawi, World Food Program executive director Ertharin Cousin says the WFP is

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Women have been targeted in the failed Turkish coup

In the days since a failed military coup stunned Turkey’s citizens, photos of crowded and often violent male-dominated protests erupted across social media channels. In the midst of so much chaos, the apparent lack of women has raised some important questions: Where were the women? And how has the coup affected them? 1,563 military personnel

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