Top of the Morning: Scores of World Cup Fans Killed in Shebab Attack

Al Shebab strikes again. “At least 50 people were killed when gunmen in two minibuses sped into a town on Kenya’s coast, shooting soccer fans watching a World Cup match in a television hall and targeting two hotels, a police post and a bank, officials and witnesses said on Monday. Police said Somalia’s al Shabaab Islamist group was most likely to blame for Sunday night’s assault on the town of Mpeketoni, which lies on the Indian Ocean coastline that runs north from Kenya’s main port of Mombasa to the Somali border. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1vsM8gz)

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Africa

At least two people were killed and 15 prisoners escaped after a suspected Islamist militant detainee shot his way out of the main jail in Mali’s capital Bamako on Monday, a government official said. (Reuters http://reut.rs/1nLAvOx)

Thousands of opposition supporters took to the streets on Sunday in Niger’s capital Niamey to demand that authorities respect civil liberties, following the arrest of several of their number last month. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1vsMJPm)

The daughter of Sudanese opposition leader Sadiq al-Mahdi said there can be no national political dialogue in Sudan when everything people say is criminalized and there is lack of press and religious freedom. (VOA http://bit.ly/1qksTpn)

Civilians displaced by brutal fighting in South Sudan are ignoring calls from government officials to return to their homes, preferring the safety of squalid UN bases to the risk that conflict could again engulf towns already devastated in the six-month conflict. (IRIN http://bit.ly/1qktqYp)

The recent successful holding of legislative and presidential elections has raised hopes that Guinea-Bissau can move closer to the end of a two-year political crisis marked by international isolation and a devastating economic decline. (IRIN http://bit.ly/1vsOPPb)

Concern is mounting that British aid money may be funding police who are using rape as a tool of state-sanctioned torture against women in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. (Guardian http://bit.ly/1qkv3W2)

MENA

The United States has ruled out co-ordinated military action with Iran as one of the options being considered to thwart radical Islamic extremists in Iraq as Sunni Muslim fighters seized another Iraqi city. (Irish Times http://bit.ly/1nLAmuw)

Once again Israelis are gripped by the horror of their young people being abducted, apparently by Palestinian extremists, and the army is pulling out all the stops to retrieve them. (Globe and Mail http://bit.ly/1nLArhL)

Asia

More than 60,000 people have fled North Waziristan Agency to safer parts of Pakistan and neighbouring Afghanistan as Pakistan’s military launches an offensive in the region. Most of the people fleeing are children, and mental health experts are concerned that they will not have access to proper trauma care. (IRIN http://bit.ly/1vt89f8)

Thailand’s military government ended a rice price-support scheme, put in place under the former civilian government, as investigations continue into widespread corruption and losses of billions of dollars from the program. (VOA http://bit.ly/1qktiYK)

Authorities in southern Sri Lanka say three people have died in clashes between Buddhists and Muslims. (VOA http://bit.ly/1vsO0WC)

A low level of knowledge about sexual abuse is leaving Cambodia’s children vulnerable to harm, and a new report shows that despite sex education initiatives in recent years, a poor understanding by parents and children of what sexual abuse is, persists. (IRIN http://bit.ly/1vsRmJ3)

Thailand’s junta denied on Monday that they were pursuing a “sweep and clean” policy of driving illegal foreign workers out of the country. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1vsTdh7)

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi said it is up to the will of the people of her country if she becomes their president, reacting Monday to a vote against changing a constitutional clause that bars her from the office. (AP http://yhoo.it/1qkvQWV)

The Americas

The US Supreme Court has turned away Argentina’s appeal of lower court rulings ordering it to pay more than $1.3 billion to hedge funds that hold some of the country’s defaulted bonds. (AP http://yhoo.it/1vsWLzM)

Opinion/Blogs

Mark speaks with former US Ambassador to the UN Tom Pickering about the faltering Israel-Palestine peace process, his role in shaping US policy during the 1973 Yom Kippur War, and an awkward phone call with President-elect George H.W. Bush, who tapped him to serve as US Ambassador to the UN during the run-up to the Gulf War. (UN Dispatch http://bit.ly/1nfGEAO)

Zimbabwe Registrar General’s Claim That Contraception Causes Cancer Is Misleading and Alarmist (AfricaCheck http://bit.ly/1iBvBzb)

Are Impact Evaluations Enough?  The Social Observatory Approach to Doing-by-Learning (Development Impact http://bit.ly/1i12QRk)

Are we measuring the right things? The latest multidimensional poverty index is launched today – what do you think? (From Poverty to Power http://bit.ly/1nfGCJ8)

Brazil’s World Cup: The Good, Bad & Unequal (World Policy Institute http://bit.ly/1nfHX2z)

Please Do Not Teach This Woman to Fish (FP http://atfp.co/1i17a3c)

Quantitative versus qualitative measurement, the contest (Chris Blattman http://bit.ly/1i17Sxn)

Understanding food security through a gendered lens (IDS http://bit.ly/1kYaKL7)

Research/Reports

Aid insiders fret that major NGOs have become too big and have lost the flexibility and responsiveness they once had. (IRIN http://bit.ly/1qktQ0W)

Economic inequality is now center stage in the global debate, and the World Economic Forum asserts that this issue is the single biggest risk facing the planet. (CNN http://cnn.it/1vsRxEg)

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