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Boko Haram strikes again

This modus operandi has been used by the group before. It looks as if Boko Haram is stepping up its offensive in the heart of Nigeria. “At least 15 people have been killed after two female suicide bombers, one said to be aged as young as 11, blew themselves up at a busy mobile phone market in north-east Nigeria, a day after more than 30 were killed in a bomb blast. Two explosions ripped through the Farm Centre market in northern Nigeria’s biggest city, Kano, shortly after 4pm on Wednesday. One of the bombers was said to be aged just 11 and the other 18. The Islamist terror group Boko Haram has previously used young girls as human bombs in its six-year insurgency in north-east Nigeria, which has left at least 17,000 dead and made more than 2.6 million homeless.” (Guardian http://bit.ly/1PAEY6D

Meanwhile, the new Global Terrorism Index is out and finds that Boko Haram is the world’s deadliest group.  http://bit.ly/1PAG0zI

French Authorities Ban Big Climate March…”Marches planned on Nov. 29 and Dec. 12 during the COP-21 international climate talks in Paris will not be authorised for security reasons, the French government said on Wednesday. All demonstrations organised in closed spaces or in places where security can easily be ensured could go ahead, the government said in a statement...Environmental activists have hoped the marches would attract perhaps 200,000 people to put pressure on governments to cut greenhouse gas emissions.” (TRF http://tmsnrt.rs/1PAFAcw )

Gayle Smith Will Finally Get Her Vote on Nov 30”A vote to confirm Gayle Smith to run the U.S. Agency for International Development comes amid the international migration crisis. Smith's nomination was approved by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in July, but has been held up for months by Republicans controlling the chamber. Democrats have been trying to up the pressure on GOP leaders to confirm almost two dozen nominees to national security-related posts.” (WSB/AP  http://bit.ly/1PAFG3Y

U.N. denies North Korea trip...The United Nations says Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will not be travelling to North Korea next week despite media reports saying otherwise. (VOA http://bit.ly/1OQpTxL)

Quote of the day: "Apparently they're scared of widows and orphans coming into the United States of America," said U.S. President Barack Obama in response to Republican lawmakers seeking to prevent the entry of Syrian refugees. (AP http://yhoo.it/1QMRMGy)

Africa

The United States condemned a vote by Rwandan lawmakers to approve a change to their constitution to allow President Paul Kagame to serve a third term. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1QMQZ8w)

Sixty injured people were treated by Doctors Without Borders at its trauma centre on 16 November after grenades exploded in several neighborhoods of the Burundian capital Bujumbura. (MSF http://bit.ly/1S4deoT)

An international health expert says Swaziland could eliminate malaria by the end of 2016 or in early 2017, likely making it the first mainland country in sub-Saharan Africa to get rid of the deadly disease. (AP http://yhoo.it/1luKs6n)

Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari has requested the approval of a supplementary budget to cover mainly the $2.1 billion of debt owed to fuel importers under a subsidy scheme, the presidency said on Wednesday. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1SYlibD)

International attention on the Paris attacks has resurrected a debate over the treatment of tragedies in Africa and how the continent's leaders react to them. (CSM http://bit.ly/1O2pjf3)

MENA

An international aid group says three years of Syrian government airstrikes in rebel-held eastern Aleppo have decimated the health care system there, killing or driving out scores of doctors and leaving just one-third of the hospitals in the area functional. (AP http://yhoo.it/1l63rni)

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Wednesday the West had to drop its demands about the political exit of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad if it wanted a genuinely international coalition against Islamic State militants. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1luKpaL)

Islamic State's official magazine carried a photo on Wednesday of a Schweppes drink it said was used to make an improvised bomb that brought down a Russian airliner over Egypt's Sinai Peninsula last month, killing all 224 people on board. (Reuters http://reut.rs/1PAGdTq)

Asia

Obscured by polluted haze, workers are putting the finishing touches to towering smokestacks on a multi-billion-dollar coal-to-oil plant in China that will pump out vast amounts of carbon dioxide when in operation. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1S4bj3C)

Myanmar's Aung San Suu Kyi pledged to pay "special attention" to ties with China when her party takes office after its election triumph, and said foreign investments would need public support to help improve relations. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1OQoU0v)

Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung says the communist country will do its best to develop good relations with China, but at the same time will defend its sovereignty in the disputed South China Sea. (AP http://yhoo.it/1QMR3VK)

Unicef has cautioned that the blockade of Nepal’s border posts with India “threatens the future of the country itself." (Guardian http://bit.ly/1luKtYe)

Bangladesh's Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld death sentences given to two influential opposition leaders who were convicted of war crimes during the country's 1971 independence war against Pakistan. (AP http://yhoo.it/1S4bgoD)

U.S. President Barack Obama on Wednesday demanded China end artificial island building in the hotly contested South China Sea, upping the pressure on Beijing at a regional leaders' summit. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1S4bgF4)

The Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal between the U.S. and 11 other Pacific nations is drawing potential new members from Asia and criticism from those excluded, as it heads for a tough ride in the U.S. Congress. (AP http://yhoo.it/1O2KfT4)

The Americas

Cuban officials blamed the United States for instigating a surge in the number of Cuban migrants attempting to reach the U.S. through Central America amid ongoing efforts to normalize relations between the former Cold War foes. (AP http://yhoo.it/1QMQWtt)

Police raided the trading desk of Argentina's central bank after a prosecutor accused the monetary regulator's president of directing the bank to sell U.S. dollar reserves at a rate below that on the international futures market. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1S4bdZV)

Operating with a sense of urgency but few details, Canadian officials said on Tuesday they did not know how many Syrian refugees would arrive or when as part of the prime minister's plan to bring 25,000 displaced Syrians to Canada by year end. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1QMQZFo)

At least two people were killed in Washington state and about 360,000 homes and businesses in the Seattle-area were without power on Tuesday as a storm packing powerful winds downed trees and triggered mudslides, local authorities said. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1S4bf3S)

Bolivian President Evo Morales has apologised for joking about the possibility of Health Minister Ariana Campero being a lesbian. (BBC http://bbc.in/1S4bcVE)

Brazilian mining company Samarco says two dams it uses to hold waste water from iron production are damaged and at risk of collapsing. (BBC http://bbc.in/1QMQFXc)

Brazil extradited a Paraguayan former mayor Tuesday to face trial for the slaying of a journalist and the reporter's aide last year. (AP http://yhoo.it/1QMQF9Q)

Opinion/Blogs

Can the UN broker a Syrian ceasefire? (UN Dispatch http://bit.ly/1PAC2af)

Dear politicians who want to bar Syrian refugees: here are 6 ways you're wrong (Vox http://bit.ly/1O0cbal)

Africa’s meningitis A vaccine: how partnership replaced ‘Big Pharma’ (IRIN http://bit.ly/1QMQIm2)

Syria isn’t Bosnia. And no, the problem isn’t ‘ancient hatreds.’ (Monkey Cage http://wapo.st/1QMUVpR)

From the Department of Gentle Suggestions (Jina Moore http://bit.ly/1OQqD5Z)

How scientific miscalculations could crash the climate (Guardian http://bit.ly/1O2KjT2)

How the Islamic State jihadist group operates (AFP http://yhoo.it/1S4aQhT)

Xenophobia after the #ParisAttacks isn’t limited to boneheads like Rupert Murdoch (Africa is a Country http://bit.ly/1QMTXK4)

Write What Will Develop Africa, Media Told (The Monitor http://bit.ly/1j7FydK)

Truth About Africa's Rising Middle Class (The Observer http://bit.ly/1luKnji)

A refugee tale: Daring to dream (Al Jazeera http://bit.ly/1QMT8kr)

Living in an Ebola Limbo - How Long Must Refugees Wait? (IRIN http://bit.ly/1O2KfTb)