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IRIN's Top Picks: Syrian sieges, social media, and space oddity
15 January 2016 (IRIN ), Welcome to IRIN's reading list. Every week our global network of specialist correspondents share their top picks of recent must-read research, podcasts, reports, blogs and in-depth articles to help you keep on top of global crises. We also highlight key upcoming conferences, book releases and policy debates.
Syrian refugees in Cologne fear backlash
15 January 2016 (IRIN ), Syrian refugees living in Cologne say they’re afraid they’ll have to pay the price for the actions of gangs of men, said to be of Arab and North African origin, who assaulted and robbed women in the city on New Year’s Eve. Twenty-two asylum seekers are reported to be among the suspects that German police have identified so far.
Low food prices but poor still go hungry
14 January 2016 (IRIN ), Global food prices are at their lowest level in years, but thanks to the exceptionally strong US dollar poor people in developing countries suffering severe climate shocks are seeing no benefit.
How a city in Tanzania holds the key to peace in Burundi*
13 January 2016 (IRIN ), At some stage, both sides in Burundi’s increasingly bloody political crisis are likely to be sitting across the table from one another in Arusha, Tanzania, looking to agree a political settlement.
Part of the family: Sicilians take in migrant children
12 January 2016 (IRIN ), A network of volunteers in Sicily, one of the frontlines of Europe’s migration crisis, has come up with a hands-on approach to help the record number of teenage migrants and refugees who have been arriving on the island without an adult guardian.
Uganda feels the strain of the Burundi crisis
11 January 2016 (IRIN ), For the past three years, the war raging across Uganda’s northern border in South Sudan has been pushing its refugee-hosting abilities to breaking point. But it is now the simmering violence to the south in Burundi that could tip the situation over the edge.
New Year, same old problems for Zimbabwe
7 January 2016 (IRIN ), Over the next three months, 1.5 million Zimbabweans will be short of food until the new harvest comes in – and even then it’s expected to be a meagre crop.
Boko Haram arrests worsen Cameroon prison conditions
6 January 2016 (IRIN ), Detention conditions in Cameroon's prisons are worsening as thousands of people suspected of having links with Boko Haram are thrown into jail. An ill-equipped court system fails to process the cases, while suspects languish indefinitely, and more and more arrive from the Far North Region each week.
Sri Lanka’s torture machine continues in peacetime
6 January 2016 (IRIN ), Sri Lanka’s new government has been lauded for efforts at reconciliation after a devastating civil war. Yet, civilians are still being abducted, tortured and sexually abused by security forces, according to a report published today.
A different sort of aid for Syria?
4 January 2016 (IRIN ), Some aid organisations and policy experts are finding that with more than four out of five Syrians in poverty, traditional humanitarian aid, while necessary, just isn’t enough. So they’re advocating for, and implementing, livelihood projects – intervention to assist people’s abilities to support themselves.

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