Republicans will likely keep control of the Senate, while Democrats take over the House as a result of upcoming midterm elections. However, there remains a viable path for the GOP to keep control of Congress.
United Nations envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura announced this week he would step down from his post in November after four years of efforts to broker a Syrian peace deal. De Mistura is due to visit the Syrian capital of Damascus next week with the goal of establishing a committee to develop a post-war constitution.
Humanitarian and economic conditions on the Gaza Strip are at crisis levels and United Nations Middle East peace envoy Nickolay Mladenov is urging Israeli and Hamas leaders to show restraint. "We remain on the brink of another potentially devastating conflict, a conflict that nobody claims to want, but a conflict that needs much more than just words to prevent," Mladenov told the UN Security Council this week.
The spread of the Ebola virus in the Democratic Republic of Congo is cause for serious concern, but does not yet constitute an international public health emergency, according to a World Health Organization committee that met this week. Health agencies' rapid response to the outbreak has been good and the organization has "some optimism that this outbreak, just like the one in May, will be brought under control within reasonable time," said committee chairman Robert Steffan.
The World Health Organization, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and UN Women are calling on global leaders to ban the practice of testing women to see if they are virgins. The agencies say the practice violates six human rights, including the right to be protected from gender discrimination and the right to be free from torture or degrading treatment.
Former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is teaming up with Microsoft founder Bill Gates and World Bank CEO Kristalina Georgieva to launch a global commission to study how to adapt to global warming. "We are at the point of no return," Ban said at the commission's launch this week.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is urging all parties in Afghanistan to respect the electoral process as he encourages the country's citizens to exercise their right to vote, even as security concerns increase. The UN Security Council has condemned several attacks on election-related targets, saying that attempts to disrupt the election process are "unacceptable."
A New York City Halloween dog parade benefiting the Tompkins Square Park dog run's nonprofit that was almost canceled due to insurance complications will be held on Oct. 28. The Good Old Lower East Side organization will insure the event, and ESPN donated $10,000 to the City Parks Foundation to help it proceed.
Nonprofit funders bring diversity and equity to their mission by working alongside grass-roots leaders and learning about the specific needs of various communities, writes Alison Corwin of the Surdna Foundation. "Together, by learning from and growing with these various philanthropic and frontline communities, we funders can shift the culture of philanthropy so that we are part of -- rather than in control of -- social movements and systems-change work," she writes.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Ripple Labs and Coil are reportedly working together to advance the Interledger Protocol, a cryptocurrency-based financial system used by the Gates Foundation's Mojaloop tool. Mojaloop is an open-source payment system designed to ease the flow of cross-border payments to impoverished areas that have weak banking mechanisms.
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