Boko Haram attacks military base in Nigeria

A man looks at the rubbles and remains of a house following an attach, at the Sajeri village, on the outskirts of the Borno state capital, Maiduguri, on January 8, 2019. (File/AFP)
Updated 15 January 2019

Boko Haram attacks military base in Nigeria

KANO, Nigeria: Boko Haram fighters attacked a military base in remote northeast Nigeria, setting fire to shelters for those made homeless by the conflict, military and humanitarian sources told AFP Tuesday.
The attack in Rann, some 175 kilometers (110 miles) northeast of the Borno state capital, Maiduguri, began late on Monday afternoon and forced civilians to flee.
It followed a pattern by the Daesh in West Africa Province (ISWAP) faction of Boko Haram that has called into question government claims the group is virtually defeated.
A similar attempt was made to take over a military base in Magumeri, 50 kilometers northwest of Maiduguri, on Sunday, a local community leader said.
Rann currently hosts some 35,000 internally displaced people (IDPs), according to the International Organization for Migration.
It has been repeatedly hit in the conflict, exacerbating already dire humanitarian conditions on the ground.
A military source in the Borno state capital, Maiduguri, said the attack began at about 5:20 p.m. (1620 GMT) on Monday.
“The terrorists took over a military position in Rann following heavy fighting,” he said on condition of anonymity.
Poor visibility because of seasonal Harmattan winds hampered the deployment of air force jets, and troops were forced to withdraw, he added.
“The terrorists went about setting fire to camps and shelters of IDPs. Most people have fled the town into the bush but we have no details of casualties at the moment.”
An aid worker in Maiduguri added: “We have been in touch with some aid workers in Rann, who said the town had been taken by ISWAP and camps were being burned.
“They had to flee toward Bulale on the Cameroon side of the border. The details are sketchy.”
The United Nations last week said more than 30,000 people fled after a similar attack in and around the Borno town of Baga in late December.
Some 260 aid workers had also been forced to withdraw from three local government areas in northern Borno near Lake Chad, where ISWAP are known to operate.
Humanitarian operations in Rann were suspended in March last year after another attack on a military base, which killed three aid workers.
Two out of three health workers who were kidnapped have since been executed.
Scores of people were killed in January 2017 when Nigerian air force jets mistakenly bombed the IDP camp in Rann.
The extremist insurgency began in 2009 and has killed more than 27,000. Some 1.8 million people are still homeless.


US passes 9 million coronavirus cases as infections spike

Updated 31 October 2020

US passes 9 million coronavirus cases as infections spike

  • On Friday the US set a record for new daily infections of more than 94,000 in 24 hours
  • More than 229,000 people have died of the virus in the US since the pandemic began

WASHINGTON: The United States passed nine million reported coronavirus cases on Friday and broke its own record for daily new infections for the second day in a row, according to a tally from Johns Hopkins University, as Covid-19 surges days before the country chooses its next president.
The US, which has seen a resurgence of its outbreak since mid-October, has now notched up 9,034,295 cases, according to a real-time count by the Baltimore-based school.
On Friday the country set a record for new daily infections of more than 94,000 in 24 hours, breaking the record of 91,000 it had set just one day earlier.
With the virus spreading most rampantly in the Midwest and the South, hospitals are also filling up again, stretching the health care system just as the nation heads in to flu season.
"We are not ready for this wave," Ashish Jha, dean of the Brown University school of public health, warned on ABC's Good Morning America on Thursday.

COVID-19 tally by the John Hopkins University of Medicine as of October 30, 2020.

Authorities in El Paso, Texas, imposed a curfew this week to protect "overwhelmed" health care workers and began setting up field hospitals.
But a judge's attempt to shut down non-essential businesses in the city has been challenged by the mayor and the state's attorney general, the Washington Post reported.
Midwestern state Wisconsin has also set up a field hospital in recent weeks, and hospital workers in Missouri were sounding warning bells as cases rise.
Hospitals in the western state of Utah were preparing to ration care by as early as next week as patients flood their ICUs, according to local media.
The pattern of the pandemic so far shows that hospitalizations usually begin to rise several weeks after infections, and deaths a few weeks after that.
More than 229,000 people have died of the virus in the US since the pandemic began, the Hopkins tally showed as of Friday, with the daily number of deaths creeping steadily upwards in recent weeks also -- though at present it remains below peak levels.
For months public health officials have been warning of a surge in cases as cooler fall weather settles over the US, driving more people indoors.
As the weather changes, New York and other parts of the northeast, which were the epicenter of the US outbreak in the spring but largely controlled the virus over the summer, were reporting a worrying rise.
Some epidemiologists believe that Covid-19 spreads more easily in drier, cool air.
Rural areas, which in the spring appeared to be getting off lightly compared to crowded cities, were also facing spikes with states like North Dakota charting one of the steepest rises in recent weeks.
The state is so overwhelmed that earlier this month it told residents they have to do their own contact tracing, local media reported.
With four days to go until the election, Donald Trump was battling to hold on to the White House against challenger Joe Biden, who has slammed the president's virus response.
"It is as severe an indictment of a president's record as one can possibly imagine, and it is utterly disqualifying," Biden said Friday as the toll passed nine million.
Trump downplays the virus even as the toll has been accelerating once more, holding a slew of rallies with little social distancing or mask use.
He has repeatedly told supporters that the country is "rounding the curve" on Covid infections.
But Americans, wary of crowded polling booths on Election Day as the virus spreads, are voting early in record numbers.