Rohingya Christian refugees abducted, attacked in Bangladesh

By Anugrah Kumar, Christian Post Contributor – MONDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2020

At least 22 Rohingya Christian families were attacked, a Christian pastor and his 14-year-old daughter were abducted, and a Christian church and school were vandalized in Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar area, which is home to thousands of refugees who fled ethnic and religious persecution in neighboring Myanmar, according to Human Rights Watch.

A large group of men beat up residents, vandalized homes and looted personal property soon after abducting Taher, a Rohingya Christian pastor, and his daughter, in the Kutupalong Camp 2, the group said in a statement urging authorities in Bangladesh to provide protection.

The attack took place on Jan. 27 by machete-wielding Muslim Rohingya men on a Christian community, Radio Free Asia reported.

At least 12 Rohingya Christians were injured and hospitalized and the affected families were relocated to a United Nations transit center.

A police case has been filed against 59 alleged assailants. A group of Muslims also filed a separate complaint later, alleging that the violence was the result of Christians assaulting a Rohingya Muslim man.

Taher’s wife, Roshida, said her husband may have been killed and her daughter converted to Islam. “No one can give me any clear information, but my relatives told me that my daughter has been forced to convert to Islam and marry,” she said, according to HRW.

Some camp residents suspect that the attackers are linked to the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army, an armed group whose representative denied and condemned the attacks on Christians, according to Benar News.

“The ARSA … attacked us, the Christians. They looted our houses, and beat up many Christian members. At least 12 Christians have been undergoing treatment at different hospitals and clinics,” a Christian identified only as Saiful was quoted as saying.

Saiful said most of the believers in the camp converted to Christianity in Myanmar and that he and his family crossed into Bangladesh from Baulibazar in Myanmar’s Maungdaw district in 2007.

About 1,500 Rohingya Christians have been living in refugee camps with more than 700,000 predominantly Muslim Rohingya who fled to Bangladesh after the Myanmar military began its campaign of ethnic cleansing in 2017.

A Christian Rohingya told HRW that camp officials “try to avoid our queries.” Another said a police officer told him that if they wanted to be safe they should “go to the moon.”

In a report on his visit to Bangladesh as the U.N. special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, Yanghee Lee said in January that Rohingya Christians were “in a most difficult position.”

“They told me they were persecuted due to their religion by the Myanmar Government while they lived in Rakhine, and now they face hostility and violence from a small number of other camp residents. This worries me.”

HRW has urged the Bangladesh authorities to “urgently locate Taher and his daughter and bring those responsible to justice.”

“The government should also act immediately to protect all vulnerable groups in the country’s refugee camps, including religious minorities like Rohingya Christians.” (Click to Source)

 

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Iranian Christian convert fears execution if deported for giving wrong answers on Bible quiz

By Anugrah Kumar, Christian Post Contributor – MONDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2020

A 38-year-old Christian convert, who says he would face imprisonment, execution and separation from his British wife and daughter if deported to Iran, has once again applied for asylum to the U.K.’s Home Office, as his appeal was earlier rejected because he wasn’t able to name Judas as the betrayer of Jesus at an immigration hearing.

Reza Karkah from Bradford, who fled Iran for the U.K. in 2003, said if he’s deported, Iranian authorities would punish him for his conversion to Christianity, said the Christian Legal Centre, which is supporting his case.

At an earlier immigration hearing, Karkah found it difficult to understand the 150 questions he was asked, including his favorite passage from the Bible, and identifying the betrayer of Jesus and the denomination into which he was baptized, according to The Times (of London). Unable to answer some of the questions correctly, his application was rejected as the judge was not convinced he was a real Christian.

Andrea Williams, chief executive of the Christian Legal Centre, stressed, “Reza Karkah is the real deal. A courageous man transformed by the gospel and the hope of the Lord Jesus Christ. At stake here is not just the life of Reza, but also his equally brave yet vulnerable wife, and their beautiful daughter.”

If he is deported, his wife, Leigh Riley, would find it difficult to look after their 4-year-old daughter, Rosie, Karkah said. “I am afraid that my daughter will think I have abandoned her if I was deported.”

“I feel weighed down and that my life is on hold. Knowing that I could be snatched off the street makes me nervous about leaving the house. We pray each time we go out that Jesus will have mercy on us. I now have a new life and a new hope. To think that this could be taken from me in a moment is horrible.”

Leigh, who was born in Yorkshire, said, “When I was down and out on the streets, meeting Reza changed my life. He was the first person who was kind to me. Now we are a family and I am a mother to a beautiful four-year-old daughter. I don’t even want to think about what they might do to my husband if he was returned to Iran. You hear such terrible stories.”

In its judgment in 2018, the Home Office said that he would not be exposed to “a real act of persecution” if he was deported.

Williams argued that the Home Office often fails to properly understand “the nature of Christian faith or the scale of the challenges faced by Christians in Iran.” Converting from Islam is illegal in Iran and punishable by death.

Karkah’s initial bid for asylum was rejected in 2004, making him homeless, addicted to drugs and a petty criminal. That’s when he met Leigh. A year later, they converted to Christianity as a result of a local church’s outreach program.

After being baptized, Karkah quit drugs and is now an active member of a church. He has not committed any crime over the last five years.

“The people at the soup kitchen spoke to me about Jesus Christ, the Bible and the need for salvation,” Karkah recalled. “They were kind and compassionate giving us access to a doctor, sleeping bags and clothing. I found hope, we both became Christians. Since then our lives have completely changed. My wife is unrecognizable from the disheveled, broken and abused woman I met in 2012.”

Last year, the Home Office said it would take a second look at another Iranian Christian’s asylum claim after the department first denied the application, arguing that Christianity is not a peaceful religion.

The department faced international criticism for attacking Christianity as a violent religion in a letter stating their reasons for denying the Christian convert’s asylum application. (Click to Source)

 

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Elderly pastor brutally beaten, mocked by Hindu extremists: ‘I am ready to die for Christ’

By Leah MarieAnn Klett, Christian Post Reporter – MONDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2020

Hindu extremists in Andhra Pradesh, India, brutally beat an elderly pastor and verbally abused his wife amid escalating tension over the presence of a Christian church in their community.

Morning Star News reports that Pastor Eswara Rao Appalabattula was attacked by a group of Hindu extremists after he pleaded with them to stop building a wall meant to block people from attending worship services at his home in L.B. Patnam village, Andhra Pradesh.

“They wanted to build a wall right in front of the church and ban us from using the path,” Appalabattula told Morning Star News. “I pleaded with them to not do so. But the group of at least six neighbors, both male and female, punched me in my stomach several times and pushed me to the floor.”

They picked up a wooden pole and started beating his hands repeatedly with it, he said. Doctors later told him his hand had been fractured.

“I was lying there on the floor screaming for help,” he said. “My wife came running and begged them to stop beating me — it was traumatic.”

That same month, a Hindu priest led a group of extremists to the pastor’s home, where they threatened to kill his wife, Karuna Appalabattula, as she was doing chores outside.

“I did not go to fight with them but I was panicked,” Karuna Appalabattula told Morning Star News. “I did not know what to do. I asked them, ‘What is this you are doing? Why are you after us?’”

The Hindu priest picked up a large log of wood and came running toward her, she said.

“He kept screaming that he would kill me,” she said. “I was crying for help. But their priest abused me in extremely foul language. They called me names they would never use for a mother, wife, sister or any female member of their families. He called me a Christian prostitute and warned me that he would kill my husband.”

When the pastor informed a police official of the abuse his family had endured, he was told to resolve the matter himself.

“They told me that, ‘Your God has to protect you — when your God is not protecting you from your attackers, what can we do staying here?’” the pastor said. “I told them that it was my God who had been protecting me, if not I would not have been alive in front of you.”

The Hindu extremists were reportedly angered by the presence of a church in their village and intimidated worshipers to discourage them from gathering. Pastor Appalabattula said the Hindu villagers had stopped worshipers from coming to services throughout January.

“They would threaten and abuse them in foul language and not let them even park their motorbikes in the area,” he said. “Even before they stop at the church, they are chased and sent away.”

“My wife and I witnessed drug and alcohol addicts, and the sick, come to Christ, and then they had refused to be a part of Hindu rituals in the village.”

Because of the ongoing persecution, youths and Christians from neighboring villages who used to come to their home daily for worship and hours of fellowship are too fearful to come now, the pastor said.

“They were like our own children,” she said. “I would prepare meals and feed them. We sang and worshiped together … We both are very old and weak and are in need of prayers and support.”

Pastor Appalabattula said they are going through a very difficult time.

“I am ready to die for Christ. But the ministry we had started here has come to a sudden halt,” he said. “Not even four members are gathering for Sunday worship. The believers have been very scared, and nobody dares to come and see us.”

India is ranked 10th on Christian support organization Open Doors’ 2020 World Watch List of the countries where it is most difficult to be a Christian.

Over 1,400 incidents of persecution against Christians in India have been reported since the year Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party rose to power, according to an initiative of ADF India.

Recently, it was reported that Hindu extremists in southern India beat Christian children during a worship service before filing a false police complaint against the congregation.

International Christian Concern, an advocacy organization based outside of Washington, D.C., said it often receives reports of rapes, communal violence, forced conversion charges and other abuses committed against Christians in the Hindu-majority country.

“Cases such as these are becoming commonplace in India and are largely fueled by rhetoric of BJP and other [Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh] officials,” ICC Advocacy Director Matias Perttula said. “They show a clear indication of the decline of religious freedom and an increase in the persecution of Christians and other religious minorities.” (Click To Source)

 

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White House suddenly realizes America buys too many pharmaceuticals from China

Monday, February 17, 2020 by: Ethan Huff

(Natural News) In a recent announcement, White House trade advisor Peter Navarro admitted that the United States relies too heavily on communist China to produce its pharmaceutical drugs, and that that supply could dwindle due to the continued spread of novel coronavirus.

With most pharmaceuticals and vitamins either made in China or made from ingredients obtained from China, the threat of a major supply disruption is perhaps more real than ever, especially as new cases of Wuhan coronavirus begin to increase exponentially outside of China’s borders.

“This is a wake-up call for an issue that has been latent for many years but is critical to U.S. economic and national security,” Navarro told the media, warning that drugs, vitamins and other dietary supplements, and medical equipment sold here in America often come directly from Chinese sources.

“If we have learned anything from the coronavirus and swine flu H1N1 epidemic of 2009, it is that we cannot necessarily depend on other countries, even close allies, to supply us with needed items, from face masks to vaccines,” he added.

Many Chinese pharmaceutical suppliers have shut down their factories indefinitely due to coronavirus

Some will probably ask, but wouldn’t there already be supply disruptions from coronavirus if this was really an issue? And the answer is no, the reason being that by the time the virus really started to become a problem, China was already in the throes of its multi-week Lunar Near Year celebrations.

These celebrations only just days ago came to a close, and many factories there that had planned to reopen as they normally would have done are having to stay closed indefinitely, including drug manufacturers that supply pharmaceuticals to the U.S. and other markets.

China itself is already feeling the heat from a decreased availability of medical supplies. And once this trickles down to the U.S. and other countries, we, too, will more than likely start to see empty store shelves.

“China is the world’s largest producer of ingredients used to make drugs,” reports The Epoch Times. “The United States is heavily dependent on either drugs that are sourced from China, or drugs made from ingredients manufactured in China.”

Navarro’s solution is to figure out ways to “get our pharmaceutical production back onshore and cheap.” Another solution is to end all prohibition on natural medicines that Americans can grow themselves, which would cut communist China completely out of the picture while boosting our own economy as well as public health.

Listen below as Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, discusses coronavirus solutions that you and your family can implement right away for your own protection in case a global pandemic unfolds:

The FDA barely even inspects any of the pharmaceuticals and vitamins coming here from China

Before novel coronavirus was even a problem, those paying attention were warning that the U.S. desperately needs to becoming medicine independent. Not only would this ensure that we always have our own steady supply of it, but it would also eliminate the risks of contamination.

As it turns out, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) inspects only a very small fraction of the pharmaceuticals and vitamins that are shipped to our country from China. And wouldn’t you know it, but these minimal inspections more often than not turn up serious health violations.

“Global reliance on China for drug manufacturing is already becoming a reality,” write Rosemary Gibson and Janardan Prasad Singh in their book, China RX: Exposing the Risks of America’s Dependence on China for Medicine. (Click to Source)

To keep up with the latest coronavirus news, be sure to check out Pandemic.news.

You can also listen to coronavirus reporting in video format by checking out the official Health Ranger Report channel at Brighteon.com.

Sources for this article include:

TheEpochTimes.com

TheEpochTimes.com

NaturalNews.com

 

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US military prepping for coronavirus pandemic

U.S. Northern Command is executing plans to prepare for a potential pandemic of the novel coronavirus, now called COVID19, according to Navy and Marine Corps service-wide messages issued this week.

An executive order issued by the Joint Staff and approved by Defense Secretary Mark Esper this month directed Northern Command and geographic combatant commanders to initiate pandemic plans, which include ordering commanders to prepare for widespread outbreaks and confining service members with a history of travel to China.

The Navy and Marine Corps messages, issued Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively, reference an executive order directing U.S. Northern Command to implement the Department of Defense Global Campaign plan for Pandemic Influenza and Infectious Diseases 3551-13.

The document serves as the Pentagon’s blueprint for planning and preparing for widespread dispersion of influenza and previously unknown diseases.

U.S. Northern Command said Wednesday it was directed the Joint Staff Feb. 1 to commence “prudent planning” in their assigned role synchronizing the department’s plans for pandemic flu and disease.

But in no way “does the planning indicate a greater likelihood of an event developing. As military professionals, planning for a range of contingencies is something we owe the American people,” Navy Lt. Cmdr. Mike Hatfield said.

“We coordinate with other combatant commands to assess potential impacts in the event of a pandemic and we ensure the U.S. military is poised to respond as required,” Hatfield said in a statement. “The military profession fosters a culture of planning, and the fact that we are coordinating planning efforts across the geographical combatant commands is consistent with how we prepare to respond, if directed.”

This includes ensuring that the plans contain procedures for “response, isolation, quarantine, restriction of movement and community based intervention” as well as developing measures to contain and treat those possibly exposed.

U.S. Marshal Service and local law enforcement agencies provided security for the federal quarantine ordered at March Air Reserve Base by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Jan. 31. (David Sherman)

What will the first group of Americans in more than 50 years quarantined for a public health concern do when they are released Tuesday?

The Marine Corps’ mission, according to the message, is to “prepare for potential outbreaks of [COVID19].” The service must “mitigate, respond, and recover from the effects in order to maintain force readiness.”

COVID19, the flu-like virus that originated in Wuhan, China, is now responsible for killing more than 1,100 people and sickening at least 45,000. While the rate of new cases has fallen in the past several days in Wuhan and Hubei province, the death toll continues to climb, topping more than 100 in a single day Monday in China.

The number of cases in the U.S. remains at 13.

DoD 3551-13 calls for preparing for a pandemic and ensuring open lines of communication in the community, diseases surveillance and detection, response and containment.

According to the service messages, military commanders have been asked to confine any service member who has been to China since Feb. 2 to their residences or, if they live in an open barracks or share a bathroom with others, restrict them to a temporary lodging facility for 14 days.

The restricted service members will be assessed daily for fever by medical personnel by phone or in person and wear protective gear if they personally conduct the medical checks, according to the messages. Should they display symptoms, they must seek medical attention, but call their military treatment facility first to inform them of their travel.

The Marine Corps message advises civilian employees and contractors, as well as any family members returning from China, to follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance to detect the virus and prevent its spread, which include voluntarily remaining at home, limiting close contact with people and animals, self-monitoring and seeking medical care if symptoms develop.

The Navy has included visits to Hong Kong and Macau as part of its directive and gives commanders the flexibility to decide whether they need to confine a service member who has had close contact with a person who has traveled to the region.

The Marine Corps also has told commanders to work with military treatment facilities on developing and executing any response and stay up-to-date on CDC guidance regarding the virus.

The Army issued a service-wide message Jan. 31 on the coronavirus advising its members on the illness’s symptoms and instructing them on reducing their risk of catching the infection. The message was issued the same day the Pentagon released an advisory about how service members can reduce the risk of catching the disease.

It does not publicly release its service-wide messages and has not issued any since the executive order.

The Air Force does not publicly disclose its service-wide messages.

Since the outbreak began in late December, individual commands, especially those in Asia, have enforced confinement of service members with a travel history to China. Earlier this month, U.S. Forces Korea began confining troops who had traveled to China for 14 days.

Also earlier this month, U.S. Indo-Pacific Command restricted all Defense Department travel to mainland China and recalled all travelers to the country home.

Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said Monday that the likelihood of more cases being diagnosed in the U.S. of COVID19 is high, but added that the chance of contracting the disease outside China remains low.

She said the biggest infectious disease threat to the American public this year remains the influenza virus, which has sickened more than 22 million and killed at least 12,000.

Precautions against the coronavirus, which include hand-washing, staying home if ill and sneezing or coughing into a tissue or sleeve, also cut down on flu transmission.

“We are taking all appropriate precautionary measures to prevent any potential spread of the virus,” U.S. Forces Korea commander Army Gen. Robert Abrams Feb. 2. “Key for everyone is to follow standard hygiene protocols, and if not feeling well — get screened ASAP!” (Click to Source)

CHRISLAM: POPE FRANCIS CALLS FOR GLOBAL WEALTH DISTRIBUTION, SAYS TAX CUTS ARE A SIN, DOESN’T MENTION VATICAN IS WORLD’S WEALTHIEST CORPORATION

“Every year hundreds of billions of dollars, which should be paid in taxes to fund health care and education, accumulate in tax haven accounts,” Pope Francis told participants in a Vatican seminar, “thus impeding the possibility of the dignified and sustained development of all social agents.” “Today’s structures of sin include repeated tax cuts for the richest people, often justified in the name of investment and development,” Francis told the meeting organized by the Pontifical Academy for Social Sciences. During his discourse, the pope repeated his conviction that poverty is on the rise worldwide and “the poor increase around us.”

February 6, 2020

Tax cuts for the wealthy constitute a “structure of sin,” Chrislam Pope Francis said Wednesday in a passionate address calling for international wealth redistribution.

Communists and Socialists are always concerned about other people’s money, and getting their hands on it is their all-consuming thought. Pope Francis, good Communist that he and all popes are, is no different. This is why you see him popping up constantly at meetings with CEOs who control billion dollar corporations, currying favor and making sure he is close to the money. Did you know that the Vatican is the world’s wealthiest company?

“And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.” Luke 2:1-3 (KJB)

We have told you many times that the first time Jesus came, it was under Roman occupation at a time of global taxation. At His Second Coming, 7 years after the Pretribulation Rapture of the Church takes place, Rome will again be in power and there will be global taxation. This is why you are now seeing Pope Francis gathering his children together to form the end times One World Religion of Chrislam, and why he endlessly talks about wealth redistribution and global taxation.

Here’s a simple question no one ever seems to ask. Since the Vatican vaults contain a disproportionate amount of the world’s great art and literary treasures valued in the billions of dollars, how come no one ever asks Pope Francis why they don’t sell some of them and give it to the poor? If they did that they would have endless financial resources with which to help the poor out of poverty, but they don’t do it. Yeah, someone should ask the pope that sometime.

Pope Francis Calls for Global Wealth Redistribution

FROM BREITBART NEWS: “Every year hundreds of billions of dollars, which should be paid in taxes to fund health care and education, accumulate in tax haven accounts,” Pope Francis told participants in a Vatican seminar, “thus impeding the possibility of the dignified and sustained development of all social agents.”

“Today’s structures of sin include repeated tax cuts for the richest people, often justified in the name of investment and development,” Francis told the meeting organized by the Pontifical Academy for Social Sciences.

During his discourse, the pope repeated his conviction that poverty is on the rise worldwide and “the poor increase around us.”

With the passage of time and the advances of civilization the number of poor people increases rather than diminishing, Francis similarly asserted last June, and “the poor are always poorer, and today they are poorer than ever.”

As a Brookings Institution report noted in late 2018, however, the world is currently experiencing “the lowest prevalence of extreme poverty ever recorded in human history — less than 8 percent,” and that number falls with each passing year.

According to the widely used “international poverty line,” people are considered to be in “extreme poverty” if they live on less than $1.90 per day or its equivalent.

In the world today, less than 10 percent of the global population lives in extreme poverty, whereas just 30 years ago (1990), some 37 percent of the world lived in extreme poverty. Two centuries ago, nearly everyone in the world lived in extreme poverty. While in the year 1800 almost 90 percent of the world’s population subsisted on less than $1 a day, that percentage had been constantly falling, dropping below 20 percent in the year 2000 and below 10 percent in the present day.

It is not only “extreme poverty” that is falling, however. The global poverty rate has been falling across every single poverty line, whether the bar is set at $1.90 a day or $10 a day. In his address Wednesday, the pope lamented that the per capita annual income in the world this year will be $12,000 “according to official reports.”

The Coming Global Tax and the Kingdom of Antichrist

According to data from the World Bank, however, annual per capita income worldwide has been increasing dramatically year by year and in 2018 was $17,948. Furthermore, the World Bank reveals, global per capita income has increased by over 200 percent since 1990 and is now more than three times higher than its 1990 level of $5,498.

This does not suggest that poverty is not a problem or that poverty reduction is not a worthy and important goal. It does mean, however, that global poverty is not increasing but is decreasing rapidly. In free market economies that favor wealth creation such as the United States, “extreme poverty” has virtually been eradicated.

For example, in 2005, 78.3 percent of households living in “poverty” (by U.S. standards) had air conditioning, whereas in 1970, 36.0 percent of all households had air conditioning.

“If extreme poverty exists in the midst of wealth (also extreme) it is because we have allowed the gap to widen to become the largest in history,” the pope said. “The world’s 50 richest people have $2.2 trillion worth of assets. These fifty people alone could fund the health care and education of every poor child in the world, whether through taxes, philanthropic initiatives, or both.”

It must be acknowledged, however, that no such “gap” exists between the wealthy and the poor, since the vast majority of people live somewhere in the middle. There is not a cluster of ridiculously rich people followed by an immense mass of very poor people. The majority of people are neither very rich nor very poor. (Click to Source)

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Pregnant woman and baby among 30 killed, burned to death by Boko Haram

By Samuel Smith, CP Reporter – THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 13, 2020

Boko Haram militants are suspected to have burned and killed no less than 30 people and abducted others Sunday night as the extremist faction continues to terrorize northeast Nigeria and the Lake Chad region.

A spokesperson for Borno Gov. Babagana Umara Zulum told CNN that at least 30 people, including a pregnant woman and her baby, are now dead after suspected Boko Haram militants set sleeping travelers on fire in the Auno village of the Borno state.

The travelers were camping out in the village for the night as they missed a 5 p.m. curfew in the state capital of Maiduguri, about 10 miles away.

Sources reported to Vanguard that while most counts say that at least 30 have died, the death toll could be as high as 40. That would include the death of six militants.

According to the state government, militants burned 18 vehicles. Some of the destroyed vehicles included trucks loaded up with food to be taken to the markets the following day.

State government spokesman Ahmad Abdurrahman Bundi told AFP that militants stormed Auno village with trucks and mounted weapons. The militants killed, looted and burned.

Village resident Shehu Tanko told CNN that the bodies of the pregnant woman and her baby were among the corpses recovered.

“They burn everywhere. The fire was still on till this morning,” Tanko explained. “We are still looking for many people around here.”

A source told Vanguard that the pregnant woman was likely raped before she was burned to death and that the baby’s head was crushed.

Boko Haram is an Islamic militant insurgency responsible for killing tens of thousands and displacing millions in the last decade-plus.

The terrorist group pledged allegiance to the Islamic State in 2016 but soon splintered after Islamic State leadership tried to replace Boko Haram’s leader, Abubakar Shekau.

Although the Nigerian government claims to have defeated Boko Haram militarily, Boko Haram and its offshoot Islamic State West Africa Province continue to carry out attacks in Borno.

“We have to be brutal in telling the truth. I am pushed to the wall to say the truth. Since I was inaugurated as governor of Borno State, Boko Haram has attacked Auno six times,” Zulum said in a statement, according to Vanguard. “Another thing is that the military has been withdrawn from Auno town. I am not undermining the capacity of the military but we have made repeated appeals for the military to establish their unit in Auno.”

Gov. Zulum recently gave a guest lecture at the National Defence College in Abuja in which he detailed the challenges of the Boko Haram insurgency in the Borno state. Zulum alleged that the insurgency is responsible for making 59,311 orphans and 59,213 widows.

Boko Haram over the years has abducted hundreds of school girls. The group has also abducted pastors and others in attempts to raise funds through ransom payments.

Last month, Boko Haram executed Rev. Lawan Andimi, chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria’s chapter in the Michika Local Government Area of Adamawa State.

Andimi was kidnapped in early January and was seen in a ransom video praising God before his death.

Also in January, the Islamic State released a propaganda video purporting to show the killing of a Nigerian Christian university student by a child soldier. In December, the Islamic State faction claimed to have killed 11 Christian aid workers in Nigeria in retaliation for the killing of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

In a statement Monday, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari declared that the Nigerian government is “combating frontally the dreadful activities of terrorist groups like Boko Haram and the so-called Islamic State.”

Buhari and his administration have faced international scrutiny over their inability to thwart extremist attacks by Boko Haram, ISWAP and radical Fulani herdsmen in the country’s Middle Belt.

Last December, the U.S. State Department listed Nigeria for the first time on its special watch list for countries that engage or tolerate severe religious freedom violations. Nigeria was placed on the list because of the “lack of effective government response” to increasing violence. (Click to Source)

 

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14 Coronavirus Infected People Travelling in in-flight ISOLATION chambers – land in Texas and California to face 14 MORE days of quarantine

Cargo planes from Japan carrying 340 American cruise passengers – including 14 infected travelling in in-flight ISOLATION chambers – land in Texas and California to face 14 MORE days of quarantine

  • Two planes carrying 340 Americans have arrived back in the U.S. after they were evacuated from the coronavirus quarantine aboard the Diamond Princess in Japan
  • The first plane touched down at Travis Air Force Base in Northern California just before 11.30pm on Sunday local time, before the second plane arrived at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas a few hours later 
  • Fourteen U.S. evacuees had to be placed in special isolation chambers for the duration of the flights after it emerged they had been infected with coronvirus in the lead up to the evacuation
  • As the evacuees were being taken to the airport in Tokyo, results from tests carried out two to three days earlier came back and showed the 14 passengers had the infection 
  • Despite the U.S. earlier saying no infected passenger would be allowed to leave, those who tested positive were still allowed to board the planes because they did not have symptoms 
  • The U.S. said it arranged the evacuation because people on the Diamond Princess were at a high risk of exposure to the virus given about 400 passengers have tested positive during a two-week quarantine 
  • After arriving in the U.S., all of the evacuees must go through another 14 days of quarantine at the American military facilities 
  • The cruise ship, by far the largest cluster of coronavirus cases outside China, has become the biggest test so far of other countries’ ability to contain an outbreak that has killed 1,770 people in China and five elsewhere 

Two planes evacuating 340 American cruise ship passengers from coronavirus quarantine on board the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan have now landed back in the U.S. after 14 evacuees were placed in isolation chambers when officials realized they had tested positive for the deadly virus.

The first 747 plane touched down at Travis Air Force Base in Northern California just before 11.30pm on Sunday local time, before the second plane arrived at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas a few hours later.

Fourteen U.S. evacuees had to be placed in special isolation chambers for the duration of the flights after it emerged they had been infected with coronvirus in the lead up to the evacuation.

The passengers had all been deemed ‘fit to fly’ and were not showing symptoms before disembarking from the cruise ship. As the evacuees were being taken to the airport in Tokyo, results from tests carried out two to three days earlier came back and showed the 14 passengers had the infection.

Despite the U.S. earlier saying no infected passenger would be allowed to leave, those who tested positive were still allowed to board the planes because they did not have symptoms. The State Department said they were being isolated separately from other passengers on the flights.

The U.S. said it arranged the evacuation because people on the Diamond Princess were at a high risk of exposure to the virus given more than 400 passengers have tested positive since the cruise liner was ordered to stay under quarantine on February 4.

After arriving in the U.S., all of the passengers must go through another 14 days of quarantine at the military facilities – meaning they will have been under quarantine for a total of nearly four weeks. The infected passengers will be taken to an isolated facility.

The cruise ship Diamond Princess, by far the largest cluster of coronavirus cases outside China, has become the biggest test so far of other countries’ ability to contain an outbreak that has killed 1,770 people in China and five elsewhere.

A second plane carrying Americans evacuated from the Diamond Princess ship arrives at Joint Base San Antonio in Texas after flying back from Tokyo
One of two planes carrying 340 Americans back to the US from Japan where they spent almost two weeks under coronavirus quarantine on board the Diamond Princess cruise ship has landed at Travis Air Force Base in California 
The State Department confirmed that, after the evacuees had been placed on buses to the airport, 14 people who were not showing symptoms had tested positive for the virus – and were then placed into isolation chambers
The sick passengers were allowed to continue on the flight but inside the isolation chambers (pictured), and will be taken for treatment separate to the other passengers after landing
340 Americans decided to abandon ship and take the government charter flights back to the US, where they will be under additional quarantine on two military bases for another 14 days

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health, said Sunday that an infected person who shows minimal symptoms could still pass the virus to someone else.

It came as Japanese officials confirmed 99 additional people had been infected by the virus aboard the quarantined cruise ship, bringing the total to 454. At least 62 Americans are among those infected but it is unclear if that figure includes the 14 who were evacuated.

The United States was the first country to evacuate its passengers from the ship. Australia, Canada, Hong Kong and Italy were planning similar flights of passengers.

More than 71,000 people have now been infected with the virus worldwide, while 1,775 people have died from it. Overall, Japan has 419 confirmed cases of the virus, including one death. The United States has confirmed 15 cases within the country. Separately, one U.S. citizen died in China.

U.S. authorities had announced on Saturday that they would offer the 380 Americans on board the option to leave the ship. The evacuation was not mandatory but the Americans who chose not to leave the ship were warned they wouldn’t be allowed to return to the U.S. ‘for a period of time’ that will be determined later by the Centres for Disease Control.

Those who arrived at Travis Air Force Base in California have been told they will be quarantined at the Westwind Inn on the base, which is the same place where those evacuated from Wuhan are being held. They will be kept in a separate part of the building to those who are already in quarantine.

The Americans who did evacuate the ship said they were frustrated about the additional two-week quarantine in the U.S. because they believed they would be able to walk free from the Diamond Princess when the ship’s quarantine is scheduled to be lifted on Wednesday.

‘It’s like a prison sentence for something I did not do,’ passenger Karey Mansicalco told CNN from her cabin. ‘They are holding us hostage for absolutely no reason.’

‘On cargo plane. You cannot Imagine. Crazy or worst dream ever,’ American evacuee Gay Courter wrote on Facebook after boarding one of the flights at Tokyo International Airport.

Her husband Philip added: ‘Huge windowless B-747 cargo plane with some seats bolted in. Destination unknown at this time.’

Americans Cheryl and Paul Molesky, a couple from Syracuse, New York, opted to trade one coronavirus quarantine for another, leaving the cruise ship to fly back to the U.S. Cheryl Molesky said the rising number of patients on the ship factored into the decision.

‘We are glad to be going home,’ Cheryl Molesky earlier told NHK TV in Japan. ‘It’s just a little bit disappointing that we´ll have to go through quarantine again, and we will probably not be as comfortable as the Diamond Princess, possibly.’

When they eventually boarded the plane with other Americans, Cheryl said: ‘Well, we’re exhausted, but we’re on the plane and that’s a good feeling. Pretty miserable wearing these masks though, and everybody had to go to the bathroom on the bus.’

Japan said that 340 Americans were taken to Tokyo’s airport to be evacuated, while another those who had already been diagnosed were forced to stay behind for treatment. A handful of others opted to stay
Passengers on board the 747 cargo airplane could be seen taking pictures as they arrived back in America, having been held on the cruise ship since February 3
Buses carrying U.S. passengers who were aboard the quarantined cruise ship the Diamond Princess, seen in background, leaves Yokohama port, near Tokyo, early Monday. The cruise ship was carrying nearly 3,500 passengers and crew members
U.S. passengers from the Diamond Princess are seen on charter buses taking them to Haneda Airport on Monday
Passengers are seen boarding one of two planes bound for the U.S. at Tokyo’s Haneda airport late Sunday after they evacuated the Diamond Princess cruise ship
A bus carrying U.S. passengers who were aboard the quarantined cruise ship the Diamond Princess arrives at Haneda airport in Tokyo, before the passengers board a Kalitta airplane chartered by the U.S. government

Other Americans on board the cruise ship declined to evacuate the Diamond Princess, despite being warned they will still have to wait two weeks and test negative for the virus before being allowed back to the United States.

They feared being on a long flight with other passengers who may be infected or in an incubation period.

‘My health is fine. And my two-week quarantine is almost over. Why would I want to be put on a bus and a plane with other people they think may be infected when I have spent nearly two weeks isolated from those people?’ Matt Smith, an American lawyer on the ship with his wife, tweeted.

He described a fellow American passenger standing on her balcony chanting ‘USA, USA’ as buses arrived to collect them.

‘Of course, in contravention of the rules of quarantine, she’s not wearing a face mask and she’s talking with a passenger on the adjacent balcony… And you wanted me to get on a bus with her?’

He said American officials in hazmat suits and face masks had visited his room to check if he would disembark but he said he wanted to stay.

Later, when Smith had learned 14 infected passengers were still allowed to board the flights, he tweeted: ‘OMG! US Gov’t said they would not put anyone on the planes who was symptomatic, and they ended up knowingly and intentionally putting on 14 people who actually have the virus. Decision not to be evacuated = best decision ever!’

Japanese authorities, dressed in head-to-toe protective suits, helped transport the Americans to the airport in Tokyo on a convoy of 14 buses.

Americans Cheryl and Paul Molesky, a couple from Syracuse, New York, said after boarding the flight: said: ‘Well, we’re exhausted, but we’re on the plane and that’s a good feeling. Pretty miserable wearing these masks though, and everybody had to go to the bathroom on the bus.’
Americans who evacuated the cruise ship are pictured boarding one of the two planes that took them back to the U.S.
Those Americans who chose to leave the Diamond Princess are seen in a chartered evacuation aircraft to fly back to the US
Phil Courter, a U.S. passenger on board the Diamond Princess cruise ship, wears a face mask on a chartered evacuation aircraft to fly back to the United States at Haneda airport in Japan
Health officials in protective suits are seen ferrying passengers to board the evacuation flights in Tokyo

American Sarah Arana, a 52-year-old medical social worker, said there were no health checks when they passed through a makeshift passport control.

She said the U.S. government should have acted ‘much sooner, at the beginning’.

‘I am happy and ready to go,’ Arana told AFP before leaving the ship. ‘We need a proper quarantine. This was not it.’

Across mainland China, officials said the total number of coronavirus cases rose by 2,048 to 70,548. That was slightly more new cases than were reported on Sunday, but hundreds fewer than reported on Saturday.

Chinese authorities say the stabilisation in the number of new cases is a sign that measures they have taken to halt the spread of the disease are having an effect.

However, epidemiologists say it is probably still too early to say how well the outbreak is being contained within China and its central Hubei province, where the virus first appeared.

China has responded to the COVID-19 virus by effectively locking down Hubei’s provincial capital Wuhan, a megacity of 11 million people.

Medical workers in protective suits attend to a patient inside an isolated ward of Wuhan Red Cross Hospital in Wuhan, the epicentre of the novel coronavirus outbreak
Medical staff members treating a patient infected by the COVID-19 coronavirus at the Wuhan Red Cross Hospital in Wuhan in China’s central Hubei province

Concerns remain about the global transmission, especially on cruise ships which appear to have become especially virulent breeding grounds.

Fears are growing for passengers on the Westerdam cruise ship, who all received a clean bill of health when they disembarked in Cambodia – a staunch ally of Beijing.

An 83-year-old American woman was stopped by authorities in Malaysia over the weekend when she was detected with a fever and later diagnosed with the virus.

There were more than 2,200 passengers and crew on the ship when it docked in Sihanoukville, many of whom have now dispersed around the globe.

With tourism battered and global supply chains disrupted by the virus, experts are fretting about the toll it could take on a fragile global economy.

IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva said there could be a cut of around 0.1-0.2 percentage points to global growth but stressed there was ‘still a great deal of uncertainty.’

Japan, one of the hardest-hit countries outside China irrespective of the Diamond Princess, suffered its biggest economic slump in more than five years – even before the coronavirus crisis. Gross domestic product in the world’s third-top economy shrank an eye-watering 1.6 percent in the three months to December – a much bigger contraction than economists had feared.

It comes after Chinese scientists revealed the deadly virus may have started life in a research facility just 300 yards from the Wuhan fish market.

A new bombshell paper from the Beijing-sponsored South China University of Technology says that the Wuhan Center for Disease Control (WHCDC) could have spawned the contagion in Hubei province.

‘The possible origins of 2019-nCoV coronavirus,’ penned by scholars Botao Xiao and Lei Xiao claims the WHCDC kept disease-ridden animals in laboratories, including 605 bats.

It also mentions that bats – which are linked to coronavirus – once attacked a researcher and ‘blood of bat was on his skin.’

The report says: ‘Genome sequences from patients were 96% or 89% identical to the Bat CoV ZC45 coronavirus originally found in Rhinolophus affinis (intermediate horseshoe bat).’

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Locust plague reaches coronavirus-hit China after wreaking havoc across Africa


Chilling footage has shown thousands of insects swarming the skies at a border in China. They reportedly come from a plague that has devastated east Africa in recent weeks.

By Simon Green – Video News Editor – 11:38, 17 FEB 2020 – UPDATED 16:15, 17 FEB 2020

A gigantic swarm of locusts that belong to a plague that has ravaged millions of acres of crops across east Africa has been spotted reaching the Chinese border.

Billions of the insects have destroyed food supplies across Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia in what has been described as the worst plague for decades.

With vast swathes of the population in the region already facing food shortages due to poverty, the United Nations has warned action must be taken to avoid another “shock” to the region.

But footage has now surfaced showing thousands of the locusts seemingly reaching the border of China, adding yet more problems to a country struggling to contain the deadly coronavirus.

The clip is believed to have been taken on the Xinjiang border in the west of the country on February 15.

It shows the blue sky filled with the locusts as far as the eye can see.

The plague has flown across the Red Sea into Europe and Asia in recent days.

Pakistan – which borders China – recently declared a national emergency over the locusts.

But the Communist Party of China has tried to downplay the severity of the swarms reaching the country.

They claim their modern technology and sufficient stocks which have not been seen in Africa will prevent any widespread damage.

That has had little impact among residents already worried about the spread of coronavirus though, which has already killed 1,770 people in mainland China.

“I worry that locusts will become a carrier of pneumonia (a major symptom of coronavirus),” one wrote on Twitter.

Another said: “You can believe what the experts say? Just listen to it.”

One expert, quoted by the Epoch Times, warned that the locusts could pose a direct threat to China, Thailand, Laos and Vietnam.

But others were less worried, suggesting they would not be able to spread into the snowy region of Xinjiang. (Click to Source)

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