US Man Shoots Kids Throwing Snowballs At Cars

 

 

Police in the northern US state of Wisconsin said Tuesday they are looking for a man who shot two children who threw snowballs at his car over the weekend.

The children — a 12-year-old girl and a 13-year old boy — suffered non-life threatening gunshot wounds, the Milwaukee Police said in a statement.

They were part of a group of kids throwing snowballs at passing cars Saturday evening in Milwaukee, a city of about half a million people 90 miles (145 kilometers) north of Chicago.

“One of the snowballs struck a white Toyota, no further description, and the driver of the auto fired shots into the group of kids striking the two victims,” the statement said.

The department asked for help identifying the shooter.

Eight Children Among 15 Civilians Killed By Mine In Afghanistan – Govt

 

Fifteen civilians, including eight children, were killed Wednesday when their vehicle hit a land mine in Kunduz province in northern Afghanistan, a government official said.

“At around 5:00 pm this evening a mine planted by the Taliban terrorists hit a civilian car… killing 15 civilians and wounding two more,” said Nasrat Rahimi, an interior ministry spokesman.

Six women and a man were also among those killed in the blast in Kunduz, on the country’s northern border with Tajikistan, Rahimi said.

No group has claimed responsibility for the blast. It was also unclear if it was a targeted attack.

However, there are regular clashes in the region between the Taliban insurgents and US-backed Afghan forces.

Insurgents attacked the provincial capital, also called Kunduz, in early September, but failed to capture it. The Taliban briefly seized the city in 2015.

The blast comes during what has been a period of relative and uneasy calm, where the rate of large-scale attacks has dropped in recent weeks.

The comparative lull followed a blood-stained presidential campaign season that ended with a general election on September 28.

No Vote Results Yet

But Wednesday’s blast comes less than a week after a foreign national was killed and at least five other people wounded in a grenade attack on a United Nations vehicle in Kabul on November 24.

The attack happened on a road frequently used by UN traffic shuttling workers between central Kabul and a large UN compound on the outskirts of the capital.

The UN said two other staff members — one Afghan and one international — were wounded.

Aid agencies and non-governmental groups are sometimes targeted in Afghanistan’s war.

In 2011, seven foreign UN workers — including four Nepalis, a Swede, a Norwegian and a Romanian — were killed in an attack on a UN compound in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif.

Afghans are still waiting for the results of that September 28 presidential election, with a recount bogged down by technical difficulties and bickering between the incumbent, President Ashraf Ghani, and his chief rival, Abdullah Abdullah.

Afghans are also waiting to see what might happen in negotiations between Washington and the Taliban.

US President Donald Trump in September ended those yearlong talks as Taliban violence continued, but on November 22 he suggested to US broadcaster Fox News that negotiations could be getting underway again.

Lagos Kids Mini Marathon Kicks Off

 

The Lagos Kids Mini Marathon has kicked off in the Ikoyi area of the state.

This year’s event, which is the third in its series, is ongoing with scores of children participating.

Accompanied by their parents, the kids arrived at the event as early as 6:30 am to race for the top prizes in various categories of the marathon.

The athletes took part in an early morning drill after which they were grouped into various categories just before the race commenced.

The race, which covers 3km to 5km, comprises three age segments – seven to eight years, nine to 12 years, and 13 to 15 years and above.

It also features a new category called Walkaton – covering 1.2km for kids between ages four and six.

According to the organisers, all athletes will be given medals but the winners in each segment would be awarded active gold, silver, and bronze medals according to their positions.

The Lagos Kids Mini Marathon is hosted by St Saviour’s School, Ikoyi Endowment Fund with an objective to promote active kids and encourage them to run for a charitable cause.

The Kids Mini Marathon is a fun family annual event organised to inspire kids to be more active and health-conscious.

The maiden edition of the race held in November 2017 and is the first inter-school 5km run in the country.

In 2018, it was bigger and had more participation from young athletes and schools among others.

This year’s edition also features hundreds of participants drawn from over 150 schools, as well as over 250 volunteer adults.

A breakdown of the figure of the participants reveals that about 50 per cent are between four to eight years, 35 per cent are in the range of nine to 12 years, while the remaining fall between 13 and 16 years.

Five Children Killed In Russian Fire

 

Five young children and two adults were killed when a fire ripped through a two-storey residential building in the central Russian city of Rostov early Saturday, authorities said.

The youngest child to have died was 15 months old and the oldest six, a spokeswoman for the emergencies ministry told AFP.

Three more people were hospitalised with various injuries, said Sergei Shokin, head of the Rostov municipal district.

Rostov is located some 200 kilometres (124 miles) northeast of the capital Moscow.

Officials did not immediately say what caused the fire but confirmed investigators were working at the scene.

The Investigative Committee said it had opened a criminal probe.

Updated: Police Uncover ‘Rehabilitation Centre’ With Chained, Maltreated Children In Daura

 

The Police in Katsina State have uncovered and shut down another Islamic home, housing some children who were said to have been treated inhumanely in the Sabon Garin Daura area of Katsina North.

The building was discovered after some of the boys who had escaped embarked on a protest over allegations of violation of human rights at the centre.

Owned by one of the most famous and respected Islamic scholars in Daura, Bello Mai Almajirai, the centre is said to house people perceived to be outlaws from their parents and the society.

“On 12/10/2019 at about 10:09 hrs, based on a tip-off, the Command succeeded in busting/smashing an illegal detention/remand home being operated by one Mallam Bello Abdullahi Umar, m, aged 78 years of Sabon Garin Daura, Daura LGA of Katsina State”.

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The escapees, numbering over 200, ran into the town, narrating how they were being maltreated, a development that sparked outrage in the community against the owner.

Briefing journalists at the center on Monday, the State Commissioner of Police, CP Sanusi Buba, told reporters that preliminary investigation revealed that Malam Bello had been running the center for about 40 years and later left it in the hands of his son, Umar Bello.

He lamented about the deteriorating situation at the center, adding that each of the six rooms accommodates over 40 inmates who were subjected to all forms of dehumanising conditions including being chained.

 

The Police CP intimated that 67 persons between the ages of 7 to 40 years were found shackled with chains.

“In the course of an investigation, 67 persons from the ages of 7 to 40yrs were found shackled with chains.  Victims were also found to have been subjected to various inhuman and degrading treatments.”

He enjoined parents to take their recalcitrant children to only recognized and approved rehabilitation facilities provided or registered by the government.

CP Buba said that the victims have already been evacuated and taken to the hospital for treatment, while efforts are ongoing to reunite them with their families.

Five Children Reportedly Infected With ‘Chronic Disease’ In Ondo

Suspected Ritualists Kill 80-Year-Old Woman In Ondo

 

There have been reports of an outbreak of a disease suspected to be Schistosomiasis in Irelejare community in Ondo State.

No fewer than five children are said to have been infected with the disease in Irele Local Government Area of the state.

According to some residents of the community – Omosehin Omopintemi and Akinbiola Oyedele, the effect of the disease is already manifesting in the victims who have been urinating blood.

They blamed the incident on the unavailability of drinkable water, saying the situation has exposed the community to some communicable diseases.

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The Head of Irelejare community, Omokaraba Monebi, appealed to the state government to urgently come to the rescue of the people.

At the time of this report, the state government has yet to confirm the incident as the Commissioner for Health, Dr Wahab Adegbenro, could not be reached to get his reaction.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), Schistosomiasis is an acute and chronic disease caused by parasitic worms and victims get infected during routine agricultural and domestic activities among others, which expose them to infested water.

In a report published in April 2019, WHO said lack of hygiene and certain play habits of school-aged children, including swimming and fishing in infested water make them vulnerable to infection.

The disease, it noted, can be controlled through periodic and large-scale population treatment with praziquantel.

The organisation added that a more comprehensive approach such as the provision of potable water, adequate sanitation, and snail control would go a long way in reducing transmission of the disease.

Reports revealed that no fewer than 220.8 million people required preventive treatment for the disease in 2017, although over 102.3 million people have been reportedly treated.

Chess Offers Nigerian Slum Children New Move

 

 

Crowds of children bustle around chessboards in Nigeria’s Lagos, figuring out their next moves as part of a project aimed at bringing hope in one of the city’s impoverished slums.

Dozens of matches are played simultaneously as participants as young as three master a game often considered out of reach for the masses in Africa’s most populous country.

“Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose,” 24-year-old teacher Tunde Onakoya tells his young charges after getting their attention.

“But it’s how you respond that makes you a champion. Don’t get down when you lose, don’t feel like you can’t do it, just concentrate and do your best.”

Seasoned player Onakoya started the Chess in Slums project last September in the sprawling neighbourhood of Ikorodu, a place where residents often feel cut off from the bustle and business of the vibrant megacity around it.

The goal of the club is to provide a space to play and learn the game for the young inhabitants of the slum, many of whom are not in school and work to support their families.

Held beneath a makeshift tent in the courtyard of a local bar, in less than a year the programme has already drawn an enthusiastic following.

As elderly men sip beer and watch football nearby, a dozen volunteers divide the pupils into groups.

While some turn their figures into battling action heroes, most are focused and intent on winning.

The youngest children sing rhymes about chess to help them master the rules, as the older ones settle down into intense games.

They use mobile phone apps to time their moves and record the matches in notepads to review their mistakes and successes later.

“I want to be a Grandmaster,” one of the children tells AFP, laughing.

‘Food for your brain’

Chess — a board game famous for its reliance on strategy — has a tiny but avid following in Nigeria.

The West African nation ranks 88th out of 186 countries, according to the FIDE World Chess Federation’s rating of top players across the globe, but still does not have any Grandmasters.

Other board games are more popular.

Nigeria is a superpower in Scrabble, winning multiple championships and boasting 29 of the top 100 players in the world, more than any other country.

Onakoya says that chess has lagged behind in part due to an image problem.

“There’s this perception of it as being a really difficult game, not as accessible, like for people of a different class,” he says.

Onakoya took chess in primary school and works with private schools as a consultant to add it to their curricula.

“I believe in the game because it helps your cognition, your creativity, your focus. It’s like food for your brain,” he said.

Last year, he started the club in Ikorodu specifically to reach disadvantaged children.

“Ikorodu is the kind of place where there’s a lot of troubles and poverty. It is a tough place to get to, if you tell someone to come to Ikorodu they will laugh,” he says.

“I felt it would be powerful to help children here because many of them are really talented.

“If they could master a game that people wouldn’t expect them to even know, it could really show them their potential and give them confidence.”

School sponsorship

The club already boasts several success stories.

Ten-year-old Odunayo Olukoya joined Chess in Slums in January. Four months later, she came first in the national chess championship for her age group.

For Jamiu Ninilowo, 14, taking part has also been transformative.

The skinny boy worked as a mechanic fixing cars at a garage in Ikorodu instead of attending school.

He had to earn money for his family after his mother’s leg was mangled in an accident as she picked scrap at a local refuse site to sell on for a meagre profit.

In February, Ninilowo joined the club and is now its best player.

After he won a tournament in April, an impressed donor partnered with Chess in Slums to pay for his secondary education.

“Chess is helping me to be a mechanical engineer by sending me to school,” he tells AFP, proudly wearing the medal he won.

The attention that the project has generated has helped shine a spotlight on more of these marginalised children.

Videos of the budding chess masters shared on Instagram also showcase some of their other talents that have often been overlooked in the struggle to survive.

One 11-year-old boy even got a mentorship from a leading Nigerian architect after he was seen building models out of cardboard.

“At first it was about teaching the kids a game that can impact the way they think and boost their confidence, but actually it’s become much more. It’s become a gateway to other opportunities,” says Onakoya.

“It is helping us show them that their lives can go far beyond Ikorodu.”

 

 

Two Jailed For Over A Decade In German Campsite Child Abuse Case

Defendants Mario S (3rd L) and Andreas V (3rd R) stand next to their lawyers Juergen Bogner (2nd L) and Johannes Salmen (R) as they arrive for their trial at the district court in Detmold, northwestern Germany, on September 5, 2019.

 

A German court on Thursday sentenced two men to more than a decade each in jail after they pleaded guilty to sexually abusing dozens of children at a campsite over two decades.

The Detmold regional court jailed 56-year-old accused Andreas V. for 13 years, while 34-year-old Mario S. must serve 12 years.

After their sentences, both men will be held in preventive custody, a step reserved only for the most dangerous criminals.

The pair are believed to have been the main perpetrators in a series of abuse cases that went undiscovered for years at the campsite in Luegde, around 60 kilometres (40 miles) from Hanover in northern Germany.

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Along with a third suspect, Heiko V., they were accused of 450 instances of child sexual abuse.

Prosecutors said more than 40 children fell victim to the men at the “Eichwald” campsite between 1998 and 2018.

Most of the children were between three and 14 years old at the time.

Some 33 witnesses, including 16 victims and 12 relatives, testified before the court in the trial over the past ten weeks, many of them behind closed doors.

Outrage over the serial abuse, uncovered in late January, grew nationwide as details of failings by police and local authorities came to light.

Malian Children Facing A Spike In Violence, UNICEF Says

Libya Identified As Epicenter For Migrant Child Abuse

 

 

UN child protection body UNICEF warned on Tuesday children in Mali faced rising violence with more than 150 killed in the first half of the year in jihadist and ethnic attacks.

“More than 150 children were killed in the first half of 2019 and 75 were injured in violent attacks,” a UNICEF statement said.

“Recruitment and use of children in armed groups doubled in comparison to the same period in 2018, and more than 900 schools remain closed due to insecurity,” it added.

French forces intervened in Mali six years ago to chase out jihadist groups that had taken over much of the country’s north, but organisations linked to Al Qaeda and the Islamic State group are still active there.

Meanwhile, ethnic conflicts have added to the volatile mix, especially in central Mali.

“We must not accept the suffering of children as the new normal,” the UNICEF statement quoted executive director Henrietta Fore as saying.

The UN stabilization force in Mali, MINUSMA, published last week the results of an investigation that said 22 children aged between one and 12 years old (11 girls and 11 boys) were among the 35 people killed during an attack on June 9 against the village of Sobane Da, in an ethnic Dogon enclave.

Most had been burned to death or suffocated inside homes that had been set ablaze, the report said.

“Increasing inter-communal violence and the presence of armed groups has resulted in repeated attacks which have led to the killing and maiming of children, their displacement and separation from their families, and their exposure to sexual violence and psychological trauma,” UNICEF said.

It added that more than 377,000 children now needed assistance in Mali and that UNICEF would need an additional $4 million (3.58 million euros) to help woman and children in the country.

AFP

Jigawa Lawmakers Disagree Over Deduction Of N5m To Fight Hunger

File Photo

 

Lawmakers in Jigawa State have disagreed over the deduction of five million naira from their Constituency Project Fund to support children suffering from malnutrition.

The lawmakers entered into a heated debate on Friday when the Executive Secretary of the Primary Health Care Management Board, Dr Kabir Ibrahim, was presenting a communique at the end of a two-day workshop organized by UNICEF, with the theme: The Role of Lawmakers in the Implementation of Jigawa State Nutrition Agenda.

The lawmaker representing Kanya Constituency, Mr Usman Haladu, first kicked against the idea when it was read by the Executive Secretary, saying that more deliberations are needed in order for the matter to be concluded.

Another lawmaker, Mr Abubakar Muhammad, representing Hadejia Constituency also argued that there are some modalities to be considered before it can be presented in the communique.

At the end of day, the statement was highlighted in yellow, to show that the issue would later be finalised.

Jigawa is one of the states in the country with the highest cases of children suffering from malnutrition with 54 per cent of the children in the state reported to be having stunted growth.

Troops Discover New Boko Haram Camps, Rescue 42 Women, 51 Children

Troops of the Operation Lafiya Dole have discovered new camps used by Boko Haram terrorists and rescued women and children in Kobe and Boboshe villages in Borno State.

The camps were destroyed and one Boko Haram suspect was killed in the process.

This was disclosed in a statement signed by the Acting  Director Army Public Relations, Colonel Sagir Musa.

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The new camps were discovered during the clearance operations of the troop within Sector 1 Operation Lafiya Dole.

“The troops discovered newly established camps at Dubula village with some bicycles and motorcycle tracks. The camp was destroyed and one of the terrorists was neutralised while trying to escape.

“The following items were recovered: Two terrorists’ flags, two copies of the Quran, One Generator Set and two bicycles. Additionally, 13 women and 26 children were rescued during the operation,” Musa said.

24 out of the children rescued were administered with polio vaccines by Nigerian Army Regimental Medical Officers in line with the Chief of Army Staff directive on the collaboration between the Nigerian Army and National Primary Health Care Development Agency to reach out to areas not captured in the polio vaccination exercise.

Also, the Acting Commanding Officer of 202 Battalion in conjunction with Civilian Joint Task Force, vigilante and hunters group conducted a clearance operation to Tafana 1 and Tafana 2 villages.

“The troops came in contact with some terrorists who fled their camps on sighting the approach of the ferocious troops in Mines Resistance Anti Patrol vehicles. Troops also neutralised the fleeing terrorists. During the operation, 2 men, 29 women and 25 children were also rescued.

“Other items recovered include two boxes filled with Quraan, two terrorists’ flags, five bicycles,  five SIM cards of different networks and assorted clothing materials.”

The army spokesperson added that in all the operations and victims so far rescued, it was observed that with the coming of the rainy season, farmers are preparing for the farming season, while the terrorists are also using women and children as farm slaves (labourers) in their farmlands to meet up with daily feeding challenges.

The Chief of Army Staff Lieutenant General Tukur Yusufu Buratai has, therefore, urged the troops to upscale their patriotism and continue to dominate the battlespace with aggressive clearance operations from all flanks to ensure the looming defeat of terrorists of whatever shades in North East Zone.

Brain Disease Kills 97 Indian Children, ‘Heat Curfew’ Imposed

Indian flag

 

The Indian state of Bihar grappled Monday with twin crises, with a brain virus potentially linked to lychees killing almost 100 children and extreme heat leaving 78 people dead.

The heatwave — India’s second-longest on record — prompted authorities in part of the northern state, one of the country’s poorest, to impose curfew-like restrictions.

Daytime temperatures across large parts of India have hovered above 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit) for the past 32 days, just one short of a record 33-day period in 1988.

Temperatures touched 50.3 degrees Celsius in the town of Churu in the northern desert state of Rajasthan recently, just below India’s record of 51 degrees.

Bihar, home to almost 100 million people, has seen temperatures hovering around 45 degrees for several days.

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Severe heat there has killed 78 people — most of them aged above 50 — across three districts since Saturday afternoon, local official Sandeep Kumar told AFP.

More than 130 others were undergoing emergency treatment for heatstroke in various hospitals.

Authorities in Gaya district which has borne the brunt of the heatwave invoked an Indian law to prohibit residents from going outdoors for non-essential work.

The district magistrate also banned construction work and any outdoor programme between 11:00 am to 4:00 pm.

Heatstroke is usually caused by prolonged exposure to sun or from physical exertion in high temperatures.

It has left more than 36 people dead in southern India in recent weeks. Large parts of India are also reeling from drought, with annual monsoon rains late in coming.

Last week four passengers on a train travelling from Agra — the city of the Taj Mahal — to Coimbatore in the country’s south died from heatstroke.

Cramped beds

Bihar, home to some of India’s worst health indicators, has also been struggling with an outbreak of Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES), a viral infection, since the start of this month.

Eighty children have now died in the state’s biggest government-run hospital — the Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital (SKMCH), in the city of Muzaffarpur — and 17 others at a private facility, health official Ashok Kumar Singh said.

Most of the victims had suffered a sudden loss of glucose in their blood, Singh told AFP.

TV channels showed distraught parents sitting next to their children, several of whom were cramped on one bed.

One parent heckled India’s Health Minister Harsh Vardhan as he took his entourage around the SKMCH for an inspection.

A doctor told a local TV channel that the SKMCH was ill-equipped to handle the rush of patients, most of whom were wheeled in semi-conscious.

The outbreak of the disease has happened annually during summer months in the same districts since 1995, typically coinciding with the lychee season.

Several years ago US researchers had said the brain disease could be linked to a toxic substance found in the fruit.

Known locally as Chamki Bukhar, the disease claimed a record 150 lives in 2014.

They also said more study was needed to uncover the cause of the illness, which leads to seizures, altered mental state and death in more than a third of cases.

Outbreaks of neurological illness have also been observed in lychee-growing regions of Bangladesh and Vietnam.

AFP