TTIMES WORLD: Today's News Report

Wednesday, June 12, 2024
Washington, DC, USA


Gun Men Abducts School Children Anew
Near Kaduna Northern Nigeria


Gunmen in northwest Nigeria kidnapped around 30 students overnight from a forestry college near a military academy, three students said on Friday, in the fourth mass school abduction since December.

The Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation sits on the outskirts of Kaduna city, capital of Kaduna state, in a region roamed by armed gangs, who often travel on motorcycles.

Kaduna state’s security commissioner, Samuel Aruwan, confirmed the attack but did not say how many students had been taken.

As COVID cases go down-India


As COVID cases go down, tourists slowly return to Kashmir

Cheaper hotels, pleasant weather are drawing tourists slowly back to the Valley even as tourism stakeholders advise people to visit post vaccination

As COVID cases go down, tourists slowly return to Kashmir
(Pic courtesy: Zee News Image)

The government is now allowing all hill towns like Gulmarg, Pahalgam and Sonmarg to open up for tourism and making sure that all COVID protocols are followed. The hotels and houseboats around the Dal lake are also getting ready to welcome visitors. Tourists can be seen taking shikara rides around the lake and enjoying pleasant weather.  

To lure visitors back to the state, several discounts are being offered. Many hotels have slashed their prices by 50%.  "We have been here for the past 10 days and Srinagar is slowly opening up. The gardens are yet to be opened to the public. We could also travel to Gulmarg and Pahalgam, but the gondola ride wasn't operational when we visited a few days back. We also got to book rooms at hotels at half the price. Overall, it was a very nice experience, though many places of tourist attraction are yet to open,"says Rounak, a tourist from Mumbai. 

One thing that tourists are missing is the beautiful gardens. "If more and more people start visiting, I am sure the authorities will open up everything," says Forum R, a tourist. 

All the tourists arriving at the Valley are being asked for their vaccination certificates as well as the COVID-19 test results. Tourists have also been asked to make sure that they follow all the COVID protocol. "We got our RT-PCR test and  antigen test done, and all got all permission and epasses. It's a wonderful experience here and we are very excited to travel to Kashmir," says Manoj Kumar, a tourist from Rajasthan. Another tourist from the desert state, Sarvind Yadav shares, "'We started from Jaipur and we went to Leh and then, we came here. With COVID cases going down, it's good that the government is opening up tourism activities. Many people's livelihoods are dependent on this."

The lifting of restrictions in the Valley has brought smiles on the faces of tourism stakeholders. However, caution is required. As Abdul Razak, a shikara owner, points out, "Things are improving, but we have to win the war against the pandemic. We appeal to tourists to come here after being vaccinated, we won't allow them to take shikara rides without being vaccinated. We check the certificates first and then take them around. We have ourselves got vaccinated. Tourists should come and we are hopeful that they will. But we have to keep our distance, wash our hands frequently and follow all COVID protocols."

South Africa: Economic recovery quickens in Q2 but risks remain
South Africa’s economy expanded 1.2 percent in the three months ending June, but it will likely contract in the third quarter after deadly riots swept parts of the country.


South Africa’s recovery from a coronavirus-induced contraction quickened in the second quarter as restrictions to contain the pandemic were eased.

Gross domestic product expanded 1.2% in the three months through June from a revised 1% in the previous quarter, Statistics South Africa said Tuesday in the capital, Pretoria. The median estimate of four economists in a Bloomberg survey was for growth of 0.9%. The agency no longer reports an annualized growth rate and now uses 2015 as the base year for the data.

Afghanistanism and Talibanisation of Nigeria


LAST week, we recalled how I came across the term Afghanistanism as an undergraduate and student’s activist at the then University of Ife in the 1980s, during the Major-General Muhammadu Buhari/Brigadier Tunde Idiagbon military rule. The regime had reasoned that the problems plaguing Nigeria was the indiscipline of the citizens.

The War Against Indiscipline, WAI, was so elastic and nebulous in definition but the enforcement was with military precision. It included staying patiently on the queue in public places, observance of monthly environmental sanitation and barring women from wearing trousers in public.

The penalty against transgression was either summary trial in WAI courts or instant corporal punishment of flogging or combined with some aerobic exercises, particularly frog-jumping, enforced by the ubiquitous soldiers and WAI Brigade officers.

Fundamental issues of the economy, and particularly a programme of return to democratic rule, were not part of the regime’s agenda which also outlawed political parties and all associations considered to harbour opposition or radical tendencies against military dictatorship.

Lecturers perceived to harbour or inculcate radical thoughts were dismissed from the university system “for teaching what they were not paid to teach”; top journalists were jailed and newspapers barred from reporting any event which the government considered embarrassing, even if it was true. Laws were made with retrospective penal sanctions where the accused was presumed guilty with the onus of proving his or her innocence.

Many Nigerians woke up to the knowledge of the existence of hard drugs, like cocaine, when the regime arrested Bartholomew Owoh (26), Bernard Ogedengbe(29), and Alhaji Akani Lawal (29) tried, found guilty for trafficking in such drugs and killed them by firing squad under Decree 20 of 1984 for the offence they had allegedly committed before the promulgation of the decree. The Taliban rule which took off in Afghanistan, much later in 1994, was not more draconian. 

Human rights groups and civil society community in general took up the challenge in diverse ways. Newspapers adopted several creative means of writing and presenting informed criticism of the mindless dictatorship. Some public commentators also resorted to analysing and criticising events and leaders in foreign lands as euphemisms of happenings at home, while others, in frustration or fear of persecution, deliberately shifted attention to mundane issues at home or became emergency experts in international affairs.

Dental Sealant For Oral Protection
What Can Be Done To Prevent Cavities

Dental Sealants Prevent Cavities
Effective protection for children

Dental sealants are thin coatings that when painted on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth (molars) can prevent cavities for many years. School-age children (ages 6-11) without sealants have almost 3 times more 1st molar cavities than those with sealants. Although the overall number of children with sealants has increased over time, low-income children are 20% less likely to have them and 2 times more likely to have untreated cavities than higher-income children. Untreated cavities can cause pain, infection, and problems eating, speaking, and learning. States can help millions more children prevent cavities by starting or expanding programs that offer dental sealants in schools.

State officials can:

Target school-based sealant programs to areas where children are at higher risk for cavities. Track the number of schools and children participating in sealant programs.
Implement policies that allow school-based sealant programs to operate in the most cost-effective manner.
Help schools connect to Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), local health department clinics, community health centers, and dental providers in the community to foster more use of sealants and reimbursement of services.

Breast Cancer in Young Women
What You Can Do To Lower Your Risk

What Can I Do to Lower My Risk?

It is important that you—
•Know how your breasts normally look and feel. If you notice a change in the size or shape of your breast, feel pain in your breast, have nipple discharge other than breast milk (including blood), or other symptoms, talk to a doctor right away.
•Make healthy choices. Keeping a healthy weight, getting enough physical activity and sleep, and breastfeeding your babies can help lower your overall risk. If you are taking, or have been told to take, hormone replacement therapy or oral contraceptives (birth control pills), ask your doctor about the risks.
•Talk to your doctor about your risk. If your risk is high, your doctor may talk to you about getting mammograms earlier and more often than other women, whether other screening tests might be right for you, and medicines or surgeries that can lower your risk. Your doctor may also suggest that you get genetic counseling to determine if you should be tested for changes in your BRCA1, BRCA2, and other genes related to breast cancer

Mental Health Concern After Major Illness
Things You Can Do

Mental Health Concerns

Major Illiness survivors may experience mental health concerns that affect their emotions, behavior, memory, and ability to concentrate. For example, cancer survivors may feel emotional distress like depression or anxiety about their cancer returning. Recent research found that 10% of cancer survivors have mental health concerns, compared with only 6% of adults without a history of cancer.1 Cancer survivors who have other chronic illnesses are more likely to have mental health problems and poorer quality of life.

Fewer than one-third of survivors who have mental health concerns talk to their doctor about them, and many survivors don’t use services like professional counseling or support groups.

What Can Be Done?
•Survivors should talk to their health care providers about their mental health before, during, and after cancer treatment.
•Survivors should talk to their health care providers about mental health screening to check for and monitor changes in anxiety, depression, and other mental health concerns.
•Psychologists, social workers, and patient navigators can help survivors find appropriate and affordable mental health and social support services in both hospital and community settings.
•Physical activity has been linked to lower rates of depression among cancer survivors.2

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