Mar 26 2015

Newsflash: U.S. Strikes ISIS in Tikrit, Boko Haram Violence Continues Ahead of Elections, Indiana’s HIV Outbreak A Public Health Emergency

Daily News Flash | Published 26 Mar 2015, 10:45 am | Comments Off on Newsflash: U.S. Strikes ISIS in Tikrit, Boko Haram Violence Continues Ahead of Elections, Indiana’s HIV Outbreak A Public Health Emergency -

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Uprising’s guest expert Chenjerai Kumanyika, Assistant Professor of Communications Studies at Clemson University, analyzes to day’s news headlines:

US air strikes have been pounding the Iraqi city of Tikrit overnight, joining the fight to recapture the city from the Islamic State at the last minute. Shia militias backed by Iran have been waging the war for Tikrit alongside Sunni tribal fighters for days now. The fighting continued until early this morning in a battle that is seen as a major test for defeating ISIS. Many fear however, that the presence of a large number of Shia militia forces, many of whom fought against the US occupation, will exacerbate existing sectarian tensions, and allow Iran to expand its influence in the region. The on-going war against ISIS continues to pull in muddled allegiances with conflicting ideologies. Click HERE for a NY Times, and HERE for a Washington Post article on this story.

Human Rights Watch has just released a report this morning documenting on-going abuses by the Boko Haram group in Nigeria. Boko Haram, which pledged allegiance to ISIS recently, has apparently killed 1000 civilians already this year. The rights group tallied the grim total based on eyewitness accounts and media reports. Last year a total of 3,750 civilians were known to have been killed. And, reports are now emerging that Boko Haram engaged in yet another mass kidnapping earlier this month. About 500 women and children were taken captive from the town of Damasak in Borno state. These reports come ahead of major elections this weekend, which had been slated to take place earlier but been postponed to Saturday because of security concerns. Incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan will face off against former military dictator Maj. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari. Both candidates signed a “peace pledge” this week. Click HERE for an ibtimes.com, HERE for a newsweek.com and HERE for a Washington Post article on this story.

And finally here in the US, the state of Indiana is expected to declare a public health emergency in Scott County, over an alarming rise in HIV cases. The number of confirmed HIV infections this week has risen to 72 in that county alone, up from 26 a month ago. The outbreak in the southern part of Indiana is linked to intravenous drug use and shared needles. Gov. Mike Pence says he is considering legalizing a needle exchange program even though he personally opposes such an approach. He is expected to issue an executive order today to authorize a range of actions. Currently the state has adopted a public outreach program that includes billboards and social media. Officials from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said earlier this week that the outbreak, “is an indicator of a larger problem,” which is rampant IV drug use in the economically depressed region. Click HERE for an ibtimes.com article on this story.

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