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As a failing electric grid further burdens the creaking health system, doctors continue to seek opportunities abroad. The waiting rooms at the Ifako Ijaiye hospital in Lagos are overcrowded with patients waiting to see doctors. Often people have to stand outside.
“It is now like this every day. We have to come early and pick numbers before we can meet the doctors. Even though the doctors try to see everybody, it has got worse,” says Oluchi Ezegbo, a market trader from Okearo, in nearby Ogun state.
Ezegbo came here as it is the closest government-owned doctor’s surgery to her home. Even though the distance is only 4.3km (2.7 miles), the roads are in very poor condition and the journey takes more than an hour. Read more HERE.
French police have shot and injured a man holding a knife in Metz, two days after a fatal stabbing in Paris.
Christian Mercuri, the public prosecutor in the city in north-east France, said the man involved in the incident on Sunday, who was known to police both “for his radicalisation and for a personality disorder”, shouted “Allahu Akbar” (God is greatest) before being shot. A police source said the suspect, who was born in 1989, threatened officers when they arrived at the scene, and they fired shots to overpower him.
“He is injured but his life is not in danger,” the source said, adding that no one else was hurt. Read HERE.
US orders 3,000 troops to the region as tensions rise following killing of powerful general Qassem Suleimani. The Middle East is starting the decade under the shadow of a major new conflict, as Iran vows to take revenge for the US drone strike that killed its most powerful general, Qassem Suleimani. The Pentagon ordered 3,000 reinforcements to the region, diplomats were reportedly told to pack their bags in case of sudden evacuation, and the US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, called his counterparts around the world to try to persuade them the US was “committed to de-escalation”.
In Syria and Iraq there was some rejoicing at the death of a ruthless military commander implicated in tens of thousands of civilian deaths, but the general reaction in world capitals was apprehension over what would come next. “This is a moment in which leaders must exercise maximum restraint,” the UN secretary general, António Guterres, said. “The world cannot afford another war in the Gulf.” Read more HERE.
The European commission has been accused of seeking to cut EU funding for the continent’s poorest people by 50% to secure post-Brexit cost savings and extra funds for defence projects.Jacques Vandenschrik, the president of the European Food Banks Federation, said the EU executive’s proposed spending plans for the next seven years posed a risk not only to the most vulnerable but to the stability of wider society.
EU institutions are currently hammering out the details of the bloc’s long-term budget, known as the multiannual financial framework (MFF). The UK’s withdrawal will leave a large hole to plug. Senior EU officials have described the negotiations over the commission’s proposed €1,135bn (£970bn) in spending commitments as the most difficult ever undertaken. Read more HERE
A truck bomb has exploded in central Mogadishu, killing at least 79 people including many university students, and injuring more than 100 in the deadliest attack on the Somali capital for more than two years. The bomber struck during the Saturday morning rush hour, the start of Somalia’s working week. The mayor, Omar Mohamud Mohamed, told reporters at the blast site that most of those killed were civilians, including two Turkish citizens.
Somali police chief Abdi Hassan Mohamed told reporters that the “devastating” circumstances had made it hard to establish the number of casualties. “Now we can elaborate on the death toll which stands 79 at the moment and the wounded are 100 plus,” he said. “There can be one or two more people who may be dead.” Read more HERE.