United States

WE STAND WITH FERGUSON

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WE WANT JUSTICE FOR MIKE BROWN!!!

    Violent protests have again broken out in Ferguson after the decision of a Grand Jury not to charge the police officer responsible for gunning down a BLACK unarmed teenager, Mike Brown. But this time, the protests didn’t just stay in Ferguson, other other US cities joined the protests chanting ‘WE STAND WITH FERGUSON‘. From New York to Seattle to Oakland, California, the decision did not go down well with thousands of Americans who have been observing the events of the previous weeks and the announcement quickly prompted protests, some violent.

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The scene where Mike Brown was shot dead by a WHITE police officer

     What are the people calling for? JUSTICE!
They do not believe justice has been served and they are very discontent with the system which they believe is racially biased. Of course, anyone who knows a thing about the US knows that racial bias is still widely being seen both at local and national fronts. Pictures like these from the initial protests proves this point.

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    The question on many people’s lips which I feel is very important is, “What if this was the other way round and it was a black officer who shot dead an unarmed white boy, will the ruling still be the same?”
      All the people are crying for is Justice for Mike Brown and indeed not only Mike Brown. This image below would explain better.

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Protesters protest indiscriminate police shooting of blacks
and carry a long list of people believed to be killed by the
police

         This is indeed sad and the fact that it is happening in ‘role model to the world’ America makes it all the worst. If the United States is serious about being a role model in Justice and Human rights, then it must first set a followable example which of course Ferguson is not.
      I must add that I was unhappy to see Donald Trump’s tweets, blaming the whole Ferguson saga on President Obama and saying that though America has a black president, things like this still persist and this would hinder the emergence of a black president for many generations to come.
How can anyone blame a system that has been for decades on the President? How far could Obama even go when he is always been blocked by the Senate?
Certainly, if Obama had tried to do otherwise and wade in directly into issues like this, people would still complain. This is not an issue of the President, it is a national issue and the fault is with the biased system. What America must do is to make all her citizens feel safe, protect their human rights irrespective of race and make sure they get justice. Justice should belong to all and not special or exclusive to any particular ‘color’.

Written by Olisa Lotenna

Is the U.S ready to deal with Ebola on its soil?

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   The United States, as any other country fell into panic when the first case of Ebola was reported on its soil. The Patient Zero, as we know, was a Liberian American, Thomas Eric Duncan who flew into the country from Liberia. There was a little anger about the handling of the ‘patient zero’ with many condemning the health system for failing to take the patient’s travel record into account while initially treating him. This development prompted the CDC (Centre for Disease Control) into action, to ensure that an outbreak was prevented. The C.D.C even sent a group of experts to Nigeria to learn how the country was able to contain the virus, since the World Health Organization had earlier declared Nigeria Ebola free.
    Now, a Dallas health worker, a nurse to be precise has been infected with the virus after been involved with treating Thomas Duncan. This has again sparked more anger and speculations that the United States is not ready or well prepared to deal with Ebola on its soil. The Director of CDC, Dr Thomas Friedman came under serious fire and was heavily criticized for blaming the nurse. He said in a press release that a ‘breach i protocol’ on the path of the nurse resulted in her contracting the disease. But critics, whom I agree with, were fast to point out that he was ‘scape-goating’ the nurse instead of dealing with his agency’s failure to introduce a rigorous set of procedures for hospitals across the country.
     Bonnie Castillo, a registered nurse and a disaster relief expert at National Nurses United said, ‘when there’s an outbreak, you don’t scape goat anyone! We have a system failure. That is what we have to correct.’
Dr. Macgregor-Skinner, who helped the Nigerian government train healthcare workers when the Liberian man, Patrick Sawyer brought Ebola to the country said;
‘Blaming the nurse is just wrong. We haven’t provided them with a national training program. We haven’t provided them with the necessary experts that have actually worked in hospitals with Ebola,’
    It is obvious, however, that there have been institutional failures in handling the Ebola crisis in America. This, to me, might be a little forgivable giving that the U.S has never witnessed any Ebola case and their health workers are not well trained and equipped to handle Ebola victims. However, for a country which has spent millions of dollars in aiding Ebola hit countries in West Africa like Liberia and Sierra Leone, better prevention and preparation for any outbreak should have been done. For instance, How come the health workers didn’t take into account Thomas Duncan’s travel history? Why didn’t they test him for Ebola when he showed similar symptoms, having told them he came in from Liberia, one of the worst hit Ebola countries? Instead, they just treated him normally and discharged him. The answer is obvious! They were not at alert. They possibly felt that Ebola wasn’t a direct threat to them or would come knocking on their door steps. They obviously know better.
       America, however cannot afford anymore institutional failures as it may prove disastrous. A second person is already being kept under close monitoring after having close contact with the infected nurse and 48 other health workers might have also been exposed to the deadly virus. The CDC director also said that more cases of Ebola could be seen in coming days. So, Ebola in the US is no child’s play and everything should be done to kick it out, as Nigeria successfully did.

First Case of Ebola reported in the U.S

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           Many people were obviously alarmed by this news. “Ebola in the United States? Please, tell me its a lie!” People became automatically interested and everyone was talking. Infact, #Ebola in US was trending worldwide on Twitter yesterday. Anyway, the truth is that the U.S has recorded its first case of the Ebola disease. A Liberian national who flew into the U.S on Sept 19 has been tested for Ebola and the results came in positive. He is now been treated in a hospital in Dallas.
       People are obviously wondering, “How did this man even manage to get into the U.S. Who didn’t do his job right?” Well, I have the answer.
The infected person came into the U.S on Sept 19 and began to develop symptoms on September 24. He first sought care on the 26th of September and on the 28th was admitted in Texas. Normally, symptoms begin to develop 21 days after exposure. So, there was no way to have known the man had Ebola when he entered the country.
      Lucky enough, Ebola is not contagious until symptoms begin, and it takes close contact with bodily fluids to spread. So, we need not worry much about all the people the said victim had come in contact with before he began to notice symptoms. The patient will most likely recover and I’m sure the U.S will do a good job to prevent the spread of this terrible disease that has killed nearly 3,000 people in Africa. So, there’s no need to panic.
      This man was diagnosed in America, so he is the first Ebola case to be reported in America and not the First American to contact Ebola. Four American aid workers who have become infected while volunteering in West Africa have been treated in special isolation facilities in hospitals in Atlanta and Nebraska, and a US doctor exposed to the virus in Sierra Leone is under observation in a similar facility at the National Institutes of Health.  I hope we get the difference?

US leads the fight against Ebola in West Africa

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  “The situation is very serious but if we act now, we will have the opportunity to save countless lives.” This was the most important sentence to me, from President Obama’s speech today on Ebola in Africa.
     I find it very welcome that the US has finally taken a giant step in assisting to combat the deadly Ebola virus in West Africa, particularly Liberia. This unprecedented outbreak in West Africa this year has claimed the lives of more than two and a half thousand people, affecting Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone most adversely. Even though many, including Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta feel that the US and international community wasted a lot of time before intervening, I think the intervention is still immensely appreciated, as these West African countries are finding it terribly difficult to cope or contain this virus on their own.
      The international community has hailed this crucial move by the United States which represents the largest foreign assistance given to fight Ebola. The United States will send 3,000 military personnel to West Africa and will assist in mass training of health care workers to deal with the epidemic surge, and will construct 17 health facilities to treat Ebola patients. All this is included in a $500M budget which was announced by President Obama today.
     I’m glad that the United States saw the need to SAVE LIVES. Their supportive move is really appreciated by many, including me. I also have to acknowledge the awesome international medical charity, Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) which is doing an amazing work and has been at the fore front of the fight against Ebola in West Africa.

The International Coalition against ISIS

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      I have written severally about the ISIS, now known as IS (Islamic State) and so many people are very interested in what’s being done by the group in Iraq and Syria. I have received so many emails as regards the ISIS, particularly after posting pictures that shows extreme ISIS brutality in Iraq and Syria.
Pictures like these:

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     The world was extremely shocked by the terrible crimes that the ISIS has perpetrated against humanity which include very despicable acts like crucifixion, beheading of women and even children and mass massacre of soldiers and civilians belonging to ethnic and religious minorities. World super powers opened their eyes wider to the Islamic State threats mainly because of these three things:
√ The ISIS was becoming increasingly powerful by acquiring much more territories in Iraq and Syria. Territories that when put together is bigger than Britain’s landmass. They were also spreading their influence and gathering many jihadists from around the world. Of course, the United States and other Western countries knew that if the activities of the Islamic State continued unchecked, Iraq will rapidly become an international breeding ground for terrorists from where well co-ordinated attacks could be launched against the West.
√ ISIS was also become very rich from looting banks and forcefully taking over very productive oil fields. They were using this I’ll gotten wealth to acquire more weapons and train more effectively.

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√ Most importantly is the ISIS spree of killing of foreign journalists and aid workers. ISIS beheaded American James Foley and Stephen Sotloff and most recently, British Hostage, David Haines.
        These audacious moves by the ISIS have caused so much anger around the world, with President Obama and British Prime Minister condemning the acts and vowing to destroy the group. But as we all know, the US is war weary and are increasingly getting tires of being the ‘world police’. The US was however forced to conduct air strikes to weaken the monstrous ISIS while they sought for a concrete plan to deal with the group.
      President Obama finally decided that the US must not fight the ISIS alone and began to lobby for international support, a kind of ‘INTERNATIONAL COALITION‘ to combat the Islamic State group. The US Secretary of States, John Kerry spent four days in the Middle East trying to garner support for a wider international military action against the radical Islamic group. He was able to gain the support of Ten Arab countries.
On a broader level, 40 countries have indicated interest in combating the ISIS, the latest being Australia which has committed 600 troops.
      I’m in support of Obama’s strategy of an international coalition. US is obviously not ready to get sucked up in Iraq again as it is even blamed for the current crises that is shutting down the country. The world also cannot afford to keep silent and watch despicable atrocities like these continue.  Countries should be the police of one another during conflicts and work together for world peace and for the betterment of humanity.