Heated Topics of the Week- Covid-19, 344 Nigerian schoolboys rescued from abduction

Glance at Covid-19

As of December 20 2020, Covid-19 is continuing its spread across the world with 75 million confirmed cases and nearly two million death. The US, which is the worst country affected by the pandemic, reported on Friday its first single-day caseload of more than 250,000 infections. As the country reported a record number of new cases, the US FDA authorized Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine for emergency use. The US plans to allocate 20 million doses of vaccine nationwide by the end of year.  

An empty Bridge street is seen in the Central Business District of Sydney, on December 19.
James D. Morgan/Getty Images

It has also been a bleak winter for other countries trying to restrain the spread of pandemic. Parts of Britain will go back into lockdown during Christmas, resulting in more than 16 million people in the country subject to stricter coronavirus restrictions. Japan, along with neighboring country South Korea, reported rising covid-19 cases and hospitalizations as winter temperatures drop down. In Australia, as 30 new locally transmitted cases of Covid-19 were detected in Sydney, residents of the city are no longer allowed to travel interstate without quarantine.

344 Nigerian schoolboys rescued from abduction

Released students were led into the Government House in Katsina, Nigeria, on Friday.
PHOTO: KOLA SULAIMON/AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE/GETTY IMAGES

More than 300 boys were kidnapped in an attack on their school last week by gunmen in Katsina State in northwestern Nigeria and kept in captivity for a week. While kidnapping for ransom by criminal elements have seen a disturbing increase in this state, an abduction of this scale is still unheard of. A terror group, Boko Haram, has claimed responsibility for the kidnapping in a short audio message and video which showed the children, but the Katsina state governor stated that officials did not yet have concrete evidence that boys were taken by the group.

Murtala Sale, a 14 year old boy among the kidnapped children, told CNN that the kidnappers took these boys into forest, walked for two days without any food, and were beaten by the kidnappers. The Nigerian military rescued 344 of them late on Thursday , and brought them back to their waiting families in the state capital. “Schools should be safe. Children should never be the target of attack and yet, far too often in Nigeria, they are precisely that – victims of attacks on their schools,” said UNICEF Nigeria Representative Peter Hawkins.

Written by Jinxin

Sources:

https://www.cnn.com/world/live-news/coronavirus-pandemic-vaccine-updates-12-20-20/index.html

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-51235105

https://www.cnn.com/2020/12/17/africa/nigerian-schoolboys-released-intl/index.html

https://www.cnn.com/2020/12/17/africa/nigeria-boko-haram-schoolboys-intl/index.html

https://www.cnn.com/2020/12/18/africa/rescued-nigerian-schoolboys-state-government-intl/index.html

https://www.wsj.com/articles/hundreds-of-nigerian-boys-kidnapped-by-boko-haram-handed-over-governor-says-11608238209

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