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More Than A Thousand Remain Missing A Week After Hurricane Michael

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More than a thousand people were still missing on Wednesday a week after Hurricane Michael flattened communities across the Florida Panhandle, killing at least 27.

More than a thousand people were still missing on Wednesday a week after Hurricane Michael flattened communities across the Florida Panhandle, killing at least 27.

Teams made up of hundreds of volunteers with the Houston-based CrowdSource Rescue organization were searching for more than 1,135 people in Florida who lost contact with friends and family, Matthew Marchetti, co-founder of Houston-based CrowdSource Rescue.

Most of those missing are from Panama City and many are elderly, disabled, impoverished, or live alone, Marchetti said.

Florida officials have not given a number for how many people are considered to be missing. Those who are missing may be with relatives and friends, and not necessarily presumed dead.

Debris, downed trees and power lines have hampered access to stranded people, but CrowdSource said a number of its missing person reports resulted from widespread phone and power outages.

The death toll includes 17 in Florida, one in Georgia, three in North Carolina and six in Virginia, according to a Reuters tally of official reports. Officials said medical examiners were determining whether another four deaths in Florida were due to the storm.

Michael slammed into the northwest coastal strip of Florida last Wednesday with top sustained winds of 155 miles per hour (250 km/h), unleashing a surge of seawater that demolished homes.

About 35,000 Floridians have called Federal Emergency Management Agency seeking help since and the agency has already approved $1 million in assistance for people in those 12 counties, spokesman Ruben Brown in Tallahassee said.

FEMA has distributed about 4.5 million meals, more than 5 million liters of water and 9 million infant-and-toddler kits, he said.

In Mexico Beach, which took a direct hit, the number of people missing dropped to three on Tuesday, said Rex Putnal, a city councillor. A day earlier, it was more than 30. The town of 1,200 residents had reported two fatalities as of Monday.

Nearly 163,000 homes and businesses remained without power in the U.S. Southeast, with residents of battered coastal towns forced to cook on fires and barbecue grills.

At least 80 percent of customers in three mainly rural Panhandle counties were without electricity on Tuesday. Officials said it could be weeks before power returns to some.

Countless others in the region’s backcountry have struggled for days without running water or sanitation, awaiting help from authorities. Some have been camping in tents with the belongings they were able to salvage.

The state government is distributing ice, water and about 3 million ready-to-eat meals, Governor Rick Scott’s office said.

Marchetti said the search has been hindered by spotty cell phone coverage in the devastated area, though authorities are making progress in restoring communications.

Many residents have also expressed frustration at the slow pace of recovery of wireless networks. Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai on Tuesday called for wireless carriers to waive bills for customers affected by the storm.

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Nigerian News

Nigeria Remains Third Most Terrorized Country In The World

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Nigeria Remains Third Most Terrorized Country In The World

Nigeria still holds the unenviable position as the third most terrorized country in the world.

The 2018 global terrorism index, released on Wednesday, says  this is as a result of the spate of terrorism in Nigeria.  It also points to what it called the “increase in violence involving Fulani extremists”.  The report says this is happening as deaths committed by Boko Haram are falling..

Nigeria is ranked only below Iraq and Afghanistan, both in first and second positions.

This year alone, hundreds of Nigerians have been killed in attacks by suspected herdsmen as well as clashes between the herders and farmers/communities.

States worst hit in the attacks are Plateau, Benue, Zamfara, Taraba and others.

The report also noted that, compared to the peak of “terrorist deaths” in 2014, “the largest falls in the number of deaths occurred in Iraq, Nigeria, and Pakistan.

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World News

Migrants Breech U.S.-Mexico Border

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Migrants Breech U.S.-Mexico Border

Central American migrants stuck at the U.S.–Mexico border breached the border fence on Monday, even though they knew they could be detained by U.S. authorities. They hoped the illegal entry would allow them to apply for asylum.

Since mid-October, thousands of Central Americans, mostly from Honduras, have traveled north through Mexico in a caravan, some walking much of the long distance.

U.S. President Donald Trump has vowed to stop the migrants, sending troops to reinforce the border and attempting a procedural change to require asylum-seekers to remain in mexico while their cases are heard. So far, the courts have denied those attempts.

Applying for asylum at a U.S. land border can take months, so if migrants enter illegally and present themselves to authorities,their cases could be heard more quickly.

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World News

Analyst Expects Unsuccessful Yemen Peace Meeting

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Analyst Expects Unsuccessful Yemen Peace Meeting

A political analyst says prospects for returning to a unified Yemen remain dim despite members from both warring parties meeting to discuss peace in Stockholm, Sweden.

Supported by the United Nations, representatives of the Yemeni government and the Houthi rebels will meet for political consultations later this week, although no exact date has been announced for the start of the negotiations that would be the first peace talks since 2016.

Mokhtar Yafie, a political analyst in Aden says he does not expect much success from the Stockholm peace meeting.

Yafie added that the internal divisions within the Yemeni government and the Houthi would also complicate the negotiation.

Although some residents in Yemen hold little hopes for the peace talks, there are people having high expectations for them.

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