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Woman Names Baby After Medic Who Saved Her During Wildfire

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Woman Names Baby After Medic Who Saved Her During Wildfire

In his 20 years as a paramedic, Mickey Huber assisted in two emergency deliveries. But to him, the most memorable birth is the one that didn’t happen on his watch.

Huber was helping people evacuate from the terrifying wildfire that tore through the Northern California town of Paradise on November 8 when he heard on the scanner about a pregnant woman going into premature labour.

Anastasia Skinner’s baby wasn’t due for another month, but she began to feel contractions as she grabbed her mother’s two dogs and raced to escape the fast-moving blaze. The flames had already hit her car by the time she fought the panic-driven traffic jam out of town and reached a gas station, honking the horn and screaming for help.

“I knew I wasn’t going to make it,” Skinner, 25, said during a phone interview on Friday. “I called my husband and told him goodbye, tell all the kids I love them and make sure they remember me.”

A motorcyclist who saw Skinner in distress flagged a police officer who helped her move to the back seat of her Honda Pilot. Several women who were stuck in the traffic jam brought her blankets and pillows, A retired fire chief came to her aid and someone requested a helicopter to airlift her to the hospital.

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Huber, the assistant chief of operations for Butte County Emergency Services, was two miles away but had to get through 30 minutes of gridlock to get to Skinner. When he arrived and evaluated her condition, he knew she couldn’t wait much longer for a helicopter.

“The smoke was thick, and the winds were blowing. The helicopters were having a hard time fighting the fire let alone airlifting patients,” Huber said.

Because Skinner was having a high-risk pregnancy after suffering two miscarriages and other complications related to an inherited disorder, Huber said she may not have made it if she went into full-blown labor.

He arranged a caravan that included three police vehicles to rush Skinner to an ambulance. Then he jumped in the back seat, where he kept her calm until she reached a hospital where her labor was stopped.

“He was sweet. He told me, ‘I’m a guy. I don’t know what this feels like for you, but I’ll try to help you get you through it,’ ” Skinner said. “Then he would yell at people outside of the car, waving his hat and telling them to get out of the way.”

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“My goal was to keep her breathing and get her down the hill,” Huber said. “Two of my ambulance crews were trapped by the fire moments before I got to Anastasia so there was a lot of doubt, a lot of worry.”

Skinner said a doctor later told her smoke inhalation put her body under stress and triggered the contractions.

On December 12, more than a month after the fire began, Skinner gave birth via C-section to a full-term, healthy girl and named her after the man she believes saved her life.

“She’s a blessing in every way including what happened at the Camp Fire,” she said about her daughter, Zoele (rhymes with Noel) Mickey Skinner.

Skinner and her husband, Daniel, have three other children, ages 8, 6 and 4.

After getting Skinner to the ambulance, Huber helped with the mass evacuation until the next day. He said he was shocked and honored when he learned the baby was named after him.

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“That day was full of a thousand different emotions but that is the strongest memory of the day for me,” Huber said.

More than 50 000 people in Paradise and the neighboring communities of Magalia and Concow were forced to quickly flee the towering, wind-driven flames that burned an area about the size of Chicago — 622 square kilometres — and became the deadliest US wildfire in at least a century. At least 86 people were killed and 14 000 homes destroyed.

Skinner and her husband, Daniel, lost their home; her mother lost hers too.

“All of our history and what we were as a family, everybody knowing your name and all the things about being in a small town are just gone,” Skinner said.

When her children get sad about the things they lost in the fire, she said she reminds them to count their blessings, including the baby sister who made it alive.

“All of us, including our animals are out. Everybody we know is safe,” Skinner said. “We can replace all the stuff in our house, but we can’t replace each other.

African News

US To Toughen Measures Against Africans Who Overstay Short-Term Visas

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US To Toughen Measures Against Africans Who Overstay Short-Term Visas

The United States has announced tough new measures against Africans who overstay their short-term visas in the country.  This is in concert with president Donald Trump’s efforts to curb immigration.

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The wall street journal reports African national with high overstay rates, including Nigeria, Chad, Eritrea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, could be affected by the clamp-down.

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In a 2017 report, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recorded the African countries to be among those, under the non-visa waiver program, whose nationals have the highest populations of overstays among non-immigrants in the United States.

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African News

Advisor To The Presidential Ivanka Trump And OPIC Chief Announce $1Billion Women’s Investment Initiative

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Advisor To The Presidential Ivanka Trump And OPIC Chief Announce $1Billion Women's Investment Initiative

Advisor and daughter of the US President, Ivanka Trump, has joined with David Bohigian, acting president and CEO of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the U.S. Government’s development finance institution, to announce the launch of OPIC’s initiative to support investment in women in Africa. The announcement was made during a U.S. government delegation to Ethiopia.

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OPIC aims to unlock the full economic potential of women in Africa by catalyzing one billion dollars through the initiative, directly investing 350 million dollars in businesses and funds owned by women, led by women, or providing a good or service that intentionally empowers women on the continent.

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The women’s initiative will advance the white house-led government commitment to empowering women globally.

Ivanka Trump said for women to succeed as entrepreneurs and job creators, they must have equal access to the financing necessary to start and grow their businesses,

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The Overseas Private Investment Corporation, (OPIC), was established in 1971 as a self-sustaining U.S. government agency that helps American businesses invest in emerging markets.

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African News

UN Appoints Adviser To Support AU Mediation Efforts In Sudan

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UN Appoints Adviser To Support AU Mediation Efforts In Sudan

U.N. Secretary-General, Antonio Gutteres, has appointed special adviser Nicholas Haysom to support the African Union’s mediation efforts in the Sudan, where the military has ousted longtime president Omar Al-Bashir last week.

The UN boss has spoken with chairman of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahmat to offer Haysom’s services and assistance to the commission.

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Haysom was most recently U.N.’s top man in Somalia, but was expelled after four months by the Somali government after he tried to intervene on behalf of a former Al-Shabaab leader, who wanted to participate in the Somali elections but was banned by the country’s electoral commission.

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Haysom, a South African lawyer, was previously the UN special envoy for the Sudan and South Sudan.  He was head of the U.N. Mission in Afghanistan.

The African Union Peace and Security Council issued a strong statement on Monday condemning the military takeover in the Sudan as an unconstitutional change of government.  It has demanded the military hand over power to a transitional civilian-led political authority within fifteen days.

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