Report: Final Approval of Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine in US Set for Monday

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration reportedly intends to grant full approval to Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine on Monday. The New York Times said the agency had planned to complete the approval by Friday but still faced “a substantial amount of paperwork and negotiation with the company.” The FDA, which the Times said had previously set an unofficial approval deadline of about September 6, declined to comment. Final approval could bolster the Biden administration’s vaccination program by convincing unvaccinated citizens that Pfizer’s vaccine is safe and effective while also easing concerns…

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Chad to Bring Home Half of Its Troops Fighting Sahel Militants

N’DJAMENA, CHAD – Chad has decided to recall half of its 1,200 troops battling Islamist militants in the tri-border area of Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger, a spokesperson for Chadian authorities said Saturday. Chad deployed the soldiers in February to support a France-backed regional fight with insurgents linked to al-Qaida and Islamic State who have destabilized swaths of territory in West Africa’s Sahel region in recent years. The decision to withdraw 600 of these soldiers was made in agreement with Chad’s Sahel allies, General Azem Bermandoa Agouna said, speaking on…

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Cameroon Military Raids Separatist-Held Roads, Kill Seven Self-proclaimed Separatist Generals

YAOUNDE, CAMEROON – Cameroon says its military has killed seven self-proclaimed separatist generals who blocked traffic for a month on roads in the central African state’s English-speaking western regions. The military says during a two-week operation, it recovered 70 vehicles the fighters had seized from civilians and rescued several women and children held hostage in separatist camps. Cameroon said Friday its military had eliminated separatists from roads the fighters had illegally occupied in the English-speaking North-West region since July. Lieutenant Conrad Onana says he commanded government troops in one of…

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UN Sounds Alarm on Tigray Harvest

GENEVA – The desperate need for food aid in Ethiopia’s war-torn Tigray region will persist into 2022 because the harvest is set to fail, U.N. humanitarian chief Martin Griffiths warned Friday. Griffiths, the United Nations’ new emergency relief coordinator, sounded the alarm on the scale of the challenges facing the northern region, following a six-day visit to Ethiopia. He visited the capital Addis Ababa and Tigray, and he met Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Foreign Minister Demeke Mekonnen. “I had a lot of discussions with the local administrators in Tigray,…

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Tigray Forces Vow ‘Warm Welcome’ in Face of New Offensive

NAIROBI – Ethiopia’s spreading Tigray conflict faced a dangerous escalation Friday as an Amhara regional official said Amhara forces would launch an offensive Saturday against Tigray forces who have entered the region and taken control of a town hosting a UNESCO World Heritage Site. “This is the time for the Amhara people to crush the terrorist group,” Sema Tiruneh, the Amhara region’s head of peace and security, told the regional state-affiliated Amhara Media Corp. “Everyone should come forward and defend themselves.” In response, Tigray forces spokesman Getachew Reda told The…

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South Africa’s Cape Town Copes With Tens of Thousands of Active COVID Cases

CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA – South Africa’s Cape Town is struggling to cope with more than 38,000 active cases of COVID-19, making it the epicenter of the pandemic in Africa’s worst-hit country. The provincial chairman of the Democratic Nursing Organization of South AfrIca, Elenor Roberts, said medical staff members were under immense pressure. “As of now, the situation in our rural areas, it is dire,” because there are so many COVID patients who need attention and “so few staff to look after these patients,” Roberts said. She said there were…

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Vaccine Shipments to Africa Picking Up Amid Upsurge of COVID-19

GENEVA – The World Health Organization says shipments of coronavirus vaccine to Africa are picking up while the continent continues to grapple with an upsurge in COVID-19 infections. After a slight dip in cases last week, the third wave of COVID-19 has come roaring back, with infections rising by nearly 19 percent to more than 278,000 new cases this week. Also, this week, the World Health Organization says COVID-19 deaths have reached a record peak of more than 6,400, bringing the total number of coronavirus fatalities on the continent to…

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Jihadi Rebels Kill 30 in North Burkina Faso, Says Official

JOHANNESBURG – At least 30 people, including members of the military, were killed by jihadi rebels in northern Burkina Faso, the government said Thursday. Eleven civilians, 15 soldiers, and four volunteer defense fighters were killed by “terrorists” in several villages outside the town of Markoye in Oudalan province near the border with Niger on Wednesday, Aime Barthelemy Simpore, assistant to the minister of defense, said in a statement. The civilians were killed at midday and the military and volunteers were ambushed four hours later after being detached to secure the…

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