Abductions, Guns & Cryptocurrency – This Is World News In Focus


Nigeria: Militant group Boko Haram attacked the village of Dapchi in Yobe state, northeast Nigeria, on Monday evening (Feb. 19).

The attack targeted mainly schools, and many students were abducted.

Despite the military’s rescue efforts, between 50 to more than 100 girls remained missing.

President Muhammadu Buhari apologised for the attack, calling it a “national disaster.”

Boko Haram jihadists have killed over 2,000 teachers and destroyed some 1,400 schools since its insurgency began in 2009.  In 2014, the group kidnapped 274 schoolgirls from Chibok, sparking global outrage.

Buhari’s government has promised to tackle the insurgency but so far has failed to gain back control of the northeast of the country, and has not been able to protect citizens in their home villages.

For more we go to TIME magazine:


US: President Donald Trump responded to the recent spate of school shootings with an idea to arm teachers and a plan to place a ban on bump-stocks.

Citing the arming of airline pilots, the president argued that teachers who were adept at using guns could put down an attack quickly.

He even suggested offering bonuses to teachers who were trained to carry concealed weapons.

Teachers’ unions, school security guards, and military veterans across the country opposed the plan, as they said the resources should better be used to improve mental health services.

On Tuesday, President Trump ordered the Justice Department to issue regulations to ban bump stocks to pacify the grieving Florida community’s demand for action on gun control.

A bump-stock is a device that allows semi-automatic guns to be converted into fully automatic rifles.  Bump-stocks were used in last year’s Las Vegas shooting, but not in the recent Florida shooting.

Earlier this month, 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz arrived at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, and killed 17 students with a semi-automatic AR-15 rifle, which he purchased this year.

For more we go to PBS NewsHour:


Venezuela: President Nicolás Maduro announced on Tuesday (Feb. 20) the launch of a new virtual currency backed by the country’s crude oil reserves.

About 100 million tokens of bitcoin-like digital currency called the Petro – reportedly worth some $6 billion — is available for pre-sale.

Maduro hopes the new currency can help salvage the country’s economy, which has been devastated by the devaluation of the bolívar and hyper-inflation. Hard currency raised with the sales of the Petro could then be used to pay off debts and import goods and raw materials for manufacturing.

Maduro’s administration also hopes to use the Petro as a payment method to circumvent financial sanctions imposed by the US.

For more we go to CNBC:


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