India Current Affairs 2017

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US forces take on Al-Shabaab in Somalia

United States had declared Al-Shabaab to be a terrorist outfit which is linked to al-Qaeda. It has been targeting the leaders of the group in 2013.
In a recent event, taking control of eroding situation, US forces conducted special raids on the Al-Shabaab militants forcing them to flee. Somali National Army also supported the US and stated to have faced least resistance from the fighters. African Union Mission had announced that the forces had freed many key towns from the terrorist strong hold in the Middle Shabelle and Hiiran regions.
The recent developments are a befitting response to militants who had disguised themselves as government military forces had approached the gates of a high security prison said to be housing hundreds of Al-Shabaab fighters. They had blown-off a powerful car bomb at the gates of the prison and fired their way inside the premisis. The assault on National Intelligence and Security Agency prison had resulted in death of 3 security guards and 2 civilians. Another 15 were injured in the fight. The incidence had caught the national and international attention as the prison which is underground is very close to the Somali Presidential Palace in Mogadishu.
Al-Shabaab is aiming to convert Somalia into an Islamic state on strict fundamental principles. It has conducted raids in other countries as well. The group claimed responsibility for the siege of the Westgate mall in Nairobi last September 21 that killed at least 67 people.


UN to investigate ISIS war crimes in Iraq

The Iraqi government has asked UN to investigate the human atrocities committed by ISIS militants during their rampant progression of occupation and destruction in the country. The Geneva based body has taken serious cognizance of the situation and has agreed to step-in for probing into the human right abuses and war crimes in the disturbed region. UN Deputy High Commissioner for human rights, Flavia Pansieri, has said that Iraq has been dumped in violence for over a decade but the recent siege by the ruthless and barbaric ISIS militants has been the worse Iraqis and the world has ever seen. The IS has not only seized large territory but has also persecuted anyone who doesn’t accept the conversions to their religion or Islam.
The aftermath of such brutal events remain for life on all the survivors especially children. The scenes are catastrophic as many children have become direct victims while others have been subjected to physical and sexual abuse. ISIS have also been reported to indulge in human trafficking of captive women, massive destruction of historical mosques, shrines and other religious sites. Also, taking on a large-scale internet campaign, the militants have posted videos showing extreme brutality of mass executions of innocent men.
Pansieri has called on the international community to step up efforts to deal with ISIS and protect all Iraqis irrespective of sects or religions, from holocaust.
In a recent incidence of violent attack on the Shiite sect, 2 car bombs rocked the al-Bayaa district of Baghdad, which killed 13 and injured about 45 people. Nearly 1430 civilians have lost their lives and about a same number wounded in the month of August, owing to the atrocities committed by ISIS.


Surviving Ebola and after

Ebola virus which has engulfed 5 West-African nations- Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Nigeria and Senegal has infected about 3,069 people in West Africa. There are patients who have survived the deadly virus. The drug ZMapp has been able to give positive results in dealing with the virus as it has saved lives of 2 more medical workers in Liberia after successfully treating two American missionaries Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol were flown from Liberia to Atlanta’s Emory University Hospital separately. The two survived the deadly attack and walked out free after their systems provenly showed no more signs of any virus.
Likewise, Dr. Senga Omeonga and physician assistant Kynda Kobbah were discharged after fighting Ebola. Although ZMapp has not been approved treatment for Ebola yet its success has shown hope to the ones infected and their families.
Concerns that stay:
Here are some notable findings about all Ebola survivors:
• Survivors have to test negative for two consecutive blood tests to lead a normal life without any kind of isolation.
• The vaginal fluids or semen of survivors can be carrying the virus which can be spread. Thus, the patients need to exercise considerable restrain to get into the routine life for a few months.
• Surviving Ebola gives rise to anti-Ebola antibodies in the body which give immunity to any future infection against all strains. This theory still has to be clinically tested.
• ZMapp has been till date the only drug which has shown positive results for fighting Ebola. The treated persons have shown remarkable results. It is produced by Mapp Biopharmaceuticals Inc., based at San Diego. Mapp has been working with NIH and US Defence Threat Reduction Agency-which specializes in research to combat any biological weapons.
• ZMapp which has been produced by the mice antibodies so far, can also be produced by proteins from tobacco plants. But, there are ethical concerns in giving drugs to humans which haven’t been tested. However, WHO has overcome the latter stating the extent of spread of outbreak warrants unprecedented steps as giving life-saving drug to infected people.