Troops Mass on Gambia Border

There is a midnight deadline for a possible intervention. “Senegalese troops have moved towards the Gambian border in a show of force to pressure President Yahya Jammeh to stand down. Senegal gave him a midnight GMT deadline to quit as west African states sought UN authorisation to use all necessary means to ensure he does. Wednesday was meant to be his last day in office but parliament has granted him three more months in the post. That effectively stops successor Adama Barrow being sworn in on Thursday. His shock victory in the 1 December election plunged The Gambia into crisis. Mr Barrow is currently in Senegal. Mr Jammeh has ruled The Gambia since taking power in a bloodless coup in 1994. At least 26,000 Gambians, fearful that violence could erupt, sought refuge in Senegal this week.” (BBC


Scores killed in bombing of displaced person camp, including aid workers… “The number of people killed in an accidental military bombing at a Nigerian camp for displaced people has increased to 70, aid groups said on Wednesday, with at least a dozen of them humanitarian workers. The mistaken attack came after a military plane targeted an area crowded with people fleeing Boko Haram militants. Medical workers were scrambling on Wednesday to assemble equipment to treat dozens of severely injured people who were still awaiting evacuation from the camp in Rann, in northeastern Nigeria. At least 120 people were hurt in the errant strike on Tuesday by the Nigerian Air Force at the camp, which is near the Cameroon border and houses about 20,000 people. Initial reports put the death toll around 50. Doctors Without Borders, a humanitarian aid group, said six of its workers from Cameroon were among the dead. Six local workers for the Nigerian Red Cross were also killed, and 13 others were hurt.” (NYT


Hottest. Year. Ever…“Marking another milestone for a changing planet, scientists reported on Wednesday that the Earth reached its highest temperature on record in 2016 — trouncing a record set only a year earlier, which beat one set in 2014. It is the first time in the modern era of global warming data that temperatures have blown past the previous record three years in a row. The findings come two days before the inauguration of an American president who has called global warming a Chinese plot and vowed to roll back his predecessor’s efforts to cut emissions of heat-trapping gases. The data show that politicians cannot wish the problem away. The Earth is heating up, a point long beyond serious scientific dispute, but one becoming more evident as the records keep falling. Temperatures are heading toward levels that many experts believe will pose a profound threat to both the natural world and to human civilization.” (NYT


Mali bombing….”Al Mourabitoun, an Islamist group linked to al Qaeda, claimed a suicide bomb attack on a military camp in northern Mali on Wednesday that killed at least 42 people and wounded more than 100 others, according to a Mauritanian news agency. The attack struck at the heart of still-fragile efforts by the government and rival armed groups to work together to quell the violence that has plagued the restive desert north for years. The bombers forced their way into the camp shortly before 9 a.m. (0900 GMT), running over several people before blowing up the vehicle just as 600 soldiers were assembling, said Radhia Achouri, a spokeswoman for Mali’s U.N. peacekeeping force MINUSMA.” (Reuters