Conservatives balk at GOP plan to avert government shutdown

A joint session of Congress. (Shutterstock)
Updated 17 January 2018
0

Conservatives balk at GOP plan to avert government shutdown

WASHINGTON: Hard-line conservatives are threatening to scuttle Republican leaders’ plans to prevent a weekend government shutdown, saying GOP leaders now lack the votes to push their proposal through the House.
The setback comes as a deal between President Donald Trump and Congress to protect young immigrants from deportation also remains distant.
Republican leaders are racing against a Friday deadline for pushing a short-term spending bill through Congress. If they fail, federal agencies will start shutting their doors over the weekend — an election-year debacle that GOP leaders and many Democrats are eager to avoid for fear of alienating voters.
North Carolina Rep. Mark Meadows, the leader of the Freedom Caucus, says its members want added money for the military in the short-term spending bill.


Blasts heard in Maiduguri, northeast of Nigeria, before polls open

Updated 23 February 2019
0

Blasts heard in Maiduguri, northeast of Nigeria, before polls open

  • The city is the birthplace of Boko Haram Islamists
  • Boko Haram has warned it will disrupt the elections

MAIDUGURI, Nigeria: A series of explosions was heard in the northeast Nigerian city of Maiduguri on Saturday, shortly before the opening of polls in presidential and parliamentary elections.

Multiple blasts were heard at about 6A.M. (0500 GMT), locals said. There was no immediate indication of the cause.

But the city is the birthplace of Boko Haram Islamists and has been repeatedly attacked during their nearly 10-year insurgency that has devastated the remote region.

Polls open at 0700 GMT, with President Muhammadu Buhari, a former army general who has vowed to defeat the jihadists, seeking a second term.

Boko Haram has warned it will disrupt the elections.

One resident in the Gomari neighborhood of Maiduguri said: “I heard several explosions coming from the Bulumkutu area this morning but it’s unclear what is happening.

“There have been suspicions that it was an attack by Boko Haram but we don’t know yet.”

He added: “Late yesterday (Friday), some gunmen went into the house of a man in Gomari and shot him dead. We still don’t know the motive.”

Two other residents gave a similar account.

The early morning explosions in Maiduguri come after a Boko Haram attack late on Friday on Zabarmari village, some 10 kilometers outside Maiduguri.

The attack forced residents to flee into the city.