Police abuse protesters fend off attacks in Nigeria

LAGOS, Nigeria — Protests against police brutality continued Friday for the ninth day, with demonstrators fending off attacks from gangs suspected to be backed by the police, warnings from the Nigerian military and a government order to stop because of COVID-19.

In Lagos, Nigeria’s largest city, protesters blocked the road to the international airport and the main highway into the city. The Lagos-Ibadan highway, one of Nigeria’s busiest, is the main road linking the port city to the rest of Nigeria.

Protesters in the capital, Abuja, dedicated the day to Nigerians they charge have been killed by the police Special Anti Robbery Squad, known as SARS. The unit has killed and tortured many Nigerians, according to human rights groups.

Since the protests began more than a week ago, at least 10 people have been killed and hundreds injured, according to Amnesty International, which accuses the police of using excessive force against the demonstrators.

White House changes gears, approves Calif. wildfire aid

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — President Donald Trump’s administration abruptly reversed course and approved California’s application for disaster relief funds to clean up damage from six recent deadly and destructive blazes that have scorched the state, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Friday.

“Just got off the phone with President Trump who has approved our Major Disaster Declaration request. Grateful for his quick response,” Newsom said in a brief statement.

Neither he nor the White House gave details on why the administration shifted positions only hours after it initially denied the state’s request for a declaration that officials said could provide the state with hundreds of millions of dollars.

White House spokesman Judd Deere previously said California’s request “was not supported by the relevant data” needed for approval and that Trump agreed with a recommendation from the Federal Emergency Management Agency administrator to reject the declaration.

—Compiled From Tribune Wire Services

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