By Daniel Flynn and Bate Felix N'DJAMENA/YAOUNDE (Reuters) - When battle-hardened Chadian troops overran a Boko Haram camp in northern Nigeria last week, they wanted to press deep into territory controlled by the Islamist group but Nigeria refused to let them. Having defeated al Qaeda in Mali two years ago, Chad's military believes it could could finish off Boko Haram alone. It has notched up victories that have pushed the Nigerian militants back from the Cameroonian border. But with presidential elections this month, Nigeria is keen to press ahead with its own military campaign against Boko Haram, aiming to push it out of major towns before the March 28 ballot. In a country proud to be a major African power, it would be an embarrassment to President Goodluck Jonathan as he seeks reelection for a smaller nation to tackle Nigeria's security problems, diplomats say. In their forward base in the town of Gambaru on the Nigeria-Cameroon border, Chadian soldiers displayed dozens of guns seized from Boko Haram and a burnt-out armoured vehicle painted with black and white Arabic script. "We turned back because Nigeria did not authorise us to go any further," army spokesman Colonel Azem Bermandoa said. Nigeria's spokesman for operations in the northeast, Mike Omeri, said cooperation between Chadian and Nigerian forces has brought some major military successes and any issues would be resolved via existing command structures. But the Chadians say there have been no joint operations between the two forces. Chad's offer to join a Nigerian offensive to capture Baga, site of one of Boko Haram's worst atrocities in January, was rebuffed, Bermandoa said. Officials from Chad, Niger and Cameroon say lack of cooperation from Nigeria has for months hampered efforts to put together a regional taskforce against Boko Haram. Chad was compelled to take unilateral action in January, under a deal that allows it to pursue terrorists into Nigeria, after Boko Haram violence started to choke off imports to its economy. With Niger and Cameroon deploying thousands of troops on their borders, blocking escape routes for Boko Haram, the tide may be turning. In what Nigeria has branded a sign of desperation, the Islamist group has carried out wave of suicide attacks and threatened to disrupt the election. Francois Conradie, analyst with South African-based NKC Research, said that if the current offensive can be sustained, Boko Haram could quickly be driven out of the remaining towns it holds. It would, however, remain a deadly rural guerrilla force. “All of this is good news for stability and will probably be to Mr Jonathan’s electoral advantage,” he said. OPPOSITION CRITICISES RELIANCE ON CHAD Many in Nigeria ask why it took so long to act. Boko Haram killed thousands last year and kidnapped many more in its six-year campaign for an Islamist emirate in Africa's largest oil producer. Niger, Cameroon and Chad say Nigeria neglected the uprising in its economically backward northeast, an opposition stronghold. Borno state is home to two percent of Nigeria's 170 million people. But in recent months, Muhammadu Buhari, a former military ruler who is running as the presidential candidate for the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC), has gained popularity with voters desperate for tough policies both on corruption and Boko Haram. Amid pressure from the ruling People's Democratic Party (PDP), Nigeria's electoral commission announced a six week postponement to the Feb. 14 election, to allow the army to tackle the security situation in the northeast so voting could go ahead there. Ernst Hogendoorn, Crisis Group's Africa deputy programme director, said the government appeared to have engineered the delay in the hope the APC would slip up or the military could boost Jonathan by defeating Boko Haram. "Boko Haram has certainly suffered a strategic setback ... Clearly this improves Goodluck Jonathan's chances somewhat," said Hogendoorn. "The question is do any of these forces have the ability to maintain this tempo, particularly the Chadians and to a lesser degree the Nigerians?" With Chad already squeezed by a slump in the price of oil, its main export, the government says it can only sustain the offensive in Nigeria for a short time, diplomats say. Buhari, however, has already criticised Jonathan for relying on Chad to push back Boko Haram, saying his government would tackle the problem alone. Many in the military and the government are keen to limit foreign involvement on Nigerian soil, diplomats say. When Chadian forces last month entered the town of Dikwa, they were told to leave by Nigeria's military, which said it was planning air strikes, Bermondoa said. After Nigeria's army retook Baga last month, Army Chief Major General Kenneth Minimah said his soldiers would recapture a handful of remaining towns before the elections, listing Dikwa as one of them. “The war is almost ended," he said. TENSIONS HAMPER REGIONAL FORCE Boko Haram was long regarded by neighbouring countries as an internal Nigerian problem, but attacks in Cameroon and Niger last year prompted the regional response. Niger, Nigeria, Chad, Benin and Cameroon agreed in May to join forces against the militants. Since then, however, distrust and misunderstandings have stymied preparations for the force, due to take effect by the end of this month. Nigeria initially sent low-level representatives to planning meetings, angering its allies. Cooperation between Cameroon and Nigeria has been dogged by long-running border tensions, while Niger accused Nigerian troops of cowardice. "Nigeria must get involved and honour its promise of providing between 2,500 and 3,000 to the multinational force," said Cameroon's defence spokesman Colonel Didier Badjeck. Cameroon has stepped up its activities since July, when Boko Haram attacked Kolotafa, the hometown of its deputy prime minister, killing dozens and kidnapping his wife. The government has boosted its security forces in northern Cameroon from 700 to around 7,000. "We have to do whatever it takes to make sure the sect does not occupy any town in Cameroon," said Colonel Joseph Nouma, in charge of Operation Alpha, the mission against Boko Haram. However, Nouma said he has orders not to enter Nigeria, and Cameroon has denied Nigerian troops the right to pursue insurgents into Cameroon. Along its 400 km (250 miles) border with Nigeria, Cameroon has created 14 new bases, with heavy artillery batteries. It has also deployed surveillance drones, a senior intelligence officer said. Another senior Cameroon military figure said they were attempting to choke off Boko Haram's revenues, including the trade in fuel with Cameroon, Chad and Niger. "All of this looks to be paying off," the officer said, with no incursions since mid-February. (Additional reporting by Tim Cocks in Lagos, Emmanuel Braun and Madjiasra Nako in N'Djamena, Abdoulaye Massalaki in Niamey; Editing by Giles Elgood)
The star, who appeared on the seventh series of Big Brother in 2006, had anorexia.
- Associated Press
A 28-year-old man has been charged in the fatal shooting of one person and the wounding of three more at a convenience store in a small southern Missouri town. Christopher Lindley of Thayer, Missouri, was charged with first-degree murder and criminal action in the shooting at the Snappy Mart store in Koshkonong, the Missouri State Highway Patrol said in a news release late Saturday. Authorities said Lindley walked into the convenience store around 5:15 a.m. Saturday and started firing with a handgun.
- Associated Press
Jon Rahm had a great week before even getting to the Masters. Rahm shot a 6-under 66 in the final round of the Masters on Sunday to tie for fifth place at 6 under — four shots behind winner Hideki Matsuyama. Rahm shot even-par rounds of 72 on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
- The Telegraph
MPs and peers could personally finance a permanent memorial to Prince Philip on the parliamentary estate, with Conservative MPs rallying support for the proposal. One idea being discussed is for a memorial to be placed in the cavernous Westminster Hall, which dates back to the 11th century and is the oldest part of the estate. Another is for part of the Palace of Westminster to be renamed after the Duke, such as St Stephen's Entrance, which for many years was the arrival point for visitors. The early backing for a permanent memorial and one that is funded by parliamentarians reflects the high-esteem the Duke was held in by scores of MPs. It is understood Lindsay Hoyle, the House of Commons speaker, is open to proposals and will be monitoring the views of MPs over the coming weeks. Peter Bone, the Conservative MP for Wellingborough, told The Telegraph: "The Duke served the country for such a long period and in such a steadfast way. “Through all the ups and downs he’s always been there at the side of Her Majesty. When you come into ‘the mother of parliaments’ it would be rather nice that a memorial was there.” He added: “I think parliamentarians both in the Commons and the Lords would contribute. I think it’s something the speakers of both houses [of parliament] should look at.” Bob Blackman, joint secretary of the influential 1922 Committee of Tory backbenchers, also expressed support for a permanent memorial paid for by MPs and peers. “There certainly should be something in the Palace of Westminster as it is a royal palace,” Mr Blackman told this newspaper. “I think it would be absolutely right that we fund it through an appropriate collection from MPs and peers by voluntary contributions. That would be sensible.” There is precedent for such moves. A stained glass window to celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee unveiled in 2012 was financed by members of the House of Commons and the House of Lords.
- Miami Herald
Two days after announcing that every Miami-Dade County public high school would have an in-person graduation this spring, MDCPS superintendent Alberto Carvalho released tentative schedules for the ceremonies Sunday morning.
Tiger Woods congratulates Hideki Matsuyama on Masters win, says it 'will impact the entire golf world'
Tiger knows what it is like to change the sport.
- USA TODAY
'We are done dying': NAACP, Virginia governor express outrage at pepper-spraying of Black and Latino Army officer during traffic stop
Virginia's attorney general, at least one congressman and the NAACP are furious at the actions of Windsor police officers during a traffic stop.
A 911 dispatcher in Louisiana was arrested after authorities say she refused to return $1.2 million that was accidentally deposited into her account
According to a lawsuit filed last week, Charles Schwab & Co. mistakenly transferred the woman more than $1.2 million. It meant to transfer $82.56.
- Business Insider
For Boehner, a jovial, backslapping politician who is known to publicly cry, McConnell's steely and to-the-point demeanor is quite a contrast.
Cavill, 37, introduced his "beautiful and brilliant love" Natalie Viscuso to his 15 million Instagram followers.
- The Telegraph
Bristling tensions with Prince Harry remain, but Royal family will wear the mask of unity at Duke’s funeral
The subtle briefings were designed to give Prince Harry the softest possible landing on his arrival back in the UK ahead of his beloved grandfather’s funeral on Saturday. From sources suggesting he was “united in grief” with the rest of the Royal family following the death of the Duke of Edinburgh, to the couple’s unofficial spokesman Omid Scobie insisting – should anyone be in doubt – that “Harry was incredibly close to Philip”, the Sussex spin machine was in evidence as the displaced Prince prepared for his first transatlantic flight in 13 months. Members of the Royal family also sought to calm serves ahead of what is feared could be a difficult reunion for the House of Windsor, with a palace source suggesting that the Prince of Wales was particularly looking forward to seeing his youngest son. “It’s been more than a year,” they pointed out.
The actor said it was his "destiny" for the couple to be together.
The caddie for Masters champ Hideki Matsuyama bowed in respect to Augusta National moments after winning
Hideki Matsuyama's caddie Shota Hayafuji shared a private moment with Augusta National after the team's historic win at the Masters.
- Business Insider
Harry Reid on former House Speaker John Boehner: 'I did everything I could to cause him trouble' but we 'got a lot done'
"The deal is this - Boehner and I got a lot done, but we didn't mince words," he said. "He was right. I did everything I could to cause him trouble."
- The Telegraph
Of all the images that stood out during the televised funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales, there was one that has endured in the collective consciousness longer than any other: that of two boys who had just lost their mother, walking in sombre procession behind her coffin, while the world looked in upon their most private moment. Alongside Princes William and Harry that day walked their grandfather, the Duke of Edinburgh. Amid a terrible whirlwind of public mourning and spectacle, the Duke was reportedly deeply concerned about the emotional wellbeing of his bereaved grandsons, then 15 and 12. “I’ll walk if you walk,” he apparently told them at a dinner before the funeral. And, of course, he kept his word. Almost a quarter of a century later, has there been a change of heart within the monarchy about the role of children at Royal funerals? It is understood that the Duke’s 10 great-grandchildren, who include Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, will not be in attendance at his funeral this Saturday. That nine are under 10 years of age (Savannah Phillips will turn 11 in December) has likely played a part in the decision.
'I hate this home now:' California couple finally changes the locks on their dream house after previous owner refused to leave for over a year
Myles and Tracie Albert bought their home with cash in January 2020. But the seller used a legal loophole during the pandemic to remain in the house.
- Miami Herald
The eastern Caribbean island of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, which saw the eruption of its La Soufrière volcano for the first time in 42 years, woke up Sunday to heavy ash fall everywhere, more explosive eruptions, minor earthquakes overnight and a new worry: the possible destruction of communities from heavy flows of lava droplets and hot gas.
- LA Times
All the results from Night 2 of Wrestlemania as they happen
- Business Insider
The party of big business has taken to policing corporate America's speech now, and that's not going to change anytime soon.
- NBC News
Neo-Nazis and other far-right extremists planned rallies in dozens of cities Sunday but hardly anyone showed up.