Feb 7, 2018

State Department, U.N. plan ads warning Iraqis about unexploded devices

Children stand amid rubble in Fallujah, Iraq. Photo: Sabah Arar / AFP / Getty Images

The U.N., U.S. State Department, and Iraqi Directorate of Mine Action began discussions last week about producing advertisements on social media, like Facebook, to warn the approximately 3 million internally displaced persons in Iraq about the dangers of unexploded devices remaining after ISIS, State Department officials tell Axios.

“The traditional mine risk education model isn’t reaching all returnees in Iraq because many are self-returning and not going through camps" where risk education is taking place, Sol Black, Program Manager in the State Department’s Near East and Emergency Response division, said.
  • What’s so different about this case, according to Jerry Guilbert, the Deputy Director of Programs in the U.S State Department’s Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement, is that Iraqis are on the “edge of conflict” and are not in a “strictly post-conflict” environment, leaving the displaced Iraqis' plans to return home still in flux.

The ads would include photos of IEDs to be wary of in urban centers in Iraq, according to Black.

  • The team is also considering a billboard ad along the major artery, Route 12, in Anbar Province, to reach Iraqis who are on their way home but who haven't been in camps where more traditional mine risk education would have reached them.
  • The social media ads may be tailored to different communities with different dialects to make sure the ads are accessible and effective no matter where they are in Iraq "from Hawijah, to Tal Afar, to Ramadi," Black said.

Go deeper: The rise and fall of ISIS in Iraq and Syria

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Coronavirus dashboard

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  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 1,094,068 — Total deaths: 58,773 — Total recoveries: 225,519Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 6 p.m. ET: 273,880 — Total deaths: 7,077 — Total recoveries: 9,521Map.
  3. Public health latest: The CDC is recommending Americans wear face coverings in public to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.
  4. 2020 latest: Wisconsin's governor called for a last-minute primary election delay. "I think a lot of people cheat with mail-in voting," President Trump said on the 2020 election, as more states hold primaries by mail.
  5. Business updates: America's small business bailout is off to a bad start. The DOT is urging airlines to refund passengers due to canceled or rescheduled flights, but won't take action against airlines that provide vouchers or credits.
  6. Oil latest: The amount of gas American drivers are consuming dropped to levels not seen in more than 25 years, government data shows. Trump is calling on the Energy Department to find more places to store oil.
  7. Tech updates: Twitter will allow ads containing references to the coronavirus under certain use cases.
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Government will cover uninsured patients' coronavirus treatment

Azar at Friday's briefing. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

The federal government will cover the costs of coronavirus treatment for the uninsured, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said at a White House briefing Friday.

How it works: The money will come from a $100 billion pot set aside for the health care industry in the most recent stimulus bill. Providers will be paid the same rates they get for treating Medicare patients, and as a condition of those payments, they won't be allowed to bill patients for care that isn't covered.

More states issue stay-at-home orders as coronavirus crisis escalates

Data: Axios reporting; Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey issued a stay-at-home order on Friday as the novel coronavirus pandemic persists. The order goes into effect Saturday at 5 p.m. and will remain in place through April 30. Missouri Gov. Mike Parson also issued a statewide social distancing order on Friday.

The big picture: In a matter of weeks, the number of states that issued orders nearly quadrupled, affecting almost 300 million Americans.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health