ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) - Ethiopia sent civil servants in Tigray back to work on Monday and ordered gun owners to disarm as Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government sought to restore normality in the northern region after weeks of war.Some power and telephone links were also restored in regional capital Mekelle after a virtual communications blackout since federal troops’ Nov. 4 offensive. But there were reports of big fuel and food price hikes, plus water shortages. Accounts of hunger and harassment also emerged from refugees, some of whom the Ethiopian government has sent back to Tigray. The region is still off-limits to journalists without a permit.
The United States is now marking a wrenching 300,000 deaths from COVID-19. After becoming the first country to cross that threshold Monday, the U.S. is in store for a lot more pain. Experts fear the nation is heading inexorably toward the next milestone of surpassing the total of American fatalities in World War II – about 405,000 – even as vaccines come to distribution sites across the country.