» Will this be enough to help? Joe Biden’s wife recently visited Somalia to highlight how bad things are. In case you don’t know, here are some numbers: Aid is only reaching 20% of the people who need it, more than 12 million people need aid in the Horn of Africa, and over 640,000 children are acutely malnourished. Let’s just hope that this aid can actually reach those who need it.
We have abandoned Mogadishu but we remain in other towns. We aren’t leaving you. We have changed our tactics. Every one of you will feel the change in every corner and every street in Mogadishu. We will defend you and continue the fighting.Al-Shabab spokesperson Ali Mohamoud Rage • Regarding the al-Qaeda group’s decision to leave Mogadishu, the capitol of Somalia, a country that has been struggling with a major humanitarian crisis of late. Is it a tactical change, as the spokesperson suggests, or a real corner turned? Somalia’s president, Sheikh Shairf Sheikh Ahmed, seems to suggest the latter. “It is time to harvest the fruits of peace,” he said. “I call on the Somali people to help and to support their soldiers and point out any Shabab member hiding in homes.” source (via • follow)
» Maybe not the biggest surprise. But still, guy’s an jerk, huh? An especially harsh winter season (most North Korean winters being merely normally harsh) has killed somewhere from 50% to 80% of the wheat and barley crop for the spring season, and high food prices have hamstrung the regime as far as import goes. While this might sound like a humanitarian crisis for most governments, Kim Jong-Il’s regime has always been pretty cozy with the idea of starvation and/or malnutrition - a 2009 Washington Post article mentions a U.S. intelligence study that found brain damage by malnutrition derails nearly 1/4th of prospective North Korean soldiers, to say nothing of the estimated 200,000 North Koreans who are wasting away in concentration camps. But, to be fair, you couldn’t ask the Dear Leader to stop spending on things like this.