Jul 03 2011

Six In The Morning

Starvation returns to the Horn of Africa

Drought and war threaten millions with famine, as the refugee camps overflow .

By David Randall, Simon Murphy and Daud Yussuf in Kenya  Sunday, 3 July 2011

In the Horn of Africa, unseen as yet by the world’s television cameras, a pitiful trek of the hungry is taking place. Tens of thousands of children are walking for weeks across a desiccated landscape to reach refugee camps that are now overflowing. They are being driven there by one of the worst droughts in the region for 60 years which, combined with the war in Somalia and soaring food prices, is threatening a famine that could affect between eight and 10 million people.

The malnourished children, some of whom become separated from their parents on the way, are now arriving at the camps in northern Kenya at a rate of 1,200 every day.

Sunday’s Headlines:

Thailand’s redshirts prepare for another poll victory

Biofuels land grab in Kenya’s Tana Delta fuels talk of war

Shelling, militant raids dog thaw with Afghanistanb

As ranks of Mexico’s missing swell, families clamor for help

Thailand’s redshirts prepare for another poll victory

Rural poor hope for the return of billionaire Thaksin Shinawatra after election  

Tania Branigan

The Observer, Sunday 3 July 2011  

Suk Somboon village turned red in the early hours of Thursday morning, when its 200 residents gathered and chanting monks made offerings. They tied scarlet thread around neighbours’ wrists, put up flags along the roadside and erected a metal sign declaring their new status.

“It’s a red district anyway. The point is the symbolism,” said Kwanchai Praipana, a prominent redshirt leader from Thailand’s Udon Thani province. “The aim is to show we want justice, democracy and Thaksin [Shinawatra] to return.”

Biofuels land grab in Kenya’s Tana Delta fuels talk of war

Jul 03 2011 06:11  

Mohamed Abdi (13) points out where his hut used to be. His was the last of the 427 families to leave. “They told us we would be burned out if we didn’t go,” he said. “They drove machinery round and round the village all day and all night to drive people out. No one understood why, as the village had been there for more than 25 years.”

The eviction of the villagers to make way for a sugar cane plantation is part of a wider land grab going on in Kenya’s Tana Delta that is not only pushing people off plots they have farmed for generations, stealing their water resources and raising tribal tensions that many fear will escalate into war, but also destroying a unique wetland habitat that is home to hundreds of rare and spectacular birds.

Shelling, militant raids dog thaw with Afghanistan

 Days ahead of the start of a drawdown of US troops from Afghanistan, Islamabad and Kabul are locked in fresh acrimony and tension over cross-border raids by militants into Pakistan and firing of mortar rounds.

By Baqir Sajjad Syed | From the Newspaper

The friction is threatening to undermine the recent improvement in relations between the two countries achieved after years of hostility, something that was being billed as this year’s only positive story on the foreign relations front other than revival of peace talks with India, which too have lately run into problems.

President Hamid Karzai’s spokesman Waheed Omar, talking to Dawn from Kabul, accused the Pakistan government of not responding to his country’s concerns about incidents of shelling of Afghan border areas.

As ranks of Mexico’s missing swell, families clamor for help


By Tim Johnson | McClatchy Newspapers

MEXICO CITY – Gangsters may have claimed the lives of Maria Concepcion Vizarretea’s three older brothers, but she doesn’t know for sure, and her private agony is part of a larger drama that’s unfolding across Mexico.

The brothers disappeared after a bus trip from Oaxaca state in Mexico’s south to the northern border city of Matamoros to buy construction equipment. Vizarretea fears that they fell victim to violence by drug and criminal syndicates.

‘The veterans’ cemetery that America forgot’

Most of the grave markers in the Philippines cemetery have been half-buried for 20 years


Walking along the rows of tombstones here offers a glimpse of the wars America has fought and the men and women who waged them.

But most of the grave markers have been half-buried for 20 years, and there is little hope that the volcanic ash obscuring names, dates and epitaphs will be cleared any time soon.

Clark Veterans Cemetery was consigned to oblivion in 1991, when Mount Pinatubo’s gigantic eruption forced the U.S. to abandon the sprawling air base surrounding it.