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Award-Winning Mexican-American Music Star Killed In Plane Crash

CNN, LOS ANGELES TIMES (USA), BBC NEWS (UK)

Worldcrunch

MEXICO CITY - Mexican-American singer Jenni Rivera died Sunday in a plane crash in northern Mexico, reports BBC News.

Photo Jenni Rivera

Jenni's father, Pedro Rivera, confirmed the death of the Latin music and reality TV star as well as the deaths of every member on board. According to CNN, Rivera was traveling with her publicist, her lawyer, a family friend and two pilots.

According to the AP, the plane left Monterrey around 3:30 A.M., after a concert that Jenni had given. The U.S.-registered Learjet 25 was headed to Toluca, near Mexico City, says the Los Angeles Times.



Born in Long Beach, California, in 1969 in a family with strong musical background, Rivera rose to fame as the interpreter of traditional Mexican music, norteno and banda.

Known as "la Diva de la banda," she is reported to have sold more 15 million records throughout her career. She was also a judge in the popular television program La Voz, Mexico's version of The Voice.

"She was the Diana Ross of Mexican music," Gustavo Lopez from Universal Music Latin Entertainment, which includes Rivera's music label, said the Los Angeles Times.

Rivera recently won two Billboard music awards, including favorite Mexican music female artist. She also was nominated for a Latin Grammy Award in 2002, 2008 and 2011.

In October, Rivera appeared in the People en Espanol's 25 most powerful women list.

Fans and Latin stars expressed their grief on social networks.

So sad!! Praying for Jenni Rivera's children and family and the passengers families. Que dios los bendigan!! Descansen en paz...

— Jennifer Lopez (@JLo) December 10, 2012

Esto es triste. Un poco en shock. Mucha paz para su familia. RT @elnuevodia: Desaparece avión en q viajaba Jenni Rivera end.pr/U6TMch

— Ricky Martin (@ricky_martin) December 9, 2012

(This is sad. I'm in a bit of shock. Much peace for her family. )

My heart breaks for the loss of Jenni Rivera & everyone on the plane. My prayers go out to her family. We lost a legend today.

— Eva Longoria (@EvaLongoria) December 10, 2012

I highly respected #JenniRivera 4 being a gr8 performer but more then tht being real & gr8 example 4 us all que dios la bendiga &may she RIP

— Pitbull (@Pitbull) December 9, 2012

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Society

In Northern Kenya, Where Climate Change Is Measured In Starving Children

The worst drought in 40 years, which has deepened from the effects of climate change, is hitting the young the hardest around the Horn of Africa. A close-up look at the victims, and attempts to save lives and limit lasting effects on an already fragile region in Kenya.

Photo of five mothers holding their malnourished children

At feeding time, nurses and aides encourage mothers to socialize their children and stimulate them to eat.

Georgina Gustin

KAKUMA — The words "Stabilization Ward" are painted in uneven black letters above the entrance, but everyone in this massive refugee camp in Kakuma, Kenya, calls it ya maziwa: The place of milk.

Rescue workers and doctors, mothers and fathers, have carried hundreds of starving children through the doors of this one-room hospital wing, which is sometimes so crowded that babies and toddlers have to share beds. A pediatric unit is only a few steps away, but malnourished children don’t go there. They need special care, and even that doesn’t always save them.

In an office of the International Rescue Committee nearby, Vincent Opinya sits behind a desk with figures on dry-erase boards and a map of the camp on the walls around him. “We’ve lost 45 children this year due to malnutrition,” he says, juggling emergencies, phone calls, and texts. “We’re seeing a significant increase in malnutrition cases as a result of the drought — the worst we’ve faced in 40 years.”

From January to June, the ward experienced an 800 percent rise in admissions of children under 5 who needed treatment for malnourishment — a surge that aid groups blame mostly on a climate change-fueled drought that has turned the region into a parched barren.

Opinya, the nutrition manager for the IRC here, has had to rattle off these statistics many times, but the reality of the numbers is starting to crack his professional armor. “It’s a very sad situation,” he says, wearily. And he believes it will only get worse. A third year of drought is likely on the way.

More children may die. But millions will survive malnutrition and hunger only to live through a compromised future, researchers say. The longer-term health effects of this drought — weakened immune systems, developmental problems — will persist for a generation or more, with consequences that will cascade into communities and societies for decades.

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