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Irish Government Funds Website Offering Teens Advice On Threesomes

IRISH EXAMINER, IRISH INDEPENDENT, IRISH TIMES (Ireland)

Worldcrunch

DUBLIN - A teen charity funded by the government-backed Irish Health Board has come under scrutiny after publishing tips on how young people can explore having a ménage à trois.

Irish Member of Parliament Michelle Mulherin has accused the state-funded organization SpunOut of publishing inappropriate content, including advice about choosing sex partners for threesomes, reports the Irish Times.

The article advised any young person participating in such activity to choose someone they do not have strong feelings for, as threesomes should be saved “for a bit of fun.” It also said that threesomes are "fun" and can "spice things up," while warning they can also cause a relationship to end badly.

According to the Irish Independent, the youth organization SpunOut receives 124,000 euros in annual public funding, and offers advice to 16-25 year olds on a wide range of issues. SpunOut’s spokesperson Ian Power said that the article was published at least three years ago, but was only highlighted now.

He added that it as written by a former editor who was American and had “liberal views on sex.”

In a statement on the website they wrote: “We do not promote threesomes; we arm young people with the facts about them. Education needs to begin earlier than the age of first sex and it is widely accepted that sexual education in Irish schools is both of poor quality and inconsistent. SpunOut believes in the ability of young people to make the right decision for themselves once they have access to quality and reliable information, such as the information provided by our website.”

Health Minister James Reilly spoke out on Monday, saying that discussion about “threesomes” on a government-funded website is not an appropriate use of public resources, reports the Irish Examiner.

In the traditionally Catholic country, #threesomes was trending in Ireland on Twitter on Monday, as well as #liveline -- a popular radio talk show that brought up the issue. Here are some of the top tweets:

Of course, this obsession with #threesomes is only natural for a country getting royally screwed by a Troika.

— Joe O'Shea (@josefoshea) March 25, 2013

In Catholic Ireland, #threesomes used to mean the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. #liveline

— Jim T Duffy (@JimTDuffy) March 25, 2013

I think it's safe to say that no one in Government would have predicted #threesomes being the main issue of the day #SpunOut

— James O'Sullivan (@JamesOSullivan1) March 25, 2013

Joe now comparing threesomes to heroin. Is it that addictive? #Threesomes

— Michael Clifford (@Mickcliff) March 25, 2013

"What chance have our young people got?" says woman in tears on #liveline at #threesomes :-0

— Colette Browne (@colettebrowne) March 25, 2013

#liveline "Joe I don't want anyone telling my children the things I want to pretend don't exist"

— Matthew Mulligan (@_mattuna) March 25, 2013

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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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