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July 4th Yacht Tragedy Off Of Long Island

NEWSDAY, AP

Worldcrunch

NEW YORK - Three people have been confirmed dead and several others are missing after a yacht carrying July 4 revelers capsized off the Long Island town of Oyster Bay.

AP reported that the US Coast Guard and private boat owners rescued 25 passengers around 11 p.m Wednesday night, an hour after the 36-foot Silverton motor yacht capsized after having arrived in the harbor for a fireworks show. Some 30 passengers were believed to have been on board, with Newsday reporting that children could be among the missing passengers.

Sammy Balasso, a boat owner in Oyster Bay told Newsday that the yacht tipped over when it was hit by a wake: "It was like in slow motion. All of a sudden, a lot of bodies were in the water." Balasso said he put a spotlight on the capsized yacht and threw all the life jackets he had into the water.

Most of the rescued passengers were taken to the hospital, and were reported in stable conditions.

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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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