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Trump And The World

A New World Disorder

Winter in Paris
Winter in Paris
Roy Greenburgh

PARIS — Put any two Americans abroad (of a particular political bent — or not?) in the same room, and they'll try at first to avoid the elephant in said room. It won't last. The time has come to count down the days and hours to Friday's inauguration of a bad-New-York-joke-turned-leader-of-the-free-world. An old Colorado friend visiting last night in Paris looked for some cold winter comfort: It's not just us!


No, indeed, Donald Trump is not alone in riding a worldwide wave of disgust to upend certain accepted standards about both common decency and the management of complicated international relations. But that provides anything but comfort.


Here in France, the face of that disgust is named Marine Le Pen. Trump's calling NATO "obsolete" and urging other countries to follow Britain and leave the EU came as a veritable shock to Europe. But Le Pen, a far-right leader vying to become the next French president, already has a plan to follow Trump's lead. Paris business daily Les Echos reports that Le Pen wants a national referendum to pull France out of the Eurozone — which would be the next major domino to fall in a crumbling world order.


Last Friday, a news flash came across the French press: Le Pen had been spotted in Trump Tower. The dominos, it seemed, were lining up indeed. Hours later, however, a Trump spokesman denied that the president-elect, or anyone from his team, had met with the French visitors. Poor Marine Le Pen had come all that way and was confined to stay in the lobby. Another bad New York joke, and finally, a bit of comfort on a cold Parisian morning.

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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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