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Geopolitics

Netherlands Makes Way For Europe's Youngest Monarch

AP, DUTCH DAILY NEWS, DUTCH NEWS (The Netherlands); THE GUARDIAN (UK)

Worldcrunch

AMSTERDAM- Queen Beatrix of The Netherlands formally abdicated Tuesday, making way for her son Willem-Alexander to become king -- the first in the country for 123 years, reports The Guardian.

After 33 years, the 75 year-old queen -- whose title now reverts to Princess Beatrix -- introduced the new monarch to an orange-clad crowd on the balcony of the Royal Palace at Dam Square this morning. Earlier in the year she had said that it was time for “a new generation” to reign, recalls the Dutch Daily News.

At 46 King Willem-Alexander is now the youngest ruling monarch in Europe. He has vowed that he and his wife, Argentine-born Máxima, will not be “protocol fetishists.” The Royal couple have three daughters, the oldest of which, Catharina-Amalia, is now heir to the throne as the Princess of Orange, according to the AP.

This abdication falls on the Queen’s day holiday in The Netherlands and the country is awash with everything orange, writes Dutch News. The abdication ceremony is being attended by many royal guests from all over the world, including Britain’s Prince Charles and Japan’s Crown Princess Masako.

After 33 years on the throne, Queen #Beatrix takes 3 mins to say goodbye & "thank you for beautiful years' #abdicatietwitter.com/annaholligan/s…

— anna holligan (@annaholligan) January 28, 2013

Our new King Willem Alexander, Queen Maxima and their girls #troontwitter.com/JackyVoncken/s…

— Jacqueline Voncken (@JackyVoncken) April 30, 2013

Beatrix signs Deed of Abdication in presence of the new King, Queen, the Government and others #troontwitter.com/PatentTwit/sta…

— IPEG (@PatentTwit) April 30, 2013

This is what #Amsterdam looks like today. Celebrating the new Dutch #King Willem-Alexander. twitter.com/ReMaTecShow/st…

— ReMaTecShow (@ReMaTecShow) April 30, 2013

Amsterdam is amazing today. No riots as in 1980, just one huge orange street party. So proud! #dutch#troontwitter.com/Adrie_vdLuijt/…

— Adrie van der Luijt (@Adrie_vdLuijt) April 30, 2013

A last minute thank you for #Beatrix#Troontwitter.com/VanAlenburg/st…

— Louise van Alenburg (@VanAlenburg) April 30, 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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