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Venezuela

Protests Spread In Caracas Over Venezuelan Election Result

CLARIN (Argentina); EL NACIONAL (Venezuela); AP

Worldcrunch

CARACAS - Protests in the Venezuelan capital have turned violent in the wake of presidential electoral results, which gave Nicolas Maduro a slim majority but prompted opposition calls for a recount.

After Sunday night's official declaration of Maduro as winner with 50.7% of the vote, opposition candidate Henrique Capriles called on the National Electoral Council (CNE) to conduct a full nationwide recount, citing irregularities at the polls. Earlier, Capriles, who had lost to Hugo Chavez last year, had urged his supporters to protest peacefully in the event of a victory by Maduro, the handpicked successor of Chavez, who died on March 5 after a long battle with cancer.

Pro-Capriles student protests Monday afternoon began peacefully, but later turned violent as they threw stones and concrete slabs at police, who responded with tear gas and rubber bullets, writes Clarin.

via Facebook

via Facebook

Pro-government Venezuelan daily El Nacional reported that Maduro charged the opposition with failing to recognize democratic institutions, and warned that Capriles might be organizing a coup.

President of the National Assembly, Diosdado Cabello, wrote on his Twitter page that the Assembly will be investigating Capriles, blaming him for the violence that began after the elections. “Capriles is a fascist. I’ll personally ensure that he will pay for the damage to our country and our people."

Capriles fascista, me encargaré personalmente que pagues por todo el daño que le estás haciendo a nuestra Patria y a nuestro Pueblo

— Diosdado Cabello R (@dcabellor) April 16, 2013

Clarin reports that more protests began at 8 pm local time on Monday, at the same time that Maduro was speaking at a press conference, coming just hours after the CNE declared him as president elect.

The cacerolazo protest consisted of people banging pots and pans to show how loud their discontent truly was, says the AP.

@dansemprun

@fensita

@kamvenezuela79

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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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