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Geopolitics

Report: Rome Gunman Says He Wanted To Strike Politicians

CORRIERE DELLA SERA, LA REPUBBLICA, LA STAMPA (Italy)

Worldcrunch

ROME - A day after a dramatic shooting outside Italian government headquarters, one of the two injured Carabinieri police officers remains in critical condition Monday as Italy's entire political system attempts to begin its own recovery with a key confidence vote in Parliament.

Sunday morning's shooting coincided with the swearing in of the new Italian government, led by Prime Minister Enrico Letta, which on Monday was expecting to be confirmed by Parliament.

Corriere della Sera reported Monday that the man arrested outside of the Palazzo Chigi government headquarters, a 49-year-old unemployed Calabrian named Luigi Preiti, told investigators that he wanted to shoot politicians for failing to do enough to help the country. As he was unable to reach any politicians, he opened fire on the Carabinieri guarding the government buildings with the intention of committing suicide afterwards.

Carabinieri police officer Giuseppe Giangrande, 50, was shot in the neck during the shooting and doctors have expressed their worries about spinal cord damage, according to La Repubblica. Another officer was shot in the leg, causing a fracture, but it is not life threatening. A third victim was a pregnant woman who was only slightly hurt.

immagine del giorno? (homepage @repubblicait) #sparatoria#palazzoChigitwitter.com/claudioruss/st…

— Claudio Russo (@claudioruss) April 28, 2013

"Image of the day? (homepage @repubblicait) #shooting #Chigipalace"

These gunshots will change the tone of new Prime Minister Enrico Letta’s first speech to parliament on Monday afternoon, as he aims to rebuild a country that has been hit by the economic crisis. While he aims to reform policies, Letta must now take the social tension in the country into account, reports La Stampa.

Preiti was previously described as mentally unbalanced, however, Corriere della Sera writes that he has shown no signs of this and the attorneys will not ask for a psychiatric consultation. He is described as a desperate man, who is unemployed, separated, and as of a few months ago, unable to see his son.

The 46 year-old prime minister is well aware that he must give out strong signals from the beginning, and public opinion will be just as important as parliamentary following Sunday’s events.


President Napolitano and Prime Minister Letta. Photo via Enrico Letta's Facebook

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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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