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Sad Farewell To Margaret Thatcher In Falklands - Silence In Argentina

Margaret Thatcher only went to the Falklands twice
Margaret Thatcher only went to the Falklands twice
Natasha Niebieskikwiat

STANLEY, FALKLAND ISLANDS – In nearby Argentina, President Cristina Kirchner and her ministers offered not a single word after the death this week of Margaret Thatcher. Absolute silence was the strictest order of the day in the halls of government in Buenos Aires.

Still, some veterans from the 1982 war did react, including the head of the Falkland’s Fallen Family Member’s Commission, César Trejo, who lamented that the former British prime minister died without being brought to trial in the Hague for the Royal Navy's sinking of the Argentinian war ship Belgrano, which killed 323 sailors during the short-lived conflict.

Meanwhile, Thatcher's memory was duly honored in the Falklands, where she has long been viewed as a singular heroine. Shortly after word spread of her death, the British-run administration of the Islands issued a statement. “It is with great sadness that we received news of the death of Baroness Thatcher this morning,” read the text signed by advisor Mike Summers. “She will forever be remembered in the Islands for her decisiveness in sending a task force to liberate our home following the Argentine invasion in 1982.”

He added that the islanders expressed their “sincere gratitude," concluding that Thatcher's “friendship and support will be sorely missed, and we will always be thankful for all that she did for us. The thoughts and deepest sympathies of all Falkland Islanders are with her family and friends at this sad time."

Thatcher is the only British Prime Minister with a Falklands street named after her, located behind the monument to British soldiers who died in the war with Argentina where Islanders gather every June 14th to mark what is known here as “Liberation Day,” the date Argentina surrendered in 1982.

Thatcher was on the archipelago only twice. She arrived for a surprise visit during the summer of 1983, then she was there for the local celebrations ten years after the victory in the war.

Recently, declassified documents from the UK show a surprising level of flexibility from even Thatcher's administration had regarding claims of sovereignty before the Argentine invasion, which may have caused a slight dent in the island's love affair with the ex Prime Minister.

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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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