This week in the world

Over 260,000 dead in Somalia famine

A recent study has shown that the 2010-2012 Somali famine killed nearly 260,000 people. Half that number were children under the age of five. The famine was caused by severe drought, and worsened by internal conflict. The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation believe that humanitarian aid should have been provided more quickly. The famine is one of the many major hunger crises in Africa, with one of the most recent affecting Niger in 2010.

US admits it considered arming Syrian rebels

United States defence secretary Chuck Hagel confirmed that the US was reconsidering its option to provide weapons to Syrian rebels, but also says that no decision has been made. Although US officials are reluctant with regard to direct military intervention, many officials expressed the view that arming rebels is simply the “least bad” option. Since violence began in Syria in March 2011, over 70,000 people have been killed.

Iranians found guilty as terrorist threats to Kenya

Ahmad Mohammed and Sayed Mousavi are facing up to fifteen years in prison after having been caught with thirty-three pounds of explosives in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi. They have been accused of belonging to a terrorist network planning to blow up British, US and Israeli targets in Nairobi and Mombasa. After their arrests in June of 2012, they denied all charges. Kenyan police maintain that another accomplice remains at large.

Ottawa couple can no longer care for autistic son

Phillip Telford, a nineteen-year-old with autism, was left at a provincial Development Services Ontario after his parents say they realized they could no longer care for him. His rare type of autism leaves Telford unable to speak, interacting as a two-year-old would. He also has been diagnosed with Tourette’s syndrome and diabetes. The man’s mother said that she can no longer take care of him, and she did not feel that he was safe at home. He has been placed in a group home for the time being, and would also get medical care for his diabetes. Telford was left in the care of Services Ontario after his mother contacted various levels of government and been repeatedly told that there was no room for her son in the crowded, under-funded social system.

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