Globe Trot: Did U.S. farm bill worsen Somali famine?

International | Mindy Belz

Globe Trot: Did U.S. farm bill worsen Somali famine?

Children from southern Somalia hold their pots as they line up to receive cooked food in Mogadishu, Somalia.
Associated Press/Photo by Farah Abdi Warsameh, File

More on the UN report on Somalia’s famine, which killed more than a quarter-million Somalis in less than two years. We all watched it unfold, made worse by militants who refused to allow aid groups to deliver life-saving food to the most vulnerable populations. By the time aid did arrive, said WHO’s Marthe Everard, it was too late. Which raises the question: Did the U.S. farm bill law, currently under debate in Congress, which requires that food to the needy shipped overseas come from U.S. agribusiness, make more Somalis die?

In a stunning turn of good news, rescuers found a woman alive and  rescued her from the rubble of a Bangladesh garment factory that collapsed 17 days ago. No one had been found alive inside the destroyed building since April 28—while the death toll has escalated this week, from 800 yesterday to now over 1,000 killed in the worst disaster in the global garment industry.

Islamist groups in Bangladesh have been making concerted attacks on Christian homes and churches. At least 37 died this past week in Dhaka, the capital, where 70,000 demonstrators took to the streets demanding an anti-blasphemy law.

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Iranian-American pastor Saeed Abedini, 33, spent his May 7 birthday in solitary confinement in Iran’s Evin Prison, but officials returned him to a shared cell on May 9. Abedini has been in prison, accused of Christian evangelism, for over 7 months.

Two church leaders from Aleppo kidnapped in Syria two weeks ago remain in the custody of rebels, but are reportedly in good health. We’ve heard conflicting news about their status all along.

Syrian church leaders have boldly called for a day of prayer May 11, and will gather tomorrow in 11 cities across their war-torn country. Please join them in praying for an end to the crippling violence that is destroying life in the country, including among one of the oldest churches in the world.

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