Friday, January 22, 2010

Somali Extremist Group threatens to attack Kenya

Nairobi, Kenya (CNN) -- Al-Shabaab, a hard-line Somali rebel group that is on the U.S. government's terror watch list, has threatened to attack neighboring Kenya, according to an online audio recording.

On an Al-Shabaab Web site, men chant in Kiswahili, the national language of Kenya, saying, "We will reach Nairobi. When we arrive, we will hit until we kill." A taped message in Arabic follows, thought to be by Abu Zubeyr, Al-Shabaab's commander in Somalia. The speaker of the message threatens those he calls infidels, throughout the world.

It would not be the first threat by Al-Shabaab toward Kenya. Many analysts say Kenya is vulnerable to attack by the Islamic group, which is trying to overthrow the weak transitional government.

The threat follows heightened tensions between the Kenyan government and Somalis living in Kenya over the past month. Kenya recently rounded up and arrested several hundred Somali immigrants and refugees living in a mostly Somali neighborhood. And earlier this month, Muslim protesters clashed with police after Friday prayers, leading to one death and extensive property damage.

Muslim human-rights groups in Kenya have called for protests in support of cleric Abdulah Ibrahim el-Faisal, whom Kenya declared an unwanted person and deported earlier this month. The Jamaican-born Muslim cleric was previously jailed in Britain for inciting murder and racial hatred. But Kenya's efforts to deport him failed. He was then arrested on return to Kenya, further outraging some Muslim leaders.

Alfred Mutua, Kenya's government spokesman, has since said that el-Faisal has successfully been deported. However, the government has given mixed signals as to whether he has actually left.

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JMC Ministries Response

written by Miranda Caverley

Kenya is very close to our hearts because we have friends who are missionaries working over there. Jim and Alice Vanderhoof have been missionaries to Kenya for over 20 years now.  They work with World Gospel Mission to reach out to the people of Kenya. There son Nate Vanderhoof is one of our bestfriends and also ministry partner. Please keep Jim and Alice in your prayers that the Lord continues to protect them and their ministry work in Kenya.

To Learn More about Jim and Alice Vanderhoof’s work in Kenya Click on the Link Below

Jim and Alice Vanderhoof

at World Gospel

Haiti orphanages being targeted for theft as people struggle to survive in the aftermath of quake

(CNN) -- Haiti's orphanages have become targets for people desperate for food, water and medical supplies in the aftermath of the devastating magnitude 7.0 earthquake.

On Wednesday night, Maison de Lumiere, an orphanage caring for 50 orphans, came under attack from a group of 20 armed men, aid workers told the Joint Council on International Children's Services.

A neighboring orphanage sheltering about 135 children has been robbed several times over the past few days, they said.

Meanwhile, aid workers said a third orphanage caring for 17 orphans reported that townspeople are trespassing and tapping into the water supply that is reserved for the children.

"It was calm at first, but the situation is getting more desperate," said David Beck, pastor at Child Hope International, the nonprofit that oversees Maison de Lumiere. No shots were fired in the attack on the orphanage, and security guards were able to drive off the marauders, he said. But one orphanage worker was hit in the head with a rock, he said.

"If people think you have food, then they will come after it," Beck said. The orphanage is rationing what food and water it does have, he said.

Haiti is the poorest nation in the Western hemisphere, and experienced high rates of poverty and disease even before the quake. The quake has made the situation far more desperate.

Looting is becoming a big concern for the orphanages as fear and frustration mount and help is slow to arrive, said Tom DiFilipo of the Joint Council on International Children's Services, a U.S.-based advocacy group for children in need of families.

To protect the children, some orphanages are on lock-down, according to volunteers working with the relief agencies.

"When bringing in supplies to an orphanage, you can only bring in a day or two day's worth," said DiFilipo. "If you bring more than that, the locals come in."

This week's raids are included on a growing list of difficulties facing orphanages that is being compiled by the Joint Council on International Children's Services. DiFilipo said he expects the challenges of food, medical aid and security to continue affecting the orphanages for weeks.

For every Haitian orphan brought to safety in the United States and elsewhere, thousands more are left behind to face the primitive conditions resulting from last week's earthquake. There is no accurate count of how many orphanages have experienced looting and other attacks.

Since the quake, the Joint Council on International Children's Services has received dozens of phone calls, text messages and e-mails from orphanages reporting problems ranging from food shortages to security threats.

The agency is in touch with about 50 orphanages in Haiti and the reports are updated daily. The group is also working with members of Congress, the Red Cross and other aid agencies to relay the messages.

Before the quake, Haiti had 380,000 orphans, according to UNICEF. It is still too early to determine how many children were orphaned by the quake.

The people of Haiti have grown desperate for food, water and assistance since the quake decimated the capital last week, toppling buildings, cutting power, contaminating water supplies and ravaging roads.

The conditions for children in Haiti are bleak, aid officials said. Orphans are sleeping outside or in makeshift tents. Facilities are running low on food, water and medical supplies. Some orphanages have already reported deaths.

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TV and Video Games linked to Children Getting Rickets in the UK


Studies show the incidence of rickets, a disease previously linked with poverty or malnutrition, is increasing -- and may be due to computer gaming and TV.

The hours children spend indoors playing computer games or watching television may be to blame for a resurgence of rickets, The Times of London revealed Friday.

Scientists say that rickets is becoming "disturbingly common" among British children. The disease is caused by chronic vitamin D deficiencies, which can be triggered by long periods out of natural sunlight and a poor diet.

Writing in the British Medical Journal, Professor Simon Pearce and Dr. Tim Cheetham, of Newcastle University, called for milk and other food products to be supplemented with vitamin D in an attempt to counteract the problem.

Vitamin D is produced naturally when the skin is exposed to sunlight, and is also found in a small number of foods, including oily fish, liver and egg yolks.

Recent studies show that the incidence of rickets, a disease previously linked with poverty in Victorian Britain or malnutrition in the developing world, is increasing. More than 20 new cases are discovered every year in the northern England city of Newcastle alone.

Children with rickets do not grow properly and can develop bow legs.

Dr. Cheetham, a senior lecturer in pediatric endocrinology, added: "I am dismayed by the increasing numbers of children we are treating with this entirely preventable condition. Fifty years ago many children would have been given regular doses of cod liver oil, but this practice has all but died out."

For more on this story, see The Times of London.