Famine Looms Over Somalia as Half of the Population Faces Food Insecurity
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Somalia Drought: At Least 110 People Dead From Starvation In 48 Hours

Severe water shortage puts millions at risk. 

An ongoing drought in Somalia claimed dozens of lives over the span of just two days. At least 110 people died from starvation and "water-related diarrhea" in the Bay and Bakool regions, according to Somali Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire.

“About 110 people have died in the past 48 hours due to drought and severe water-related diarrhea in southern Somalia, especially in the Bay and Bakool areas,” Khaire revealed Saturday (March 4). “Somalis, wherever they are, must rescue their needy brothers, who will starve if they are not helped,” he added. “The government’s priority task will be to help those affected by the drought.”

The severe water shortage has put millions at risk of starvation, including more than 300,000 children. In addition, as much as 60 percent of the country’s livestock has been wiped out by the drought.

“There is no medicine and the disease has now become an epidemic,” said a local authority in the Awdiinle village, where approximately 69 people (mostly children and the elderly) died.

The death toll announcement is the first since newly-elected Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo declared the drought a national disaster Tuesday (Feb. 28).

“Those of us gathered here today can neither make the rain come nor provide adequate water to keep livestock alive," Farmaajo said during a meeting attended by federal government cabinet members, alongside officials from the United Nations, the African Union, and more. "But we can respond more effectively and we must do so now simply because the Somali nation is threatened with famine.”

The East African country, which has been ravaged by famine and deadly droughts before, is turning to the international community for help. “We need to act decisively,” noted Somalia’s Deputy Prime Minister Mohamed Omar Arteh. “We need to act massively, and we need to act now if we are to prevent a repeat of the awful scenes of 2011 and 2012 when more than a quarter of a million people died.”

According to the Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit and the Famine Early Warning Systems Network, the number of Somalis in need of assistance spiked from an estimated 5 million in September 2016 to over 6.2 million today.

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Dr. King's Childhood Home Sold For $1.9 Million To The National Park Service

The two-story Atlanta home that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr spent his formidable years has been sold. According to the Atlanta-Journal Constitution, the yellow and brown house on Auburn Avenue in Atlanta was sold for $1.9 million to the National Park Service.

Will Shafroth, CEO of the National Park Foundation said it was hard to place a dollar amount on the location where a lot of Dr. King's character was molded.

"It is difficult to value something this significant in our nation’s history. It is a priceless asset. It is one of the most important places to tell the story of America,” Shafroth said.

Bernice King, daughter of late the civil rights leader, said the King Center for Nonviolent Social Change had been considering selling the home since the passing of their mother Coretta Scott, in 2006. King said the center will focus on nonviolent educational and training programs.

“We are working on creating more robust, nonviolence training,” King said. “Our society is desperately in need of Dr. King’s nonviolent teachings right now in order to create a just, humane and peaceful world. That is what we are trying to put our energy in.”

The home was reportedly built by a white firefighter in 1895 and then purchased by Dr. King's maternal grandfather, Rev. Adam Daniel Williams, who was pastor at Ebenezer Baptist Church for $3,500. When King's mother and father wed in 1927, they moved. All of King's siblings including himself were born in the home.

Elizabeth Paradis Stern, spokeswoman for the National Park Service said the preservation of the home will not falter now that it's out of the family's possession.

“The most important thing about this is that this property will be protected and preserved permanently as one of our most important properties,” Stern said. “It is part of the American fabric.”

READ MORE: New Book Details Dr. King's Teenage Years And His Alleged White Girlfriend

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Donnie McClurkin Sent To Hospital Following Car Accident

Gospel legend Donnie McClurkin couldn't be more grateful after surviving a car accident this past Wednesday (Dec. 12).

The "We Fall Down" singer was driving on the road in the earlier part of the day when he passed out and began weaving into traffic. He reportedly struck the middle concrete island.

Following the incident, he posted a selfie of him on the hospital bed in scrubs on Facebook. Along with the photo, he explained that he woke up from the accident with stitches on his left thumb, on top of having a sprained wrist, and hurt knee. His car was also completely totaled.

"I AM ALIVE!!!! Somewhat mangled, stitches on left thumb, sprained wrist, hurt knee, but I’m still here! God and two angels saved my life!," the Grammy-winning artist wrote.

He also mentioned that two "angels" pulled him out the car to safety and medical attention. "I owe them...I am still here by the grace of God! Thank you, Lord...thank you!" he added.

On Friday (Dec. 14), McClurkin posted to his Facebook page again, sharing several photos of his destroyed car. "This is the totaled car that two angels rescued me from ....after passing out while driving I don’t remember most of what happened a day and a half ago...but God," he wrote. "I overrode doctors and sisters advice and flew to KENYA today for ministry Saturday @ TWO RIVERS. and home on this Sunday to celebrate life."

In happier news, McClurkin also took time to plug in his new Christmas single titled "My Favorite Things." Check out McClurkin's posts on social media and stream his new song below.

READ MORE: Big K.R.I.T. Drops Surprise Gospel-Influenced 'Thrice X' EP

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Nicki Minaj's Boyfriend Kenneth Petty Received 18 Violations During Prison Stint

Nicki Minaj's new boyfriend, Kenneth Petty has a very troubled past.

On Friday (Dec. 14), TMZ revealed court documents disclosing Petty's history of disciplinary actions while he was an inmate in New York for manslaughter from 2006 to 2013.

When he entered the correctional facility, he was reportedly written up for creating a disturbance. Later during his stint, he was hit with a slew of disciplinary actions following a series of violent actions that included fighting, making terroristic threats, and "disobeying a direct order."

In 2009, prison faculty placed him in solitary confinement for four months as part of being reprimanded for nine different violations. Petty lost privileges that included the usage of the inmate telephone service, recreational activity, and the prison canteen.

In addition to his prison violations, Petty is a convicted sex offender. At the age of 16, he was tried as an adult served a four-year sentence for attempted rape of a minor.

Petty, who hails from the same borough as Nicki, Queens, knew the platinum-selling rap star since she was a teenager. They dated for a short period years prior to reuniting.

Minaj posted various photos of her and Petty going on a vacation getaway earlier this month. Sources close to Minaj told the celebrity gossip website that the 36-year-old hip-hop artist is  "happier than she's been in years" with Petty.

 

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READ MORE: Nicki Minaj Plans To Sue 'Daily Mail' TV Host Jesse Palmer

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