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10-year-old boy who weighed just 10kg dies with country on brink of famine



A 10-year-old boy who weighed just 10kg (22lbs) has died in Yemen with the country on the brink of famine.

UNICEF confirmed the young child called Adam had died less than 24 hours after Sky News published an article about his plight.

He had been too weak to get out of his hospital bed by himself when aid workers came to his bedside last week.

They reported that he was crying and found it difficult to breathe, with his tiny chest heaving with the effort.

Adam was one of 400,000 children in Yemen suffering from severe acute malnutrition.

Lying in hospital in the city of Hodeida before his death, he should have been able to focus on his recovery.

Adam with his sister. Pic: Unicef
The little boy, who also had a brain condition, with his sister. Pic: UNICEF

But as fighting in the Yemeni port city continues – with almost 100 airstrikes falling on it this weekend alone – the conflict moves closer and closer to Al Thawra hospital.

UNICEF executive director Henrietta Fore said the fighting is now “dangerously close” and is “putting the lives of 59 children, including 25 in the intensive care unit, at imminent risk of death”.

Heavy bombing and gunfire could be heard from Adam’s hospital bed.

Juliette Touma, chief of communications for UNICEF’s Middle East and North Africa region, travelled to Yemen between 29 October and 3 November.

She has spent 16 years working in the region but said meeting Adam would never leave her.

Half of Yemeni children under the age of 5 are chronically malnourished. This baby is being treated at Al Thawra hospital. Pic: Unicef
Half of Yemeni children under five are chronically malnourished. Pic: UNICEF

“Adam was not able to utter a word,” she told Sky News.

“All he did was to cry in pain without tears but making the sound of pain.”

Geert Cappelaere, regional director of Unicef Middle East and North Africa office, also met Adam before the child’s death on Saturday.

Paying tribute to the youngster, he said: “Rest in peace Adam.

“Adam was very sick and he also had severe malnutrition. Al Thawra hospital… where Adam died is now in the line of fire.

“Adam is one of 400,000 severely malnourished children in Yemen. They – like Adam – might also die, any minute. May his soul rest in peace.”

During Ms Touma’s most recent trip, she was most struck by the extent children are suffering in the region.

Half of Yemeni children under the age of five are chronically malnourished. Some 30,000 Yemeni children die every year with malnutrition as one of the most important underlying causes.

Locals worry constantly about money and being unable to buy food, Ms Touma said.

“Poverty is very visible, people are just exhausted,” she said.

Civil servants, including doctors and teachers, have not been paid for more than two years and the devaluation of the currency means that despite food being on sale in markets most families cannot afford to buy it.

Adam, who also had a brain condition and shared his ward with other severely malnourished children, was unable to access health care until his family were able to save up to afford the transport to take him there.

Ms Touma believes if it was not for the intervention of organisations like her own “the situation is likely to have been even worse, much worse”.

A girl at Al Thawra hospital, where Adam is being treated. Pic: Unicef
A girl at Al Thawra hospital, where Adam was being treated. Pic: UNICEF

She added: “”It is literally lifesaving for many, many children.”

Fighting in the port city risks cutting off the vital line organisations like UNICEF use to get nutrition, medicine and vaccines to those living there.

“It’s critical that the port continues to function,” she said, adding: “It’s a life-line for Yemen.”

News of Adam’s death comes as a group of 14 international non-governmental organisations, including Save the Children, Care and Action Against Hungry, signed a joint statement saying “as an urgent priority, civilians and children in particular in and around Hodeidah must be protected from the direct and indirect impact of the fighting.”

They call for urgent peace talks led by the UN special envoy and for the UN security council to adopt an “unequivocal resolution” to stop the violence.

Ms Touma said the only way to save the citizens of Yemen is for fighting to end.

She said UNICEF “welcomes the generosity from governments and individuals, including in the United Kingdom” and that it enables organisations like her own to deliver aid and training to the war-torn country.

“However, generosity alone is not enough and is a band-aid,” she explained.

“What is needed right now – today, not tomorrow – is for those fighting on the ground and those who have influence over them to reach an agreement to end the conflict in Yemen.”

Saudi Arabia and allies have been fighting in Yemen for more than three years against Iran-backed Houthis rebels, who control much of northern Yemen including the capital Sanaa and drove a Saudi-backed government into exile in 2014.

The UK and US have been criticised for providing logistical and military support to the Saudi-led coalition.

On Tuesday, Mr Hunt used some of his strongest language yet to put pressure on the Saudi-led coalition.

“For too long in the Yemen conflict, both sides have believed a military solution is possible, with catastrophic consequences for the people,” he said in a statement.

“Now for the first time there appears to be a window in which both sides can be encouraged to come to the table, stop the killing and find a political solution – that is the only long-term way out of disaster.”

Yemen has become the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, with more than 22.2 million people in need of assistance.

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Trump recognises Venezuelan opposition leader as interim president amid unrest | World News



Venezuela’s opposition leader has declared himself the new president amid riots which have led to several deaths.

Juan Guaido was met with cheering support after naming himself interim president, raising his right hand as he said he was “formally assuming the responsibility of the national executive”.

Soon after, US president Donald Trump formally recognised Mr Guaido as the interim president of Venezuela.

A statement from the White House encouraged other western nations to make the same move.

Venezuelan opposition supporters take to the streets to protest against the government of President Nicolas Maduro
Venezuelan opposition supporters take to the streets to protest against the government of President Nicolas Maduro

Nicolas Maduro was sworn in for a contested second term two weeks ago but has been met by international condemnation.

Thousands of Venezuelans have protested against Mr Maduro, accusing him of usurping power and demanding he step down.

Millions have fled as the country reels from a crushing economic crisis. Those who are forced to stay are going hungry.

The Venezuelan parliament is not likely to convene until Thursday at the earliest.

Stuart Ramsey, Sky correspondent in Venezuela, said: “He was surrounded by people screaming ‘president, president’ as he walked through a rallying point.

“This will end in violence, I can guarantee that, but it has already been violent.

“We know of six dead, two relatively recently, in different parts of the country.

“This question now is what does the president Maduro do?”

He added: “The opposition is hoping the international community will give the support that they need.

“Perhaps proper action, more sanctions, worse. The international community has condemned the leadership here as unelected, Maduro was called a usurper, but we now have two presidents and there is of course, chaos coming.”

Juan Guaido declared himself president
Juan Guaido declared himself president

Mr Maduro was re-elected last month but the country’s opposition does not recognise the election and says it was fraudulent.

The US recognition of Mr Guaido will mount pressure on Mr Maduro to step down.

Four people died in overnight clashes between opposition supporters and regime loyalists as they prepared for rival rallies on Wednesday after a failed military mutiny.

According to the Social Conflict Observatory a 16-year-old who suffered a firearm injury during a demonstration was among the dead.

Much of the unrest took place in Bolivar state on the border of Brazil. Police said there were three deaths during a looting in the capital Bolivar City.

A statue of revolutionary leader Hugo Chavez was torched by protesters in San Felix.

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French nappies found to contain weedkiller and other potentially toxic chemicals | World News



Potentially toxic substances, including a widely-used weedkiller linked to cancer, have been discovered in nappies made and sold in France.

Environment agency ANSES revealed its findings in a new study published on Wednesday, with scientists testing 23 types of nappies as they were worn by children.

The tests uncovered butylphenyl methylpropional – used in beauty products – and some aromatic hydrocarbons.

The weedkiller chemical found was glyphosate, which has been linked to cancer and had been subjected to attempts by some European leaders to have it banned.

Regarding its discovery in nappies made in the country, the government said it was vital that manufacturers and retailers ensured the substance was removed.

In a joint statement, the health, environment and finance ministries said: “We call on manufacturers and retailers to take measures within the next 15 days to eliminate these substances from babies’ nappies.”

Emmanuel Macron wants Europe to have a dedicated army
Emmanuel Macron has previously said he wants glyphosate to be banned

Health minister Agnes Buzyn also moved to assure parents that there was no immediate risk to their children, and said the report was “a precaution to protect our children from possible effects”.

She added: “Obviously we should continue putting nappies on our babies – we’ve been doing that for at least 50 years.”

President Emmanuel Macron has previously said he wanted the glyphosate to be completely phased out, but farmers are likely to be exempt as there are no credible alternatives.

As well as being potentially dangerous to humans, scientists have warned that the controversial pesticide could also be killing bees.

But it remains registered in around 130 countries, including the UK, where it is commonly used to spray pests.

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‘I can’t say I’m sorry’: Trump hat teen Nick Sandmann defends himself over Native American encounter | US News



A US high school student has said he wished he “walked away and avoided” his encounter with a Native American protester.

Nick Sandmann was filmed apparently smirking while standing just a few feet from Nathan Phillips at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington on Friday in a video that has gone viral.

But the teenager said he did not intend to be disrespectful, insisting “I’d like to talk to [Mr Phillips]”

“I mean, in hindsight, I wish we could’ve walked away and avoided the whole thing. But I can’t say that I’m sorry for listening to him and standing there,” he told NBC’s Today programme.

Nick Sandmann (L) and Nathan Phillips were filmed at the Lincoln Memorial
Nick Sandmann (L) and Nathan Phillips were filmed at the Lincoln Memorial

Asked if he felt he owed anyone an apology or has assumed fault for the clash, he instead blamed a group of black men styling themselves as Hebrew Israelites who were also there.

The men were filmed taunting and insulting both the indigenous people gathered with Mr Phillips and the boys, many of whom, including Sandmann, wore red hats bearing President Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan.

“They started shouting a bunch of homophobic, racist, derogatory comments at us. I heard them call us incest kids, bigots, racists. They called us f*****s,” Nick Sandmann said.

The Hebrew Israelites were filmed taunting the boys. Pic: NBC
The Hebrew Israelites were filmed taunting the boys. Pic: NBC

The Covington Catholic High School students, who were in Washington for an anti-abortion rally, outnumbered their aggressors but the teenager said he “definitely felt threatened.”

Nathan Phillips, a tribal elder, activist and Vietnam War veteran, was singing and playing a drum as he took part in an indigenous people’s march.

He locked eyes with Nick Sandmann while around them some of the teenager’s classmates from the private, all-male school in Kentucky, were seen dancing and jumping around, apparently mocking Mr Phillips.

Donald Trump wearing one of his MAGA hats at a campaign rally
Donald Trump wearing one of his MAGA hats at a campaign rally

Some were also wearing “Make America Great Again” hats and sweatshirts and one removed his top.

President Trump’s press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said on Wednesday the White House has “reached out and voiced our support” to Nick Sandmann and his fellow students.

She said no one understands better than Donald Trump when the media jumps to conclusions and “attacks you for something you may or may not have done.”

On Tuesday, Mr Trump defended the students, tweeting that they had been “smeared by the media” and had become “symbols of Fake News and how evil it can be”.

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