The last major famine to strike killed over 200,000 people in Somalia in 2011. ”War and a collapsing economy have left some 100,000 people facing starvation in parts of South Sudan where famine was declared today, three UN agencies warned. A further 1 million people are classified as being on the brink of famine.   The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Food Programme (WFP) also warned that urgent action is needed to prevent more people from dying of hunger. If sustained and adequate assistance is delivered urgently, the hunger situation can be improved in the coming months and further suffering mitigated.   The total number of food insecure people is expected to rise to 5.5 million at the height of the lean season in July if nothing is done to curb the severity and spread of the food crisis.” (WFP http://bit.ly/2lnO5we)

RIP…Russia’s combative ambassador to the United Nations, Vitaly Churkin, died suddenly in New York on Monday after being taken ill at work, the Russian Foreign Ministry said. The ministry gave no details on the circumstances of his death but offered condolences to his relatives and said the diplomat had died one day before his 65th birthday. (Reuters http://reut.rs/2kFbyfs)

Trump Picks His NSA… “President Trump picked Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, a widely respected military strategist, as his new national security adviser on Monday, calling him “a man of tremendous talent and tremendous experience.” Mr. Trump made the announcement at his Mar-a-Lago getaway in Palm Beach, Fla., where he has been interviewing candidates to replace Michael T. Flynn, who was forced out after withholding information from Vice President Mike Pence about a call with Russia’s ambassador. The choice continued Mr. Trump’s reliance on high-ranking military officers to advise him on national security. Mr. Flynn was a retired three-star general and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is a retired four-star general. His first choice to replace Mr. Flynn, who turned the job down, and two other finalists were current or former senior officers as well.” (NYT http://nyti.ms/2l1eVcB)

Molly Crabapple combines fine art and journalism to fascinating ends. (Global Dispatches Podcast http://bit.ly/1sETycl)

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