AFRICA: King Famine

Even in the best of years, much of sub-Saharan Africa is stalked by the grim specter of famine. This year has been one of the worst. A 40-month drought has left the area brown and blistered. Crops have failed; millions of cattle have died. Thousands of farmers are eating seed grains to stave off starvation, thus ensuring that there will be insufficient food from future harvests. In lands where suicide is rare, starving nomads, after losing their herds, have killed themselves in desperation.

Hardest hit is Mali, a landlocked country where livestock are considered more precious than money. There, at...

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