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Deepening Crisis In Somalia; Crackdown Continues In Syria

A malnourished child from southern Somalia sits on a bed at Banadir hospital in Mogadishu, Somalia.
Farah Abdi Warsameh
A malnourished child from southern Somalia sits on a bed at Banadir hospital in Mogadishu, Somalia.

Good morning!

As we wrote earlier, the big news of the day is the debt ceiling compromise that's making its way through Congress. We'll be following that story throughout the day, but here are some other headlines:

-- 500,000 On Brink Of Starvation: The New York Times reports on the heartbreaking news out of Somalia. They report that the Islamist insurgent group that controls much of southern Somalia is stopping starving people from fleeing the country. The paper reports that tens of thousands of Somalis are already dead and that 500,000 children are on the brink of starvation:

"This is worse than 1992," said Dr. Lul Mohamed, Banadir's head of pediatrics, referring to Somalia's last famine. "Back then, at least we had some help."

-- Israel May Accept 1967 Borders: Bloomberg reports that the government of Israeli Prime Minister Bejamin Netanyahu may accept using the 1967 borders as a start to negotiations. Bloomberg reports that this is a shift in position since Netanyahu rejected President Obama's call for the use of '67 borders, but it is a way to counter a Palestinian bid for U.N. recognition.

-- Syrian Crackdown Continues:The city of Hama was shelled for a third day in a row, as President Bashar Assad tries to crackdown on protesters. MSNBC reports:

Human rights campaigners said assaults by Assad's forces across Syria overnight and on Monday had killed 10 people in Hama, where troops and tanks began a violent operation to regain control on Sunday.

-- U.S. Sues Alabama:"The Justice Department filed a challenge to Alabama's tough anti-illegal-immigration law Monday, arguing that the Constitution prohibits state and local governments from creating a national "patchwork" of immigration policies." ( Los Angeles Times)

-- Ford Recall:"Ford Motor Co. is recalling 1.1 million F-150, F-250, and Lincoln Blackwood pickups. The models involved were sold in cold-weather states where road salt can cause metal straps holding up the gas tanks to rust. If the straps break, the tanks can hit the ground, rupture, and catch fire." ( AP)

-- Tropical Storm Eyes Puerto Rico: "Tropical Storm Emily was expected to bring heavy rain Tuesday to Puerto Ricoafter crossing the northeast Caribbean sea on a track that would take it near Haiti within 24 hours." ( AP)

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Eyder Peralta
Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.