Nutritional supplements flown in for malnourished

A plane carrying 10 tons of urgently needed nutritional supplements to treat malnourished children has landed in famine-hit Somalia, a U.N. official said Wednesday.

The airlift is part of a crisis intervention as famine threatens to spread across lawless Somalia.

David Orr, a World Food Program spokesman who flew with the shipment from neighboring Kenya to the Somali capital of Mogadishu, said it was the first airlift of food aid since the U.N. declared a famine in parts of Somalia last week.

Orr said the aid would be distributed to medical facilities to treat the malnourished children.

WFP spokeswoman Challiss McDonough said this is first of several planned airlifts in coming weeks. She said Wednesday’s shipment of peanut butter-based nutritional paste will treat 3,500 malnourished children for one month. McDonough said WFP decided to send in the airlift because of an urgent need to treat the growing number of internally displaced children suffering from malnutrition before their condition deteriorates.

She said about 18,000 children are suffering from malnutrition and that the number is expected to grow to 25,000. WFP says it cannot reach 2.2 million people in need of aid in the militant-controlled areas in southern Somalia because of insecurity.


Official says space station will end up in the Pacific

A Russian space official said Wednesday that once the mammoth International Space Station is no longer needed it will be sent into the Pacific Ocean.

It’s a plan that’s long been in the works and is a step to avoid the station becoming dangerous space junk. It was supposed to plunge into the ocean as early as 2015. The U.S. recently extended its life until at least 2020, and there’s been talk of keeping it going even longer.

Vitaly Davydov, deputy head of the Russian space agency, said the orbiting outpost will be destroyed in a controlled descent to Earth “so that there is no space junk left behind.”

Russia sank its Mir space station in the Pacific in 2001 after 15 years in operation. Skylab, America’s first space station, fell from orbit in 1979 after six years in space.

LIMA, Peru

Angry tourists turned away from ruins filled to capacity

Hundreds of unticketed tourists have been turned away from Machu Picchu this week as Peru’s famed Inca ruins reached capacity.

Angry tourists blocked a bridge for two hours Monday in the town of Aguas Calientes at the entrance to the ruins. That impeded buses that ferry visitors to the hilltop archaeological site.

Juan Julio Garcia is the regional tourism director in nearby Cuzco. He says some travel agencies have failed to inform visitors that they should get tickets in advance because of the daily load limit of 2,500 people.

Authorities established the limit for Peru’s main tourist attraction in 2005 as a conservation measure.

In January, tickets became obtainable online. The site can be slow to access.


Altered makeup ads banned by standards authority

Britain’s advertising standards council banned two makeup advertisements featuring actress Julia Roberts and model Christy Turlington on Wednesday, ruling the ads – which used digitally altered photographs – were misleading.

The Advertising Standards Authority found that the airbrushed images used by L’Oreal in magazine ad campaigns exaggerated the results women could expect from using the beauty products.

The watchdog said the ads could no longer be used.

The decision was seen as a step forward in an ongoing campaign to limit the retouching of photos in beauty-related ads in Britain.

“We really welcome this,” said Susan Ringwood, chief executive of Beat, which campaigns to combat eating disorders. “It highlights one of the main issues, that these hyper-perfect versions of beauty are undermining people’s confidence because they are beyond what’s achievable. It’s unrealistic in a way that’s really damaging to vulnerable young people and effects all of us.”

The advertising standards council, which is now allowed to consider the social impact of the ads as a criteria on whether they are acceptable, acted after a complaint from a lawmaker, Jo Swinson, who praised the decision to ban the images.

– From news service reports