In The World—June 14, 2015

June 14, 2015 No Comments »
In The World—June 14, 2015

By Christy Barritt

Terrorists Target Christians in Kenya

At a Kenyan university in April, 147 people were killed, 79 were injured, and 587 were evacuated. Al-Shabaab, a militant group linked with Al-Qaeda and based out of Somalia, claimed responsibility for the assault. The Islamist gunmen invaded the university during early morning prayer services. According to witnesses, the gunmen shot anyone who didn’t proclaim to be Muslim. 

A spokesman for the terrorist group told the BBC that they attacked the university because “it’s on Muslim land colonized by non-Muslims.” Garissa, the city where the attack took place, is about 90 miles from the country’s border with Somalia. 

This was the deadliest attack in Kenya since 1998, when 200 people died in the U.S. embassy bombing.

Baby Given Surgery Inside Womb

Bobby and Shelly Ross’s baby was diagnosed with a severe form of spina bifida. Doctors at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia performed prenatal surgery on the couple’s little girl, Luelle, when Shelly was 23 weeks pregnant. The surgery was successful, and Luelle was delivered via cesarean section at 36 weeks. The PBS documentary Twice Born documented their journey.

Over a year later, Luelle is doing well. She’s crawling and pulling to her feet instead of suffering with paralysis, which often happens with her form of spina bifida.

Prenatal surgery is becoming more and more common in special pediatric programs throughout the U.S. It was first pioneered in the 1980s to correct certain birth defects. One study reported that kids with spina bifida who received fetal surgery typically were more likely to walk, less likely to have serious neurological problems, and less likely to need a shunt to drain brain fluid.

Kids Sipping Alcohol Leads to Drinking Problems Later

Children who sample alcohol by or before sixth grade are five times more likely than others their age to drink by ninth grade. That’s according to a new 10-year study of more than 500 students by Brown University.

Researchers said that children who take an occasional sip of alcohol from their parents don’t consume enough to literally rewire their brains. Instead, experts believe this increase in the likelihood of drinking later in life is more about confusing signals from parents. Many parents tell their children not to drink until they’re 21, but when they allow sips of beer or wine, that hints to children that experimentation is acceptable.

“Kids this age are very concrete thinkers,” said researcher Kristina Jackson. “They can’t differentiate between a sip or two in the home versus a couple of sips outside the home. So they’re getting a message and they’re not able to interpret the nuances.”

The most common age for kids to be first handed a bottle or glass was 10, the study found. Wine was the most common type of drink for the inaugural sipping at 40 percent, and beer came in second at 35 percent.

c_barrittChristy Barritt is an award-winning author in Chesapeake, Virginia. She and her husband, Scott, have two sons (

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