The news just gets worse from Myanmar. State radio there has pushed the death toll from Saturday's brutal cyclone above 22,000. With more than 41,000 people missing, some aid workers think the final death count is likely to exceed 50,000. Some of the Southeast Asian nation's small villages may have been completely flattened, and up to a million may be left homeless after Cyclone Nargis tore through the nation's low-lying southern delta region early Saturday. President Bush called on Myanmar's military dictators to allow the United States to help. He offered to send the U.S. Navy to take part in the recover-and-relief effort.
The U.S. military announced that 3,500 troops will be returning to the United States from Iraq in coming months as part of the plan to draw down from last summer's military surge. At the surge's peak in October, 170,000 troops were in Iraq, but the military plans to decrease that number to 140,000. There are currently around 159,000 U.S. soldiers in Iraq. Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. military commander in Iraq, has requested a "pause" in scheduling further drawdowns beyond those already planned in order to assess the security situation as the U.S. troop numbers decline.
Nearly 10 million children die each year of treatable ailments because of the lack of healthcare, according to a new global report by Save the Children. In addition, more than 200 million children under the age of 5 do not get basic healthcare, and many deaths are caused by common and treatable illnesses such as diarrhea and pneumonia. Eight of the bottom 10 countries in child healthcare are located in sub-Saharan Africa, with Nigeria coming in dead last.