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Carl Bernstein Slams Hillary Clinton: Stop Blaming ‘Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy’ For Your Failures
Carl Bernstein, the famed investigative reporter who worked alongside Bob Woodward in breaking the 1970s Watergate scandal, has criticized former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for blaming her presidential campaign troubles on the “vast right-wing conspiracy” that has supposedly existed since her husband’s presidency.
“I think she has to acknowledge she’s made some terrible misjudgments and errors, particularly on the server,” Mr. Bernstein, 71, said Wednesday on CNN, The Daily Caller reported. Washington Times
VOA VIEW: Like Obama, Hillary blames all put herself, for her mistakes and shortcomings.

Kim Jong Un Reportedly Has His Military Chief Executed
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un had his military chief executed for corruption and other charges, a South Korean official said Thursday. If true, the execution of Ri Yong Gil, chief of the North Korean military's general staff, would be the latest in a series of killings, purges and dismissals since Kim took power in late 2011. Details about North Korea's opaque government are notoriously difficult for outsiders to get, even national governments, and South Korean officials have a spotty record of tracking developments in North Korea. CBS

Scientists Find Evidence Of Gravitational Waves Predicted By Einstein
After decades of searching, scientists announced Thursday that they have detected gravitational waves -- essentially ripples in the fabric of space-time -- that had been predicted by Einstein. An international team of astrophysicists said that they detected the waves from the distant crash of two black holes, using a $1.1 billion instrument. The Ligo Collaboration was behind the discovery and it has been accepted for publication in the journal Physical Review Letters. "We have detected gravitational waves," Caltech’s David H. Reitze, executive director of the LIGO Laboratory, told journalists at a news conference in Washington, DC. Fox News

Oil Crash Taking Stocks Down ... Again
The dramatic crash in oil prices has returned with a vengeance. U.S. crude futures dropped as much as 5% on Thursday, driving prices below $27 for the second time in recent weeks. It settled at $26.21, the lowest point since 2003. The steady decline is creating a widespread headache for financial markets. It's causing energy companies' profits to plunge, raising worries about the prospect of bankruptcies in the oil sector and spooking investors about global growth. In total, crude oil has plunged an incredible 75% from its June 2014 peak of almost 108. CNN


With Christie And Fiorina Out, Where Will Their Supporters Go?
Carly Fiorina and Chris Christie -- two Republican candidates who at one point enjoyed loyal followings -- are now out of the 2016 race. The question is, where will their supporters go? At first blush, the candidates would seem to hail from a pro-business, establishment-friendly wing of the party -- suggesting their supporters would gravitate in that direction as they look for another candidate to back. But analysts have differing views. At this point, with neither drop-out endorsing another candidate, one can only take clues from their political philosophies and posture, Republican strategist Brent Littlefield said. Fox News

Clinton Seeks Debate Bounce After New Hampshire Rout
Hillary Clinton has one goal in Thursday's Democratic presidential debate: Stop Bernie Sanders. The rivals will meet at 9 p.m. ET in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, for the PBS "NewsHour" debate being simulcast on CNN. It will be their first clash since Sanders delivered a 20-point drubbing to Clinton in Tuesday's New Hampshire primary, which followed Clinton's win by the narrowest of margins in the Iowa caucuses. The debate takes place ahead of the Nevada Democratic caucuses on February 20 and the South Carolina Democratic primary the following Saturday. Both candidates will likely make appeals to Latino and African-American voters that will be decisive in those states. CNN

Gov. Snyder: Hillary Clinton’s Claim That He ‘Poisoned’ Flint Residents To Save Money ‘Not Accurate’
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder said Thursday that Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s claim that he “poisoned” the people of Flint, Mich., to save money is “not accurate,” urging that the focus should be on solving the issue, not on politics. “That’s not accurate,” Snyder told on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” in response to Clinton’s accusation. “This was a terrible tragedy, and it really goes to multiple levels of government. There were bureaucrats, the state government that made mistakes, serious mistakes in common sense and judgment. CNS News

Clinton And Sanders Clash Over Obama
Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders battled for the crucial backing of black and Hispanic voters in Thursday night's Democratic debate and clashed heatedly over their support for President Obama as the presidential race shifted toward states with more minority voters. Clinton, who has cast herself as the rightful heir to Obama's legacy, accused Sanders of diminishing the president's record and short-changing his leadership. "The kind of criticism I hear from Senator Sanders, I expect from Republicans. I do not expect it from someone seeking the Democratic nomination," Clinton said in a sharp exchange at the close of the two-hour debate in Milwaukee. Her biting comments followed an interview in which Sanders suggested Obama hadn't succeeded in closing the gap between Congress and the American people - something Obama himself has acknowledged. Philadelphia Inquirer
VOA VIEW: Hillary looked like a liberal yellow "big Bird."

N. Korea Orders Military To Occupy Industrial Park
North Korea on Thursday ordered a military takeover of a factory park that had been the last major symbol of cooperation with South Korea, calling Seoul's earlier suspension of operations at the jointly run facility as punishment for the North's recent rocket launch a "dangerous declaration of war." North Korea said it was responding to Seoul's shutdown order by immediately deporting the hundreds of South Koreans who work at the complex just across the world's most heavily armed border in the city of Kaesong, pulling out the tens of thousands of North Korean employees and freezing all South Korean assets. The North also said it was shutting down two crucial cross-border communication hotlines. Philadelphia Inquirer

Ted Cruz Yanks Ad Featuring Porn Star
Ted Cruz wound up red-faced after he inadvertently cast a former porn star in one of his political ads, it was reported Thursday. The God-fearing Republican Texas senator — who has heavily courted the religious right during his run for the White House — produced an 30-second spot featuring actress Amy Lindsay. Lindsay, unbeknownst to him, is a skin-flick veteran who has appeared in such soft-core films as “Deviant Whores,” “Carnal Wishes” and “MILF.” NY Post


U.S. Blacklists Prominent Islamic State Preacher, Two Others
The United States blacklisted three people on Thursday for working for Islamic State, including the militant group's most prominent ideologue and a senior oil official.
Turki al-Bin'ali was sanctioned for helping Islamic State recruit foreign fighters, the U.S. Treasury said in a statement. Bin'ali, 31, was an early supporter of Islamic State and authored a frequently cited biography of the group's leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Reuters

'All Or Nothing': Kerry Demands Syria Ceasefire At Munich Talks
Major powers were beginning a new round of Syria peace talks on Thursday focusing on calls for a ceasefire and access for humanitarian aid. But with the Syrian opposition saying it cannot accept a truce in the current climate because it does not trust the Russians, diplomats saw little chance of progress at discussions in the German city of Munich. A Western diplomat told Reuters that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry wanted an immediate ceasefire in Syria — "all or nothing" — although the Russians have proposed a truce from the beginning of next month. Russia's intervention on the battlefield on behalf of President Bashar al-Assad has swung the momentum of the fighting, allowing government forces to push the rebels on to the back foot and underlining Moscow's influence over the future of the five-year-old war. MSNBC

Why Are More Americans Dying On The Highway?
The cars being built today are safer than ever, not only better able to withstand a crash but designed to avoid accidents in the first place. Roadways have been improved, and police have cracked down aggressively on drunk drivers, the leading cause of serious crashes. So why did highway fatalities go up last year? After decades of steady decline, roadway deaths fell to a historic low in 2014. But a newly released report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that the numbers are on track for a 9 percent increase in 2015. MSNBC

Hillary’s Foundation Subpoenaed Over Huma Abedin’s Work
State Department investigators subpoenaed the Clinton Foundation last fall looking for documents involving Hillary Clinton’s longtime aide Huma Abedin, a report said Thursday. The department’s inspector general asked for records about the six months in 2012 that Abedin was working for the foundation, the department, Clinton’s personal office and a private consulting firms with ties to the Clintons, The Washington Post reported. The paper said the subpoenas also focused on foundation projects that possibly required approval from the feds when Clinton was secretary of state. And while the investigators were not eyeing Clinton, any probe into one of her closest ­advisers could be another blow to her presidential campaign, ­already staggering after a blowout loss Tuesday to Bernie Sanders in the New Hampshire primary. NY Post

Bill Clinton To Campaign For Wife In Swing State Ohio
Former President Bill Clinton is set to help rally support in southwest Ohio for his wife's presidential bid. Hillary Clinton's campaign says he will highlight an organizing event Friday afternoon at a cultural arts center in Cincinnati. Daughter Chelsea is scheduled to be in Ohio on Monday to help the campaign. Hillary Clinton is competing against U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, who won the New Hampshire primary Tuesday, for the Democratic presidential nomination. She won Ohio's 2008 primary over Barack Obama, who went on to win the nomination and presidency. Meanwhile, Ohio's Republican governor, John Kasich (KAY'-sik) is continuing Friday to campaign in South Carolina after finishing second to businessman Donald Trump in the New Hampshire GOP primary. Tampa Tribune

Sanders Online Fundraising Gives Clinton A Run For Her Money
Bernie Sanders is giving Hillary Clinton a run for her money, $27 at a time. The insurgent Democratic presidential candidate's success with low-dollar online fundraising perfectly complements his denouncement of big money in politics. He's making big money, all right, but in little increments from average people. When Sanders asks his supporters to chip in a few bucks, they respond with enthusiasm. As a result, his campaign is setting ever-higher benchmarks for online fundraising: $6 million in the 24 hours after his New Hampshire victory, $3 million after his narrow loss in Iowa, $2 million on Sept. 30, the final day of the fall fundraising quarter. Tampa Tribune

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Trump Ends Feud With Spanish-Language Univision Over Mexico Comments
Univision and Donald Trump buried the hatchet Thursday and agreed to settle the billionaire businessman and GOP presidential candidate’s lawsuit after the Spanish-language network refused to carry his Miss Universe pageant. The network dropped the pageant last year after Mr. Trump began his presidential bid with a broadside against illegal immigration and a criticism of Mexico for sending rapists and other bad elements to the U.S. Mr. Trump then sued for breach of contract, asking to be awarded $500 million. Univision argued that Mr. Trump’s comments on illegal immigrants tarnished him and his media empire, thus ruining the value of the Miss Universe pageant for Latino audiences and voiding the contract. Washington Times

Auschwitz Guard, 94, On Trial For Killing Of 170K Jews
A 94-year-old former Auschwitz guard went on trial Thursday on 170,000 counts of accessory to murder in western Germany, accused of serving in the death camp at a time when hundreds of thousands of Hungarian Jews were gassed. Former SS Sgt. Reinhold Hanning maintains that he served in a part of the Auschwitz camp complex where no gassings were taking place. Prosecutors argue that all guards helped the camp function, and that during the so-called "Hungarian action" in 1944 - when hundreds of thousands of Hungarian Jews were shipped to the camp - almost all were called upon to help deal with the vast numbers of people arriving at the killing complex in Nazi-occupied Poland. CBS

Hillary Clinton Endorsement Exposes Divide Among Black Democrats
The political arm of the Congressional Black Caucus formally endorsed Hillary Clinton today, a move that quickly came under fire from one of the few lawmakers on Capitol Hill supporting Sen. Bernie Sanders' presidential bid. Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., one of two members of Congress to endorse Sanders, claimed today that leaders of the CBC's political action committee made the decision to back Clinton without the input of the larger Congressional Black Caucus. A spokesman for the CBC declined to respond to Ellison's comments about the endorsement process and input, but said the decision to endorse Clinton was not made hastily, pointing to Clinton's support among the majority of caucus members. ABC

Aid Set To Arrive In Syria After Powers Agree To Cease-Fire
Humanitarian aid may soon head to Syria, just hours after diplomats here reached a deal that could lead to a cease-fire. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov announced the temporary "cessation of hostilities" in Munich ahead of a security conference here that got underway Friday. Dozens of world leaders and senior diplomats are attending. The effort to achieve a cease-fire was described by Kerry as "unanimous" and "ambitious." "The challenge now is to make sure that we can create the conditions on the ground for the cease-fire to take place," Federica Mogherini, the European Union's senior foreign affairs diplomat, told reporters in Munich. USA Today

Obama To Designate 3 New Monuments In Calif.
President Obama plans to designate three national monuments in California on Friday, setting aside nearly 1.8 million acres for permanent conservation and bringing to fruition Sen. Dianne Feinstein's years-long effort to protect some of the desert's most treasured landscapes and ecosystems. The Sand to Snow National Monument will stretch from the desert floor near Palm Springs to the peak of Mount San Gorgonio in the San Bernardino National Forest, comprising 154,000 acres. The Mojave Trails National Monument, which spans 1.6 million acres, will surround historic Route 66, between the Mojave National Preserve and Joshua Tree National Park. The Castle Mountains National Monument will fill a 21,000-acre gap in the Mojave National Preserve, protecting a rare desert grassland teeming with Joshua trees. USA Today

Congress Gives Final OK To Banning Local Internet Taxes
Congress voted Thursday to permanently bar state and local governments from taxing access to the Internet, as lawmakers leapt at an election-year chance to demonstrate their opposition to imposing levies on online service. On a vote of 75-20, the Senate gave final congressional approval to the wide-ranging bill, which would also revamp trade laws. The White House said President Barack Obama will sign it. "The Internet is a resource used daily by Americans of all ages," said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who brokered an agreement with a Democratic leader earlier this week that helped clear the way for passage. "It's important that they be able to do all of this without the worry of their Internet access being taxed." Houston Chronicle


Congress Approves Permanent Internet Access Tax Ban
The U.S. Senate on Thursday passed legislation placing a permanent ban on states' taxing Internet access, sending the measure to President Barack Obama for signing into law. By a vote of 75-20, the Senate gave final approval to a bill toughening enforcement of U.S. duties on foreign goods, which contains the permanent extension of the "Internet Tax Freedom Act." The measure also would ban some taxes on digital goods and services and will put an end to a series of temporary extensions on the tax prohibitions. Reuters

Meryl Streep Faces Backlash For 'We're All Africans' Comment
Meryl Streep is facing backlash for diversity-related comments she made at the Berlin International Film Festival. According to the Associated Press, Streep dismissed questions about the lack of diversity on an all-white panel today by saying, "We're all Africans, really." Streep, 66, is serving as the president of the international jury this year, and all seven members of the jury are white. When asked about the lack of diversity on the panel, Streep said that she was committed to equality and inclusion "of all genders, races, ethnicities, religions," then pointed to the number of females on the panel. ABC

Slave-Labor Loophole Closed By U.S. Senate After 85 Years
The U.S. Senate voted to close an 85-year-old loophole that has allowed products derived from forced labor to enter the country if they’re in short supply, amid a new focus on slavery in the supply chains of global companies. The Tariff Act of 1930, which bars goods made by convict, forced or indentured labor, contains a “consumptive demand” clause that says a product made by slaves can’t be blocked if the U.S. doesn’t make enough of it to meet domestic demand. Almost 21 million people are enslaved for profit worldwide, the United Nations says, annually providing $150 billion in illicit revenue. “This legislation once and for all closes an egregious loophole,” U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat, said in a statement Thursday. Bloomberg

Carter Says UAE Will Put Special Forces In Syria
U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter says a key Persian Gulf ally has agreed to send special forces soldiers to Syria to assist in the development of local Sunni Arab fighters focused on recapturing Raqqa, the Islamic State group's capital. Carter made the comment after meeting Friday at his Brussels hotel with his counterpart from the United Arab Emirates. Carter declined to say how many Emirati special forces would go to Syria. He said they would be part of an effort led by the United States and bolstered by Saudi special forces to train and enable local Arab fighters who are motivated to recapture Raqqa. Houston Chronicle

School Adopts 4-Day Week—And It Doesn't Hurt Working Parents
A small district in rural west Texas recently adopted a four-day school week, becoming the first in the state to take advantage of a new law giving schools flexibility in setting their calendars.he Texas state legislature last year approved a measure that changed the recording of public schools' instruction time to minutes, rather than days. On Jan. 12, the Olfen School District, which currently has about 60 students in its kindergarten through eighth-grade system, unanimously approved the four-day school week, which would provide 77,000 minutes over 160 instructional days. Under the new schedule, normal instruction will take place Mondays through Thursdays, but attendance will be optional for students on Fridays beginning in the fall. To make up for lost teaching time, an additional 25 minutes will be added to each school day. Atlanta Journal

Bank Of America Stock Trading At 2012 Levels
Bank of America’s shares traded Thursday at levels not seen in more than three years, as bank stocks worldwide continued to take a battering in 2016. Shares of the Charlotte-based bank fell to a 52-week low of $10.99 in midafternoon trading. The last time its shares traded that low was December 2012. Its shares closed Thursday at $11.16. The decline came as U.S. stocks fell for the fourth day in a row as concerns about global economic weakness intensified, even as Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen reiterated her confidence in the U.S. economy. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 254 points, or 1.6 percent, to close at 15,660. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 22 points, or 1.2 percent, to 1,829. The Nasdaq composite fell 16 points, or 0.4 percent, to 4,266. Charlotte Observer

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Pelosi Wants To Discuss Requiring All Young Women To Register For Draft
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told at her press briefing on Thursday that requiring young women to register for the draft is “an issue that we should discuss." At the U.S. Capitol on Thursday, asked Pelosi, “The commandant of the Marine Corps and chief of staff of the Army testified in the Senate Armed Services Committee last week that young women should be required to register for the draft. Do you support requiring all young women to register for the draft? CNS News

Yellen Re-Examining Negative Rates; Top Lawmaker Doubts Legality
The Fed chair was asked during two days of congressional testimony to clarify her views on pushing borrowing costs below zero in the U.S., which some investors see as increasingly likely amid a darkening outlook for global growth that has panicked financial markets. “We had previously considered them and decided that they would not work well to foster accommodation back in 2010,” Yellen told the Senate Banking Committee Thursday. “In light of the experience of European countries and others that have gone to negative rates, we’re taking a look at them again because we would want to be prepared in the event that we needed to add accommodation.” Bloomberg

Clinton: Don’t Penalize Solar Customers By Changing Rules
Nine days before the Nevada Democratic presidential caucuses, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is jumping back into the debate over solar energy. Clinton today said she favors an amendment introduced by Sens. Harry Reid and Angus King to regulate rate changes for utility customers who get credits for generating excess electricity, a program known as net metering. The senators introduced the amendment amid the ongoing debate in Nevada over the future of rooftop solar, after the Public Utilities Commission increased bills for solar customers by raising fixed fees and cutting the value of those credits over four years. Las Vegas Sun

Feds Accuse Prison Guards Of Taking Bribes, Drug Trafficking
More than 40 prison guards and officers in Georgia have been indicted on charges of accepting bribes and drug trafficking, the latest in a federal effort to crack down on contraband and criminal activity in the state's prisons. Since September, about 130 people — including prison employees, inmates, former inmates and others accused of helping them — have been indicted. The indictments resulting in the Thursday arrests were filed over the last three months and unsealed Wednesday. A majority of those charged were Georgia Department of Corrections officers accused of agreeing to protect a person they believed was a high-level drug trafficker. The indictments say the officers agreed to wear their uniforms during the drug transports to deter law enforcement interference. The officers charged worked at nine different prisons. Las Vegas Sun

Drug Combination May Treat Most Aggressive Lung Cancer
A combination of drugs stopped the growth of an aggressive form of lung cancer in mice and human tumor samples, researches in Spain found in a new study. Researchers at the Spanish National Cancer Research Center found the drugs dasatinib and demcizumab stop the growth of tumors in KRAS-driven lung cancer. About 30 percent of lung cancer carries the mutated KRAS gene, which is more aggressive and lacks treatment aside from cisplatin-based chemotherapy. UPI News

More Americans Dating Online; Sex Views Shift In Past Decade
A Pew Research Center study shows there's been a three-fold uptick in young adults who have turned to dating websites to find love. A total of 15 percent of American adults report they have used online dating sites and/or mobile dating applications, up from 11 percent in 2013. Specifically, 12 percent of American adults have used an online dating site, up from 9 percent in 2013, while 9 percent have used a dating app on their cell phone, up 3 percent. The growth is attributed to an increased use among the youngest demographic, 18-24, and people in their late 50s and early 60s. UPI News

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British-Israel Relationship ‘Probably Stronger And Deeper Than Ever’
Israel’s exports to the United Kingdom doubled since London imposed a voluntary labeling scheme on products from the settlements, rendering hollow concern that labeling is the beginning of a boycott, British Ambassador David Quarrey said on Thursday. Quarry, interviewed by The Jerusalem Post at his residence in Ramat Gan, said Britain has “had our own national voluntary labeling scheme in place since 2009, and since that time the imports of Israeli goods into the UK has roughly doubled – so I think that shows very clearly that there is nothing about the labeling scheme that is a boycott.” Prime Minister David Cameron, he said, made clear during his visit to the Knesset in 2014 – and has done so often since opposed to boycotts of any kind. Jerusalem Post

Russia Raises Specter Of 'World War' In High-Stakes Syria Talks
Efforts to broker a cease-fire in Syria are under way in the German city of Munich, where Western powers are hoping for a diplomatic breakthrough despite a concerted and increased Russian military effort to pursue a military solution to the conflict there. Targeting rebel groups fighting for the ouster of embattled President Bashar Assad, Russian forces continued to broaden their air campaign this week, making gains in the country’s north and threatening to circle Aleppo, Syria’s largest city. A coalition of Russian, Iranian and Assad forces conducted a series of operations north, east and south of the city that appear to set conditions for a siege. Jerusalem Post

Zika Virus: 'Strongest Evidence Yet' Of Effect On Babies
One of the US's most senior public health officials has revealed the "strongest evidence to date" of the effect on babies of the Zika virus. Mr Tom Frieden, head of the Center for Disease Control (CDC), was testifying before politicians in Washington. He said that data from the cases of two infants in Brazil who died soon after birth indicated the virus had passed from mother to child. However, he said the suspected link was still not definite. There are thought to have been more than 4,000 cases in Brazil alone of babies born with microcephaly - abnormally small brains - and where the transmission of Zika virus from mother to child is suspected of being the cause. BBC

Clinton And Sanders To Bid For Minority Voters In Debate
The concerns of minority voters will loom large in the next debate between Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. The tight race moves next to Nevada and South Carolina, two states with large Latino and black populations. Mrs Clinton is trying to rebuild her campaign after Mr Sanders decisively won the New Hampshire primary. She received a much-needed endorsement from an influential bloc of black Democrats in Congress on Thursday. The Vermont senator won the New Hampshire primary by 22 percentage points and lost the Iowa caucuses narrowly, but both states have nearly all-white populations.
He now faces the challenge of finding votes among the sizable Latino and black electorates in Nevada and South Carolina. BBC

John Kasich Has Been Billed As Moderate Candidate, But His Record Is Anything But
Moments after he placed second in the New Hampshire primary, John Kasich was transformed from a low-profile, under-the-radar candidate to the new face of compassionate conservatism in America.Here, apparently, was the moderate Republican antidote to the domineering Donald Trump, a governor with a record of achievement, willing to rise above the fearful invective on immigration to campaign in an optimistic way about the future of the United States. “If you don’t have a seatbelt, go get one,” the 63-year-old almost yelled as he told an enthusiastic meeting of independents and Republican centrists. “Tonight the light overcame the darkness.” Guardian
VOA VIEW: Kasich would make a good president.

Two-Thirds Of US Students Are Taught Climate Change Badly, Study Finds
Nearly two-thirds of schoolchildren in the US are taught lessons on climate change that do not rise to the level of a sound science education, according to new research on Thursday. The finding provide new evidence on the source of the confusion and denial surrounding global warming in American public life. In the first national survey of classroom science teachers, researchers found there was short shrift given to the teaching of climate change in public middle and high schools in all 50 states.
The survey of 1,500 teachers, published in Science on Thursday, found most pupils spend only an hour or two in the course of an academic year learning about climate change in middle and high school – and much of what they are taught is confusing or simply wrong. Guardian

Situation In Aleppo And Other Parts Of Syria ‘Grotesque’
The United Nations human rights chief today expressed “utmost alarm” at the rapidly worsening human rights situation in and around the city of Aleppo and other parts of Syria, where he said “shocking violations and abuses are committed on a daily basis.” “I condemn these horrendous acts unequivocally,” said the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein in a news release. “The warring parties in Syria are constantly sinking to new depths, without apparently caring in the slightest about the death and destruction they are wreaking across the country. Women and children, the elderly, the wounded and sick, the people with disabilities are being used as bargaining chips and cannon fodder day after day, week after week, month after month. It is a grotesque situation,” he warned. UN News

In Canada, Ban Applauds Country's Commitment To Resettle 25,000 Syrian Refugees
During his fifth visit to Canada as United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon today applauded the country's commitment to resettle 25,000 Syrian refugees, stressing that they “deserve opportunity, human rights protection and peace.” “Although I will be in Canada for only three days, we are laying plans to strengthen our collaboration for years to come,” Mr. Ban told journalists at a press conference in Ottawa. “The weather here is quite cold, but the relations between the United Nations and Canada are very, very warm,” he added. “Since the United Nations was founded, Canada has always been one of our most important partners,” he said. UN News

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