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11 Jan

News and Analyses, A Foreign Perspective

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UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reports eight children and a teacher dead after strike in town of Anjara

Guardian Breaking News Graphic

A UK-based monitor says eight children and a teacher have died after a strike hit a school in Anjara, Syria

At least eight children have been killed along with their teacher in a Russian airstrike that hit a school in Syria’s Aleppo province, a monitor says.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the strike in the town of Anjara also injured at least 20 people, all of them children and teachers.

The group said there had been heavy airstrikes and clashes between government and rebel forces since Sunday in the northern province, which is controlled by a mixture of moderate and Islamist rebels.

The UK-based monitor also reported that three children were killed by rebel rocket fire on a government-held district in Aleppo city.

Control of the city has been divided between government forces in the west and rebel fighters in the east since shortly after fighting began there in mid-2012. Government forces regularly carry out air raids on the east, while rebels fire rockets into the west.

The situation is largely reversed in the countryside surrounding the city, with rebels controlling much of the area west of Aleppo, and the government present to the east………………

 

Pontiff says world leaders must not let security concerns replace principle of respecting dignity of others

Pope Francis

Pope Francis has called for a sustainable solution to the migration crisis. Photograph: Andreas Solaro/AFP/Getty

Pope Francis has called for a bold and creative strategy to deal with global migration, insisting Europe has the means to absorb refugees without sacrificing its security or culture.

In a speech on Monday to the Holy See’s diplomatic corps, the pontiff lamented the distinction made by the international community between refugees fleeing persecution and those fleeing poverty.

Human history had been marked by great waves of migration, and humanity today must not let security fears replace the principle of respecting the dignity of others, he said…………….

Police in Jerusalem are investigating whether fire on Sunday was deliberately lit after spate of attacks across country

 Israeli firefighters outside the offices of human rights group B’Tselem.
 

Israeli firefighters at the entrance to the building that houses the offices of human rights group B’Tselem. Photograph: Ronen Zvulun/Reuters

A suspected arson attack has caused extensive damage to the Jerusalem offices of one of Israel’s leading human rights groups.

Firefighters arrived at the offices of B’Tselem, an Israeli group that monitors human rights among Palestinians, in a quiet Jerusalem neighbourhood, and extinguished the blaze. There were no reports of casualties, Luba Samri, a police spokeswoman, said.

A spokeswoman for the group said the blaze had caused extensive damage.

“A fire broke out at B’Tselem’s office in Jerusalem this evening. None of our staff were in the building,” she said.

“Initial reports published by the media indicate that police suspect arson. If it is discovered that this was an arson attack, it must be seen in the context of the wave of government incitement and smear campaigns against Israel’s human rights groups, and B’Tselem in particular.”

But she said the fire would not stop the organisation’s work of documenting and exposing human rights abuses under the occupation.

Speaking on public radio, a representative for the fire service did not rule out the……………..

A ‘substantial’ number of educators are expected to be absent from at least 40 schools in a district facing financial calamity with liabilities of $3.5bn

An estimated 41 cents out of every state dollar appropriated for students in Michigan is spent on debt service, according to an analysis by the Citizens Research Council.

An estimated 41 cents out of every state dollar appropriated for students in Michigan is spent on debt service, according to an analysis by the Citizens Research Council. Photograph: Alamy Stock Photo

A “substantial” number of teachers from at least 40 schools in Detroit’s public school district will participate in a “sickout” on Monday, the Guardian has learned. The move for teachers to simultaneously call in sick, fueled by frustration over large class sizes and “abominable” working conditions, could close nearly half the district.

Detroit teachers have recently staged numerous such organized mass absences from work, prompting closures at some of the largest schools in the city of 680,000.

State and local education officials have criticized what they call an “unethical” approach to raising concerns that they say hurts students the most.

Teachers say students are already devastated by conditions in the district, which is facing financial calamity with liabilities of $3.5bn.

Last week, nearly a half-dozen schools closed for at least one day due to teacher sickouts. On Monday that number could climb, according to two sources with knowledge of the plan who spoke to the Guardian.

It is unclear what impact the pledges will have on school closures, but such a large-scale demonstration could prompt the closure of nearly half the districts’ 103 schools, which include an estimated 47,000 students.

Conditions in classrooms are “abominable”, said Steve Conn, a teacher and former president of the Detroit Federation of Teachers who was removed from office for alleged misconduct in August. Conn has vowed to contest those charges.

“I’ve been a resident of Detroit for 30 years … my daughter grew up in the neighborhood, went to Detroit public schools, and the conditions increasingly, especially since 2007 with the financial crisis, have been awful,” he told the Guardian…………….

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US politics

Ted Cruz insists he is a natural-born citizen after new Donald Trump attack

Ex-New Mexico governor feels time may be right for third-party presidential run 

Planned Parenthood endorses Hillary Clinton in presidential ra

Harvard scholar: Ted Cruz’s citizenship, eligibility for president ‘unsettled’

Marco Rubio turns fire on Republican rivals Ted Cruz and Chris Christie

Opinion:Iowa’s righteous Crusade: senator courts the holy and the wholly fed up

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