UNICEF: 65 Million Girls Kept From School
Thu Dec 11, 6:43 AM ET
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By NAOMI KOPPEL, Associated Press Writer

GENEVA - Some 65 million girls worldwide are kept out of school, increasing the risks that they will suffer from extreme poverty, die in childbirth or from AIDS (news - web sites) and pass those dangers on to future generations, the U.N. children's fund said Thursday.

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UNICEF (news - web sites) Executive Director Carol Bellamy said investment in education was the best way to close the gender gap.


"We believe that the failure to invest in girls' education puts in jeopardy more development goals than any other single action that could take place," she told The Associated Press.


In its annual State of the World's Children report, UNICEF said 121 million children around the world are out of school — and the majority of them are girls.


"When a girl is without the knowledge and life skills that school can provide, there are immediate and long-term effects; she is exposed to many more risks than her educated counterparts and the consequences are bequeathed to the next generation," the study said.


U.N. "millennium goals" on poverty reduction commit the world to parity for boys and girls in primary education by 2005, but most specialists acknowledge that this will be impossible to achieve.


"The single largest obstacle to girls going to school is school fees, even though in many places it costs almost as much to collect them as is collected," Bellamy said. "We strongly urge the abolition of school fees."


When poor families are forced to make a choice, they decide to pay for the education of their sons. That doesn't mean they don't want their daughters to be educated as well, she said.


Bellamy gave the example of Kenya, where school attendance has shot up by at least 1.2 million since primary school fees were abolished at the beginning of this year.


Throughout Africa, UNICEF said, a push to get girls into school has seen big improvements. Over five years, school enrollment rates for girls rose by 15 percent in Guinea, 12 percent in Senegal and 9 percent in Benin.


In the most striking example, the number of girls enrolled in first grade in the central African country of Chad quadrupled in two years.


Despite the successes, however, at the current rate of funding it was estimated that it will take until 2129 to achieve universal primary education in sub-Saharan Africa, according to UNICEF.


UNICEF said campaigns to educate girls also benefit boys because it is rare for education to be offered to girls alone, although the reverse might not be true.


The 147-page study said that universal education has widely been considered a luxury rather than a basic human right.


It said countries and donors often have considered that boosting economic performance will lead to social gains like schooling for girls but in fact the reverse is true — improving social welfare leads to economic progress.


But educating girls in particular also has wider social benefits, Bellamy said.


"A girl gets an education and she is more likely to be healthy. Her children are less likely to die before the age of 5. She is more likely to make choices about her life," she said. "It doesn't make it all go away, but she becomes more of a functioning person in society."




Because educated girls and women better understand health issues, every extra year of education reduces the number of women who die in childbirth by two per thousand, the study added.

UNICEF called on politicians and other leaders to make girls' education a core component of development efforts, ensure that primary education is free and universal and hold governments accountable for progress.

It also called for increased international funding for education. UNICEF estimates that donors may need to provide as much as $60 billion between now and 2015 to ensure girls' education, but the agency says education is an "ideal investment" because of the wide benefits.

"Girls' education costs money, but it isn't a break-the-bank price tag item," Bellamy said.

Blast Shatters Housing Enclave in Saudi Capital Sun Nov 9, 8:54 AM ET Add Top Stories - The New York Times to My Yahoo!
By NEIL MacFARQUHAR The New York Times CAIRO, Sunday, Nov. 9 Saudi Arabia's capital, Riyadh, was rocked by a huge explosion just before midnight Saturday in what the country's Interior Ministry described as a terrorist attack against a residential compound.
• Dean's New Steps Reshape Contest • Between Two Homes and Two Peoples, a Soldier Wanders • For the latest breaking news, visit NYTimes.com • Get DealBook, a daily email digest of corporate finance newsDealBook. Search NYTimes.com: Today'sNewsPast WeekPast30 DaysPast 90 DaysPastYearSince 1996 There were reports of dozens of casualties, but the exact number could not be confirmed in the hours after the explosion, which occurred on a day that the American Embassy and other United States diplomatic facilities were closed because of warnings about just such an attack, Saudi officials and Western diplomats said. Preliminary figures indicated that 4 people had been killed and at least 40 had been wounded, Al Arabiya satellite television reported, quoting the Saudi health minister and other officials. Residents of the compound put the numbers far higher. The blast, probably a car bomb, was set off at the B2 residential compound in the Nakheel neighborhood in the western part of the city, diplomats said. The Saudi Interior Ministry issued a one-paragraph statement, carried by the official Saudi Press Agency, saying the explosion was a terrorist attack on Muhaya compound. The force of the blast could be heard across the sprawling capital, and Riyadh residents who lived miles away said they had felt their buildings shake. The explosion shattered windows throughout the walled compound, which housed mostly Arab residents as well as some Westerners, according to officials and witnesses. One American was hospitalized after the blast and a second remained unaccounted for, said Carol Kalin, a spokeswoman for the United States Embassy. She said "a handful" of Americans lived in the compound. Ms. Kalin said that the embassy would remain closed until further notice and that American diplomats were staying within the diplomatic quarter. Three suicide attacks against similar residential compounds in May, which Saudi Arabia said were carried out by Al Qaeda, killed 25 residents, including 8 Americans, as well as 9 suicide bombers. In their desire to drive all Western influence out of the Arabian peninsula, the militants are believed to include as targets any Arabs and Muslims who maintain the same kind of relaxed ways of life as their Western counterparts behind the high walls of such compounds. Pictures broadcast from the scene showed smoke and flames still erupting from several shattered residences two hours after the attack, the flames outlining palm trees in the otherwise dark night. Witnesses who live in the compound told Al Arabiya by telephone that there were scores of wounded and an unknown number of dead. The station broadcast live pictures from inside an unidentified hospital of a number of bloodied men, women and children being treated for wounds. The American Embassy, situated three miles away from the attack site in the heavily protected diplomatic quarter, issued a warning on Friday about an imminent terrorist attack and was closed to the public on Saturday. The United States Consulates on opposite coasts in Dhahran and Jidda were also closed. The United States and the British and Australian governments had issued travel advisories at the beginning of the holy month of Ramadan, two weeks ago, warning of a possible terrorist attack. The American Embassy's warning told American citizens to be on alert during a month when some might try to exploit the period of heightened religious awareness to strike. Ms. Kalin, the embassy spokeswoman, said all embassy personnel were accounted for immediately after the attack. "I heard a blast and saw a light; others were woken up by the blast," said Ms. Kalin, who was in the diplomatic quarter, a walled enclave where virtually all embassies are situated. The spokeswoman said the embassy and consulates had been closed Saturday because "there were threats that had gone beyond planning to an operational stage." "They were threatening enough that we decided to close our facilities to the public," she said. "We also warned that Americans should use extreme vigilance at any location perceived to be Western or American." Hanadi al-Ghandaki, described by Al Arabiya as the manager of the compound, said it had some 200 residential villas, virtually all occupied by Saudis, Lebanese or other Arabs. She said residents included a family from France, two from Germany and one from England. Several helicopters with powerful searchlight beams hovered over the stricken area on Sunday morning, aiding the search for survivors. "We heard a very strong explosion, and we saw the fire," Bassem al-Hourani, another man identified as a resident by Al Arabiya, said by telephone. "I heard screams of the children and women," he said. "I don't know what happened to my friends, if anybody was injured. All the glass in my house were shattered." Initial reports also suggested that the explosion had been preceded by two smaller ones and gunfire. That would fit the same pattern as the attacks in the spring, when the suicide bombers first tried to fight their way past the gates and then blew up booby-trapped cars. They were foiled at one compound when guards managed to put up the security barrier, but they breached the other two. Until the May attacks, the Saudi royal family had largely brushed aside the possibility of Al Qaeda cells existing in the kingdom. The May incidents prompted a crackdown, with raids that led to the arrests of some 600 terrorists and huge caches of weapons. There were a number of incidents this month, including one on Thursday in which two suspects fleeing from the police in Mecca blew themselves up. The country's clergy have rolled out repeated statements condemning such attacks as outside Islam. At the same time, the ruling Saud family has responded to numerous petitions about the lack of democratic freedom in the country, promising municipal elections at a future unspecified date. The attacks in May followed a botched attempt by the Saudi security services to seize a cell that the Interior Ministry accused of being linked to Al Qaeda. A senior Saudi official said 19 suspected militants, 17 of whom are Saudis, had been sought in the raid but had escaped. The suspects, the official said, had served in Afghanistan (news - web sites) or Chechnya (news - web sites) and had links to radical clerics. Saudi agents seized a huge arms cache 800 pounds of advanced explosives along with hand grenades, assault rifles and ammunition as well as disguises and tens of thousands of dollars in cash. Saudi and American officials have said since then that they are still seeking to track down members of that cell as important ringleaders and have refused to specify how many remain at large. Most foreigners in Saudi Arabia live in walled, gated communities that allow them to escape the strict legal codes of the Wahhabi sect of Islam prevalent in the kingdom. Liquor is readily available, and men and women can mix freely at the swimming pools on most compounds, liberties unthinkable elsewhere in Saudi Arabia. Many of the Westernized, educated Arab technocrats who work there choose to live in the compounds because they were educated in the West or were accustomed to a less religious environment. A brief notice was posted on an Internet site favored by Al Qaeda in February, warning Saudis that they should not live side by side with possible targets, specifically Americans. The kingdom is dependent on Western technical expertise for its oil industry and has long imported foreign specialists for its hospitals and other services. But the presence of such enclaves grates on the fundamentalists. At least a half-dozen bombs planted under cars in recent years killed three foreigners and maimed several others. Americans were the main victims of both the 1996 bombing of the Khobar Towers in eastern Saudi Arabia and a 1995 attack on a Saudi National Guard center. New Page 1
Lynch: Military manipulated story
Former POW
says rescue
shouldn’t have
been filmed
  Image: Jessica Lynch
Former POW Jessica Lynch was captured March 23 after her convoy was ambushed in the southern Iraqi city of Nasiriyah. She was rescued from an Iraqi hospital April 1 by U.S. forces.

PALESTINE, W.Va., Nov. 7 —  Former prisoner of war Jessica Lynch said the U.S. military was wrong to manipulate the story of her dramatic rescue and should not have filmed it in the first place.

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       THE 20-YEAR-OLD private told ABC’s Diane Sawyer in a “Primetime” interview to air Tuesday that she was bothered by the military’s portrayal of her ordeal.
       “They used me as a way to symbolize all this stuff,” she said in an excerpt from the interview, posted Friday on the network’s Web site. “It hurt in a way that people would make up stories that they had no truth about,” she said.
       She also said there was no reason for her rescue from an Iraqi hospital to be filmed. “It’s wrong,” she said.
       The former Army supply clerk suffered broken bones and other injuries when her maintenance convoy was attacked in the Iraqi town of Nasiriyah on March 23. U.S. forces rescued Lynch at a Nasiriyah hospital April 1.
       Early reports had Lynch fighting her attackers until she ran out of ammunition and suffering knife and bullet wounds. Military officials later acknowledged that Lynch wasn’t shot, but was hurt after her Humvee utility vehicle was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade and crashed into another vehicle.
       Lynch told Sawyer she was just in the wrong place at the wrong time, and that her gun jammed during the chaos. “I’m not about to take credit for something I didn’t do,” she said.
       “I did not shoot, not a round, nothing ... I went down praying to my knees. And that’s the last I remember.”
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       Lynch said she was terrified and feared for her life during her time in the Iraqi hospital, and didn’t believe she was being rescued until she was being evacuated in a U.S. helicopter. Then, Lynch said, she felt, “My God, this is real. I’m going home.”
       Footage of the rescue was aired repeatedly on television networks reporting how a special forces team bravely fought into and out of the hospital. “I don’t think it happened quite like that,” Lynch said.
       But she praised the soldiers who rescued her. “They’re the ones that came in to rescue me. Those are my heroes ... I’m so thankful that they did what they did. They risked their lives. They didn’t know, you know, who was in there.”
       On Thursday, newspaper reports revealed Lynch had been raped during her capture. The assault was revealed in Lynch’s authorized biography — “I am a Soldier, Too: The Jessica Lynch Story.” The 207-page book will be released by publisher Alfred A. Knopf on Tuesday, Veterans Day.
       According to the newspapers, the rape was documented by medical records. Lynch told Sawyer she has no recollection of the attack. “Even just the thinking about that, that’s too painful,” she said

SAMPLE OBJECTIVE #2: Write a summary paragraph on the WORLD WIDE WEB (WWW) OWNERSHIP RIGHTS Using two Search Engines for research of the Internet!

SAMPLE OBJECTIVE # 3-Students will create A model 21st Century Military International Bilingual E-School On-Line...BOYS'SCOUT IN SPAIN!


    SAMPLE OBJECTIVE # 4-Students will Define woman power and create a database of important women in Science who contributed to international anti-kidnapping Laws. Students Learn Meaning Of Veteran's Day Fri Nov 7, 8:12 PM ET Add Local - WCVB TheBostonChannel.com to My Yahoo! On Tuesday, America will mark Veteran's Day and for a new generation, the events in Iraq (news - web sites) this year have shed new light on what it means to be a soldier. • Sign Up For E-Mail News • Today's Local Headlines • Check Weather Forecast! • Get A Great Deal On Your Next Car NewCenter 5's Jorge Quiroga reported that several local communities began marking the holiday Friday. In a week that has seen some of the worst U.S. casualties in Iraq, students at Paul Revere School know what Veteran's Day means. "It's a day of respectfulness. We honor people who fight by night and day," one student said. "I was thinking of all the people that died, and I felt really bad for them. I kind of hope that they were still here," student Edgar Duran said. With the casualties in Iraq mounting every day, it was also a moment to honor fathers and mothers, sons and daughters who are far from home in harm's way. "This is what I am here for today, to let you know about my two boys," Vietnam veteran Ed Contilli said. Contilli is the father of two sons in Iraq. He said that they face a war that is far different than the one he fought. "Just want to tell you what my children have told me. The Iraqi people are wonderful people. They have taken children into their hearts and taken them into their homes. So, understand that why we are there is to free them," Contilli said. Many remember the classmate whose father was killed in combat. "He was very sad when his dad died, so when he came back from third grade he wasn't so happy," one student said. The Paul Revere School is just one small school touched by the valor of 175 veterans. In the hallway, there is a star for every loved one. New Page 1
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    Bush Rejects Europeans on Iraq Contract Flap
    55 minutes ago
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    By Steve Holland

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Bush (news - web sites) on Thursday rejected European criticism of his decision to bar Iraq (news - web sites) war opponents from $18.6 billion in U.S. reconstruction money for Iraq and said contracts would be reserved for those countries that risked lives in Iraq.

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    "It's very simple. Our people risked their lives. Friendly coalition folks risked their lives, and therefore the contracting is going to reflect that, and that's what the U.S. taxpayers expect," Bush said.


    The decision to bar war opponents like France, Russia and Germany from the contracts generated outrage in Europe and triggered new transatlantic tensions.


    The timing of the announcement created a new challenge for Bush, coming as he prepared to send former Secretary of State James Baker to France, Germany and Russia as well as Italy and Britain to seek debt restructuring for Iraq.


    "If these countries want to participate in helping the world become more secure, by enabling Iraq to emerge as a free and peaceful country, one way to contribute is through debt restructuring," Bush said.


    But helping reduce Iraq's estimated $120 billion foreign debt will not mean those nations can compete for the $18.6 billion, he said.


    White House spokesman Scott McClellan said Baker, a Bush family friend, will leave on Monday for Europe and will report back to Bush.


    "We all share the same goal of helping the Iraqi people build a better and brighter future and they should not be saddled with the debt of a brutal regime," McClellan said.


    Bush telephoned French President Jacques Chirac, German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and Russian President Vladimir Putin (news - web sites) on Wednesday to ask them to receive Baker.


    Bush scoffed at a question seeking his reaction to Schroeder's statement on Thursday that international law must apply to the awarding of the contracts.


    "International law? I better call my lawyer," he said.


    The European Union (news - web sites)'s governing commission had said it would investigate whether the decision violated world trade rules. The United States insists that its decision conforms to world trade rules.


    Companies likely to benefit most come from Britain, Japan, Italy, the Netherlands, Australia, South Korea (news - web sites) and Poland.


    Other supporters of the war include Albania, Bulgaria, Denmark, Honduras, Hungary, Kazakhstan and the Philippines.


    U.S. officials said the decision applied only to the $18.6 billion in reconstruction funds approved by the U.S. Congress last month.


    They said $13 billion in international aid pledged at a recent donors conference in Madrid was eligible for broader international participation.


    Companies from countries not directly involved in Iraq's postwar reconstruction can also act as subcontractors if selected by those eligible to seek contracts under the U.S. fund.





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