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4. Yarie Camara

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4. Yarie Camara by Tostan International
4. Yarie Camara, a photo by Tostan International on Flickr.

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CNN Security Clearance

By Barbara Starr

Just three months ago, the four-star chief of the U.S. Africa Command warned of a growing threat from al Qaeda and other militant groups in Libya.
“There is a real concern in Libya. As Libya is coming out of the revolution and forming its new government, there very clearly are those who wish to undermine the formation of that government,” said Gen. Carter Ham in a speech to senior military and civilian officials from Africa, Europe and the U.S.

“We see some worrying indicators that al Qaeda and others are seeking to establish a presence in Libya,” Ham warned. Ham often worked closely with the late Chris Stevens, the U.S. ambassador to Libya, killed in the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi.

Ham has been trying to establish the initial stages of a military relationship with Libya, but the effort has been slowed by the presence…

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Now is the time to tackle the schoolbook publishing industry

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Now is the time to tackle the schoolbook publishing industry.

“The development of the ebook sector offers the Department an opportunity to reshape the field, so that it works for the student, parent and school instead of for the publishing industry. I believe that we should demand clarity now from ebook publishers around how they plan to handle edits and reissues, and the pricing of ebooks generally…”

“Now is the time for the Department of Education to rethink the way classroom material is compiled, published, updated, priced and paid for. The sector is changing. We have to power now to change it for the better. Let’s not just drift into the next chapter and spend another generation complaining about it.”


Newspaper initiative to improve literacy

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Newspaper initiative to improve literacy.

AN INITIATIVE to give transition year students a better idea of how newspapers work and to improve literacy will begin on Monday.  The Press Pass scheme will see free national and regional newspapers distributed to 14,000 students in 250 schools over a fortnight.  They will be accompanied by a workbook.

The idea “should help to improve literacy standards for those students taking part” because of the “strong yet practical focus on reading and writing”, Minister for Education Ruairí Quinn said yesterday.

The initiative by National Newspapers of Ireland (NNI) is in conjunction with the Department of Education.

Asylum children go hungry, says report

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Asylum children go hungry, says report.

MANY CHILDREN in the State’s asylum process are living in extreme poverty in overcrowded accommodation with inadequate food, according to a report published yesterday.

The Irish Refugee Council report paints a grim picture of the State’s system for accommodating asylum-seekers, known as direct provision.  It documents frequent instances of malnutrition among children and expectant mothers, as well as illnesses related to diet among babies and young children….

 Of the 5,098 people residing in reception centres for asylum-seekers, over one third, or 1,789, are children.

Families are given an allowance of €19.10 per week for an adult and €9.60 per child.

The system, which was set up in 2000 by the Department of Justice to deal with the increasing number of asylum claimants, was intended to house applicants and their families for six months.

However, the report says asylum-seekers in Ireland typically spent four years in the system, and in some cases over seven years, awaiting the processing of asylum claims….

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Child deaths down 40% – UN

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Child deaths down 40% – UN.

COUNTRIES ACROSS the world are making rapid progress on child survival rates, showing it is possible to bring down child mortality significantly in two decades, according to Unicef, the United Nations Children’s Fund.

In its latest report on child survival, the organisation hailed a sharp drop of about 40 per cent in the number of children under the age of five dying, with the estimated global toll falling from nearly 12 million in 1990 to 6.9 million in 2011…

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