Review Category : Top Stories

UN Report: Brutal Attacks on Schoolgirls on the Rise

Andrew Burton/Getty Images(GENEVA) — Attacks on schoolgirls and girls’ education are on the rise, according to a new report from the United Nations office of human rights.

“Attacks against girls accessing education persist and, alarmingly, appear in some countries to be occurring with increasing regularity,” the report notes.

The BBC cites an international study published last year finding about 9,600 attacks in 70 countries between 2009 and 2013.

The report cited a handful of high-profile attacks in recent years. In Pakistan, in the deadliest attack of this kind in years, the Pakistani Taliban slaughtered 140 people, including at least 132 students at a military-run school in December 2014.

Two years prior, then 15-year-old Malala Yousufzai was shot at close range in the head by a Taliban gunman in Pakistan, making her the face of the struggle to educate girls. Here, she’s shown reading a book at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, England. She has since completely recovered and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize at age 17.

The international community rallied around the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls when the Nigerian-based terrorist group Boko Haram abducted 300 school girls from the northern Nigerian town Chibok April in 2013.

Malala this weekend marked 300 days since the abduction, criticizing the Nigerian government on her blog: “Nigerian leaders and the international community can and must do much more to resolve this crisis and change their weak response to date,” she wrote. “If these girls were the children of politically or financially powerful parents, much more would be done to free them. But they come from an impoverished area of north-east Nigeria and sadly little has changed since they were kidnapped.”

In April of 2013, Sikh school children held placards during a protest after the brutal rape of a 5-year old girl at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi, India. Last April, two 5-year-old girls were kidnapped separately, brutally raped within weeks of each other.

“Attacks on girls’ education have a ripple effect — not only do they impact on the lives of the girls and communities who are directly concerned, they also send a signal to other parents and guardians that schools are not safe places for girl,” the report notes.

But despite the dangers that persist, removing girls from educational environments “may result in additional human rights violations such as child and forced marriage, domestic violence, early pregnancy, exposure to other harmful practices, trafficking and sexual and labor exploitation,” the report concludes.

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11 Questions for George Pataki, Potential 2016 Presidential Candidate

ABC News(WASHINGTON) — Meet yet another Republican who might want to be your next president: George Pataki.

Not ringing any bells?

Even the former New York governor acknowledged in a recent interview with Newsmax, “People don’t remember who I am, but we can remind them of that.”

Pataki, 69, served as governor of New York from 1995 to 2007, but has since moved to the private sector. Now, he’s flirting with a run for the nation’s highest office — the third time he’s done so since 2008 — and he recently launched a super PAC called, “We the People, Not Washington.”

ABC News recently spoke with Pataki about his potential 2016 run. The questions have been edited and his answers trimmed for length and clarity.

1. I hear that you are “seriously” considering running for president.

That’s correct.

2. You also considered running in 2008 and 2012. What’s making you think about it again?

I look at what is happening in the country and I look at what’s happening in the world, and I think we just have dreadful leadership in Washington. We need to dramatically change the direction of this country and change the leadership in Washington. …Having led a large state with a very complex government — a large blue state I might add — for 12 years and having been able to not just run the state well, but completely change everything from the economic climate to the finances to replacing a culture of dependency with one of opportunity, I believe that I have the ability to not just win an election but to govern this country well and to change its direction.

3. You were a three-term governor. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, a fellow Republican and possible 2016 presidential candidate, said he thinks the next Republican presidential nominee should be an outsider — more specifically, a governor. Do you agree?

I think it’s a little self-serving for a governor to say the next president has to be a governor. I think it’s enormously important that that person have the ability to show their executive skills and capability at managing something, and I know I have that experience and ability.

4. Hasn’t it been a while since you last ran for something? I think your last campaign was in 2002.

Well, as a candidate. But in 2010, I led a group aimed at trying to stop Obamacare from being enacted and then to defeat those who have voted for it. And that was very successful.

5. Do you enjoy the campaign trail?


It seems to me to come naturally. I enjoy meeting with people. I enjoy engaging [in] ideas even with those who don’t necessarily agree with me. So now, I enjoyed campaigning when I ran for office in New York, and assuming I take that final step and become a candidate for president I have no doubt I’ll be out there enjoying it, working hard. No one’s going to outwork me, and I’m actually looking forward to it.

6. You were recently in the early primary state of New Hampshire to give a speech and meet with locals. How did that go?

It was tremendous. One of the things I love about New Hampshire is that so much of the politics is retail, where you get to sit across the table with people and hear their ideas and let them hear your ideas, as opposed to a 30-second sound bite on a TV commercial.

7. You have some rather sweeping plans for reforming Washington, including congressional term limits (two terms in the Senate and six terms in the House). Tell me more.

Right now, there are over 400 former members of the House and Senate…who are registered lobbyists in Washington. One element of my reform agenda would be to pass a law saying [if] you served one day in Congress, there’s a lifetime ban on you ever being a lobbyist. I think this is absolutely critical so that people who get elected in both parties from all other the country understand that they’re not just going to stay there and make 10 times what they do in Washington as they would going back home.

The second would be to say that whenever Congress passes a law that applies to the American people, it has to apply to them as well and to their staff. When they passed Obamacare telling the American people how great it would be for us, it wasn’t good enough for them so they exempted themselves and their staff — and that’s just wrong.

I think 12 years means that if someone chose to serve that long, whether you were in the Senate or the House, you would have to face the voters again. And I think that’s a good thing. And it would be enough time for people to be able to develop the expertise to influence the process but not so long that they would end up captive of the interest groups that have so much power in Washington today.

8. You were governor of New York during the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. How has that shaped your view of foreign policy now?

It was obviously the most horrific day, certainly for me, for the people of New York, but I think for America, as well, because it was the worst attack on civilians in America in our history. And that’s one of the reasons I feel so strongly about the need to get involved in this race. Because I look at what’s happening around the world and I saw the consequences of looking the other way on Sept. 11.

We have got to be proactive in destroying ISIS and any group that poses a clear threat to our safety here in the United States before they have the chance to carry out those attacks. …I believe we have to take action now, including, if necessary — and I believe it probably is — boots on the ground, to go in, destroy this nest of poisonous vipers before they can attack us here. …But we have to launch a quick, powerful sudden strike that destroys as much of ISIS and any other radical Islamic groups that pose a threat to our security here — and then get out.

I honestly believe we are at greater risk of an attack in the United States today than at any time since Sept. 11.

9. If you decide not to run, who do you think would make a good president?

The Republican Party has a lot of good, talented people who probably will run. It’s good for the party and good for the country.

10. So, West Wing, House of Cards, or Veep — which one is your favorite?

I’ve watched West Wing, I’ve watched parts of House of Cards and I watch Veep. I think Veep is hilarious and, as someone who ran a government and was a governor for 12 years, I find it to be a very funny show.

11. Any hints about when you’re going to say whether you’re in or out for 2016?

No timeline. I just intend to continue to be very active around the country and to speak out.

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Monday Interview: Save Our Neighborhoods

02/09/15     5:30 a.m.

The Hancock County ADAMHS Board has dealt with strong criticism following a January meeting about a proposed addiction recovery home at 1900 Greendale Ave. in Findlay.

The ADAMHS Board will be holding a public forum tonight. Though the structure of the forum will be different from that of last month’s meeting, there will be plenty of opposition at this meeting as well.

Tom Drake is a resident of the neighborhood as well as a local attorney. Drake is the spokesperson for the “Save Our Neighborhoods!” group who has organized in resistance of the home. He said now is the time for residents to take a stand.

Audio: Tom Drake

The City of Findlay’s zoning code defines a boarding house as, “A building other than a motel or hotel with three (3) or more guest rooms used as permanent (more than four (4) weeks) lodging for compensation.” The code does not define a group home, but says each resident of a group home must have their own bedroom.

According to Drake, what the ADAMHS Board is planning fits the definition of a boarding home more accurately based on the zoning code.

Audio: Tom Drake

Drake said the group’s position is straightforward. They are not opposed to recovery homes in Findlay, they just don’t belong in single-family neighborhoods as the residents of the home are not a single family.

Audio: Tom Drake

As far as a solution, Drake it is simple. The group believes the city should step in and tell ADAMHS they may not have a boarding house in a single-family neighborhood. Either that or the board should realize they made a mistake on their own and relocate to a neighborhood where this type of home would be zoned appropriately.

According to Drake “Save Our Neighborhoods!” has given the board more than a month to realize their mistake and find a solution. He said after his meeting with them on three separate occassions, they have given no intention of relocating. The group would like a decision by ADAMHS’ Feb. 24 board meeting. Should ADAMHS decide against relocation Drake said the group is considering options, one of which is legal action.

Recovery Housing Program Agreement and Rules

Recovery Housing Application

Recovery Residences FAQ

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Even with Cheaper Gas, Motorists Still Looking for Bargains

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — It was nice while it lasted. Gasoline prices, which recently hit a six-year low, are on the way up again, rising by as much as a nickel to 20 cents per gallon compared to this time last week, depending on where you drive.

Still, prices aren’t supposed to rise too much in the near future, good news for consumers.

Yet, they’re still looking for bargains, however they can get them. For instance, the National Association of Convenience Stores says that just over seven in 10 motorists will pay in cash for a savings of five cents a gallon.

Meanwhile, about two-third would travel an extra five minutes for a filling station that sells gas for a nickel a gallon less.

The survey found that price is the determining factor for where 71 percent of drivers go for gas.

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High-Speed Chase in Australia Comes to a Chaotic End

Queensland, Australia Police(BRISBANE, Australia) — Extraordinary video emerged Monday showing the chaotic moment two men — at least one of them armed with a handgun — fled their vehicle following a high-speed car chase and sprinted into oncoming freeway traffic.

The car chase started in Brisbane and ended nearly 100 miles away in New South Wales when their stolen car, a blue Mitsubishi Lancer, ran into road spikes, authorities said.

The men, one clad in shorts and the other in pants, can be seen weaving through traffic and appeared to open fire on at least one car on the freeway, and allegedly fired at the police, authorities said. One of the men can be seen pointing a gun directly at an oncoming car, but the driver plowed past and the man flew off the windshield, his gun sliding across the roadway.

Police said the two men will face charges for attempted murder and carjacking at least three cars.

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Islanders Place Grabner on IR

Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images(BUFFALO, N.Y.) — New York Islanders winger Michael Grabner was placed on injured reserve Sunday with an undisclosed injury.

Grabner has played in just 18 games this season due to a multitude of injuries. During his limited action, Grabner has scored just five goals and dished out two assists.

The 27-year-old Grabner was selected with the 14th overall pick in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft by the Vancouver Canucks. He has played his last five seasons with the Islanders, his best coming in 2010-11 when he scored 34 goals and tallied 52 points in 76 games.

The Islanders have recalled Colin McDonald and Harry Zolnierczyk from their AHL affiliate in Bridgeport to compensate for the loss of Grabner.

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Islanders Place Grabner on IR

Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images(BUFFALO, N.Y.) — New York Islanders winger Michael Grabner was placed on injured reserve Sunday with an undisclosed injury.

Grabner has played in just 18 games this season due to a multitude of injuries. During his limited action, Grabner has scored just five goals and dished out two assists.

The 27-year-old Grabner was selected with the 14th overall pick in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft by the Vancouver Canucks. He has played his last five seasons with the Islanders, his best coming in 2010-11 when he scored 34 goals and tallied 52 points in 76 games.

The Islanders have recalled Colin McDonald and Harry Zolnierczyk from their AHL affiliate in Bridgeport to compensate for the loss of Grabner.

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More Snow Expected for Northeast

David De Lossy/Digital Vision/Thinkstock(BOSTON) — More snow is expected in Boston, which has already been hit with nearly five feet of snow this winter.

Parts of New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire and Main were under winter storm warnings or advisories. The National Weather Service’s Boston office said that parts of Massachusetts could see up to two feet of snow.

Snowfall totals updated! Note that these include the snow that has already fallen: pic.twitter.com/NRIN1JCQvF

— NWS Boston (@NWSBoston) February 8, 2015

On Sunday afternoon, the city of Boston announced that public schools would be closed by Monday and Tuesday due to snow.

It’s been a snowy few weeks for the area. According to the NWS, Boston has seen 54.2 inches of snow since July 1, 2014, while Worcester, Massachusetts, has been hit by 77.7 inches in the same timespan.

It has been a snowy few weeks! Check out how Boston & Worcester stack up against the rest of the country: pic.twitter.com/y1ibU6YUOp

— NWS Boston (@NWSBoston) February 8, 2015

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Biden Meets with Kurdish Leader to Discuss Battle Against ISIS

Photo by Timm Schamberger/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — Vice President Joe Biden met with Kurdish regional President Masoud Barzani on Sunday to discuss the battle against ISIS.

According to a readout of the meeting from the White House, Biden spoke with Barzani about “regional developments, cooperation between Erbil and Baghdad, and the ongoing fight against [ISIS].” Barzani expressed his appreciation for the U.S. support and assistance.

The two leaders also discussed “additional U.S. and coalition assistance” for Kurdish Peshmerga forces during the intensification of operations against ISIS.

Biden was in Munich over the weekend, taking part in a NATO conference regarding the ongoing tensions in Ukraine.

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Jordan’s Foreign Minister Says ‘This Is Our War’ Against ISIS

MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Jordan’s foreign minister said Sunday his government wants to send the message that America’s Arab allies are not pursuing the U.S.’s goals in the battle against ISIS, but instead have their own reasons to battle the group’s advance.

“This is our war,” Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh said on This Week.

Jordan’s aggressive pursuit of military strikes, Judeh said, supports “this idea that we’re promoting, that is an Arab fight and it has to have an Arab stamp to it.”

“This is not the West’s fight and we are joining it,” the foreign minister continued. “It just so happens that there’s a convergence with the West.”

Judeh said it is an Arab fight because the battle is partly a religious one.

“When I say Arab stamp, what I’m saying essentially is Arab Muslim stamp,” he said, explaining that “this is a fight against people who are distorting our religion.”

Crucial to defeating ISIS, therefore, is “the ideological war,” Judeh added.

Judeh told George Stephanopoulos he believes Jordan’s increasing commitment to the fight against ISIS was inspiring other Arab Muslim countries to go above and beyond their commitments to the coalition.

“You saw for example yesterday the United Arab Emirates’ deciding to send a squadron of F-16s that will be stationed in Jordan,” the Jordanian official said.

Judeh nonetheless painted a dark picture of the current state of affairs in Iraq and Syria.

In the wake of the horrific killing by ISIS militants of the young Jordanian Air Force pilot they had captured, Judeh acknowledged that ISIS “still control[s] vast territory, they still have access to serious cash and funds, and they have access to sophisticated weaponry.”

Victory over the group, he said, was “not going to be easy and it’s not going to be quick.”

But Judeh praised retired Marine Gen. John Allen, the new coordinator of the military effort against the Islamic State, who he says is “doing amazing work.”

Judeh further maintained that the significant dissent and disagreement within his country when Jordan first joined the anti-ISIS operations was “gone.”

“The ugliness and the most horrible way of how our pilot was murdered” changed the mind of “the few who were perhaps opposed to this intervention against terrorists,” Judeh said, adding that that Jordanians were “all united now that these people have to be fought and be eradicated.”

Still, Judeh said, “We are extremely fortunate to have all the Western countries helping us.”

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