2 Million Syrian Children Are Not Going to School, UN Says

Originally posted on World:

Nearly two million Syrian children — virtually an entire generation of the country’s kids — have dropped out of school over the last year, the UN said Friday, presenting yet another grim marker of the devastation caused by the country’s more than two-year-old civil war.

The figure represents almost 40 percent of all Syrian children in grades one through nine.

“For a country that was close to achieving universal primary education before the conflict started, the numbers are staggering,” Maria Calivis, UNICEF Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa, said in the statement. “Displacement, violence, fear and instability are robbing hundreds of thousands of children of the joy of learning.” More than 6 million Syrians, over a fourth of the population, have been displaced from their homes, the UN said Tuesday, including 2 million people who have fled the country entirely.

Many are among the one million child…

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Buckingham Palace: 2 arrested in trespass, burglary incident

Originally posted on This Just In:

British police arrested two men following a trespassing and burglary incident at Buckingham Palace this week, authorities said Saturday.
The Metropolitan Police are still investigating the incident Monday night in which at least one man scaled a security fence to gain entry to the palace.
One man was arrested for burglary, trespass and criminal damage, police said.
The man was found inside the palace in an area open to the public during the day, police said. The second man was arrested for alleged conspiracy to commit burglary.

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Starbucks to Invade Colombia, Home of Juan Valdez, the Iconic Coffee Man 1

Originally posted on World:

Will the mermaid rescue Juan Valdez? Or will she send the mythical Colombian coffee farmer and his faithful donkey over an Andean mountain cliff? That’s the question Colombians are debating following the Aug. 26 announcement that Seattle-based Starbucks plans to bring its famous green sea nymph logo to Colombia by opening 50 coffee houses over the next five years.

Starbucks’ decision comes at a low point for Colombia’s coffee industry. Growers are struggling to recover from massive flooding, diseased trees, diminished yields, cratering international prices and an overvalued Colombian peso that reduces the value of coffee exports. At a Bogotá news conference, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz portrayed his company as part of the solution and noted that Starbucks is already one of the largest buyers of Colombia’s premium washed Arabica beans.

But when the first stores open next year, Starbucks may put the squeeze on Colombia’s iconic Juan Valdez coffee…

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The Dark Side of Clearing America’s Rape Kit Backlog

Originally posted on U.S.:

In March 1993, a 40-year-old Cleveland crack addict, later called “Ellen” in local media reports, was viciously attacked and raped. She said her attacker came up to her on the street, hit her with a brick, sprayed her with mace, raped her and tried to strangle her with her sock. Her wounds required 300 stitches. But it wasn’t until 20 years later that police came to her door and announced they had a suspect. Charges were filed one day before the statute of limitations ran out.

Ellen’s case is one of thousands being reopened in a new national push to account for the what has been dubbed a vast “backlog” of untested “rape kits,” biological evidence collected from victims of alleged sexual assaults that has languished for a variety of reasons — some legitimate, others remiss —  before it’s compared to a national database of known criminals and unsolved crimes…

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