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  1. Britain's Secretary of State for International Development Andrew Mitchell (2nd R) and NGO Save the Children Chief Executive Justin Forsyth (C) talk with newly-arrived refugees at the Dagahaley refugee camp in Dadaab, near Kenya-Somalia border, July 16, 2011. REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya/Files LONDON: Save The Children UK apologised on Wednesday for historic inappropriate behaviour by its former chief executive and said procedures had not been properly followed in reviewing three complaints against him during his time at the charity. The apology came as charities in the aid sector pledge to overhaul their approach to dealing with allegations of sexual misconduct and harassment. Britain and the European Union put their funding of Oxfam under review after reported abuse by some staff in Haiti after an earthquake in 2010. Save the Children UK said concerns were raised in 2011 and 2015 about inappropriate comments and behaviour by ex-CEO Justin Forsyth, and reviews in both cases resulted in ?unreserved apologies? to the women involved. But the charity said that human resources processes had not been followed in every aspect. Save the Children said that current CEO Kevin Watkins would launch a ?root and branch review of organisational culture?, following broader concerns about sexual abuse and harassment in the aid sector. ?We apologise for any pain these matters have caused and sincerely hope that the complainants feel able to help us with the review in the coming weeks,? the charity said in a statement. Forsyth is now a Deputy Executive Director at Unicef. He told the BBC that his apologies for ?unsuitable and thoughtless conversations with colleagues? had been accepted, and he had ?thought the issue closed many years ago.? The charity said at the weekend that Brendan Cox, the widow of Jo Cox, a lawmaker who was murdered by a far-right extremist in 2016, had resigned as an employee of Save the Children after accusations of inappropriate behaviour. Cox, who had continued campaign work in his wife?s memory, apologised for his actions, saying they were not malicious but sometimes inappropriate, and said he would step down from public roles to face up to the mistakes he made while at Save the Children.
  2. OKARA: A man in Okara charged with sexually abusing and filming schoolchildren will be presented before a court here today. The suspect, Yousuf, used to sexually abuse and film schoolchildren and blackmail them, police said earlier this week. A lineman working for the Lahore Electric Supply Company (LESCO), Yousuf confessed to abusing students enrolled in a school he had established in Mehrok Kalan, which was run by his sister. Suspect Yousuf He was charged under the Anti-Terrorism Act, including sexual abuse clauses, said ASP Dipalpur Nosherwan Ali Chandeo. According to the latest revelation from the ongoing probe against the suspect, one of the victims alleged that Yousuf continued to blackmail him for eight years, even after the victim left Okara and moved to Lahore. Videos of the heinous acts were also seized from the accused and sent for forensics, police said. Okara man charged with sexually abusing, filming schoolchildren Yousuf admitted to abusing students enrolled in a school established by him In 2015, a paedophile ring was exposed circulating pornographic videos in Kasur, which led to the country tightening its legislation to protect children and criminalising sexual assault, child pornography, and trafficking for the first time. A 20-member committee was also formed by the Chief Minister of Punjab Shehbaz Sharif on safeguarding children last month, after a public outcry broke out when the violated body of a seven-year-old child was found in a garbage dump in Kasur. The Terms of Reference of the committee include "to deliberate and recommend replication of AMBER Alert system in Punjab" and "propose SOP to immediately know, locate and recover missing children, and to make our society children-friendly." The committee will also "intelligently use ICT to protect children in streets, parks, schools and in other public places", "review existing laws and criminal investigation procedures apropos child abduction and child abuse", and "propose revisions in school curriculum to educate children in dealing with strangers and self-protection."
  3. 10,620 girls and 7,242 boys were reported to have been subjected to abuse from January 2013-2017 ISLAMABAD: More than 17,000 children were subjected to abuse in the country from 2013 to 2017, according to statistics collected by child protection non-governmental organisation, Sahil. The report, presented in the National Assembly on Wednesday, paints a grim picture of the society: as many as 17,862 children ? 10,620 girls and 7,242 boys ? were reported to have suffered abuse in the four years from January 2013-January 2017. A total of 13,267 First Information Reports (FIRs) against child abuse were lodged with the police during the four-year period, the report stated. Also read: Empowering your child and preventing sexual abuse According to details pertaining to court convictions, 25 convicts were awarded death sentences while 11 convicts were given life sentences. Parenting tips on how to help prevent child abuse It?s time to empower your children to be brave and safe. Talk now. As per data released by Sahil earlier, as many as 11 cases of child sexual abuse are reported from across Pakistan every day. The NGO has been working since 1996 on child protection, with a focus on preventing child sexual abuse. It works towards its mission through advocacy, creating support systems for children, awareness on body protection, and enhancing legal and psychological services for victims of child sexual abuse.
  4. WELLINGTON: New Zealand ordered a high-level inquiry into historical abuse of children in state care Thursday, saying past failures must be acknowledged to prevent it happening again. The establishment of the Royal Commission into Historical Abuse in State Care meets an election commitment from Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who took power in October. It follows years of lobbying from former state wards who say they suffered sexual, physical and emotional abuse while in care. Ardern said the state effectively acted as a parent to society´s most vulnerable children and their abuse while in care was "unconscionable". "This is a chance to confront our history and make sure we don´t make the same mistakes again," she said. "It is a significant step towards acknowledging and learning from the experiences of those who have been abused in state care." The inquiry will start hearings later this year into allegations of abuse dating from 1950 to 1999. New Zealand´s Race Relations Commissioner Susan Devoy estimated last year that 100,000 children were taken into state care during that period. Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin said the inquiry would take a close look at the impacts on New Zealand´s indigenous Maori population who have traditionally made up a large proportion of children in care. Maori are the most disadvantaged community in New Zealand with higher rates of poverty, unemployment and imprisonment than the rest of the population, historically resulting in a disproportionate number of Maori children in care. The royal commission -- the most powerful inquiry that can be set up under New Zealand law -- will be headed by former governor-general Anand Satyanand. It will look at institutions which were directly run by the state -- including orphanages, borstals and psychiatric hospitals -- and those to which care was contracted out, such as churches. No deadline has been set for it to report back and similar inquiries in Australia, Britain and Canada have taken years.
  5. The postoperative progression of one child who received a new ear as part of the study. Photo taken from CNN Scientists in China have grown new ears for five children born with a defect that impacts the shape and function of the ear, according to CNN. According to the researchers, they have conducted a first-of-its-kind study to cure microtia ? in which external ear is small and not formed properly ? using cartilage cells from the children?s ears. The new cartilage was based on 3-D printed models of the children?s healthy ears. The researchers then transferred the engineered ears to the children and performed ear reconstruction, as per a study published in the journal, EBioMedicine. They followed each child for up to two and a half years, but said that long-term follow-ups would be required in future. Microtia is a condition which is estimated to occur in about one in every 5,000 live births. Usually, microtia is treated by sculpting an artificial plastic ear to the body and using the patient?s rib cartilage to create an ear. "This work clearly shows tissue engineering approaches for reconstruction of the ear and other cartilaginous tissues will become a clinical reality very soon," said Lawrence Bonassar, a professor of biomedical engineering and mechanical and aerospace engineering at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, who has studied 3-D-printed ears in microtia patients. "The aesthetics of the tissue produced are on par with what can be expected of the best clinical procedures at the present time." However, the approach has been around as an idea for some time, said Dr Tessa Hadlock, chief of facial plastic and reconstructive surgery at Massachusetts Eye and Ear in Boston. In 1997, researchers grew tissue-engineered cartilage in the shape of a human ear and then implanted them on mice.
  6. [embed_video1 url=http://stream.jeem.tv/vod/50d88e7ba28422ec3335be978b06f2fa.mp4/playlist.m3u8?wmsAuthSign=c2VydmVyX3RpbWU9MS8zMC8yMDE4IDI6NTA6MDcgUE0maGFzaF92YWx1ZT1GQ0l5MlJncUN3QU83eXhxNUJFQThRPT0mdmFsaWRtaW51dGVzPTYwJmlkPTE= style=center] KARACHI: Sindh Education Foundation?s Naheed Durrani gave a deadline of two-days to close a street school educating underprivileged children for free since the last three years in Karachi. The alleged threats to close the school were made to the school's administrator Syeda Anfas Ali Shah Zaidi, who is president of the Ocean Welfare Organisation. Zaidi has been running the school for street children near Abdullah Shah Ghazi?s shrine in the metropolis' upscale Clifton locality. While speaking to Geo News, she said an initial meeting was held with Sindh Education Foundation and claimed she was addressed in an inappropriate tone during the meeting. ?The way we are running the school, the entire world is watching,? said Anfas. She added that the school's students have refused to be moved to any other institution. However, Naheed Durrani, while speaking to Geo News, said there are other venues present for collaboration between the civil society and the government on social issues. She further said the issue is about protecting street children, who are already vulnerable and are near to a shrine. Durrani maintained the entire matter was to mainstream the children and rehabilitate them. Helping street-children dream big in Karachi The Footpath School has changed many lives. It's students have gotten off drugs, given up pickpocketing, and learnt to dream big. She further said her organisation is a part of the government and not an NGO, and is only trying to merge the school. While responding to a question, Zaidi said that they are ready for any kind of audit, adding that the school?s administration is "on the roads and working in front of everyone on a daily basis". Earlier, Geo News English also made a video on the street children, which can be viewed here:
  7. Kabul's Intercon Hotel was attacked earlier this week. Photo: File KABUL: Gunmen stormed an office of international NGO Save the Children in eastern Afghanistan on Wednesday, witnesses said, in an ongoing attack that has wounded at least 11 people. "At around 9:10am a suicide attacker detonated a car bomb at the entrance of Save the Children's compound in police district three of Jalalabad city," Nangarhar governor spokesman Attaullah Khogyani told AFP. "A group of armed men then entered the compound. So far 11 wounded people have been brought to hospitals." Mohammad Amin, who was inside the compound when the attackers stormed inside, told AFP from his hospital bed that he heard "a big blast". "We ran for cover and I saw a gunman hitting the main gate with an RPG (rocket propelled grenade) to enter the compound. I jumped out of the window," Amin said. The attack comes days after Taliban gunmen raided a luxury hotel in Kabul, killing at least 22 people, mostly foreigners.
  8. Sana Mir/File photo Former Pakistan Women Cricket captain Sana Mir has urged authorities to ensure child protection in sports, after the rape and murder of a seven-year-old girl in Kasur triggered an outcry of protest and demands for justice against the culprits. ?I request all child protection commissions formed to make sure that kids in sports are protected also. Child protection law to be made mandatory for all sports boards, childhandlers, organisers, clubs, coaches, doctors, trainers etc #JusticeForZainab #ChildrensRights,? Mir tweeted on Thursday. The all-rounder went on to say that children in sports mostly come from some of the most vulnerable areas of the country. ?Child Protection has to be dealt with same seriousness in sports if not more as anti corruption and anti doping,? she added. The Kasur tragedy triggered a countrywide movement for justice with the hashtag #JusticeForZainab, as the civil society rallied in cities and towns across the country demanding swift action against the culprit and the need to ensure implementation of child abuse laws. Pakistan criminalised child sexual abuse for the first time in 2016 after media unearthed a paedophilia scandal in the infamous city of Kasur in 2015. But with *** education nonexistent in the country, experts fear that an untold number of abuse cases continue to go unreported.
  9. A Muslim man from the Chinese Hui minority reads the Quran as others listen in a sitting room in Aksu, Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region July 27, 2012-Photo: File (Reuters) BEIJING: A mostly Muslim county in western China has banned children from attending religious events over a winter break, an education bureau said in a notice posted online, as authorities step up control of religious education. School students in Linxia county in Gansu province, home to many members of the Muslim Hui ethnic minority, are prohibited from entering religious buildings over their break, a district education bureau said, according to the notification. Students must also not read scriptures in classes or in religious buildings, the bureau said, adding that all students and teachers should heed the notice and work to strengthen political ideology and propaganda. Reuters was unable to independently verify the authenticity of the notice. A man who answered the telephone at the Linxia education bureau hung up when Reuters asked about the notice. A woman at the district education bureau declined to comment on the document?s authenticity. Xi Wuyi, a Marxist scholar at the state-backed Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and an outspoken critic of rising Islamic influence in China, shared the picture and welcomed the apparent move by the authorities. With the notice, the county was taking concrete action to keep religion and education separate and sticking strictly to education law, she said on the Weibo social media platform. New regulations on religious affairs released in October last year, and due to take effect in February, aim to increase oversight of religious education, and provide for greater regulation of religious activities. Last summer, a Sunday School ban was introduced in the southeastern city of Wenzhou, sometimes known as ?China?s Jerusalem? due to its large Christian population, but Christian parents found ways to teach their children about their religion regardless. Chinese law officially grants religious freedom for all but regulations on education and protection of minors also say religion cannot be used to hinder state education or to ?coerce? children to believe. Authorities in troubled parts of China, such as the far western region of Xinjiang, home to the Turkic-speaking Uighur Muslim minority, ban children from attending religious events. But religious communities elsewhere rarely face blanket restrictions. Fear of Muslims influence has grown in China in recent years, sparked in part by violence in Xinjiang. The Chinese-speaking Hui, who are culturally more similar to the Han Chinese majority than to Uighurs, have also come under scrutiny from some intellectuals who fear creeping Islamic influence on society.
  10. Chief Minister Punjab Shehbaz Sharif has formed a committee on safeguarding children to review and recommend measures to prevent the increasing trend of child abuse in our society. Photo: file1 LAHORE: Chief Minister Punjab Shehbaz Sharif has formed a committee on safeguarding children to review and recommend measures to prevent the increasing trend of child abuse in our society, according to a notification issued Saturday. Minister for law will be the convener of the committee with the minister for schools as the co-convener. The Terms of reference of the committee include "to deliberate and recommend replication of AMBER Alert system in Punjab" and "propose SOP to immediately know, locate and recover missing children, and to make our society children-friendly." Moreover, the committee will also "intelligently use ICT to protect children in streets, parks, schools and in other public places", "review existing laws and criminal investigation procedures apropos child abduction and child abuse", and "propose revisions in school curriculum to educate children in dealing with strangers and self-protection." The first session of the committee has been summoned tomorrow (Sunday) and it has been directed to submit recommendations to CM Punjab by January 16. ?Child abuse awareness to be part of syllabus? Child abuse awareness will be taught in the school syllabus, said Government of Punjab Spokesperson Malik Ahmad Khan, adding that there is no other choice than to make the subject a part of the syllabus. ?We have no other choice than to include it [child abuse] in syllabus. We have to remove taboos on the issue. We will also hold dialogue with the people who oppose this move,? he said while speaking on Geo News programme Aaj Shahzeb Khanzada Kay Sath Friday night. This book teaches children about body protection in an age-appropriate way Child sexual abuse is a very sensitive topic and a lack of basic awareness makes children more vulnerable. This book for children 4-10 solves that problem. He also assured that the issue will become a part of the curriculum, adding that such high level of incidents is reported due to ?lack of basic education? on the matter. ?Children are being victimised as they don?t know [what?s happening], they are not informed, they are mere innocent children, and they can be exploited easily. It is compulsory to make [child abuse awareness] part of the syllabus,? he remarked, adding the children should be aware of this ?highest form of bestiality.? He had also shared that a committee has been constituted to tackle the problem. The committee will hold deliberations and implement them as soon as possible, adding that the ToRs of the committee will be announced soon. ?Government is responsible to take steps for protection of children,? he remarked. Malik Ahmad Khan also shared that the government is taking all steps to bring culprits to task. ?The suspect will hopefully be arrested soon.? Movement for child abuse awareness On Thursday, Geo News anchor Shahzeb Khanzada urged all parents to talk, without delay, to their children about child abuse awareness and the need to inform immediately if they ever experience or witness any incident of abuse. Parenting tips on how to help prevent child abuse It?s time to empower your children to be brave and safe. Talk now. Citing statistics from social awareness organisation Aahung, Shahzeb informed that as many as 47 percent of child sexual abuse incidents are perpetrated by the relatives of the child. Around 43 percent of the perpetrators are acquaintances of the child, while only seven percent are strangers. According to research, females on average are more likely than their male counterparts to report abuse to their parents. Urging all parents to trust their children with no one, Shahzeb appealed to parents to particularly educate their children to not place blind trust in their relatives, teachers, friends and any other acquaintances.
  11. Child sexual abuse is a very sensitive topic. Lacking the basic awareness and knowledge of the issue makes children more vulnerable to abuse. Countless parents feel that child sexual abuse is a serious issue, but many often find it difficult to talk to their children about it. The following children's book, prepared by non-governmental organisation Rozan, serves as a medium for children to learn about body protection in an age-appropriate, non-threatening and fun way. The book, suitable for children 4 to 10 years of age, also enables parents and adults in approaching this embarrassing but essential topic with children in a comfortable way. The above book has been published online with permission from non-governmental organisation Rozan. ALSO READ: Empowering your child and preventing sexual abuse This booklet helps parents and caregivers in talking about abuse with children in an easier, more effective, and practical manner to talk to their children about child sexual abuse.
  12. Representational image/file photo ISLAMABAD: Two underage children perished on Friday in a fire that engulfed a shack in Islamabad?s Sector F-11. According to rescue officials, two-year-old Haider and six-year-old Muhammad Rahim, died in a fire while three other children were injured. The rescue officials later shifted three wounded children named Sania, Mubashir and Ibrahim to Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) Hospital for medical treatment. The family said that they were asleep when the fire erupted, surrounding the hut. On Jan 2, a fire erupted in the storeroom of the Ministry of Law and Justice building in Islamabad, reportedly destroying many important documents. According to the police, the blaze was a result of an electrical short-circuit. No casualty was reported in the incident. On September 10, 2017, a fire broke out at the Awami Markaz building in the Islamabad's Red Zone. At least, two people were killed and five injured in the incident.
  13. Time and again, Shah Rukh Khan has made India proud. He isn't just Bollywood's King Khan but also a global star who's loved by everyone around the world. He is an amazing actor, performer, and producer, but what makes him extraordinary is his involvement in humanitarian work. Unlike many, he doesn't publicly talk about his initiatives. But that doesn't mean people don't notice the change he is trying to bring. For all the work that he has done towards children and women rights in India, the actor is now being honoured with World Economic Forum's (WEF) Crystal Award. Reliving my childhood this #ChildrensDay ! The babies taught me a step or two... A post shared by Shah Rukh Khan (@iamsrk) on Nov 14, 2017 at 8:07am PST For those who are unaware, Crystal Awards celebrate the achievements of artists around the globe who have shown commitment toward improving the state of the world. Along with SRK, Hollywood actress Cate Blanchett, and British musician Sir Elton John will be bestowed with this prestigious award at WEF's 48th Annual Meeting in Davos, the 24th Annual Crystal Awards. Davos 2018: Meet the Crystal Awardees @eltonofficial @iamsrk https://t.co/WbUMYGaY9S #wef18 pic.twitter.com/4Yl1DJQvUU — World Economic Forum (@wef) January 10, 2018 Talking about SRK, weforum said, "He is the founder of the nonâprofit Meer Foundation, which provides support to female victims of acid attacks and major burn injuries through medical treatment, legal aid, vocational training, rehabilitation and livelihood support. He has also been responsible for the creation of specialized children's hospital wards and has supported childcare centres with free boarding for children undergoing cancer treatment." SRK even said, “With victims of acid attacks I have had the privilege to witness the unparalleled courage and compassion that women are capable of. I have seen the transformative strength of goodness and the healing power of gentleness." Over a hundred beautiful souls from the Spark a Change Foundation dropped in to visit me on set! Best #ChildrensDay ever... A post shared by Shah Rukh Khan (@iamsrk) on Nov 14, 2017 at 6:57am PST He even shared the news on Twitter and wrote, “Thank u for this honour. I consider my work with these heroic & beautiful women a great privilege as it imparts dignity & purpose to my life. I hope to spread awareness of the unparalleled heroism of these ladies & reach out to others in order to carry this work to its conclusion.” Thank u for this honour. I consider my work with these heroic & beautiful women a great privilege as it imparts dignity & purpose to my life. I hope to spread awareness of the unparalleled heroism of these ladies & reach out to others in order to carry this work to its conclusion https://t.co/i6cEU6go6V — Shah Rukh Khan (@iamsrk) January 11, 2018 Isn't he truly a Badshah of hearts, making us proud always?
  14. NEW YORK: Two large shareholders have urged Apple to study whether iPhones are proving addictive for children and that intensive use of the smartphones may be bad for their mental health, Bloomberg News reported Monday. "There is a growing body of evidence that, for at least some of the most frequent young users, this may be having unintentional negative consequences" on their health, said Jana Partners LLC and California State Teachers' Retirement System in a letter sent to Apple dated January 6. The "growing societal unease" over the intensive use of smartphones by children is "at some point is likely to impact even Apple", they warned. The two shareholders, which between them own about $2 billion in Apple shares, called on Apple to develop additional means for parents to restrict the use of mobile phones by their children. They said confronting this issue now would enhance the value of the firm in the long-term for all shareholders. Bloomberg said an Apple spokesman declined to comment on the letter, which was first reported by the Wall Street Journal. Apple already provides parental controls on iPhones that allow restricting access to certain apps and content. The letter represents a new source of pressure on Apple, after being forced to apologise last month for slowing down the performance of older iPhone models. Consumer groups had accused the tech giant of slowing down the older models to encourage the purchase of newer models, but Apple said it was to optimise the performance of phones with older batteries and cut the price of replacing the battery.
  15. At least 14 people were killed in a huge blaze that gutted a restaurant in Mumbai, India on December 29/AFP MUMBAI: Two children were among four killed in a fire in Mumbai on Thursday, the third deadly blaze to hit India´s financial capital in just a few weeks. Five people were also injured when the fire broke out on the fourth floor of a residential building in the city´s Andheri East area. "Four died, including two children aged 10 and 14. Five others have been admitted to hospital," a spokesman for Mumbai´s disaster management cell told AFP. It is the latest blaze to highlight concerns over fire safety in Mumbai, where millions live in cramped dilapidated properties. On December 29, 14 people were killed when a huge inferno tore through a popular upmarket bar and restaurant. They died of asphyxiation after apparently being unable to escape through a narrow exit door. That disaster came just over a week after a fire swept through a sweet shop, sparking a building collapse which killed 12 sleeping workers. Activists say builders and landlords often cut corners on safety to save costs and accuse Mumbai´s civic authorities of negligence and apathy when it comes to inspections.
  16. Fire Department of New York (FDNY) firemen work at an apartment building in the Bronx. -Reuters NEW YORK: A fire destroyed a building and injured 16 people in the Bronx on Tuesday, just days after the worst fire in New York City in 25 years killed 12 people. "Our units arrived and were immediately faced with heavy fire. Numerous people were brought out of the building by the firefighters on scene. We have 16 people; seven adults and nine children, all with non life-threatening injuries," said New York City fire chief Daniel Nigro. "They've all been transported, and they will all be ok, thankfully," he said. Barely four minutes after the emergency call, around 200 firefighters arrived in three dozen vehicles at 5:30 am at a three-floor, red-brick building close to the Bronx Zoo. Five hours later, the fire crews were still fighting to control the blaze on the Bronx's Commonwealth Avenue. Local media said the fire broke out in a furniture factory on the ground floor of the building. One resident told NBC news he fled the building, barefoot and barechested, with his three children into freezing temperatures that dipped as low as minus 10 degrees Celsius. Last Thursday, another fire at an apartment block close to the Bronx Zoo was started by a three-year-old boy who was playing with stove burners. That inferno killed 12 people, four of them children. Mayor Bill de Blasio called it the "worst fire tragedy we have seen in this city in at least a quarter century."
  17. VATICAN CITY: Pope Francis on Monday called for peace in Jerusalem in his traditional Christmas address and highlighted the plight of children scarred by conflict, after urging the world´s 1.3 billion Catholics not to ignore migrants. Addressing tens of thousands of worshippers gathered at the Vatican to hear the pontiff's fifth "Urbi et Orbi" (To the City and The World) message, Francis called for "peace for Jerusalem and for all the Holy Land". "We see Jesus in the children of the Middle East who continue to suffer because of growing tensions between Israelis and Palestinians," he said. "Let us pray that the will to resume dialogue may prevail between the parties and that a negotiated solution can finally be reached, one that would allow the peaceful coexistence of two states within mutually agreed and internationally recognised borders." The pontiff's plea came as fresh tensions simmered in the West Bank following President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital. Following Trump's lead, Guatemala's President Jimmy Morales said Sunday his country would move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Trump's announcement on December 6 unleashed demonstrators and clashes, including in Bethlehem in the Israeli-occupied West Bank where Christians marked the birth of Jesus at a midnight mass. "May the Lord also sustain the efforts of all those in the international community inspired by good will to help that afflicted land to find, despite grave obstacles the harmony, justice and security that it has long awaited," the pope said. The pontiff also mentioned other global flashpoints such as Syria, Iraq, Yemen, South Sudan and Venezuela, after stressing that the "winds of war are blowing in our world". "Let us pray that confrontation may be overcome on the Korean peninsula and that mutual trust may increase in the interest of the world as a whole," the 81-year-old said. Fewer tourists in Bethlehem Earlier, celebrating midnight mass in the ancient town, Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa, apostolic administrator of the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, used his homily to lambast the wars that "the Herods of today fight every day to become greater, to occupy more space". Criticising Trump's announcement, Pizzaballa insisted "Jerusalem is a city of peace, there is no peace if someone is excluded. Jerusalem should include, not exclude," stressing the principle that Jerusalem is a city for both peoples and the three Abrahamic faiths. Hundreds had gathered in the cold on Bethlehem's Manger Square to watch the annual scout parade towards the Church of the Nativity, built over the spot where tradition says Mary gave birth to Jesus. But the square was noticeably quieter following the violence between Palestinian protesters and the Israeli army in the past weeks. Twelve Palestinians have been killed since Trump's declaration, including a 19-year-old who died of his wounds on Sunday nine days after he was shot during a Gaza protest. Israel seized east Jerusalem in the 1967 Middle East war and later annexed it, in moves never recognised by the international community. Palestinians view east Jerusalem as the capital of their future state, and interpreted Trump´s statement as rejecting their right to a capital in east Jerusalem, although the Americans deny this. First Xmas in Homs in years Christmas decorations have meanwhile become more visible in Christian areas of Syria's capital Damascus this year. In the central Syrian city of Homs, Christians will celebrate Christmas with great fanfare for the first time in years after the end of battles between regime and militant forces - with processions, shows for children and even decorations among the ruins. In Iraq too, this year marks a positive turning point for the Christian community in the northern city of Mosul. Britain's Queen Elizabeth II was meanwhile due to pay tribute to the cities of London and Manchester which suffered terror attacks this year. "This Christmas, I think of London and Manchester, whose powerful identities shone through over the past 12 months in the face of appalling attacks," the 91-year-old monarch was to say in the pre-recorded televised message. London suffered two deadly terror attacks, while 22 people - including children - were killed during an attack at Manchester Arena following a performance by US singer Ariana Grande. Meanwhile, a tragic Christmas weekend in the Philippines was compounded Monday by the deaths of 20 people killed in a bus collision while travelling to mass. Dozens of people were feared killed in a fire Saturday in the southern city of Davao. Thousands were displaced by floods and landslides from a storm that also killed more than 200 others on Friday.
  18. At least four children were killed and seven people were seriously injured on Thursday after a train crashed into a school bus at a level crossing in southern France, police sources said. The bus, which was carrying mainly junior high school students, was struck by the train in Millas about 18 kilometres west (11 miles) of the city of Perpignan, close to the Spanish border. A rescue operation was under way. The head of security for the Pyrenees area, where the collision took place, confirmed the accident involving a train travelling west from Perpignan to the town of Villefranche de Conflent. The bus was transporting mainly junior high-school students. The BFMTV channel said it was struck in the rear. President Emmanuel Macron in a tweet wrote: "All my thoughts for the victims of this terrible accident involving a school bus, as well as their families. The state is fully mobilised to help them." Prime Minister Edouard Philippe and Transport Minister Elisabeth Borne were on their way to the scene from a meeting in the south-central city of Cahors. "It's a terrible event," Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer said, expressing "profound sadness".
  19. BAHAWALPUR: A sports event was held at Cholistan Special Education School, which is being run by the Pakistan Army since 1996, to mark International Day for persons with disabilities, according to Inter-Services Publications Services. The chief guest of the ceremony was General Officer Commanding Bahawalpur Maj Gen Moazzam Ejaz, who distributed prizes among students. According to the press release, the children participated in various games such as tug of war, PT show, short and relay race, and cultural show. The army-run school is providing quality education to the special children of the region.
  20. Two of the three children murdered in Hafizabad on Saturday. Photo: Geo News HAFIZABAD: A woman murdered her three children in cold blood near Hafizabad?s Sakhekhi vicinity on Saturday. Zareena and her husband Abid Hussain, a kiln-worker, frequently argued over domestic issues, the police said. According to reports, a domestic dispute led Zareena to suffocate five-year-old Zehra Fatima, four-year-old Muhammad Faizan, and two-year-old Ahmed Raza and dispose of the bodies in the Jhang Branch canal. The woman?s mother-in-law, however, showed oblivion to an argument between her son and Zareena. ?There was no argument between Zareena and Abid [on the day of the incident],? she said. ?Zareena left home to drop the children at school and never came back. We were informed of the incident later on.? The police promptly arrested the woman, found in an injured state, and shifted her to the hospital. Residents of the area gathered at the grieving family's house in Hafizabad on Saturday. Photo: Geo News According to police sources, Zareena was frustrated by unemployment and poverty and had tried to slit her throat after disposing of the bodies of her children. Abid had never fought with his wife, residents of the area said as they expressed regret at the incident. A rescue 1122 operation to recover bodies is underway.
  21. Syrians view the scene of destruction following reported shelling by Syrian government forces in the rebel-held town of Douma, eastern Ghouta region, Syria, November 17, 2017. AFP/Hamza Al-Ajweh DOUMA: Shelling by the Syrian regime on the rebel-held area of Eastern Ghouta near Damascus Friday killed at least 19 civilians, among them six children, a monitor said. The deaths came amid an escalating cycle of tit-for-tat attacks between regime forces and rebels holding the enclave on the Syrian capital's eastern outskirts. Rebel shelling on Friday killed three civilians. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, 52 civilians have been killed since Tuesday, most of them in Eastern Ghouta, which has been besieged since 2013 and where humanitarian conditions are dire. Thirteen people ? including five children and three emergency workers ? were killed in regime shelling and air strikes in Douma, the Eastern Ghouta area's main town, Observatory chief Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP. Elsewhere in Eastern Ghouta, another six people were killed in regime air strikes, the monitor said. On Tuesday, the Ahrar al-Sham group ? that has positions in Harasta ? attacked a regime military base in the area, which is supposed to be a "de-escalation zone" under a deal between Russia, Iran, and Turkey to ease the level of violence. The fighting on that front has left at least 37 dead on the regime side, according to the Observatory, a toll the regime has not confirmed. Abdel Rahman said "dozens" of rebels were also killed. In a hospital in Douma, doctors and nurses were treating a continuous flow of the wounded as the sounds of crying children echoed through the facility, an AFP correspondent said. An elderly man with greying hair sought to calm a little girl in tears, her clothes covered in blood, while the bodies of three children killed in the strikes lay inert on a metal table. Two other injured children sat on a bench, silent, their eyes wide, apparently still in shock. One had a bandaged foot. Another wounded person had a bandage wrapped around his head, but blood had soaked through it. On a white hospital bed, Abu Hisham's face contorted in pain as he called out to his wife and children, who had been killed. "Iman, where are the children?" he cried. In retaliation for the latest deadly Ghouta shelling, rebels fired rockets into Damascus on Friday, killing three civilians, the same source said. Six were killed the previous day, including Syria's national karate coach Fadel Radi, who died of his wounds after being hit by shrapnel as he left his Damascus sports club, the state-run SANA news agency reported. More than 330,000 people are estimated to have been killed in the Syrian war, which began in 2011 as the regime brutally crushed anti-government protests. Millions have been displaced.
  22. [embed_video1 url=http://stream.jeem.tv/vod/513766e0ea9ac14a9b0aa6c28c0ba32f.mp4/playlist.m3u8?wmsAuthSign=c2VydmVyX3RpbWU9MTEvMTYvMjAxNyA4OjAxOjU1IFBNJmhhc2hfdmFsdWU9V2drLzJRdis4c3ZkeEJGczFOVzlKZz09JnZhbGlkbWludXRlcz02MCZpZD0x style=center] LAHORE: The chief justice of Lahore High Court (LHC) took notice of torture of special needs children in Punjab after more such videos emerged on Thursday, showing staffers manhandling children in Sialkot. The videos that emerged Thursday showed a bus conductor forcing a girl to sit on the seat for two persons, and later slapping her. According to Sambrial assistant commissioner, the bus in which the conductor is seen torturing children belongs to Government Special Education School Sambrial, Sialkot. The school bus is run on Daska-Sambrial route. The conductor seen in the footage has been arrested and a case lodged against him. Higher authorities have also suspended the school principal and driver of the said bus, and ordered an inquiry. Fresh videos show special needs children being tortured in Lahore The clips show school staffers torturing children with disabilities Taking notice of the incident, the LHC chief justice ordered deployment of two unarmed guards on the school bus. Earlier, two different video clips of torture of special needs children of a government-run institute in Lahore surfaced on Wednesday. At least two such videos emerged last month, in which bus conductors were seen torturing children of Gung Mahal School for the Deaf & Dumb ? a government institute in Gulberg. The videos had drawn public ire prompting authorities to arrest the staffers and produce them before a court, where both the parties had informed the judge that they had reached an understanding. One of the clips, which surfaced on Wednesday, showed a school staffer arguing with and torturing a child. The other clip showed a staffer scolding a girl. He is seen picking the girl up and forcing her to sit on a seat in the school bus. The staffer, in the footage, is later witnessed slapping the schoolgirl for leaving the seat.
  23. LAHORE: Two more video clips of torture of special needs children of a government-run institute in Lahore surfaced on Wednesday. At least two such videos emerged last month, in which bus conductors were seen torturing children of Gung Mahal School for the Deaf & Dumb ? a government institute in Gulberg. The videos drew public ire prompting authorities to arrest the staffers and produce them before a court, where both the parties informed the judge that they had reached an understanding. School bus conductors arrested for torturing special children in Lahore Hafiz Usman made the 12-year-old child to dangle from bus' passenger support bar and laughed at his agony New video emerges of bus conductor torturing special needs children The conductor can be seen hitting and terrorising disabled children in the latest footage obtained by Geo News One of the clips, which surfaced on Wednesday, shows a school staffer arguing with and torturing a child. The other clip shows a staffer scolding a girl. He also picks the girl up and forces her to sit on a seat in the school bus. The staffer, in the footage, is later witnessed slapping the schoolgirl for leaving the seat.
  24. This file photo shows fishing boats on Lake Lake Tanganyika. Photo: AFP LUMBUMBASHI: Nine children died and another was missing after a canoe capsized on Lake Tanganyika in the southeast of the Democratic Republic of Congo. a local official said Thursday. The motorised boat left the town of Kalemie and was heading for the port of Wimbi when it sank on Wednesday. "Of the 21 passengers aboard, nine were killed, all of them children," provincial official Joseph Lumona told AFP, "Another child is reported missing," he said, adding that the accident happened in "violent winds". Such accidents are frequent occurrences in DR Congo, either on the lakes or rivers. The death tolls are often high as boats are overcrowded and old and there is a lack of life jackets. These problems are exacerbated by the fact that many locals cannot swim. In September, 20 people were killed when a boat capsized on Lake Edward, another of the African Great Lakes, as they were fleeing fighting between the Congolese army and a militia in the restive North Kivu region. Lake Tanganyika is the longest freshwater lake in the world and is bounded by four countries -- DR Congo, Burundi, Zambia and Tanzania.
  25. [embed_video1 url=http://stream.jeem.tv/vod/ac15d5274795650dfb7a3a6220637a2a.mp4/playlist.m3u8?wmsAuthSign=c2VydmVyX3RpbWU9MTEvNy8yMDE3IDI6MDE6NTUgUE0maGFzaF92YWx1ZT13WjlaMWNpU2hBVEIwUXhjVW1Bai93PT0mdmFsaWRtaW51dGVzPTYwJmlkPTE= style=center] An eight-member football team consisting of children from Mirpur in Azad Jammu and Kashmir won the Future Depends on You football tournament 2017 which was held in Moscow from 25 to 28 October. The team had a sensational run through the tournament winning all their matches including those against India, Brazil and Russia. The team has qualified for the Street Children Football World Cup which will be held in Russia in 2018. The players were ecstatic after beating India 15-0 in the quarterfinal. ?We were extremely happy to beat India,? said a member of the team. ?These children are from humble backgrounds. They include orphans, street children and underprivileged children,? said team manager Mujtaba Haider who also expressed optimism about performing well in the upcoming Street Children World Cup. Lieutenant General Nadeem Raza meeting the young footballers - Photo ISPR On November 7, Commander 10 Corps Lieutenant General Nadeem Raza met the children from the football team. An Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) press release said Lieutenant General Nadeem Raza appreciated the achievement of the young children and assured support for their training and assistance.