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New York Subway bomb: Bangladeshi suspect 'armed with pipe device and battery pack' in 'Isil-inspired' attackSuspected bomber named as Akayed Ullah, 27-year-old Bangladeshi national Device exploded on a subway platform at at the Port Authority Bus terminal near Times Square Five people, including the suspect, have been injured but none of the injuries are life-threatening The transit hub, one of the busiest in the US, has now reopened A bomb has exploded on a Manhattan subway platform leaving five people injured in a suspected-Isil-inspired attack. The suspected bomber is Akayed Ullah, a 27-year-old Bangladeshi national who is thought to have lived in the US for seven years.  Ullah, who lived in Brooklyn, was armed with a five-inch metal pipe bomb and battery pack as he walked through a midtown Manhattan transit hub, sources told the New York Post. An image thought to be of Akayed Ullah by CBS news Credit: CBS/Universal News And Sport  The device prematurely exploded which meant it only partially detonated in the right side of the suspect's jacket.    Ullah, who is thought to have been seriously injured in the attack, told officials he made the explosive device at the electrical company where he works, according to the New York Post. New York City explosion: Reports of rush-hour blast in Midtown Manhattan The blast happened on Monday morning in an underpass at the Port Authority Bus Terminal near Times Square - the nation's most crowded bus station. The New York Police Department (NYPD) said an "explosion of unknown origin" had been reported at 42nd Street and 8th Avenue. CCTV Port Authority image reported to be of Akayed Ullah  Credit: NY Port Authority/Universal News And Sport It is thought the bomb was intended to explode on a subway carriage, where it could have affected hundreds of people, but went off prematurely. Ullah is in custody and four other people have been injured in the attack, NYPD said. None of the injuries are life-threatening, the department said. The explosion occurred inside the passageway to the A, C, and E trains at 8th Avenue and W 42nd Street at around 7:20 am. New York explosion at Port Authority Terminal The NYPD said three metro lines are being evacuated. The attack, at rush hour, also occurred at a busy shopping period for the city. The incident took place five blocks from Times Square near the Port Authority Bus Terminal, the main station for interstate buses into Manhattan and New York City. The incident occurred less than two months after an Uzbek immigrant killed eight people by speeding a rental truck down a New York City bike path, in an attack for which Islamic State claimed responsibility. 4:05PM Footage shows moment of attack   3:11PM Live from the scene The explosion took place opposite a corner shop owned by a Bangladeshi Muslim man, Harriet Alexander reports from the scene. "The people who do this have no religion," he said. "They are just savages." He only learnt of the incident when customers came in and told him - he heard no explosion. "It's sad, but it happens all over the world. In my country, in your country, here. That mosque attack in Egypt? Terrible, too.  "It's a fact of life now." 2:50PM Suspect had pipe bomb strapped to him, officials confirm The device was a pipe bomb fixed to the bomber with velcro and zip ties, officials said in a press conference. 2:47PM Bomber named as Akayed Ullah Akayed Ullah is the 27-year-old suspect, New York Police said. The suspect was placed in custody and transferred to Bellevue hospital. "We are asking anyone with information about this individual to come forward," the official said.  The individual who carried the device had burns and lacerations to his hands and abdomen. 2:43PM Bill De Blasio: 'Our enemies want to undermine our multi-cultural society' There are no additional known incidents at this time, no additional activities, said New York Mayor Bill De Blasio.  "All we know is there was one individual who, thank God, was unsuccessful in his attempt," he said. Mr De Blasio added a fuller investigation would follow. #HappeningNow: @NYCMayor, @NYPDONeill, @FDNY, @NewYorkFBI and @NYGovCuomo update New Yorkers on explosion at #PortAuthorityhttps://t.co/YahqkiviX1— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) December 11, 2017   2:39PM Governor: 'This is New York - let's go back to work' New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has praised the emergency services for their response. "Everyone worked together. There was an explosion, it was an effectively low-tech device. There were several minor injuries and it was handled extremely well." All bus services are being restored now, Mr Cuomo said. "This is one of our worst nightmares. This is New York. That makes us an international target, we understand that," he said. "Anyone can go onto the internet. The counter reality is this is New York and we keep our eyes open and we have the best law enforcement in the world. We will go forward together, let's go back to work." “This is NYC, we don’t live in fear. But if you see something suspicious you have an obligation to come forward and tell us,” @NYPDONeill now on #PortAuthority incident pic.twitter.com/eizS4wKUH5— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) December 11, 2017 2:30PM Dollar weakened in reaction to attack News of the incident jarred financial markets as trading was getting underway for the week. Standard & Poor's 500 index emini futures pared gains, the dollar weakened against the yen and US Treasury securities prices gained on a modest flight-to-safety bid. 2:15PM Huge police presence Harriet Alexander is at the scene. She writes: New York’s police department has shut the normally chaotic 8th Avenue from Penn Station north, for around 10 blocks. Large blacked-out 4x4s are streaming in, sirens blaring, with senior NYPD officials arriving on the scene. There is a huge police presence at the Port Authority terminal itself, with heavily-armed police at the door and NYPD officers yelling at the curious onlookers not to stand in the road and take photos on their phones, blocking the influx of police cars. The explosion was in the middle of rush hour, and yet many caught up in it seemed unaware, asking instead why they had been asked to get off the subway. 1:58PM Bomber is 27-year-old man The suspected bomber is a 27-year-old man, according to the former NY police commissioner Bill Bratton. 1:43PM Male suspect had explosives 'strapped on' body The male suspect had explosives strapped on when they exploded, law enforcement official told AP. Fire brigade crew wait at the scene after an explosion occured at the Port Authority Bus Terminal in New York Credit: Getty   1:36PM Donald Trump briefed on attack The US President has been briefed on the explosion in New York, the White House said.   1:32PM Just one person injured, in addition to the suspected bomber Just one person has been injured in addition to the suspected bomber, CNN reported. The bomb went off prematurely and had been intended to cause far greater damage. 1:29PM Bomb found on subway platform The bomb was reportedly found on a train platform, which suggests it was intended to be detonated in a train carriage. A still from a WNYW video showing police in Manhattan following reports of an explosion    1:27PM 'Isil-inspired attack' - Bill Bratton Former NY police commissioner Bill Bratton has claimed the attack was inspired by Isil.


 

Seven of the Best Cheap Mid-Engine Sports Cars


 

In Syria, Putin orders partial Russia troop withdrawalPresident Vladimir Putin made his first visit to Syria on Monday and ordered the partial withdrawal of Russian troops from the war-torn country, saying their task had been largely completed. Putin, who announced last week he would seek a fourth term in a poll in March, was welcomed at Russia's Hmeimim airbase by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on the surprise stopover. The two men were pictured smiling and hugging, with Putin hailing a "significant result of our joint work".


 

Akayed Ullah: New York terror suspect named as 27-year-oldPolice have named the suspect in the New York explosion as 27-year-old Akayed Ullah. Four people have been left injured after a bomb exploded on a Manhattan subway platform. The city's police force said the "explosion" was of "unknown origin" and was located near the Port Authority bus terminal on 42nd street and 8th avenue.


 

Tennessee boy's heart-wrenching video about bullying rallies massive supportA Tennesse boy's emotional video about the relentless bullying he experiences in school is stirring support across the country.


 

Racial dispute at beloved bakery roils liberal college townStudents at Oberlin College have long enjoyed pastries, bagels and chocolates from Gibson's Bakery, a century-old, family-owned business near campus. That sweet relationship has turned bitter amid hotly disputed accusations of racism, roiling a school and town long known for their liberal politics.


 

China, Taiwan spar over Chinese diplomat's invasion threatA threat by a senior Chinese diplomat to invade Taiwan the instant any U.S. warship visits the self-ruled island has sparked a war of words, with Taipei accusing Beijing of failing to understand what democracy means.


 

SitRep: Putin Lands in Syria, Talks Defense Deals With Egypt  By Paul McLeary with Adam Rawnsley Putin to Syria. Russian President Vladimir Putin made a surprise visit to Russia’s Hmeymim air base in Syria on Monday, where he met with Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad and again declared victory over the Islamic State. The Russian leader also (again) said it was time for Russian forces ...


 

Suspect Captured In 'Terror-Related' Explosion Near New York's Port Authority Bus TerminalNew York City police said they were investigating a possible explosion in New York City’s transit system near Eight Avenue and 42nd Street in the Times Square area of Manhattan on Monday.


 

Russia’s Su-57 Stealth Fighter Is Destined to FailAll of the reasons the Su-57 is going nowhere fast. Westerns analysts have concluded that Russia’s fifth-generation Sukhoi Su-57 stealth fighter is unlikely to enter operational service before 2027. The Su-57 program was never really viable.


 

Inside The Voucher Schools That Teach L. Ron Hubbard, But Say They’re Not ScientologistCLEARWATER, Fla. ― It was a weekday afternoon here in early December, and a gaggle of kids outside of Clearwater Academy International were playing with a ball, their laughter and shouts filling the air.


 

Saudi Arabia to allow cinemas in kingdom after 35-year banSaudi Arabia has lifted a decades-long ban on cinemas, part of a series of social reforms by the powerful crown prince that are shaking up the ultra-conservative kingdom. The government said it would begin licensing cinemas immediately and the first movie theatres are expected to open next March, in a decision that could boost the kingdom's nascent film industry. Reviving cinemas would represent a paradigm shift in the kingdom, which is promoting entertainment as part of a sweeping reform plan for a post-oil era, despite opposition from conservatives who have long vilified movie theatres as vulgar and sinful. "Commercial cinemas will be allowed to operate in the Kingdom as of early 2018, for the first time in more than 35 years," the culture and information ministry said in a statement. A Saudi woman takes a selfie with a man dressed as the Beast from Disney film Beauty and the Beast at the country's first ever Comic-Con Arabia event "This marks a watershed moment in the development of the cultural economy in the kingdom," the statement quoted Information Minister Awwad Alawwad as saying. Like most public spaces in the kingdom, cinema halls are expected to be segregated by gender or have a separate section for families. Hardliners, who see cinemas as a threat to cultural and religious identity, were instrumental in shutting them down in the 1980s. Saudi Arabia's highest-ranking cleric warned in January of the "depravity" of cinemas, saying they would corrupt morals. Profile | Mohammad bin Salman But authorities appear to be shrugging off the threat, with some comparing Saudi Arabia's reform drive to a fast-moving bus - either people get on board or risk being left behind.  Saudi Arabia in recent months has organised music concerts, a Comic-Con pop culture festival and a mixed-gender national day celebration that saw people dancing in the streets to thumping electronic music for the first time. Saudis themselves appear quietly astounded by the torrid pace of change - including the historic decision allowing women to drive from next June. The social transformation chimes with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's recent pledge to return Saudi Arabia to an "open, moderate Islam" and destroy extremist ideologies. Saudi filmmakers have long argued that a ban on cinemas does not make sense in the age of YouTube. Saudi films have been making waves abroad, using the internet to circumvent distribution channels and sometimes the stern gaze of state censors. "It is a beautiful day in #SaudiArabia! Saudi Arabia says cinemas to get licenses in early 2018," Saudi female director Haifaa al-Mansour wrote on Twitter. Her film "Wadjda" made history in 2013 after it became Saudi Arabia's first Academy Award entry. The film depicts the dream of a 10-year-old girl to get a bicycle just like the boys in her conservative neighbourhood. This year, the country is again vying for an Oscar with the film "Barakah Meets Barakah", the kingdom's first romantic comedy which premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival. "Now our young men and women will show the world possibilities and stories worth seeing," Saudi filmmaker Aymen Tarek Jamal said on Twitter. "Congratulations to the 2030 Generation."


 

Migrants workers in Beijing are being evicted from their premisesMigrants workers in Beijing are being evicted from their premises since Nov. 11. The move came after a deadly fire in Beijing's outskirts that left 19 dead.


 

US man on the run after escaping notorious Bali prisonA US man convicted on drugs charges escaped Bali's notorious Kerobokan jail in an early Monday morning jailbreak with another American prisoner who was caught almost immediately, an official said. The pair made a break from the Indonesian resort island's main prison by cutting a hole in the roof with a hacksaw, authorities said. Foreigners are regularly arrested for drugs offences on Bali.


 

The fight for the Dream Act is reaching its peak – but time is running outOsmar Abad Cruz likes to say his mom is the “original Dreamer”. Nearly 25 years later, Abad Cruz, now 29, is living the life his mother wanted him to have. This was possible in large part thanks to an Obama-era program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or Daca,, which shielded nearly 800,000 young immigrants brought to the US as children from the threat of deportation.


 

Nobel Peace Prize Winner Warns That Nuclear War Is One 'Tantrum Away'Total nuclear destruction is “only one impulsive tantrum away,” this year’s Noble Peace Prize winner warned while accepting the award for an international anti-nuclear weapons campaign.


 

Swedish PM condemns attempted arson attack at synagogue as three arrestedThree people were arrested early on Sunday after an attempted arson attack at a synagogue in the Swedish city of Gothenburg, prosecutors said. There were no reports of injuries and the fire did not reach the synagogue or an adjacent meeting house where Jewish youths had gathered when the attack took place late on Saturday, Swedish media reported. Prime Minister Stefan Lofven said in a statement he was outraged by the attack.


 

Hannibal Buress Arrested For Disorderly Intoxication In MiamiHannibal Buress was arrested in Miami on Saturday on charges of disorderly intoxication, People reported.


 

Rouhani meeting wraps British FM's 'worthwhile' Iran visitBritain's foreign minister Boris Johnson met with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Sunday, wrapping up a visit in which he pushed for the release of imprisoned dual nationals. A key focus of Johnson's visit had been the case of British-Iranian Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who is serving five years for taking part in mass protests in 2009, which she denies. "Nazanin's case was not held today in the wake of the foreign secretary's visit.


 

Missouri Woman Wins Lottery Twice in One DayShe's $101,000 richer.


 

Star U.S. Diplomat Quits With Fiery Letter To Rex TillersonA distinguished U.S. diplomat who was seen as a rising star at the State Department resigned after writing a searing letter to Secretary Of State Rex Tillerson, accusing him of gutting the department and damaging America’s standing across the world.


 

Here's How Many Billions America's Richest Would Save On Estate Tax RepealMother Jones magazine and the progressive organization Americans for Tax Fairness have taken a look at the more lavish of the House and Senate measures to cut taxes for the richest people in America ― a mammoth break on estate taxes.


 

The Army's Has Over 100,000 'New' M4A1 Rifles - Here's What They Can DoTo date, the Army has completed more than 117,000 M4A1 upgrades on the way to the eventual transformation of more than 480,000 M4 rifles. As a result, it is entirely conceivable that the Army will explore new requirements and technologies for the M4A1 as time goes on. The service’s so-called M4 Product Improvement Program, or PIP, is a far-reaching initiative to upgrade the Army’s entire current inventory of M4 rifles into higher-tech, durable and more lethal M4A1 weapons, Army spokesman Pete Rowland, spokesman for PM Soldier Weapons, told Scout Warrior in an interview.


 

We Now Have Evidence Russia Seems Pleased with Its Military in SyriaIn the final days of November 2017, the Russian High Command reshuffled several positions, most notably both the Eastern and Central Military Districts received new commanders. Immediately striking is the fact that Alexander Lapin, the new Central Military District commander, is a Lieutenant General (in Russia, this is a two-star rank) whereas all the other military districts are commanded by Colonel Generals (three-stars), including General Lapin’s predecessor. The new commander in the Eastern Military District, Col. Gen. Alexander Zhuravlyov, was the commander of the Russian Group of Forces in Syria from July to December 2016.


 

IS battle may be won, but Iraq faces major challengesIraq may have announced a final victory over the Islamic State group in the country, but Baghdad's triumph remains fragile and the root causes for the jihadists' rise have not been tackled. It has taken a long and devastating campaign to wipe IS from the map after the jihadists threatened Iraq's very existence by seizing roughly one third of its territory in 2014. Troops backed up by the air power of a US-led coalition have waged some of the fiercest urban warfare seen anywhere in decades to oust the jihadists from a string of cities and towns across the country.


 

S. Korea to impose new sanctions on Pyongyang: reportSouth Korea will impose new unilateral sanctions against nuclear-armed Pyongyang, a report said Sunday, in Seoul's latest effort to pressure the North after a series of weapons tests that have sent regional tensions surging. The move comes after a rare visit to North Korea by a senior UN official, who called for dialogue between Pyongyang and the international community to avert a potentially catastrophic "miscalculation" in the high-stakes nuclear crisis. Seoul's new measures, its second set of unilateral sanctions in a month, are likely to draw an angry response from Pyongyang, which views its neighbour as overly-dependent on a hostile Washington.


 

Tim Scott: Republicans Exploring How to Handle 'High-Tax States'In an exclusive interview with Meet the Press, Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) tells Chuck Todd that Republicans are trying to "sweeten the SALT" changes in the tax bill.


 

Al Franken Makes Santa's Naughty List On 'SNL,' But Roy Moore Makes The 'Registry'Saturday Night Live - SNL (@nbcsnl) December 10, 2017 “Saturday Night Live’s” take on politics this week featured elf Kate McKinnon and Santa Kenan Thompson in the cold open listening to a line-up of smart kids asking about everything from opioids to Colin Kaepernick and toys — more specifically, Matt Lauer’s sex toys.


 

Japanese man kills wife and priestess sister with sword in bizarre family feud: mediaA Japanese man wielding a sword killed his sister, a Shinto priestess, on the grounds of a Tokyo shrine, then stabbed his wife to death before committing suicide, police and media said. Police declined to comment on a motive for Thursday's killings or the family feud. Shigenaga Tomioka, 56, attacked Nagako Tomioka, 58, chief priestess of the Tomioka Hachimangu shrine, as she got out of a car.


 

French fighters appear with Islamic State in AfghanistanFrench and Algerian fighters, some arriving from Syria, have joined the ranks of the Islamic State group in northern Afghanistan where the militants have established new bases, multiple international and Afghan sources have told AFP. It is the first time that the presence of French IS fighters has been recorded in Afghanistan, and comes as analysts suggested foreigners may be heading for the war-torn country after being driven from Syria and Iraq. "A number" of Algerian and French nationals entered the largely IS-controlled district of Darzab in northern Jowzjan province in November, said district governor Baaz Mohammad Dawar.


 

McDonald's Malaysia refutes Israel ties after boycott callsThe Malaysian franchise of McDonald's Corp said it was "disappointed" with calls on social media to boycott the fast food restaurant chain in apparent retaliation to the United State's recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Social media users in the Muslim-majority country called on boycotting various U.S. companies following U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to relocate the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, a city important to both Israelis and Muslims. One user of Twitter Inc's microblogging platform, TheUsopIbrahim, stated without citing sources that U.S.-headquartered McDonald's "channelled funds to Israel".


 

China Is Now Making Some of the Most Powerful Guns on the PlanetLike the rest of China’s military revolution over the past quarter century, its small-arms revolution is a remarkable achievement. China’s People’s Liberation Army has traditionally relied on foreign and Communist bloc weapons manufactured in China under license—or not. Now, however, as the PLA undergoes an unprecedented modernization, a new generation of locally designed and manufactured light weaponry is arming China’s armed forces, from handguns to light machine guns.


 

Doug Jones Is Counting On Black Voters. They Don't Sound Too Inspired.― Days before Alabama’s special Senate election, Democrat Doug Jones is within striking distance of winning a seat his party hasn’t won in 25 years.


 

2019 McLaren Senna: It Certainly Has a Name to Live Up ToA whole bunch of horsepower, not a lot of weight.


 

Ryan Zinke Dismisses Reports On His Use Of Helicopters As ‘Fabricated’WASHINGTON — Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke on Saturday swung back at recent media reports about his costly use of government helicopters, calling them “total fabrications and a wild departure from reality.”


 

California man freed after 15 years for shaken baby deathSACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A California man who spent 15 years in prison for shaking his baby to death was freed Saturday, one day after a judge set aside his conviction.


 

First Fatality In Southern California Wildfires ConfirmedMedical officials confirmed the first fire-related fatality in Southern California’s most recent spate of wildfires to HuffPost on Saturday.


 

DNC Unity Commission Agrees On Slate Of Historic ReformsWASHINGTON ― At its final meeting on Friday and Saturday, the Democratic National Committee’s Unity and Reform Commission agreed to a set of dramatic revisions aimed at restoring faith in the presidential nomination process and the management of the DNC.


 

Priest who used to be KKK member apologizes 40 years laterARLINGTON, Va. (AP) — A former Ku Klux Klan member who burned a cross on a black couple's lawn 40 years ago, before becoming a Roman Catholic priest, has finally written his victims an apology.


 

Ukrainian author of Manafort op-ed says sought input to avoid errorsBy Pavel Polityuk KIEV (Reuters) - The author of an article that U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller believes Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort ghost-wrote in violation of a gag order said on Saturday he had sought input on the op-ed before publishing to avoid errors. On Friday, Mueller unveiled evidence against Manafort to convince a judge that he wrote the article to improve his public image. Manafort is facing charges as part of an investigation into accusations of Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election and possible collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign.


 

California's Getty museum survives wildfire, ready for quakesSouthern California's Getty Center, one of the world's wealthiest art institutions, said it had survived a wildfire tearing through Los Angeles thanks to a disaster plan that has it ready for earthquakes as well. Fires that have chased almost 200,000 Californians from their homes covered the Getty's hillside location in smoke this week. Perched above the busy 405 freeway, an artery of California's traffic system, the Getty is among the most visited U.S. museums and reopened on Friday after two days closed.


 

Trump visits Mississippi's Civil Rights Museum amid protestsAs Trump visited the new Museum of Mississippi History and the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum, protesters held up signs and shouted "No Trump, no hate, no KKK in the USA."


 

White Nationalists Have Been Saying 'Diversity Is Not Our Strength' For YearsRep. Steve King (R-Iowa) has again flirted with being an open white nationalist.


 

Norovirus Outbreak Sickens Students at North Carolina State UniversityAbout 60 students have come down with the illness


 

Your Tax Dollars Are Being Used To Attack PatagoniaWASHINGTON — The House Committee on Natural Resources has joined Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s fight against Patagonia, accusing the American outdoor retailer of lying in order to sell merchandise.


 

Recordings of Pilot president's epithets could disrupt trialCHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) — Secret recordings of one of the defendants uttering racial epithets are threatening to disrupt the federal fraud trial of former executives and sales staffers at the truck stop chain controlled by the family of Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam and Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam.


 

China's 'tiger mothers' rebel against punitive homework for parentsFed up with picking up the slack in terms of helping her son with his heavy school workload, 39-year-old mother, Mrs Wang, has joined millions of like-minded parents who are calling for something that China’s ‘tiger mothers’ would have considered unthinkable only a few years ago – a break from homework. The campaign focuses on the frustrations of parents who believe they shouldn’t be spending their evenings tackling arithmetic questions or reciting complex sentence structures when they could be watching a soap or reading a magazine. It was triggered by a viral post titled: “Goodness, what have I done wrong to have to do homework with my kids.” After millions on views on Sina Weibo, China’s Twitter, parents flocked to social media to share their own stories. Since then, three Chinese provinces have issued regulations banning schools from giving out homework which would involve parents. Three years ago, Mrs Wang’s family spent their life savings to move to a desirable catchment area where they could enroll their son, now aged nine, at an elite primary school that would compel him to work long hours. Like the majority of Chinese parents, she believed she was doing the best for her family by helping him attain the grades needed to enter a top secondary school. But after becoming heavily involved in helping her son meet those tough demands – usually after a ten-hour day at her busy Beijing office - Ms Wang now views the school as a source of conflict in her house and a major drain on her own time. “Sometimes all I think about when I am at work is my son’s homework,” said Mrs Wang, who only provided her surname. Chinese social media is full of stories from parents sharing experiences of screaming and shouting their way through homework with their offspring. One post said: “When I returned from school when I was young, my parents watched TV while I did my homework. “Now when I get home from work... I still have to do homework.” Other parents told how homework-related stress had caused them serious health problems or driven them to the brink of madness. “Come homework time, the whole yard knows my howls,” one said. Opposition from parents stunted previous attempts by the government to soften China’s notoriously high-pressure education system. A programme dubbed ‘happy education’ was rolled out four years ago, but there was resistance to slashing levels of homework, which is said to be around three hours a day in China - twice the global average. Consequently, the 2013 reforms resulted in teachers facing pressure from both sides. They were being told by education officials to relax academic learning, but parents were telling them to push their children harder. The teachers responded by involving parents more in the challenging topics. However, things didn’t go to plan. “It has become a vicious cycle because students submitted homework that had been polished by their parents, so teachers assigned more difficult homework,” one teacher told local media. Some parents choose to send their children to one of a growing number of expensive after-school institutions where they can finish their homework before being picked up. But education chiefs are already fighting back against challenging workloads, with officials in the eastern Jiangsu  and Zhejiang provinces, and also the northern Ningxia province, ruling that homework should not become “parental homework” or be set “above the level of the curriculum or the ability of the student”. Mrs Wang, meanwhile, has recently adopted a new daily regime. When she returns home from work, she instantly kicks off her shoes, makes a cup of green tea and changes into her pyjamas. She has decided that she won’t let her son’s academic frustrations affect the relationship she has with him, or her own work-life balance. Additional reporting by Christine Wei


 

Egypt reveals artefacts, mummy from tombs in ancient city of LuxorEgypt's authorities on Saturday revealed artefacts and a linen-wrapped mummified body, possibly that of a top official, from two tombs that were discovered two decades ago in the Nile city of Luxor but had not been fully unexplored. The Ministry of Antiquities said the tombs, located in the Draa Abul Naga necropolis on Luxor's west bank, had been noted by German archaeologist Frederica Kampp in 1990s and were either unexcavated or had never been entered. Along with the mummy, archaeologists found painted wooden funeral masks and several hundred carved statues, likely dating around the end of Egypt's 17th Dynasty or the start of the 18th Dynasty, the ministry said.


 

Substitute Teacher and Custodian Hailed Heroes After Gunman Opens Fire At School, Killing 2A 21-year-old opened fire and then killed himself.


 

Obama Warns Americans Against Following In The Path Of Nazi GermanyIt’s not that democracy is “fragile,” exactly, but it is “reversible,” according to former President Barack Obama.


 


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