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French Finance Minister To Shun Saudi Conference Over Missing Journalist

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French Finance Minister To Shun Saudi Conference Over Missing Journalist

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire added his name to a growing list of government ministers and prominent business executives cancelling their attendance at a Saudi Arabia investment conference over the fate of a Saudi journalist.

Le Maire said Saudi authorities needed to explain the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi after he went to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.

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Turkish officials have said they believe Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist who was critical of the authoritarian kingdom’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was murdered inside the consulate. The Saudis have denied the allegations.

“No, I will not be going,” Le Maire told Public Senat TV. “The allegations are serious”.

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Paris and Riyadh enjoy close diplomatic ties and commercial relations spanning energy, finance and arms. Le Maire said he had informed his Saudi counterpart of his decision not to travel to Riyadh on Wednesday.

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Asked if the move might jeopardize bilateral relations between the two countries, Le Maire said: “Absolutely not.”

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said his plans to attend an investment conference in Riyadh next week would be revisited on Thursday.

World News

UN Says 10 Children Among 13 Killed By US Air Strike In Afghanistan

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UN Says 10 Children Among 13 Killed By US Air Strike In Afghanistan

The United Nations has on Monday confirmed that ten children, part of the same extended family, were killed by a US air strike in Afghanistan, along with three adult civilians.

The deadly attack occurred early Saturday near the capital city of volatile Kunduz province a northern province where the Taliban is strong where Afghan and U.S. forces were conducting a joint operation against Taliban insurgents.

Sgt. Debra Richardson, spokeswoman for the NATO-led Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan, confirmed on Sunday that US forces carried out the air strike. She said the mission aims to prevent civilian casualties, while the Taliban intentionally hides among civilians.

The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said in releasing its preliminary findings about the incident. UNAMA said in a statement that it is verifying that all 13 civilian casualties occurred around the time of the air strike.

U.S. officials confirmed the killing of two service members and carrying out an airstrike in the area, accusing the Taliban of using civilian areas as hideouts.

The strike which happened between late Friday and early Saturday is to support the pro-government forces on ground fighting against the Taliban militants in the area. The ensuing clashes have killed two American soldiers and several local commando forces, prompting the U.S. military to launch the airstrike

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World News

Seven Wounded As Gaza Rocket Strikes Home In Central Israel

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Seven Wounded As Gaza Rocket Strikes Home In Central Israel

Seven people were wounded early Monday morning after a rocket allegedly fired from Gaza Strip stuck a house in central Israel prompting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to cut short his visit to Washington and return to Israel after his meeting with President Donald Trump.

The Israel Defense Forces said that the rocket, which struck a home in the community of Mishmeret, was fired from a Hamas position in the area of Rafah in the southern Strip, some 120 kilometers from where it struck. It said the rocket was manufactured by the group.

Israel’s ambulance service said it treated seven people overall, including two women who were moderately wounded. The others, including two children and an infant, had minor wounds.

Israel has also closed the Erez and Kerem Shalom border crossings into the Strip.

Netanyahu said that Israel “will respond forcefully” to the rocket fire and that he was returning “to manage our operations up close.”

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African News

Teacher From Remote Kenya Village Is World’s Best, Wins $1 Million

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Teacher From Remote Kenya Village Is World's Best, Wins $1 Million

A maths and physics teacher from rural Kenya who donates most of his salary to help poorer students has won the $1m Global Teacher Prize for 2019 beating 10,000 nominations from 179 countries.

36-year-old, Peter Tabichi, a science teacher at Keriko secondary school in Pwani Village, in a remote village in Kenya’s Rift Valley, Tabichi, a member of the Franciscan religious order, who gives away 80 percent of his salary to support poor students, received the prize at a ceremony on Saturday in Dubai, hosted by Hollywood actor Hugh Jackman.

“Every day in Africa we turn a new page and a new chapter, this prize does not recognise me but recognises this great continent’s young people. I am only here because of what my students have achieved,” Tabichi said.

In a society where drug abuse, teenage pregnancies, dropping out early from school, young marriages and suicide are common while over 90% of his pupils are from poor families and almost a third are orphans or have only one parent, students have to walk 7km along roads that can become impassable in the rainy season to reach the school.

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