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Palestinian schoolgirl wins $150,000 Arab reading prize

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A Palestinian high school student on Wednesday won $150,000 (125,000 euros) in an Arabic-language reading competition organized by the Dubai government.

Seventeen-year-old Afaf Raed Sharif, from Ramallah, beat 16 finalists from across the Arab world to land the top prize in the second annual Arab Reading Challenge.

Participants had to read at least 50 books to qualify.

“This is a victory over all the challenges that we face. We refuse to be any less than any other people in the world,” Sharif said.

“It’s a message to all students: don’t you ever give up. Don’t you ever break. When you set a goal, you can reach it. It won’t be easy … but you have to make persistence and patience your allies.”

The all-girl Al-Iman school, in Bahrain, won a $1 million prize for the best reading initiatives for students.

The principal of the winning school takes home $100,000 of the prize money, with the school’s reading supervisor taking another $100,000 and the remaining $800,000 going to school funds.

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Ghana: video of police assault on nursing mother goes viral

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Ghana’s social media space – Facebook and Twitter – has been buzzing with a call for the arrest of a police officer for assaulting a nursing mother.

A viral video shows the said officer in what starts like a tussle with the woman in a banking hall. Subsequently, he is seen hitting the woman with an umbrella, punching and slapping her on the face.

Reports indicated that the woman, a client of the savings and loans company, where the incident occured had arrived when the company had closed.

She ostensibly got in despite the close of business and refused to leave till she could withdraw a sum of 250 cedis ($50). Social media users are calling for the immediate arrest of the police officer. 

Local media portals also report that the police heirachy has confirmed that a probe had been opened into the alleged incident and that due process was going to be pursued.

The video continues to be widely shared on Facebook with some prominent media personalities joining the calls for justice for the woman.

 

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Trump extends Somali immigrants’ stay in US

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Somalis living in the United States under protected status have been given permission by the Trump administration to remain in the country for at least another 18 months, because of ongoing violence in the North African nation.

At least 500 Somalis in the United States with Temporary Protected Status will be able to re-register for an extension of their status through March 17, 2020, according to a Thursday statement from the Department of Homeland Security. The status grants beneficiaries the ability to legally work while they are in the United States.

 

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