Rebel warehouse with chem weapons hit by Syrian airstrike in Idlib – Russian MOD

Rebel warehouse with chem weapons hit by Syrian airstrike in Idlib – Russian MOD
The Syrian Air Force has destroyed a warehouse in Idlib province where chemical weapons were being produced and stockpiled before being shipped to Iraq, Russia’s Defense Ministry spokesman said.

The strike, which was launched midday Tuesday, targeted a major rebel ammunition depot east of the town of Khan Sheikhoun, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Major-General Igor Konashenkov said in a statement.

The warehouse was used to both produce and store shells containing toxic gas, Konashenkov said. The shells were delivered to Iraq and repeatedly used there, he added, pointing out that both Iraq and international organizations have confirmed the use of such weapons by militants.

READ MORE: Intl monitoring body & West ignoring reports of ‘chemical attack’ in Mosul – Russian MoD

The same chemical munitions were used by militants in Aleppo, where Russian military experts took samples in late 2016, Konashenkov said.

The Defense Ministry has confirmed this information as “fully objective and verified,” Konashenkov added.

According to the statement, Khan Sheikhoun civilians, who recently suffered a chemical attack, displayed identical symptoms to those of Aleppo chemical attack victims.

READ MORE: Syria hands over evidence of mustard gas attack by rebels on civilians to OPCW (VIDEO)

At least 58 people, including 11 children, reportedly died and scores were injured after a hospital in Khan Sheikhoun was targeted in a suspected gas attack on Tuesday morning, Reuters reported, citing medics and rebel activists. Soon after a missile allegedly hit the facility, people started showing symptoms of chemical poisoning, such as choking and fainting. The victims were reportedly also seen with foam coming out of their mouths. While the major Syrian opposition group, the Syrian National Coalition, and other pro-rebel groups put the blame on the attack onto President Bashar Assad’s government, the Syrian military dismissed all allegations as propaganda by the rebels.

“We deny completely the use of any chemical or toxic material in Khan Sheikhoun town today and the army has not used nor will use in any place or time, neither in past or in future,” the Syrian army said in a statement.

The Russian military stated it did not carry out any airstrike in the area either.
However, EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini, commenting on the incident, was quick to point to the Syrian government as a culprit, saying that it bears responsibility for the “awful” attack.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson echoed Mogherini, accusing the Syrian government of perpetrating the attack calling it “brutal, unabashed barbarism.” He argued, that besides the Syrian authorities, Iran and Russia should also bear “moral responsibility” for it.



Soros-funded university in Hungary facing closure following parliament vote

Soros-funded university in Hungary facing closure following parliament vote
Hungary has approved a new law that could force a George Soros-financed university out of the country, despite widespread protests against the bill in Budapest.

The Central European University (CEU), founded by the US billionaire investor in 1991, is the only international college in the country with no overseas affiliate. The ruling Fidesz party’s new higher education bill would require institutions funded by foreign investment to also host students at a home nation campus.

The bill also states that certain universities could be blocked from issuing foreign diplomas to Hungarian residents.

READ MORE: Crowds march to defend Soros funded university in Budapest (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

Crouds outside @ceuhungary chanting “free country, free university” & “nothing about us without us”

The government says the law is designed to address the administrative shortcomings of foreign universities, according to Reuters. Last week, Prime Minister Viktor Orban accused the CEU of violating regulations in awarding diplomas, which the college denies.

Following Tuesday’s governmental vote, the university will no longer be permitted to enroll new students from January 1, 2018, unless CEU opens a new campus in the US or an agreement is reached between the United States government, the State of New York and Hungary’s Orban government before the end of September.

The Vice Chairman of the Fidesz party, Szilard Nemeth, said in January that Soros and his NGOs ought to be “swept out” from Hungary because they are “pushing global big capital and a related political correctness” into the country.

READ MORE: Soros-funded NGOs should be ‘swept out’ of Hungary – deputy chief of ruling party

On Sunday, thousands of students and CEU supporters took to the streets of the capital to protest the proposed education legislation, marching from Budapest’s Corvinus University to Central European University buildings on Nador Street in solidarity.

100+ economists stand for – for 1440 students from 108 countries and 397 faculty & staff in 13 depts. They stand with .

The university, which currently has 1,400 students enrolled, says the bill specifically targets their operating structure and “is therefore discriminatory.”

Any legislative change that would force CEU to cease operation in Budapest would damage Hungarian academic life and negatively impact the government of Hungary’s relations with its neighbors, its EU partners and with the United States,” said CEU president Michael Ignatieff.

Even if the matter is resolved within the next six months, the university’s precarious future is essentially a “death sentence” when the college has to recruit skilled staff or students, reports the Hungarian Free Press.

Germany’s newly-elected president, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, gave an impassioned speech on protecting the European Union’s “precious legacy” while addressing MEPs in Strasbourg for the first time Tuesday, and referenced the university.

And Europe must not be silent if civil society, even science, as it happened at the Central European University in Budapest, the air they breathe is taken away. Europe must not be silent,” said Steinmeier.



Video of gender-segregated Muslim school bus leaves Swedish authorities fuming

Video of gender-segregated Muslim school bus leaves Swedish authorities fuming
Swedish Prime Minister has slammed the policy of gender segregation in a Muslim school after a Swedish TV channel revealed that girls are forced to board their school bus through the back door, while boys use the front one.

The video is part of the latest episode of TV4’s “Kalla Fakta,” or Cold Facts, show, which was to be aired on Tuesday evening. It features secret footage showing children between six and 10 years old being segregated by gender while boarding a school bus. The boys freely use the front door while the girls are directed to the rear door.

The Cold Facts’ reporter, Helena Gissen, also found out that the pupils are being divided by gender during school prayers as girls sit in one room, and boys in another one. Gissen asked the school headmaster, Hussein Ibrahim, to comment on the situation but he refused to do it and then demanded that the journalists leave the school, threatening to call the police if they do not.

“I think this is disgusting. This doesn’t belong in Sweden,” PM Stefan Lofven told reporters in Stockholm, adding that, in Sweden, “we take the bus together whether you are a girl or a boy, a woman or a man,” AP reports.

He also said that the issue “indicates that we have more to tackle when it comes to segregation,” adding that he had already given a corresponding task to his government.

The prime minister’s words were echoed by Education Minister Gustav Fridolin, who said that rules preventing gender segregation in schools are apparently “too weak” and called for the tightening of the regulation concerning religious schools.

“This is completely unacceptable,” Fridolin said, referring to the situation in the publicly funded but privately managed Al-Azhar school located in Stockholm’s northwest neighborhood of Vaellingby, which was revealed by the Swedish TV4 Channel.

“Obviously, we have weak rules. It is clear that we both need to tighten the curriculum to prevent mechanistic gender separation from taking place, and to strengthen the regulatory framework when it comes to denominational schools,” the education minister added, as cited by the Swedish Expressen daily.

He also stressed that if school does not comply with the directives given by the educational authorities, its license should be revoked.

The school’s vice principal denied that the school authorities had any intention of dividing the pupils by gender. “This is not something that has been known or sanctioned by school management. Both the principal and I note, after seeing the video, that it has happened, but it is of course nothing we support,” Roger Lindquist, the school’s deputy headmaster, told the Swedish TT news agency, adding that it was apparently “a mistake.”

Lindquist also claimed that around 80 percent of the school staff are non-Muslims, even though the educational facility describes itself as a school with a “Muslim profile.”

“It is important to point out that the staff is not driven by religion but a passion to work with cultural and integration issues. It is also important that the school is not based on Muslim values but democratic ones,” he said.

Al-Azhar school has some 120 employees and 660 students. The school, founded in 1995, says that Islam is taught as a separate subject. Children are allowed to pray during school hours. It already provoked controversy in late August 2016 when it was revealed that the school had gender-segregated gym classes.

At that time, the education inspectorate gave a green light to this move, even though Fridolin called such decision “surprising.”

In February 2017, the Swedish government proposed a ban on single-sex classrooms across all subjects as part of a definitive measure to guarantee equality of education for all Swedish citizens.

Sweden’s socialized school system is state-funded but privately run, which allows religious organizations to operate educational institutions so long as they adhere to the secular curriculum produced by the state.


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