Blast in rebel-held Yemen capital killed 14 schoolchildren: UN

Blast in rebel-held Yemen capital killed 14 schoolchildren: UN

Sanaa: An explosion near two schools in the rebel-held Yemeni capital killed 14 children and wounded 16, the UN said Tuesday, but the cause of the weekend blast remains unclear.

Most of the child casualties in the city´s Saewan district were girls under the age of nine, according to statements by both the UN children´s fund (UNICEF) and the UN special envoy for Yemen.

Yemen´s Huthi rebels have accused a Saudi-led military coalition backing the government of carrying out an air strike.

The coalition denied conducting any air raids on the capital on Sunday.

“A blast in Sanaa this week killed 14 children and critically injured 16. This is what UNICEF was able to verify, with the actual number of children killed and injured likely to increase,” said UNICEF´s Middle East and North Africa director, Geert Cappelaere.

“It was almost lunchtime and students were in class. The blast shattered the windows and unleashed a burst of shrapnel and broken glass into the classrooms.”

The United Nations and international aid groups have called for an investigation into the Sunday explosion but have not apportioned blame.

The World Health Organization estimates nearly 10,000 Yemenis have been killed since 2015, when Saudi Arabia and its allies intervened to prevent the defeat of the government in the face of a rebel offensive.

Human rights groups say the real death toll is several times higher.

The conflict has pushed millions of Yemenis to the brink of mass starvation, in what the UN has called the world´s worst humanitarian crisis.

Both sides stand accused of actions that could amount to war crimes. The coalition has been blacklisted by the UN for the killing of children.

Saudi Arabia and its allies accuse the Huthis of using civilians as human shields in densely populated areas. 

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Blast kills 14 chilren in Sana’a

Sana’a/Amman: A blast in the Yemeni capital of Sana’a has killed 14 children and critically injured 16, according to UNICEF.

Geert Cappelaere, UNICEF Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa, said about the incident, “This is what UNICEF was able to verify, with the actual number of children killed and injured likely to increase.

“The critically injured children, many of whom are fighting for their lives, are now in hospitals in Sana’a. Most are under the age of nine. One girl succumbed to her injuries yesterday morning,” he added.

Cappelaere said the incident occurred near two schools.

“It was almost lunch time and students were in class. The blast shattered the windows and unleashed a burst of shrapnel and broken glass into the classrooms.

“It is hard to imagine the sheer horror that those children experienced – and the sheer horror and guilt parents may feel for having done what every parent aspires to: sending their children to school.”

The killing and maiming of children are grave violations of children’s rights, Cappelaere stated

“Yesterday’s blast is another reminder that even schools are not safe in Yemen. One in five schools can no longer be used as a direct result of the conflict. Some came under direct attack, while others are being used for military purposes.

“For more than 2 million children in Yemen today, going to school is a faraway dream! Yesterday’s blast may further discourage parents to send their children to school.”

UNICEF, he stated, had mobilised lifesaving assistance for affected children and families over the last 24 hours. The organisation is providing them with psychosocial support and coverd surgery and other medical treatment costs as well helping them travel to be with their loved ones as they receive care.

The global body noted that more than 400 children have been killed and seriously injured in Yemen since the beginning of the year.

Bangladesh expands school meals program to 400,000 children

The program, piloted by the World Food Programme (WFP) in 2013, gives school children fresh, hot school meals in Bamna of Barguna and Islampur upazila in Jamalpur. “We thank the government for their initiative to transition from fortified biscuits to fresh, hot meals. Nutritious meals for school children have a high return on investment, as they improve children’s health and productivity throughout their life,” said Richard Ragan, WFP representative and country director at a school meals policy consultation in Dhaka on Wednesday. This contribution will help WFP reach over 172,000 school children in 2019, it added. WFP’s efforts complement the government-led School Feeding Programme in poverty prone areas, which reaches over 2.7 million children each year.

Parents call for change after Grade 2 class with nearly 50 kids leaves some ‘anxious,’ ‘overwhelmed’

A group of parents took their concerns to the Red Deer Lake School, the Foothills School Division, the board of trustees and the education minister. School officials respondThe Foothills School Division insists the concerns are coming from a “very small group of parents.” “The majority of the parents … support this learning and feel that their children are thriving,” said Pam Rannelli, acting superintendent with the school division. Moussadji, too, is taking her child out of Red Deer Lake School at the end of the school year. Amy Shaw pulled her daughter out of Red Deer Lake School last week.

Students write to Minister questioning delay replacing school block

Students at a Cork secondary school have written to the Minister for Education asking for work to begin on a new permanent building to replace a block of classrooms destroyed by fire in 2016. Sub-standard conditionsThe school has had to put a cap on the number of pupils it can cater for in the absence of any firm commitment as to when work on the new school block is to commence. “For nearly three years, not one single block has been laid on the school site, illustrating the lacklustre response from your department. “Why are we waiting so long, can your department not prioritise our school, and when will we have a new school building? Although I will not avail of any new school building, I feel it is important to highlight the situation fellow younger students find themselves in,” he said in his letter.

Girl seen hurling anti-Muslim slurs, pulling off hijab in school

New York: A high school Muslim student’s hijab was pulled off allegedly by a schoolmate who also hurled anti-Muslim slurs during a fight in the US, prompting authorities to arrest her, according to a media report.

The East Brunswick High School girl, whose name and age were not released, got into an argument with another girl on Wednesday because both students wanted the same seat in a common area on campus, the school’s Superintendent Victor Valeski said in a statement.

As the fight escalated, one of the girls pulled off the other girl’s hijab and started screaming anti-Muslim slurs at her; the superintendent was quoted as saying by the WNBC-TV.

A school security officer broke up the fight, but not before it was caught on video. The video was posted to social media at some point after the fight, the report said.

“Ultimately, the fight was determined to be a bias incident and was immediately reported to the East Brunswick Police Department and the County Prosecutor’s Office in accordance with Board Policy… and the law,” Valeski said.

The student who pulled off the girl’s hijab was arrested and charged with simple assault, harassment, cyber harassment and disorderly conduct, Middlesex County prosecutors said.

“The East Brunswick Public School District values our diverse student body and community. The District does not tolerate any incidents of bias, discrimination, harassment, intimidation or bullying and takes swift action if such an event occurs,” the superintendent said.

The Muslim girl has also been suspended under the school’s zero-tolerance policy after the fight was broken up by a school security officer. But some students and parents have questioned why she was suspended for ‘defending herself’.

You can now use your Android phone as a security key: Here’s how to do it

Two-factor authentication is a key way to help ensure your online accounts remain secure. Google has offered this solution for years now, but it’s stepping things up by letting you use your Android phone as a hardware security key of sorts.

Currently, users with two-factor authentication can receive web-based notifications, emails, or a call on their phone, allowing them to quickly refuse or grant account access. But cyber-criminals can (and have) skirted these alerts in order to steal account credentials.

Android security review 2018 —Huge boost in device security updates

One alternative is to buy a hardware security key fob that uses Bluetooth, NFC or USB connectivity to authenticate account access. And Google’s latest solution is a similar, hardware-based approach that’s actually based on the prominent FIDO2 standard.

The Mountain View company will let you use any Android 7.0 Nougat phone or better, as these devices all have the required security key tech. Google also requires a ChromeOS/Mac/Windows 10 computer with Bluetooth, and a compatible browser (i.e. Chrome).

To enable the functionality on your Google account, you’ll need to do the following:

  • Go to myaccount.google.com/security on your Android phone to enable two-step verification if you haven’t done so already (Security > 2-Step Verification > Get Started).
  • From the 2-Step Verification page, you’ll need to scroll down and select Add Security Key.
  • You’ll then be presented with a list of compatible devices that belong to you. Select your desired phone from the list and tap add. Do note that you’ll need to enable Bluetooth and Location on your phone before using the feature.

To use the feature on your computer, Google says you simply need to follow the instructions below:

  • Enable Bluetooth on your computer (you don’t need to actually connect to the phone)
  • Sign into your Google account.
  • Check your Android phone for a sign-in notification.
  • Double-tap the “Are you trying to sign in?” alert (although we were presented with the option to immediately say “yes” instead).
  • Follow the instructions to confirm that you’re trying to sign in.

Interestingly, a Google GIF shows Pixel 3 users holding down on the phone’s volume-down button to confirm access. Check it out below.

It’s a very handy addition overall, and should go a long way to ensuring that your Google account is as secure as can be. We also hope this security key technology spreads to other websites and services in the near future, as it could drastically reduce cases of account breaches.

New Google laptops and tablets said to be coming with productivity in mind

Google now lets you use your Android phone as a 2SV security key

If you have a phone running Android 7.0 Nougat or higher, you can now use it as a FIDO security key. This new option was announced at Google Cloud Next 2019, and it makes using 2-Step Verification much more accessible thanks to the fact that people are likely to have their phones with them most of the time.

The system — currently in beta — can be used to access ChromeOS, macOS or Windows 10 computers running Chrome, and can replace or supplement other FIDO-based security keys like Google’s own .

Announcing the availability of the new security feature, Google says: “your phone can be your security key — it’s built into devices running Android 7.0+. This makes it easier and more convenient for you to unlock this powerful protection, without having to carry around additional security keys. Use it to protect your personal Google Account, as well as your Google Cloud Accounts at work. We also recommend it for people in our Advanced Protection Program”.

The company shares a video showing how the sign-in process works:

If you want to activate the feature on a phone running Android 7 or newer, use the following steps:

  1. Add your Google Account to your Android phone.
  2. Make sure you’re enrolled in 2SV.
  3. On your computer, visit the 2SV settings and click “Add security key”.
  4. Choose your Android phone from the list of available devices — and you’re done!

In order to use the feature, you’ll need to remember to have Bluetooth switched on both on your phone and on the computer you want to sign into.

What Is KaiOS and Why Is It the 3rd Most Popular Mobile OS?

Smartphone sales and the growth of online services have begun to stagnant throughout the globe. In the search for the next chunk of users, companies like Google are being forced to explore new avenues.

One of those is reaching regions where smartphones are still largely inaccessible. A new mobile operating system called KaiOS promises to solve that conundrum. It has already outpaced iOS in emerging countries such as India and bagged funding of $22 million from Google.

So what is KaiOS and why are so many companies pushing for it?

What Is KaiOS?

KaiOS’ app store hosts tens of titles, some of which you might be familiar with. These apps, of course, don’t offer the same set of functionality they do on smartphones. Only the basics are covered. For instance, you can’t live-stream from the Facebook or Twitter apps.

At the time of writing, KaiOS offers:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • YouTube
  • Google Maps
  • Google Assistant
  • Google Search
  • WhatsApp (OEM dependent)
  • The Weather Channel
  • A few Gameloft games like Danger Dash and Real Football Runner

The store has a handful of other generic apps which are developed by KaiOS itself. There’s one for checking the weather called KaiWeather, QR Reader for scanning codes, and more.

What Is Google and Facebook’s Interest in KaiOS?

Google and Facebook were among the first to port their services to KaiOS. But why are they bothering with bringing their apps to feature phones at all?

The answer to that is straightforward. Big tech companies primarily generate revenue from their advertising network. More users translate to more data and advertisers. With smartphone sales plummeting, these giants are turning to feature phones in a hope to expand their user base.

By signing up early, they’re essentially trying to get a head-start before the competition catches up. They want to be the first online destination for KaiOS’ demographic which will mostly include users who are using the internet for the first time.

Both Google and Facebook have, over the years, introduced new features and language support for emerging countries. Google Assistant, for instance, can now talk in Hindi, the most widely-used Indian language.

Google has gone even as far as investing over $20 million in KaiOS and secured the role of the default voice assistant. Phones such as the JioPhone 2 also have special hardware buttons for invoking the Assistant. Plus, KaiOS has added deep-level integrations.

So you can simply say “message Dave on WhatsApp” or “Check in on Facebook” and the software will take care of the rest.

Who Is KaiOS For?

KaiOS’ target audience is the entry-level segment and places where smartphones still haven’t gone mainstream. KaiOS is also meant for customers with low literacy rates who find it difficult to navigate on a touchscreen. The available apps have been developed keeping that in mind and can be completely operated through physical buttons.

What’s more, KaiOS phones are excellent options for people who’d like to detox and break their smartphone addiction. You’ve got all your essential apps like Google Maps but the small display and keypads will restrict you from spending too much time on them.

Another use case for such phones is kids. You can buy a KaiOS feature phone without worrying about them staring at their phones constantly. Compatibility with the majority of leading online services, means they can stay connected with you and their friends.

Senior citizens will find KaiOS appealing as well. It’s simple, can be connected to the internet for apps like WhatsApp, and won’t overwhelm them with constant alerts and popups.

Best KaiOS Phones to Buy

If you’re interested in buying a KaiOS phone, you have a few options depending on where you live. Here are the best KaiOS phones with their availability:

  • Alcatel Go Flip 2 (U.S.A., Canada)
  • JioPhone 2 (India)
  • HMD Global Nokia 8110 (most countries except for the U.S.A.)
  • Cat B35 (Europe)

But for people aren’t necessarily interested in KaiOS, there are many other feature phones to consider The 5 Best Feature Phones You Can Buy Today .

Turn an Android Phone Into a Dumb Phone

Backed by major companies and boasting an open platform, KaiOS certainly seems like the future of feature phones. But for people looking into dumb phones to take a break from their smartphone, there’s a better option.

One that doesn’t require you to invest in a new phone and still experience the limitations. Here’s how to turn a smartphone into a dumb phone How to Turn an Android Phone Into a Dumbphone in 8 Steps .

Short film emphasizes our denial of how much we use our phones while driving

  • A new documentary short shows how much we use our phones while driving — and how much we deny it.
  • The film was created by an Academy Award-winning filmmaker and is 20 minutes long.
  • The director thinks our phone usage on the road is “so much worse than we thought.”

There’s every reason to believe that anyone reading this article has texted while driving. We all probably say we don’t use our phones while driving — or at the very least say we  not to use our phones while driving — but we inevitably do.

But exactly how much are we doing so? Are we using our phones while driving more than we think, or are we overly worried about something that we’re actually keeping in check?

According to a new documentary short from Academy Award-winning filmmaker Eva Orner, we are absolutely using our phones while driving way more than we think. In fact, it’s distinctly horrifying how deep we deny our constant phone use.

Orner’s documentary short is called “It’s People Like Us,” and you can watch it for free on YouTube (we’ve embedded it below to make it easy, it’s only 20 minutes long). The premise of the film is simple: ask a bunch of regular people what they think about using phones while driving, and then film them driving around to see if what they say matches up with their actions.

Spoiler alert: in most cases, the two don’t match up. At all.

To be clear, the people in the documentary are not being secretly filmed — they fully consented to Orner recording their drives and knew the documentary was about how much we use our phones on the road. Yet somehow, despite the knowledge that they are being recorded, the various subjects still did the following:

  • Driving one-handed while holding the phone to their ear during a conversation
  • Texting while driving
  • Texting while driving with an infant in the back seat
  • Taking selfies while driving
  • Posting selfies to Snapchat while driving at night

The footage of the subjects performing these actions is intercut with those same individuals claiming that they don’t use their phone while driving, that they drive safely, and other obvious fallacies.

Orner didn’t mince words when discussing her own reaction to the final cut of the film. “I think it’s so much worse than we thought,” she said. “And you don’t realize how bad it is until you see it. I just think [using mobile phones] is such a part of our life we don’t even know we’re doing it half the time, and that’s part of the problem.”

After being shown the footage from inside her car, one participant said, “I have to admit I would look dangerous on the road. It would take an accident or losing my license on the spot pretty much [for me] to get off my phone.”