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UN chief spotlights plight of young in war-torn Syria

UN chief Ban Ki-moon spotlighted the plight of children in war-torn Syria Friday, saying more than 2 million were not getting an education due to the bloody, three-year conflict. Some 40 percent of schools have been damaged or used as shelter by people fleeing their homes, the secretary general added. "More than two and a quarter million (Syrian) children are out of school," Ban told the UN Security Council during a debate about children in armed conflicts. "In too many war zones around the world, schools and hospitals have been targeted or caught in cross-fire."

One in three older adults reports age discrimination

By Kathryn Doyle NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Many older adults report being discriminated against due to their age, according to a new study. One third of British people in their 50s and above said they had experienced age discrimination, researchers reported in the journal Age and Ageing. That included being treated with less courtesy or getting poorer service at restaurants and hospitals.

Gunfire, round-the-clock curfew in restive Nigerian region

Gunfire and explosions shook one northeastern Nigerian town Tuesday while soldiers slapped a round-the-clock curfew on another in the region hit by waves of insurgent attacks, the military and residents said. Clashes broke out in the town of Gamboru Ngala on the border with Cameroon on Monday night and continued on Tuesday, a resident said. The military had not commented on the situation there and details remained unclear. Meanwhile, a round-the-clock curfew was imposed on the city of Potiskum and soldiers carried out house-to-house searches.

Britain urged to stop recruiting minors to armed forces

Two campaign groups on Tuesday called for Britain to stop recruiting 16 and 17-year-olds to its armed forces, a practice that has been abandoned by most countries. Child Soldiers International and ForcesWatch said Britain's Ministry of Defence (MoD) wasted up to £94 million ($143 million, 110 million euros) a year by recruiting minors, who it said were twice as expensive to train as 18-year-olds. But the MoD said the report ignored the benefits that a military career offered young people, and said it had no plans to change its policy.

Child soldiers increasingly recruited in Syria: charity

Children are being increasingly recruited on the frontline in Syria's war, with both sides to the conflict using boys as soldiers and even human shields, a British charity said on Wednesday. Save the Children said in a report marking two years of violence in Syria that two million children were innocent victims of the bloody conflict that the United Nations says has cost at least 70,000 lives. These children were struggling to find enough food to eat and were therefore under constant risk of malnutrition and disease, said the report, adding many were unable to go to school.
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