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Welcome to Thursday, where the four-day truce between Hamas and Israel is delayed, anti-Islam populist Geert Wilders scores a dramatic victory in the Netherlands, and U.S. magnate Warren Buffett makes a big Thanksgiving donation. Meanwhile, we take a look at what’s causing massive teacher shortages around the world.
[*Sabaidee - Lao, Laos]
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• Offensive continues in Gaza as truce delayed: Israel says it continues to carry out its offensive in Gaza, as a proposed four-day truce and release of hostages, expected to start on Thursday, has been delayed for at least another day. Israel’s military forces said its aerial strikes hit 300 Hamas targets in the past day, including underground combat tunnels and weapons sites.
• Anti-Islam populist Geert Wilders wins Dutch election: Far-right populist leader Geert Wilders is set to win a dramatic victory in the Dutch general election, with almost all votes counted. Wilders’ anti-Islam Party for Freedom (PVV) is projected to win 37 seats in 150-seat parliament, well ahead of his nearest rival, a left-wing alliance. But to become prime minister, Wilders will have to persuade other parties to join him in a coalition.
• North Korea suspends Seoul military pact: North Korea has ripped up a 2018 joint military accord with South Korea and said it would move more troops and equipment to the border between the two countries, after Seoul suspended parts of the agreement in response to Pyongyang’s launch of a military spy satellite. The Comprehensive Military Agreement (CMA) aimed to reduce tensions on the peninsula and build trust between the two countries.
• Terrorism ruled out in Rainbow Bridge explosion: Investigators have found no evidence of an act of terrorism, after a speeding car crashed at the U.S.-Canada Rainbow Bridge border crossing, causing an explosion that killed two people. All four bridges linking the two countries near Niagara Falls were closed immediately after the incident.
• Finland to close all but one border crossing with Russia: Finland announced it will close three of the last four remaining border crossings with Russia to better control the flow of undocumented migrants. Since the beginning of the month, about 600 migrants without proper visas and documentation have arrived in the country, compared to a few dozen in September and October. Finnish authorities have accused Moscow of encouraging the influx of migrants to punish Finland for joining NATO. Read more on the topic here.
• Jamie Foxx, Guns N' Roses Axl Rose accused of sexual assault in new lawsuit: U.S. actor Jame Foxx is facing sexual assault accusations in a lawsuit filed in New York City that alleges he groped a woman at a popular restaurant and rooftop bar in Manhattan in August 2015. Meanwhile, a former model is suing Guns N’ Roses frontman Axl Rose for alleged sexual assault and battery, accusing the artist of attacking her in a hotel room in New York in 1989.
• Thanksgiving donations: Warren Buffett is donating about $870 million to four family-run foundations ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday, continuing his commitment of giving away much of his wealth of about $120 billion. The donations are in the form of shares, with a release from his Berkshire Hathaway conglomerate detailing that 1.5 million shares are going to the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation, named after his wife.
The Netherlands woke up to the confirmation that veteran anti-Islam populist leader Geert Wilders had won a dramatic victory in the Dutch general election. With the whole national press covering the news, NRC, Trouw and De Telegraaf chose to feature the winner on their respective front pages. De Volkskrant, instead turned the focus on the shock felt by voters. Wilders’ win has shaken Dutch politics and it will send a shock across Europe too.
The European Union has approved the revised version of Hungary’s recovery and resilience plan, which will release €920 million in advance payments under the country’s hitherto frozen recovery fund. The European Commission had frozen Hungary out of the bloc's post-pandemic economic stimulus due to concerns over corruption. The decision still needs to be greenlit by a qualified majority of member states.
The silent education crisis: Teacher shortages are spreading around the world
From North America to Africa to Europe, massive teacher shortages are threatening to derail progress on global development goals. The causes vary and sometimes overlap, but the price will be paid in the future.
🧑🏫 The world is short on teachers. Across the planet, the impact of ongoing conflicts and the continued ripples from the pandemic have prompted worry around the future of education. According to a UNESCO report, last year 9% of primary school teachers left the profession, double the rate in 2015. The report blames low pay, poor working conditions, and the high-stress nature of the job for this exodus.
🇺🇸 In the United States, teacher shortages have led to doubled class sizes, the burgeoning of online courses, and, in some cases, lowered standards when it comes to hiring. One analysis found that the majority of U.S. states are experiencing a shortage of teachers, with turnover rates increasing sharply during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 45% of public schools reported being understaffed, and “hiring elementary and special education teachers remains a challenge”.
📉 Europe's wealthy countries, including France, Germany, Portugal, Italy, and Sweden, are also grappling with the teacher crisis. Part of the reason for this, according to Régis Malet, professor of education at the University of Bordeaux, is the gradual erosion in the social status of teachers. The profession went from “a job with high added social value, prestige, to a form of uncertainty in the mission, loss of meaning and ultimately dissonance between the school and life,” he told Euronews.
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➡️ Watch the video: THIS HAPPENED
“The Gaza Strip is the most dangerous place in the world to be a child.”
— The executive director of the United Nations Children’s Agency UNICEF, Catherine Russell, addressed the UN Security Council on Wednesday regarding the conditions in Gaza, which she visited last week. She told the council that a reported 5,300 Palestinian children had been killed since Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack, and that the effects of this violence on children have been “catastrophic”.
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