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BBC, AP

Syrian TV announced the death of a fourth top regime official Friday morning from the suicide bombing earlier in the week that killed members of Bashar al-Assad's inner circle.

AP reported that Syria's national security chief Gen. Hisham Ikhtiar died at a Damascus hospital from injuries from the attack carried out Wednesday by a bodyguard at the national security headquarters.

His death was announced as the Syrian regime held funeral ceremonies for the three other deceased officials close to Assad: his defense minister, a brother-in-law and a veteran army general.

The BBC reported that Russia's envoy to France has raised tensions between Moscow and Damascus by suggesting that Assad was ready to step down as President of Syria.

Russia and China again voted against UN resolutions to impose sanctions on Syria on Thursday.

The first images of the Syrian President since Wednesday's attack were broadcasted late Thursday, quelling rumours of his whereabouts.

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Society

Play And Pay: Why Singapore's Education System Is Top Of The Class

For years, Singapore has topped education rankings and inspired other school systems. Among the keys to its success is a playful approach to education and highly paid teachers. But many worry about the pressure the system places on children.

Students at Sri Mariamman Hindu temple in Singapore

Yann Rousseau

SINGAPORE — Every year in mid-October, social networks are set ablaze in Singapore. Upset parents attack the Ministry of Education on Facebook, Twitter and other forums, accusing it of having organized tests that were too complicated for their children. They say their children came home from the math section of the PSLE – the Primary School Leaving Examination – in tears. The results come in late November.

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