Nearly half of Florida high school students failed the reading portion of the state’s new toughened standardized test, education officials said on Friday.
Results this year from the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test showed 52 percent of freshman students and 50 percent of sophomores scored at their grade levels.
Students in the 10th grade must pass the exam in order to eventually graduate but can retake it if they fail.
The results came days after the Florida State Board of Education voted to lower the standards needed to pass the writing part of the test, known as FCAT. The test is administered in public elementary, middle and high schools.
The board took the action in an emergency meeting when preliminary results indicated only about one-third of Florida students would have passed this year.
Half of Florida high school students fail reading test – Yahoo! News Canada
Pakistan on Sunday blocked access to Twitter in response to “blasphemous” material posted by users on the microblogging and social networking website, a senior government official said.
“This has been done under the directions of the Ministry of Information Technology. It’s because of blasphemous content,” said Mohammed Yaseen, chairman of the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA).
“They (the ministry) have been discussing with them (Twitter) for some time now, requesting them to remove some particular content,” he said.
Pakistan blocked access to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and about 1,000 other websites for nearly two weeks in May 2010 over blasphemous content.
Any representation of the Prophet Mohammad is deemed un-Islamic and blasphemous by many Muslims, who constitute the overwhelming majority in Pakistan.
PTA chairman Yaseen did not specify which users or messages had prompted the ban. The Internet Service Providers Association of Pakistan said its members have been asked to block Twitter indefinitely, but no reason has been provided by the government.
Pakistan blocks Twitter access over blasphemous content | Reuters
Police chiefs have banned IT staff from using the word blacklist over fears it is racist.
The computer term whitelist — used to denote a list of acceptable contacts — has also been outlawed.
In an email, Scotland Yard warned staff the words were no longer “appropriate”.
Security services chief Brian Douglas wrote: “IB Information Board are uncomfortable with the use of the term Whitelist and I presume Blacklist.
“I am sure we can appreciate the sensitivity around the use of such terminology today so please ensure it is no longer used.” He suggested using green and red list instead.
Sources at the Met — where 20 officers are under investigation over alleged racism — branded the decision “bizarre”.
One said: “Do we really think these words are discriminatory? The truth is they’re nothing to do with race whatsoever and are very common IT terms. Banning them won’t solve any genuine problems the Met has with racism.”
Scotland Yard said: “This is not a change in policy. It is a change in internal Information Communications Technology terminology which reflects a more appropriate use of language.”
Police chiefs ban the word ‘blacklist’ over fears that it is racist | The Sun |News
Prisoners go to desperate lengths for food: eating rats or eating their own vomit to alleviate hunger. “Everything we ate was horrendous,” says Shin. “But the worst thing was corn kernels picked out of cow dung.”
His father, whose fate is unknown, became a prisoner for being the brother of two young men who fled south during the Korean war. What is known is that Kim Il Sung had his own interpretation of the power of three, stating that “enemies of class, whoever they are, their seed must be eliminated through three generations”. His mother’s name was Jang Hye Gyung. She never told her son why she was imprisoned.
Park Yong Chul was a well-travelled North Korean who’d enjoyed a life of relative luxury before arriving at Camp 14 in 2004. Shin was instructed to befriend Park — and extract a confession. Through him, Shin learned about the existence of other countries, televisions, computers but mostly, he learned about food. Park described chicken, pork and beef, leading Shin to make his first free decision: he chose not to snitch on Park, instead hatching a plan for them to escape together. “Hearing about the food he’d eaten in the outside world was the main trigger,” recalls Shin. “I wanted to eat that kind of food — things unimaginable within the camp.”
Park was electrocuted during the escape as he squeezed through the electric fence. Shin suffered only burns, a small price after years of torture. His body bears many scars — his finger was chopped off by guards who also stuck a hook through his stomach and suspended him over a fire.
Why don’t more people escape? “People don’t know about the outside world. There’s also the systematic brainwashing — ‘I’ve been born as a criminal, I have to live as a criminal until I die and that’s my fate’.”
I thought the outside world was paradise, says the only North Korean to escape from prison camp – London Life – Life & Style – Evening Standard
The bodies were among a herd of 22 animals massacred in a helicopter-borne attack by professionals who swooped over their quarry.
The scene beneath the rotor blades would have been chilling – panicked mothers shielding their young, hair-raising screeches and a mad scramble through the blood-stained bush as bullets rained down from the sky.
When the shooting was over, all of the herd lay dead, one of the worst such killings in northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo in living memory.
“It’s been a long time since weve seen something like this,” said Dr Tshibasu Muamba, head of international cooperation for the Congolese state conservation agency, ICCN, as he surveyed the macarbre scene at Garamba National Park.
After the slaughter, the killers set about removing their tusks and genitals before likely smuggling them through South Sudan or Uganda, which form part of an Ivory Road linking Africa to Asia.
Elephant and rhino poaching is surging, conservationists say, an illegal piece of Asias scramble for African resources, driven by the growing purchasing power of the regions newly affluent classes.
Scene of unimaginable horror as helicopter-borne poachers massacre 22 elephants | Mail Online