Syria war: US disappointed at Russia’s Syria stance

The US is “disappointed but not surprised” at Russia’s response to its strikes on a Syrian air base suspected of storing chemical weapons. At least six people are reported to have been killed in the US missile strikes early on Friday. Syria’s ally Russia accused the US of encouraging “terrorists” with its unilateral actions. “I’m disappointed in that response,” said US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. “It indicates their continued support for the Assad regime and, in particular, their continued support for a regime that carries out these type of…

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UK follows Russia’s example to set up specialist sixth form maths colleges

First Sweden was the country to emulate, when former education secretary Michael Gove was enthused by free schools. Then attention turned to Shanghai, and an initiative to improve the standard of maths in primary schools by bringing Chinese teachers to the UK. Now, though, we are taking a leaf out of Russia‚Äôs book as ministers seek to improve the supply of top- quality mathematicians by setting up specialist maths colleges for 16- to 18-year-olds. The first specialist maths college was opened in the former Soviet Union about 50 years ago…

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Sacred sea: Russia’s vast and remote Lake Baikal

Vast as a sea and deep as an ocean trench, Russia’s Lake Baikal is one of the world’s great natural wonders. With a surface area bigger than Belgium, it contains nearly one quarter of all the world’s freshwater, which is more than the five American Great Lakes combined. Baikal is truly a lake of superlatives. The Earth’s deepest inland body of water, its massive stone basin is so large that all of the rivers on the planet would take an entire year to fill it. While more than 300 rivers…

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