Ex-education official vouches for Kake papers, says he has copies

The education ministry’s former top bureaucrat fired up the simmering Kake Gakuen scandal at a news conference Thursday by vouching for the authenticity of documents that suggest Prime Minister Shinzo Abe swayed its decision to approve the opening of a new veterinary medicine department run by his friend at a university in Shikoku. The government flatly denied Abe was involved in the decision, and the ruling coalition led by his party spurned a call by the opposition camp to summon former Vice Education Minister Kihei Maekawa as an unsworn witness…

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AAA says plan ahead: Busy Memorial Day travel weekend expected

HARTFORD — Whether you’re taking to the roads, rails, waters, or skies this Memorial Day weekend, you can expect a lot of company! AAA expects 39.3 million Americans to travel 50 miles or more away from home. That’s one million more travelers than last year, and the highest Memorial Day travel volume since 2005. This will also be the busiest Memorial Day travel weekend across New England since 2005. AAA says almost 1.8 million people will be traveling – and more than 90 percent of them, or 1.6 million, are planning…

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WeChat Blocked in Russia: Tencent Says It’s ‘Deeply Sorry’

Chinese Internet giant Tencent said Saturday it was “deeply sorry” its messaging app WeChat was blocked in Russia, adding it was in touch with authorities to resolve the issue. WeChat, which had 889 million global users by the end of 2016, was not properly registered with Russian regulators, Tencent said. It is not clear how many Russia-based users the app has. “We’re experiencing a block and we’re deeply sorry,” a company official said on a Tencent microblog. “Russian regulations say online service providers have to register with the government but…

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Tech-savvy targeted by ID thieves, says Experian

Nearly a quarter of identity fraud victims in the UK last year were tech-savvy mobile and social media users, according to a credit checking service. Experian identified the group, which only made up 8% of the population, as suffering the biggest rise in ID theft. There was a 17% rise in victims among this group compared with 2014. The analysis comes shortly after fraud prevention service Cifas said Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn had become a “hunting ground” for identity thieves. Experian said those on social media should be cautious about…

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UK: no let-up for student migrants, says May

May is expected to instruct officials at the Home Office and newly beefed-upDepartment for Education to examine student visa regulations to restrict access to poor quality ‘Mickey Mouse’ courses, according to the Telegraph. May reaffirmed her commitment to the net migration target, despite suggestions by ministers that the government may back away from the target Other options that may be considered include preventing universities from marketing their courses as a route to working in the UK and looking at what can be further done to ensure students don’t overstay their visas. Ensuring students return…

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Iran says concerned by cracks in Syria truce

Iran is concerned that an uptick in violations of Syria’s ceasefire could harm planned peace talks this week aimed at ending the five-year-old civil war, a deputy foreign minister was quoted as saying on Tuesday. Hossein Amir-Abdollahian made the comments, cited in state news agency IRNA, after speaking to United Nations envoy Staffan de Mistura, who arrived in Tehran after holding meetings with Syria’s foreign minister in Damascus on Monday. “One of our main concerns in Syria is the increasing activities of armed groups in recent days and the increase…

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Tata Steel jobs: David Cameron says there are ‘no guarantees’ on steel crisis

David Cameron says the government is “doing everything it can” to save thousands of steel jobs – but warned there were “no guarantees of success”. Speaking after chairing crisis talks on Tata Steel’s decision to sell its UK business, the PM said nationalisation was not the answer but the government was “not ruling anything out”. Ministers are under pressure to secure the future of the threatened plants. Labour criticised their handling of the crisis, telling them to “get a grip”. Tata Steel’s UK business – which directly employs 15,000 workers…

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Most literate nation in the world? Not the US, new world ranking says

  Study found that Nordic countries are among the most literate in the world, but countries in the Western Hemisphere didn’t do well. Corbis (Correction: Central Connecticut State University has released a corrected version of the rankings. The US moves up from 11th to 7th.) A new world ranking of countries and their literacy rates puts the United States at 7th. Who’s Number one? Finland. The study, conducted by John W. Miller, president of Central Connecticut State University in New Britain, Connecticut, analyses trends in literate behaviour and literacy in more than 60…

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Teachers need flexible working to stop women leaving profession, says thinktank

Study warns of ‘shocking waste of talent’ and calls for improved childcare to encourage female teachers back to classrooms after maternity leave One in four of all teachers who quit in recent years were women aged between 30 and 39, found Policy Exchange. Photograph: Burger/Phanie / Rex Features Schools need to embrace flexible working and offer benefits to stop the “shocking waste of talent” that sees women dropping out of teaching permanently after maternity leave, according to a leading education thinktank. Jonathan Simons, author of a paper to be published…

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The future of global ed: civic engagement, social responsibility, says AIEA

Social responsibility and civil engagement are rising on the checklist of what an international education should include. At the recent annual conference of the Association of International Education Administrators, delegates and thought leaders explored how to incorporate social responsibility into the curriculum and underlined the need to create “global citizens”. Sara Custer is originally from Oklahoma. After studying in Chicago and a four-year stint as a TEFL teacher in Barcelona she came to London to start her journalism career. In her free time you’ll find her cycling and desperately trying…

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