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Pope asks aide to read speech for him, raising further concerns over his health

Pope Francis, who has been suffering from the flu, asked an aide to read out his prepared speech at a conference in the Vatican Friday, saying he has not yet fully recovered from his latest ailment that has raised concerns about his capacity to continue leading the Roman Catholic Church.

The 87-year-old Pontiff, who was taken to a Roman hospital on Wednesday for diagnostic testing after having to cancel some public audiences, handed his speech to his aide, Mons. Filippo Ciampanelli.

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The Future of Education: SchoolTec 2024 to kick off at Movenpick on March 7

Beirut has long been renowned for its pivotal educational role in the Middle East. It stands as the city where the most prominent Arab rulers pursued their education, and it has always been home to a great number of schools and universities. The Lebanese, known for their profound love of knowledge, consistently invest everything they can to provide their children with a quality education.

Today, Beirut, as we like to call it “the classroom of the Middle East”, is hosting the second edition of SchoolTec, “The National Trade Fair for Educational Supplies and Solutions”, drawing hundreds of attendees, including principals, coordinators, teachers, academic and non-academic staff members, IT managers, procurers, and parents, eager to gain knowledge about the most prominent educational solutions, technologies, and services.

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Pope taken briefly to Rome hospital for tests after his weekly audience

Pope Francis, who recently had the flu, was brought to a hospital in Rome for diagnostic testing after the papal audience Wednesday, the Vatican said, without giving further details.

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SchoolTec 2024 to take place at Movenpick Hotel on March 7-8

SchoolTec, the National Trade Fair for Educational Supplies and Solutions, is coming back for the second consecutive year to Beirut.

This event invites educators, school principals, administrators, teachers, IT managers, university professors, non-academic staff members in universities, training managers, trainers, and parents to explore the latest educational technologies, innovative learning services and products, as well as the top trends in education.

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Milan Fashion Week highlights diversity in initiative to fight discrimination

Milan Fashion Week highlighted diversity and in a new initiative that aims to promote inclusion across the industry and the return of a showcase for underrepresented designers as five days of mostly womenswear previews for Fall-Winter 2024-25 got underway on Wednesday.

An agreement signed Tuesday by the Italian fashion council, a governmental anti-discrimination office, and a nonprofit promoting African fashion seeks to "trace, identify and fight" discriminatory practices. The initiative will start with a broad survey to create a snapshot of the representation of women, people of color and other underrepresented groups across the industry, from fashion houses to suppliers.

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Schools say dress codes promote discipline but many Black students see traces of racism

For as long as schools have policed hairstyles as part of their dress codes, some students have seen the rules as attempts to deny their cultural and religious identities.

Nowhere have school rules on hair been a bigger flashpoint than in Texas, where a trial this week is set to determine whether high school administrators can continue punishing a Black teenager for refusing to cut his hair. The 18-year-old student, Darryl George, who wears his hair in locs tied atop his head, has been kept out of his classroom since the start of the school year.

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Neruda's death should be reinvestigated, court rules

The death of Nobel laureate Pablo Neruda days after Chile's 1973 military coup should be reinvestigated, an appeals court ruled Tuesday, saying new steps could help clarify what killed the poet.

Last December, a judge rejected a request by Neruda's nephew to reopen the case to look for causes other than cancer, which was listed on his death certificate. The nephew, Rodolfo Reyes, said forensic experts from Canada, Denmark and Chile had found evidence pointing to Neruda being poisoned.

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Once banned by communists, polonaise dance garners UNESCO honors

Once banned by rulers dispatched from Moscow, Poland's stately polonaise dance that nurtured the country's spirit even through the dark years of its partition is now honored by UNESCO.

This 18th century dance has been performed from aristocratic balls to village celebrations, inspiring composers such as Johann Sebastian Bach and Frederic Chopin. It still figures prominently in big national occasions, pre-graduation balls and weddings.

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Carnival day in Brazil from morning street party to evening samba parade

A typical Carnival day in Brazil starts around 7 a.m., when the first blocos — as the free street parties are known — start their loud and colorful musical journey down the city's streets. Drummers, stilt walkers, trumpet players and other performers, all dressed up and lacquered in glitter, attract thousands of followers.

Blocos are thematic, inspiring the costumes and songs of their followers. In Rio alone, the city authorized 500 street parties this year.

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First stone-built Hindu temple in Middle East rises in UAE

Pink sandstone spires decorated with deities and the pious soar above what was once a barren patch of desert between Abu Dhabi and Dubai — now the site of the first stone-constructed Hindu temple in the Middle East.

The soon-to-open BAPS Hindu Mandir signals how far the United Arab Emirates has come in acknowledging the different faiths of its expatriate community, long dominated by Indians across construction sites and boardrooms. The temple nods back in its seven spires, the number of sheikhdoms in this autocratic federation on the Arabian Peninsula.

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