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Around the World: Nov. 10, 2015

Here's what's happening across the United States and around the world today.  

Students say Ferguson protests influence action at University of Missouri

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — When cotton balls were found scattered outside the black culture center at the University of Missouri's flagship campus in 2010 in a clear reference to slavery, two white students were arrested and expelled, with no larger discussion of race on a campus where blacks weren't allowed to enroll until 1950.

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"To say we were livid is an understatement," says black alumna Erika Brown, who graduated with degrees in 2007 and 2012 and now lives in St. Louis. "It was just another example of them finding the offender and never going past that. There was never a larger discussion."

Skip ahead five years to more racially charged incidents at the Columbia campus, where blacks account for just 8 percent of undergraduates. This time, students emboldened by last year's protests in Ferguson took action, which led to the announcement that the university system's president and the campus chancellor would resign — as well as the promise of even more changes.

Reuben Faloughi, a third-year doctoral student in psychology from Augusta, Georgia, who participated in the campus protests, said more needs to be done, but acknowledged feeling "liberated" by the exodus of university system President Tim Wolfe.

Such activism, he says, is a nod to Ferguson, the St. Louis suburb about two hours from Columbia where Michael Brown, a black, unarmed 18-year-old, was killed by a police officer. After the shooting, Faloughi took part in a "die-in" protest in Columbia, joining others in feigning death in Brown's memory.

For Carson, debates have played limited role in rise; but will face new scrutiny on Tuesday

WASHINGTON (AP) — For some Republican presidential candidates, the party's first three primary debates have been pivotal proving grounds that have strengthened their campaigns or shaken their supporters.

Ben Carson isn't among them.

The famously mild-mannered Carson has largely avoided making headlines in the widely watched televised events, often willing to cede the spotlight to more verbose rivals and finding himself overshadowed in policy discussions. Yet the retired neurosurgeon's standing with voters in preference polls has only gotten better.

"The political language and the traditional prism through which we evaluate candidates essentially does not apply to Ben Carson," said Phil Musser, a Republican strategist.

It's unlikely Carson will again shrink into the background Tuesday when the eight leading GOP candidates meet in Milwaukee for their fourth debate. Now viewed as a front-runner for the Republican nomination, Carson faces intense scrutiny about the veracity of his celebrated biography, which has been central to his connection with voters.

Myanmar in post-election limbo with official results trickling in, Suu Kyi claiming victory

YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — Myanmar was trapped in a post-election limbo Tuesday with official results barely trickling in, although opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi's party claimed a victory massive enough to give it the presidency and loosen the military's grip on the country.

In an interview with the BBC, Suu Kyi said her National League for Democracy expects to win 75 percent of the seats contested in the 664-member Parliament. The Union Election Commission has announced results for only 88 seats, giving 78 to the NLD and five to the ruling party from Sunday's vote. It has given no explanation for the slow results.

The delay has raised concern, with NLD spokesman Win Tien telling reporters that the election commission has been "delaying intentionally because maybe they want to play a trick or something."

"It doesn't make sense that they are releasing the results piece by piece. It shouldn't be like that," he told reporters after a party meeting at Suu Kyi's house. "They are trying to be crooked."

The surprising accusation added a worrying twist to what had been an amicable election, with the ruling party appearing to be taking its expected loss gracefully.

The Latest: Putin's spokesman says accusations of state-sponsored doping in Russia unfounded

LONDON (AP) — The Latest from the IAAF investigation (all time local):

10:25 a.m.

President Vladimir Putin's spokesman says the accusations of state-sponsored doping in Russian track and field appear unfounded.

Dmitry Peskov told journalists on Tuesday that whenever any charges are made, they must be based on some evidence.

Denials and conspiracy claims in Russia's reaction to allegations of state-sponsored doping

MOSCOW (AP) — From reading Russia's major newspapers Tuesday, it would be hard to know the country is facing a vast doping scandal.

Most of the country's major dailies followed the government's lead in playing down the accusations from theWorld Anti-Doping Agency commission, which Monday accused Russia of operating a state-sponsored doping program in track and field.

The scandal was typically confined to a small item in the sports pages, with only two business papers and the sports dailies giving it front-page space.

"Are they taking Rio away from us?!" read the headline on the front page of Sport Express, referring to calls to ban Russia's track and field team from next year's Olympics.

Russia has for years reveled in its re-emergence as a sports superpower, the pinnacle coming when it topped the medal tally at its home Winter Olympics in Sochi last year. Now that prestige is again in jeopardy, with the country's internal intelligence service, the FSB, accused of running surveillance on the Olympic doping lab. Worse, it comes at a time when the country is already under pressure over its hosting of the 2018 soccerWorld Cup amid the scandals rocking FIFA.

Egyptian media see plot to undermine country in West's claims that bomb downed Russian plane

CAIRO (AP) — Egyptian media have reacted with fury as Britain and the United States increasingly point to a bomb as the cause of the Oct. 31 Russian plane crash in Sinai, with many outlets hammering home the same message: Egypt is facing a Western conspiracy that seeks to scare off tourists and destroy the country's economy.

The warnings of a plot have been widely promoted by opinion-makers in print, online, and on TV, sometimes hinting and sometimes saying flat-out that the West has restricted flights to Egypt not purely out of safety concerns for its citizens but because it wants to undermine the country or prevent President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi from making Egypt too strong.

And though they seem wild, these conspiracy theories have apparently tapped into the Egyptian mindset — so much so that when Russia last Friday grounded all flights to Egypt, some media speculated that Moscow had fallen victim to British pressure and manipulation.

"The people defy the conspiracy — Egypt will not cave in to pressures," the state-owned Al-Gomhuria newspaper proclaimed in a front-page headline this week. "Egypt stands up to 'the West's terrorism,'" an independent daily, El-Watan, headlined.

The rhetoric reflects in part the deep reluctance in the press to level serious criticism or suggestion of shortcomings by el-Sissi's government.

Migrants in France shantytown sharpen skills and socialize at school, library, bars in shacks

CALAIS, France (AP) — Jennifer Wilson wrote "hot" and "cold" on the chalkboard and invited her students — a dozen men from Afghanistan, Iran, Ethiopia and Sudan — to say other English words for temperature. "Freezing," one student declared jovially.

Many will learn that word intimately as Calais' migrants gird for winter camping on the French side of the English Channel.

To combat boredom and sharpen language skills, hundreds come daily to Wilson's classes and a library housed in neighboring weatherproofed shacks. Shoes are left at the door to keep mud at bay.

Wilson, a native of Zimbabwe, teaches three English classes to campers in hour-long sessions of increasing difficulty. She also teaches French and expects demand to grow as Calais' asylum-seekers shift ambitions from England to their current host nation.

At the bookshop, a Sudanese man returns a copy of Ernest Hemingway short stories, thumbs through volumes of Harry Potter and departs with a Sherlock Holmes collection. Beside a wall map of Europe, men from Afghanistan and Eritrea debate distinctions between England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland — and which might offer the best opportunity for refugee status and employment.

Making a splash: Syrian sisters find refuge in Berlin swimming club

BERLIN (AP) — Sarah and Ysra Mardini pull bathing caps over their long, black hair and slide into the water, disappearing among the throng of swimmers with powerful, practiced strokes.

Two months ago the sisters were swimming for their lives, after jumping off an inflatable boat that began taking on water carrying refugees to Greece. Now they are ploughing down the length of a pool built for the 1936 Olympics in Berlin that has become a home away from home for two young women, who were once among Syria's brightest swimming stars.

"Everything was good," said 20-year-old Sarah. "That was before the war."

After the conflict began, the Mardini family moved around to avoid the fighting and tried to ensure their daughters could keep on swimming. Ysra, now 17, even represented Syria at the short-course worldchampionships in Turkey in 2012. But as the war intensified fellow swimmers drifted away.

"We were 40 or 50 swimmers, and now we are maybe 10 or 7 swimmers in Syria," said Sarah. "We want to have a future. I want to be in college, I want to be an international swimmer and my sister too. But if we stay there we will not reach that because the situation is not OK in Syria."

NASA, University of Washington track rain, snow to validate global satellite data

SEATTLE (AP) — Using everything from a customized DC-8 jetliner to ground radars to four-inch rain gauges, scientists are fanning out across one of the soggiest places in the United States this month to measure raindrops and snowflakes like never before.

Led by NASA and the University of Washington, the field experiment on the Olympic Peninsula attempts to validate, on the ground, how well global satellites measure precipitation from space, which is crucial for areas of the world that lack rain gauges or other equipment.

The four-month long OLYMPEX project will collect detailed atmospheric data — right down to the size of raindrops — that fall over the ocean, along the coast, in the foothills and the rugged Olympic Mountains. Ground instruments have already started collecting data and NASA's DC-8, a flying science laboratory, arrives in Washington state this week.

The idea is "to connect the dots between what we're seeing on the surface and what we're seeing from space and what we're seeing in the clouds," said Walt Petersen, NASA's deputy project scientist for ground validation.

Specifically, the scientists are making sure that global measurements made by a group of satellites are accurate; those satellites are part of a joint mission of NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency that launched last year.


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