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World in brief: February 20, 2019

UNITED STATES: The boss of an Alabama newspaper has faced calls to quit after urging a resurgence of the Ku Klux Klan.

Print-only newspaper the Linden Democrat-Reporter ran an editorial headed “Klan needs to ride again” in its February 14 edition.

The piece complained about plans to raise taxes in the state, warning: “This socialist-communist ideology sounds good to the ignorant, the uneducated and the simple-minded people.”

“Time for the Ku Klux Klan to night-ride again,” the article said, referring to the white-supremacist group’s terrorisation of African-American communities from the end of the civil war onwards.

Publisher-editor Goodloe Sutton told the Montgomery Advertiser that he wrote the piece and stands by it. He suggested lynchings as a way to clean up Washington and questioned whether the KKK is violent, saying it “didn’t kill but a few people.”

SYRIA: UN High Commissioner Michele Bachelet raised concerns yesterday over 200 families trapped in the last remaining area of Syria held by Isis.

She said jihadists were preventing women and children from leaving as the end of their self-declared caliphate and final defeat is imminent and called for safe passage for those wanting to flee.

“They should not be sacrificed to ideology on the one hand or military expediency on the other. If protecting civilian lives means taking a few more days to capture the last fraction of land controlled by [Isis], then so be it,” she said.

AUSTRALIA: The United Nations has warned of the devastating psychological effect of droughts on children.

Farming communities are worst affected, with children having “long and stressful days,” according to a Unicef report, with workloads increasing susbstantially.

It is leaving many with no time for schoolwork, sport or play, Unicef warned, forcing children to “grow up prematurely.”

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