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Palestinian schoolgirl wins $150,000 Arab reading prize

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A Palestinian high school student on Wednesday won $150,000 (125,000 euros) in an Arabic-language reading competition organized by the Dubai government.

Seventeen-year-old Afaf Raed Sharif, from Ramallah, beat 16 finalists from across the Arab world to land the top prize in the second annual Arab Reading Challenge.

Participants had to read at least 50 books to qualify.

“This is a victory over all the challenges that we face. We refuse to be any less than any other people in the world,” Sharif said.

“It’s a message to all students: don’t you ever give up. Don’t you ever break. When you set a goal, you can reach it. It won’t be easy … but you have to make persistence and patience your allies.”

The all-girl Al-Iman school, in Bahrain, won a $1 million prize for the best reading initiatives for students.

The principal of the winning school takes home $100,000 of the prize money, with the school’s reading supervisor taking another $100,000 and the remaining $800,000 going to school funds.

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24 Hours Across Africa

Brazil win U17 World cup after beating Mexico

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Brazil bags another remarkable win to tally its Under-17 World Cup trophy by beating Mexico.

The host team, Brazil leaves it late to triumphed a 2-1 win at the Bezerrao stadium.

thanks to Lazaro Vinicius Marques’ 93rd-minute goal to made the difference.

Mexico – winners of the showpiece tournament in 2005 and 2011 – looked on track to add a third title to their collection when Bryan Alonso Gonzalez Olivan headed home the opener in the 66th minute.

But Brazil, playing in front of legends Ronaldo and Cafu, rallied courtesy of Kaio Jorge’s questionable penalty with six minutes of regulation time remaining.

Brazil then completed the comeback deep into stoppage time when Lazaro volleyed home a last-gasp winner.

The victory added to Brazil’s successes in 1997, 1999 and 2003 as they moved within one of Nigeria’s record of five championships.

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24 Hours Across Africa

Hong kong crisis: Police threaten to use live bullet

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After recent protesters livid escalation on the Hong Kong police, the authorities has  threatened to fire live bullets if “rioters” did not stop using lethal weapons.

The police statement followed fresh clashes outside a university in the center of Hong Kong where protesters were hunkered down behind makeshift shields and hurled petrol bombs at police in a standoff blocking a vital tunnel link.

Police says, one of her officer had been treated in hospital after being hit in the leg by an arrow and another had his visor struck by a metal ball, although he was not hurt.

The violence in the Asian financial hub has posed the gravest popular challenge to Chinese President Xi Jinping since he came to power in 2012. Xi has said he is confident Hong Kong’s government can resolve the crisis.

Police have used live rounds in a few isolated incidents in the past.

Demonstrators, angry at what they see as Chinese meddling in the former British colony which has had autonomous status since returning to Chinese rule in 1997, have said they are responding to excessive use of force by police.

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