A New Push Is on for Afghan Schools, but the Numbers Are Grim

A New Push Is on for Afghan Schools, but the Numbers Are Grim Photo Students taking a test in Kunduz Province. Almost half of Afghan schools are still in the open air or borrow space in homes. Credit Jim Huylebroek for The New York Times KABUL, Afghanistan — Before the start of another Afghan school year, about 200 tribal elders in the southeastern district of Laja Mangal gathered in a schoolyard for an important declaration: Any family that did not send its children to school would be fined $70, about half a civil servant’s monthly salary.
The district of about 50,000 people had built seven schools over the past 15 years, yet it had struggled to attract students from the mountainous area where the Taliban also have influence. The elders, feeling old tribal customs were holding back their children, thought the drastic measure was necessary.
“They see those people who go to school and become important people in the government and international organizations, so they have tasted the valu..

Efraín Ríos Montt, Guatemalan Dictator Convicted of Genocide, Dies at 91

Efraín Ríos Montt, Guatemalan Dictator Convicted of Genocide, Dies at 91 Photo Gen. Efraín Ríos Montt in 2003, the year he was nominated for president of Guatemala by the Republican Front party.
Credit Mario Linares/Reuters Gen. Efraín Ríos Montt, who as dictator of Guatemala in the 1980s ordered fierce tactics to suppress a guerrilla insurgency and was later convicted of genocide and crimes against humanity, died on Sunday in Guatemala City. He was 91.
The cause was a heart attack, according to his lawyers, Jaime Hernández and Luis Rosales. He had suffered lung and heart problems in recent years, along with dementia.
In the panoply of commanders who turned much of Central America into a killing field in the 1980s, General Ríos Montt was one of the most murderous. He was convicted in 2013 of trying to exterminate the Ixil ethnic group, a Mayan Indian community whose villages were wiped out by General Ríos’s forces.
A Guatemalan judge found that the general knew about the systematic mas..

At Least 20 Killed in Kashmir as Indian Army Clashes With Militants

At Least 20 Killed in Kashmir as Indian Army Clashes With Militants Photo A funeral on Sunday for one of the militants killed in the Shopian district of Kashmir. “For every 10 killed, 20 more will join until this land is freed from Indian occupation,” one protester said. Credit Mukhtar Khan/Associated Press SHOPIAN, Kashmir — An Indian Army operation against militants fighting Indian rule in the Muslim-majority Kashmir Valley killed at least 13 militants on Sunday, the largest one-day death toll of insurgents in recent years, officials in Kashmir said.
At least three soldiers and four civilians also died, and about 70 other people were wounded in the army crackdown in the district of Shopian, according to the Kashmir authorities.
Army officials called the operation a major success. “It is a special day for our forces,” Lt. Gen. A. K. Bhatt of the Indian Army said.
Kashmir — caught in a territorial dispute between the Hindu-majority India, which controls much of the territory, and the M..