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World/National News

February 3, 2014

Around the World and Nation

(Continued)

Experts say the rate of school shootings is statistically unchanged since the mid- to late-1990s, yet still remains troubling.

A decade later, body of Palestinian teen suicide bomber among remains handed back by Israel

BETHLEHEM, West Bank (AP) — When 18-year-old Ayat al-Akhras blew herself up outside a busy Jerusalem supermarket in 2002, killing two Israelis, her grieving parents were unable to bury her and say their final goodbyes because Israel refused to send her remains home.

More than a decade later, after appeals from human rights groups, Israel is handing over some 30 bodies of Palestinian assailants, including that of al-Akhras, enabling her family to arrange a funeral.

Israel has returned the remains of Palestinian attackers from time to time during the decades of conflict, sometimes as part of prisoner swaps, but the current round involves the most recent suicide bombers and gunmen and has revived painful memories for families and friends of some of the victims.

In the West Bank town of Bethlehem, the teenage bomber’s parents, Mohammed and Khadra al-Akhras, expect an easing of their grief.

“The pain will end,” said Mohammed al-Akhras, 67, who chain-smoked while he talked and rested his hands — gnarled from years of manual labor — on top of the cane he uses to walk with. “At any time during the day, during the night, we can go and visit her,” he added.

Radicals with a taste for violence are wild card in Ukraine’s protests

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — Wearing masks, helmets and protective gear on the arms and legs, radical activists are the wild card of the Ukraine protests now starting their third month, declaring they’re ready to resume violence if the stalemate persists.

When the protests started in late November, attracting crowds sometimes above 100,000 and visits from Western officials, the gatherings’ general determined peacefulness was an integral part of their claim to legitimacy. But in mid-January, the image of placid but principled people changed sharply, to frightening scenes of protesters heaving stones and firebombs at police.

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