Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

World Briefs: US First Lady Promotes Learning to Empower Moroccan Girls

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

World Briefs: US First Lady Promotes Learning to Empower Moroccan Girls

Article excerpt

First lady continues school tour in Africa

Michelle Obama told Moroccan teenage girls that her parents knew the value of education, her brother set an example, "and I thought if he can do it, then I can do it, because I know I am smarter than him!"

Actresses Meryl Streep and Freida Pinto joined the U.S. first lady's encounter Tuesday with two dozen young women in Marrakech to discuss challenges girls around the world face in getting educated. In the North African kingdom of Morocco, only 36 percent of girls continue school beyond the primary level.

The "Let Girls Learn" initiative, launched in 2015 by President Barack Obama and the first lady, is to be extended to Morocco, the White House announced Tuesday. It said the Millennium Challenge Corporation, a U.S. government foreign aid agency working in partnership with the Moroccan government, is investing nearly $100 million to transform secondary education in the country. USAID is also giving $400,000 to create five new dormitories for girls from rural areas.

Blast kills 1, destroys home near Toronto * An explosion leveled one home and damaged at least two dozen others Tuesday afternoon in a town west of Toronto, killing one person, authorities said.

One woman died at the scene of the blast in Mississauga, Ontario, and about a dozen other people were treated for minor injuries, a paramedic spokesman said. He said none of the injured had to be taken to a hospital.

Police set up a large perimeter around the destroyed home and went door-to-door evacuating nearby residences.

Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie said between 50 and 100 people had to be evacuated.

Mississauga Fire Chief Tim Beckett told a news conference Tuesday evening that it was too early to know what caused the blast.

Canada, Mexico mend fences * Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Tuesday that Canada will lift visa requirements for Mexican visitors as of December, removing a major irritant in relations between the two countries.

Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto made the announcement in Ottawa ahead of Wednesday's North American leaders' summit with U.S. President Barack Obama. …

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