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Students in Belgium Return to School After 2-Month COVID Break 

Students and their teacher wear face masks as they are spaced at a social distance from each other at the Royal Atheneum school, during the partial lifting of coronavirus, COVID-19, lockdown regulations in Antwerp, Belgium, May 18, 2020.
Students and their teacher wear face masks as they are spaced at a social distance from each other at the Royal Atheneum school, during the partial lifting of coronavirus, COVID-19, lockdown regulations in Antwerp, Belgium, May 18, 2020.

After some schools went through a “dry run” on Friday, more of Belgium’s schools opened Monday as the nation took its “next step” in easing its COVID-18 restrictions.

Classes resumed with a limited number of pupils per school to make sure social distancing was fully respected. Temperatures were taken as students entered schools and face masks were worn by teachers and students.

In many cases, though, distance learning on laptops remained the order of the day, as many schools had only a fraction of their enrollment attending.

Where students were present, classes were rearranged to make sure each child has four square meters and each teacher eight square meters of space available.

Brussels education alderwoman Faouzia Hariche told the Associated Press it was important to resume classes for the children's social and psychological wellbeing.

Children will go to school only twice per week until the end of June.

Belgium was particularly hard hit by the coronavirus. Johns Hopkins University reports the nation had a death rate of 78 per 100,000 people, one of the highest in the world.

But the rate of new cases, hospital admissions, and deaths have steadily fallen since early last month, prompting officials to begin easing restrictions.

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Experts: US will have nearly 2 million international students by 2034

FILE - People line up outside McKale Memorial Center on the University of Arizona campus, Jan. 12, 2011, in Tucson, Ariz.
FILE - People line up outside McKale Memorial Center on the University of Arizona campus, Jan. 12, 2011, in Tucson, Ariz.

Experts predict the U.S. will enroll nearly 1.8 million international students by 2034, ICEF Monitor reports.

Most of the students will hail from India, along with China, Vietnam, Nigeria, Bangladesh, Nepal, Brazil and Mexico, the analysis says.

Read the story here. (May 2024)

UCLA gets its first international student undergraduate council president

FILE - The UCLA campus on April 25, 2019.
FILE - The UCLA campus on April 25, 2019.

An international student will lead the Undergraduate Students Association Council at UCLA for the first time.

Adam Tfayli, who is from Lebanon, won the presidential race, beating out five other candidates.

Student newspaper the Daily Bruin has the story here. (May 2024)

Examining the facts behind US international student boom

FILE - Students listen during commencement in Harvard Yard, at Harvard University, in Cambridge, Mass., May 23, 2024.
FILE - Students listen during commencement in Harvard Yard, at Harvard University, in Cambridge, Mass., May 23, 2024.

The U.S. international student population is booming.

The Chicago Tribune takes a look at the trend and what it means for colleges. Read the story here. (May 2024)

Howard University cuts ties with Sean 'Diddy' Combs after video of attack on ex-girlfriend

FILE - Entertainer and entrepreneur Sean "Diddy" Combs delivers Howard University's commencement speech during the school's 2014 graduation ceremony in Washington, May 10, 2014. Howard University has announced it is cutting its ties to Combs.
FILE - Entertainer and entrepreneur Sean "Diddy" Combs delivers Howard University's commencement speech during the school's 2014 graduation ceremony in Washington, May 10, 2014. Howard University has announced it is cutting its ties to Combs.

Howard University is cutting ties to Sean "Diddy" Combs, rescinding an honorary degree that was awarded to him and disbanding a scholarship program in his name, after a recently released 2016 video that appeared to show him attacking the R&B singer Cassie.

"Mr. Combs' behavior as captured in a recently released video is so fundamentally incompatible with Howard University's core values and beliefs that he is deemed no longer worthy to hold the institution's highest honor," a statement from the university's Board of Trustees said.

The statement said the board voted unanimously Friday to accept the return of the honorary degree Combs received in 2014. "This acceptance revokes all honors and privileges associated with the degree. Accordingly, the Board has directed that his name be removed from all documents listing honorary degree recipients of Howard University," it said.

The board also directed university administrators to cut financial ties to Combs, including returning a $1 million contribution, ending the scholarship program and dissolving a 2023 pledge agreement with the Sean Combs Foundation.

An email seeking comment was sent to a Combs spokesperson by The Associated Press on Saturday.

Combs admitted last month that he beat his ex-girlfriend Cassie in a hotel hallway in 2016 after CNN released video of the attack. In a video statement posted on social media, he said he was "truly sorry," and his actions were "inexcusable."

"I take full responsibility for my actions in that video. I was disgusted then when I did it. I'm disgusted now," Combs said.

A lawsuit filed last year by Cassie, whose legal name is Cassandra Ventura, set off a wave of similar cases and public allegations against Combs. That lawsuit was settled.

Billionaire gives graduates cash, but asks them to give, too

In this photo provided by University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, billionaire Robert Hale speaks at the graduation ceremony May 16, 2024, in Dartmouth, Mass. Hale gifted graduates at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth each with $1,000, but he asked them to donate $500.
In this photo provided by University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, billionaire Robert Hale speaks at the graduation ceremony May 16, 2024, in Dartmouth, Mass. Hale gifted graduates at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth each with $1,000, but he asked them to donate $500.

During a recent graduation ceremony at University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, a Boston billionaire gave each member of the graduating class $1,000.

As Jenna Russell reports in The New York Times, the gift came with a catch: The philanthropist asked the students to give half the money to any good cause. (May 2024)

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