NEW YORK: School children in New York are likely to get two extra days off to mark the biggest annual Muslim holidays if the city’s next mayor gets his way.
New York schools currently have mandatory holidays for the Christian festivals Easter and Christmas, and the Jewish holidays of Rosh Hashanah and Passover.
But the school term often clashes with Islam’s biggest festivals of Eid Al Adha and Eid Al Fitr, forcing Muslim children to choose between religion or study.
Democratic candidate Bill de Blasio, the frontrunner in the race to be mayor, has told Muslim voters that New York should respect everyone’s faith.
Snowden says no secret documents taken to Russia
WASHINGTON: US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden says he did not bring any secret documents with him to Russia when he fled there, ensuring Moscow had no access to the files.
In an interview with The New York Times published on Thursday, Snowden said he gave all the classified papers he had obtained to reporters he met in Hong Kong before flying to Moscow, where he later secured asylum.
The former National Security Agency contractor did not take the documents with him “because it wouldn’t serve the public interest,” Snowden told the Times. “What would be the unique value of personally carrying another copy of the materials onward?”
Greek Coastguard arrests 78 migrants
ATHENS: Greece’s coastguard arrested 78 migrants, believed to be Syrians, on the eastern island of Rhodes in the Aegean Sea, port authorities said yesterday.
Authorities had been searching for the migrants on the island since Wednesday, following the arrest of two men, presumed to be smugglers sailing in a boat under a Turkish flag close to Rhodes.
The coastguard has not released the undocumented migrants’ nationalities, but local media reported they are Syrian.
On Tuesday, Greece’s coastguard rescued 73 Syrian refugees stranded on a yacht in the Ionian Sea in the west of the country, who were then transferred to the southern port city of Kalamata. Agencies