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2017 was Syria's deadliest year for children

Syrian child
A Syrian child walking down a street in the rebel-held town of Douma in Eastern Ghouta. Photo by HAMZA AL-AJWEH/AFP/Getty Images.

910 children were killed in Syria in 2017, a 50% increase from 2016 and the most of any year since the war began in 2011, according to a new report from UNICEF. Conflict is now considered the leading cause of death for Syrian adolescents.

Why it matters: With no end in sight to the seven-year war, a humanitarian crisis in Syria continues to devolve into unspeakable tragedy. There are now more than 1 million Syrian children who have only ever known a lifetime of war.

More findings:

  • In the first two months of 2018, 1,000 children were reportedly killed or injured.
  • The UN verified 175 attacks on education and medical facilities in 2017.
  • An estimated 3.3 million Syrian children are currently exposed to explosive hazards, including landmines.
  • Over 1.5 million Syrians are now living with permanent disabilities from war-related injuries.
Haley Britzky 5 hours ago
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Russia continues pointing fingers after ex-spy poisoning

Russian President Vladimir Putin poses with medalists of the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Paralympic Games
Russian President Vladimir Putin poses with medalists of the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Paralympic Games. Photo: Yuri Kadobnov / AFP / Getty Images

It's become relatively understood with world leaders that Russia probably poisoned ex-spy Sergei Skripal.

The bigger picture: The U.S. has said so, the E.U. recently voiced support for the U.K. in saying so; the only person who won't say is Russian President Vladimir Putin. The Wall Street Journal reports that the Kremlin has "spread a flurry of theories" to explain the nerve-agent attack, with "one common theme: It was anyone but Russia."

Zachary Basu 16 hours ago
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What to watch for in Egypt's sham election

Sisi billboard
A billboard in Cairo voicing support for Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in the upcoming election. Photo by KHALED DESOUKI/AFP/Getty Images.

Egyptians will vote March 26-28 in a presidential election that is sure to see incumbent strongman Abdel Fattah el-Sisi handily defeat Mousa Mostafa Mousa — the sole challenger who hasn't been jailed or intimidated into dropping out.

The backdrop: Sisi, the former minister of defense and commander-in-chief of the Egyptian Armed Forces, led a military coup to topple President Mohamed Morsi in 2013. He formally came to power in 2014 after winning 96% of the vote in the presidential election, but has since seen his popularity wane under deteriorating economic conditions and an oppressive human rights record.