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Two-thirds of millennials don't know what Auschwitz is, Holocaust study says

According to a study released on Holocaust Memorial Day, approximately two-thirds of American millennials do not know what Auschwitz is, The Washington Post reported. 

>> Read more trending news

As memories of World War II continue to fade, researchers at the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany found that knowledge about the 6 million Jews killed by the Nazis is also fading, particularly among adults ages 18 to 34.

Twenty-two percent of millennials said they have not heard of the Holocaust or are unsure if they have heard about it. 

The study relied on answers from 1,350 American adults in February, the Post reported. According to the study, 41 percent of the American adults and 66 percent of millennials were unable to correctly answer that Auschwitz was a concentration camp or a place where prisoners were exterminated, the Post reported.

According to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, at least 1.3 million people were deported to the camp in Poland from 1940 to 1945. More than 1.1 million people were killed, museum officials said.

Ninety-three percent of the respondents said they wanted more education about the Holocaust, the Post reported.

The poll has a margin of error of three percentage points, the newspaper reported.

Algerian military plane crash kills 257

Authorities say 257 people are dead after an Algerian military plane crashed near the Boufarik airbase, state media is reporting.

>> Read more trending news 

Royal wedding: Trump not invited, Obamas not going either, report says

Cancel that shipment of monogrammed “Harry & Meghan” towels from the White House.

CNN is reporting that President Donald Trump is not invited to the royal wedding on May 19 in Windsor, England.

>> Prince Harry and Meghan Markle seek charity donations over wedding gifts

Former President Barack Obama and wife Michelle won’t be there either, despite having a close and apparently fun-loving relationship with groom-to-be Prince Harry in particular. Though it’s not clear if the Obamas were invited and just have something else to do that day (though seriously, what could be more important than watching the current fifth-in-line to the throne say “I do” to former “Suits” actress and American Meghan Markle)?

>> On MyAJC.com: Who’s who in American Meghan Markle’s family

Apparently, the lack of invite is nothing personal where the current president and first lady Melania Trump are concerned. A White House official told CNN that no elected U.S. officials were invited to the nuptials at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle.

>> Hospital begins preparations for Will, Kate and new baby

In fact, a spokesman for Kensington Palace (where Harry and Meghan live, along with their neighbors, Prince William and Kate and their kids) told CNN that “world leaders and political figures would not be invited in their official capacities."

“It has been decided that an official list of political leaders — both UK and international — is not required for Prince Harry and Ms. Markle’s wedding,” the palace told CNN.

>> Read more trending news 

Hmm … Technically, the Obamas no longer have “official capacities” as political figures, so maybe they did make the cut?

“The royal source would not say whether they had been invited,” CNN said.

Daughter of ex-Russian spy released from hospital after exposure to nerve agent

The daughter of a former Russian spy has been released from a hospital in the United Kingdom, more than a month after she and her father were exposed to a military-grade nerve agent, doctors said Tuesday.

>> Read more trending news

Sergei and Yulia Skripal were hospitalized March 4 after they were found slumped on a park bench in Salisbury, according to BBC News. British officials have said they were exposed to the nerve agent Novichok in what has been described as an assassination attempt by the Russian government.

A police officer was also exposed to Novichok and hospitalized, although officials with Salisbury District Hospital said he was released March 22.

Russian officials have denied playing any role in the attack.

>> Related: What is Novichok, the nerve agent used on former Russian spy and his daughter?

“(The Skripals) have responded exceptionally well to the treatment we’ve been providing, but equally, both patients are at different stages in their recovery,” Dr. Christine Blanshard, medical director of Salisbury District Hospital, said Tuesday in a statement.

Yulia Skripal, 33, was discharged Monday and taken to a secure location, the Salisbury Journal reported.

“This is not the end of her treatment, but marks a significant milestone,” Blanshard said.

Sergei Skripal, 66, remained hospitalized Tuesday, though Blanshard said his condition continued to improve.

“Although he is recovering more slowly than Yulia, we hope that he too will be able to leave hospital in due course,” she said.

In a statement released last week by London Metropolitan police, Yulia Skripal asked for privacy for her family and they continue to grapple with the aftermath of the March 4 attack.

“I woke up over a week ago now and am glad to say my strength is growing daily,” she said in the statement, released April 5.

The Russian Embassy congratulated Yulia Skripal on her release in a tweet but said pointedly that Russia needs "urgent proof" that "what is being done to her is done on her own free will."

Sergei Skripal is a former Russian military intelligence officer who was convicted in Russia of spying for Britain. He was imprisoned in Russia and eventually settled in England after a "spy swap." 

If Britain is correct that the Russian government is to blame, it is not clear why Sergei Skripal was poisoned last month, some eight years after his swap.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Who was Omar Sharif? Google honors 'Lawrence of Arabia' actor

In honor of what would have been famed Egyptian actor Omar Sharif’s 86th birthdayGoogle featured a dashing illustration of “The Noble” on its home page.

>> Read more trending news

On this day in 1932, Sharif was born Michel Demitri Shalhoub in Alexandria, Egypt, to a Lebanese family of Melkite Catholic descent.

It wasn’t until 1955, when he converted to Islam, that he changed his name to Omar Sharif, a surname that translates to “noble” or “nobleman” in Arabic. 

Before becoming an Egyptian and Hollywood actor and playing the iconic role of Arab warrior Sherif Ali in the 1962 epic “Lawrence of Arabia,” Sharif worked for his father’s lumber company. 

According to Al Jazeera, Sharif also attended Cairo University and graduated with a degree in mathematics and physics. He left the family lumber business to study acting at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London.

He married Egyptian actress Faten Hamama in 1955, soon after converting to Islam, but the pair divorced in 1974.

After being nominated for an Oscar for his role in the Hollywood hit “Lawrence of Arabia,” Sharif went on to gain international fame, scoring roles as a king of Armenia in “The Fall of the Roman Empire” (1964), a Mongol leader in “Genghis Khan” (1965) and a Russian doctor in “Doctor Zhivago” (1965) among others.

He also earned two Golden Globes and a UNESCO Einstein medal, an acknowledgement of his contributions to cultural diversity, Google wrote in its doodle blog.

At one point, Sharif even ranked among the world's top contract bridge players and co-wrote a syndicated column on the game for the Chicago Tribune.

But according to Al Jazeera, “international recognition came at a hefty personal price.” In an interview with The Associated Press in 2003, he said the global fame “separated me from my wife, from my family ... We didn't see each other any more and that was it, the end of our wedding. I might have been happier having stayed an Egyptian film star."

Sharif, 83, died of a heart attack in Cairo, Egypt, on July 10, 2015. His ex-wife, Hamama, had died six months earlier.

More at google.com/doodles.

Arizona couple killed in Ireland when horse-drawn carriage crashes

An Arizona couple was killed on a historic road in Ireland on Monday when a horse pulling their carriage bolted and the vehicle fell into a rocky ravine, The Irish Times reported.

>> Read more trending news

Rosalyn Few, 64, of Phoenix, and Norman Larose, also in his 60s, were riding in the horse-drawn carriage along the scenic Gap of Dunloe near Killarney, the Irish Examiner reported. 

“It’s a very sad tragedy, we don’t know why the horse and car went off the road at that point, but all aspects will be looked at to determine that,” Killarney Garda Superintendent Flor Murphy told Kerry Today.

The driver of the carriage survived the fall into the ravine, which has been reported to have been a drop between 12 and 20 feet. The horse, which was injured, was euthanized, the New York Daily News reported.

The company that runs the carriage services was closed Tuesday, the Irish Examiner reported.

Gerry Christie, of Kerry Mountain Rescue, told Kerry Today it took an hour to retrieve the bodies of the two tourists.

“We’re used to watching happy tourists. This was a tough one. It is tough on the whole community,” Christie said. “This casts a huge cloud over things.

“It does cast a shadow in the Gap, but it casts a big shadow somewhere else in the world today.”

Trump vowing to ‘forcefully’ respond to chemical attack in Syria: 5 things to know

Update Apr 9, 2018 7:30 PM EDT: President Donald Trump is vowing to “forcefully” respond to the chemical attack in Syria that left at least 40 people dead.

“It will be met and it will be met forcefully,” Trump said.

“We are getting clarity on that, on who was responsible, Trump said at a press availability at the White House late Monday afternoon ahead of a meeting with his military leaders.

“We have a lot of options militarily,” the president said.

(Previous story)

A missile strike on a Syrian air base left at least 14 dead Monday, just days after a suspected chemical attack on Douma, a rebel-held town, killed at least 40 people.

>> What is a Tomahawk cruise missile and what does it do?

Here's what we know so far:

1. President Donald Trump has not ruled out the possibility of U.S. military action in response to Saturday’s suspected chemical attack.

Trump said Monday that that he will decide how to respond within the next "24 to 48 hours.”

“Nothing is off the table,” he said. “We’re talking about humanity, and it can’t be allowed to happen.”

The president took to Twitter on Sunday to blame Syrian President Bashar Assad for the alleged chemical attack. Trump also pointed fingers at Russian President Vladimir Putin, Iran and former U.S. President Barack Obama. 

"Many dead, including women and children, in mindless CHEMICAL attack in Syria," Trump tweeted Sunday morning. "Area of atrocity is in lockdown and encircled by Syrian Army, making it completely inaccessible to outside world. President Putin, Russia and Iran are responsible for backing Animal Assad. Big price to pay. Open area immediately for medical help and verification. Another humanitarian disaster for no reason whatsoever. SICK!"

Trump later added: "If President Obama had crossed his stated Red Line In The Sand, the Syrian disaster would have ended long ago! Animal Assad would have been history!"

>> What is sarin nerve gas?

2. The Syrian and Russian governments denied the claims. According to The New York Times, "state news media in Syria denied that government forces had used chemical weapons and accused the Islamist rebel group that controls Douma, the Army of Islam, of fabricating the videos to solicit international support as defeat loomed."

The Russian government shared that position.

"Information attacks about the use of chlorine or other poisonous substances by the Syrian government troops are continuing. Another such hoax about the chemical attack that supposedly took place in Douma emerged yesterday," the statement said, according to CNN.

"We have warned of such dangerous provocations many times before. The purpose of these false conjectures, which are without any basis, is to shield the terrorists and the irreconcilable radical opposition, which reject a political settlement while trying to justify possible military strikes from outside."

>> Read more trending news 

3. The U.S. said it was not behind the deadly missile strike on Syria's T4 air base. "At this time, the Department of Defense is not conducting air strikes in Syria. However, we continue to closely watch the situation and support the ongoing diplomatic efforts to hold those who use chemical weapons, in Syria and otherwise, accountable," the Pentagon said in a statement, according to CNN

The statement came as Syrian state media said the airstrike was probably "an American aggression," The Associated Press reported. Meanwhile, Russia's Defense Ministry claimed that Israel had fired the missiles.

4. The United Nations Security Council is meeting Monday about the suspected chemical attack. “The Security Council has to come together and demand immediate access for first responders, support an independent investigation into what happened, and hold accountable those responsible for this atrocious act,” Nikki Haley, U.S. ambassador to the U.N., said in a statement.

>> ONE YEAR AGO: US fires more than 50 cruise missiles into Syria

5. The latest developments in Syria come about a year after a chemical attack there reportedly killed at least 80 people in Khan Sheikhun. According to CNN, the U.S. launched dozens of Tomahawk missiles at Syria's Shayrat air base in response to the April 4 attack.

German police foil knife attack plan at Berlin half-marathon

German police said they thwarted a plan to attack participants and spectators at Sunday’s half-marathon in Berlin, the BBC reported Sunday.

>> Read more trending news

Police said six men were arrested for planning to carry out “a violent crime.” Die Welt newspaper reported that one man who was detained planned to mount a deadly knife attack during the race in the German capital.

The men had suspected links to Anis Amri, a Tunisian man who killed 12 people in Berlin during a truck attack in December 2016, the newspaper reported. Amri was shot to death several days later in Milan, Italy.

Sunday, German police said the men detained ranged in age from 18 to 21, but declined to provide further details.

More than 30,000 athletes participated in Sunday’s Berlin Half Marathon. Kenya’s Erick Kiptanui won the men’s race in 58 minuted, 42 seconds, while Ethiopia’s Melat Kejeta won the women’s race in 69:04.

>> German van attack: 2 killed, 20 hurt before driver kills self

Sunday’s arrests come a day after two people were killed and 20 were injured when a van was driven into an outdoor seating area of a restaurant in Muenster, Germany.

Germany van attack: 2 dead, 20 hurt before driver kills self, police say

A vehicle struck a crowd of people in the German town of Muenster Saturday afternoon, killing at least two people and injuring others.

The driver involved in the incident killed himself, according to local law enforcement officials. 

>> Read more trending news 

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