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US private Military Contractor Academi “Blackwater” to open security personnel training centres in China

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Beijing, March 22, 2017: The founder of US private military contractor Academi, formerly known as Blackwater, has announced that he will open security personnel training centres in China, local media reported on Wednesday.

In an interview with Chinese official daily Global Times, Erik Prince said two training centres of his new firm Frontier Services Group would initially be set up on China’s border and conflict-ridden regions.

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One of these centres will be located in Xinjiang, which has experienced several violent attacks over the last few years, which the government blames on Uighur separatists, Efe news reported.

The other centre will be established in Yunnan, another sensitive region for China due to its proximity to Myanmar.

Clashes between the Myanmar Army and ethnic minorities such as Kokang people have caused collateral damage on Chinese territory, as well as an influx of thousands of refugees.

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The new company, headed by 47-year-old Prince — a former US Navy SEAL — brands itself a provider of security services to businesses operating in frontier areas.

Prince told the newspaper that his firm wants to support the development of China’s “One Belt, One Road” initiative, which is threatened by armed conflicts across Asia.

His previous firm Academi, sold to an investment group in 2010, was accused of human rights violations during the US-led Iraq occupation during the last decade. (IANS)

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Facebook Introduces Free Online Education Programme in The US

The "We do" module lets educators and students learn together. And the "You do" is designed to help students practice their new skills

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Facebook likely to launch camera-equipped hardware for TVs. Pixabay

Facebook has launched in the US free online education programme CodeFWDTo to increase the numbers of underrepresented and female students interested in pursuing computer programming.

“We’re working on a number of initiatives like CodeFWD to widen the pipeline of diverse talent studying computer science so the next generation of tech innovators reflects and incorporates diverse perspectives, building a future that benefits us all,” Lauryn Ogbechie, Education Partnerships Director at Facebook, said in a statement on Tuesday.

Created in partnership with connected toys maker Sphero, CodeFWD by Facebook, has been designed for both English and Spanish speakers.

It is a three-step programme where educators and organisations introduce computer programming to 4th to 8th grade students.

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Facebook App on a smartphone device. (VOA)

With the first module “I do”, CodeFWD prepares educators to introduce the basics of computer programming to their students, even as they may be discovering the concepts themselves.

The “We do” module lets educators and students learn together. And the “You do” is designed to help students practice their new skills.

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“After completing these three steps, educators who want to continue developing their students’ coding skills using a tangible, hands-on product can apply to earn a free classroom set of programmable robots from our partners at Sphero,” Ogbechie said. (IANS)