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Unease at Islamic University after protest

GAZA CITY - The Islamic University, a Palestinian school, reopened this week after a riot there Oct. 8 - in which Palestinian security forces battled with activists denouncing US air strikes in Afghanistan and declaring support for Osama bin Laden - left two people dead and dozens injured. The temporary closure of the school helped restore calm, but many students are dissatisfied with the response to their protests. Sameh Abdel Wahab, a history student, called on Yasser Arafat to "bring the killers to trial," and called on Palestinian factions "to contain the crisis and prevent its spread, which might endanger inter-Palestinian relations." Religion student Asma Joudi said Mr. Arafat's attempt to align himself with the United States was creating friction among Palestinians. "This all happened because Arafat wants to side with the Americans, even when the people are against it," Joudi said. "He is siding against us."

School with an 'open' agenda

BUDAPEST - George Soros, the Hungarian-born financier and founder of the Open Society Institute, this week granted a $250 million endowment to the Budapest-based Central European University (CEU). He says the grant is intended to ensure the independence and long-term future of the institution he founded a decade ago "to promote the idea of open societies after the collapse of communism in central-east Europe's new democracies." CEU's rector Yehuda Elkana says: "Nowhere in the region can you find the diversity found at CEU, where students from Azerbaijan and Bulgaria, Tajikistan and Mongolia are able to mingle and share ideas at an atmosphere of tolerance and understanding. These ties ... are a key part of maintaining stability in the region."

Learning to train guide dogs ... in lockup

BOSTON - For 25 years, the National Education for Assistance Dog Services has paired trained dogs with people with disabilities; but for the past two, it has run a "Prison Pup" program that places dogs with inmate trainers at prisons in Massachusetts and Connecticut. After serving nine years for an attempted murder conviction, trainer Michelle Ackerman offered to stay in prison an extra three weeks to finish training a yellow Lab called Sammy. "The unconditional love and pride I received from this dog is incomparable to anything else in my life," says Ackerman.

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