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Pakistani Taliban Gun Down Teenage Girl Activist. She’s Now in Stable Condition.

An absolute horror that is reverberating across Pakistan. “At the age of 11, Malala Yousafzai took on the Taliban by giving voice to her dreams. As turbaned fighters swept through her town in northwestern Pakistan in 2009, the tiny schoolgirl spoke out about her passion for education — she wanted to become a doctor, she said — and became a symbol of defiance against Taliban subjugation. On Tuesday, masked Taliban gunmen answered Ms. Yousafzai’s courage with bullets, singling out the 14-year-old on a bus filled with terrified schoolchildren, then shooting her in the head and neck. Two other girls were also wounded in the attack. All three survived, but late on Tuesday doctors said that Ms. Yousafzai was in critical condition at a hospital in Peshawar, with a bullet possibly lodged close to her brain. A Taliban spokesman, Ehsanullah Ehsan, confirmed by phone that Ms. Yousafzai had been the target, calling her crusade for education rights an ‘obscenity.’ “She has become a symbol of Western culture in the area; she was openly propagating it,’ Mr. Ehsan said, adding that if she survived, the militants would certainly try to kill her again. ‘Let this be a lesson.’” (NYT http://nyti.ms/Qf44pR)  UPDATE: The surgurgy to remove the bullet from her brain was “successful” and she is in stable condition. (BBC http://bbc.in/TghyBa )

Money Quote From a Donor: Justine Greening, the UK international development secretary, has promised to tighten oversight of Britain’s £7.6bn aid budget as she defended development spending as the “right and smart thing” to do. Speaking at the Conservative party conference in Birmingham, Greening, who took over from Andrew Mitchell a month ago, sought to make the case that it is very much in Britain’s interests for countries to be stable and secure, and that they had the potential to become markets once they develop. (Guardian http://bit.ly/VMQhwo)

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