The Clooneys want refugee kids to go to good schools, so they're paying for them.

Amal Clooney and her husband, George, are stepping up for children fleeing war in Syria.

The couple is planning a multimillion-dollar donation to Lebanese public schools, hoping to help provide a quality learning environment to thousands of students currently underserved "because they had the bad luck of being born in the wrong place at the wrong time."

George and Amal Clooney discuss refugee policy with Prime Minister Angela Merkel and German government officials. Photo via Handout/Getty Images.


"They have been victims of geography and circumstance, but that doesn't mean there isn't hope," the Clooneys told the Associated Press in a statement. "Our goal with this initiative is to help provide Syrian refugee children with an education and put them on a path to be the future leaders their generation desperately needs."

Hundreds of thousands of refugee children have settled in Lebanon, putting pressure on the country's education system.

In response, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) instituted a "second shift" at over 70 public schools.

According to the agency, the extra sessions are staffed by local teachers who frequently extend their work day to ensure that refugee children don't fall behind.

The Clooneys' funds will go toward training those teachers, as well as to providing school supplies, computers, and transportation for the students.

Students at a school for Syrian refugee children in Lebanon. Photo by -/AFP/Getty Images.

The $3.5 million donation is from their Clooney Foundation for Justice in conjunction with Google and HP.

Still, there are limits to what one celebrity couple — even an uber-wealthy one — can do for the world's neediest.

The Clooneys have said the funds will aid 3,000 additional refugee children, but the U.N. estimates that some 200,000 in Lebanon alone are still not receiving an education.

Human Rights Watch has labeled the situation an "immediate crisis."

The world needs to step up with a comprehensive plan for the millions displaced by the conflict.

Then-Prime Minister of Italy Matteo Renzi high-fives a child in a school for refugees in Lebanon. Photo by Marwan Tahtah/Getty Images.

That includes supporting the work that agencies like the UNHCR are doing. More importantly, it includes helping muster the political will to resettle them in safe countries — whether by making it easier for them to reunite with family or by more freely granting visas.

With anti-refugee sentiment running hot in the United States and much of Europe, relaxing rules and opening borders can feel like an improbable lift.

Still, it's critical to take action before it's too late in order for these millions of kids to grow up with the skills to confront a challenging, difficult world.

As the Clooneys recognized, there's more than one way to lose a life.

To help make the world a more welcoming place for displaced children and their families, you can visit and support organizations working to protect and serve refugees globally, including Amnesty International, the International Rescue Committee, and the Hebrew International Aid Society.

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Virginia is poised to become the 23rd U.S. state—and first state in the South—to ban the death penalty after lawmakers on Monday approved legislation prohibiting the practice.

"We're dismantling the remnants of Jim Crow here in the New South. Abolishing the death penalty is another step on that journey," tweeted Democratic Del. Jay Jones, who's running for state attorney general.

Both chambers of the General Assembly passed earlier versions already this month. On Monday, the Senate passed the House bill in a 22-16 vote; the House then voted 57-43 on the measure to ban capital punishment. Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam has indicated his support for the measure.

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After years of service as a military nurse in the naval Marine Corps, Los Angeles, California-resident Rhonda Jackson became one of the 37,000 retired veterans in the U.S. who are currently experiencing homelessness — roughly eight percent of the entire homeless population.

"I was living in a one-bedroom apartment with no heat for two years," Jackson said. "The Department of Veterans Affairs was doing everything they could to help but I was not in a good situation."

One day in 2019, Jackson felt a sudden sense of hope for a better living arrangement when she caught wind of the ongoing construction of Veteran's Village in Carson, California — a 51-unit affordable housing development with one, two and three-bedroom apartments and supportive services to residents through a partnership with U.S.VETS.

Her feelings of hope quickly blossomed into a vision for her future when she learned that Veteran's Village was taking applications for residents to move in later that year after construction was complete.

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via YouTube The Kelly Clarkson Show

America's original idol, Kelly Clarkson, put a powerful spin on No Doubt's breakthrough hit, 1995's "Just a Girl," on her talk show Monday. She slowed down the tempo, added some strings and a menacing keyboard, to give the song a haunting sound.

The original version was peppy and sarcastic with Gwen Stefani singing in a faux pouty voice until the chorus in which she goes full '90s girl power.

Clarkson sang the new version during the "Kellyoke" segment of her talk show where she covers some of her favorite songs. Check out the moment 58 seconds in where she holds the final note on the line, "That's all that you'll let me be."

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Just over a month after passing the grim milestone of 400,000 deaths from COVID-19, the United States has surpassed another one. As of today, more than half a million Americans have been lost to the virus that's held the world in a pandemic holding pattern for almost a year. It's a number that seemed unfathomable even six months ago, and yet here we are.

Despite increasing vaccine rollouts allowing us to see the light at the end of the tunnel, the loss we've experienced is immense. Having a president who not only understands loss on a personal level—having endured the tragic loss of his wife and baby daughter earlier in life and the death of his son just six years ago—but who conveys with compassion the grief of the nation as we mark this milestone is a comforting change.

Tonight, the White House honored the 500,000+ lives lost with a display of 500 candles lining the steps of the building, with each candle representing 1000 Americans. The president and first lady, along with the vice president and second gentleman, held a memorial moment of silence outside the South Portico as a military band played "Amazing Grace."

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