o Police in Kent have arrested eight men as part of an investigation into charity fraud involving money given to help people in Syria. The arrests follow the seizing at Dover in January of more than £45,000 in sterling, dollars and euros from four charities, money the police believe was to be used for criminal or terrorist activities.

The fact that cash was being transported, rather than payments being made electronically, raised suspicions.

People wanting to give money to help in the Syria crisis are advised to first check a charity’s legitimacy on the website of the Charity Commission, which also now contains Safer Giving advice.

o The head of a Worcester-based charity that has carried out work in Syria, Burma, Kashmir and Palestine was recently filmed with his arms around two masked gunmen carrying AK47 assault rifles, prompting concerns about what the money the charity was raising was being used for.

The charity, Al-Fatiha Global is currently being investigated for its financial dealings by the Charity Commission, and its accounting procedures.

According to the World Economic Forum Syria is the fourth worst place in the world to be a woman. The organisation measures gender disparities in education, economics, health and politics and only Yemen, Pakistan and Chad have higher gender gaps.

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