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The United States will pull out of UNESCO, the international scientific and cultural heritage organization, at the end of 2018, the U.S. State Department announced Thursday morning. UNESCO is best known for the heritage sites and biosphere reserves it designates, but the organization was founded on the broader principles of combating extremism and promoting peace . The organization works on all matters of global development, including gender equality, sex education, clean water, and literacy . The U.S. decision to withdraw, which the U.S. State Department said “was not taken lightly,” stems from financial concerns, what the U.S. sees as a lack of needed reform, and “continuing anti-Israel bias.” Full story

12 October