U.N. to fete Pakistani girl shot by Taliban

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photoMalala Yousafzai

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UNITED NATIONS — Malala Yousafzai, who was shot last year on a girls' school bus by a Taliban gunman in Pakistan's Swat Valley, will be honored today at the United Nations as a symbol for education for all children.

On what is her 16th birthday, Malala will address the U.N. Youth Assembly at U.N. headquarters in New York, far from her life in conflict-plagued northern Pakistan, where she was born and grew up.

She survived a grievous head wound on Oct. 9, after being targeted by the Taliban because of her public campaign for the right of all girls to receive education. She was soon flown for further treatment and rehabilitation to Britain.

As her recovery has progressed, Malala has resumed her campaign for universal education.

The U.N. has designated July 12 each year as Malala Day.

Malala will be introduced by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Gordon Brown, Britain's former prime minister, who serves as U.N. special envoy for global education.

Some 500 youth leaders from 85 countries will be on hand to discuss education for all children.