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Michelle Obama edges into a policy role on higher education

WASHINGTON — Michelle Obama, after nearly five years of evangelizing exercise and good eating habits, will begin a new initiative on Tuesday that seeks to increase the number of low-income students who pursue a college degree. The goals of the program reflect the first lady’s own life and will immerse her more directly in her husband’s policies.

“I’m here today because I want you to know that my story can be your story,” Obama is to tell students at Bell Multicultural High School in Washington on Tuesday, according to an advance text of her remarks. “The details might be a little different, but so many of the challenges and triumphs will be just the same.”

The first lady will add that whether students want to be doctors, teachers, mechanics or software designers, “you have got to do whatever it takes to continue your education after high school — whether that’s going to a community college, or getting a technical certificate, or completing a training opportunity, or heading off to a four-year college.”

—Jennifer Steinhauer, The New York Times

UN court rules for Cambodia in temple dispute with Thailand

BANGKOK — The International Court of Justice on Monday handed Cambodia a partial victory in its territorial dispute with Thailand over the land surrounding an ancient temple along the country’s border.

The court, the top judicial body of the United Nations, said in its judgment that Cambodia had sovereignty over the immediate area around Preah Vihear Temple — the promontory on which it sits. But the court left unresolved who controls a larger disputed area, where Cambodian and Thai troops have clashed in recent years.

Thailand, the court said, is “under an obligation to withdraw from that territory the Thai military or police forces, or other guards or keepers, that were stationed there.”

Nationalist groups have urged the Thai government not to respect the verdict. In a nationally televised speech after news of the decision, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said the government would negotiate further on the issue with Cambodia.

Ownership of the temple and its surrounding areas, a dispute that dates back decades, is an emotional one and has been used by politicians on both sides of the border to stoke nationalist feelings.

Cambodia was awarded sovereignty over the temple in a 1962 decision by the same court, based in The Hague, Netherlands, and Monday’s judgment clarified that decision.

—Thomas Fuller, The New York Times