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A British Jew who saved 669 Czechoslovak children from the Nazis received the Czech Republic’s highest military decoration.

Sir Nicholas Winton, 98, was awarded the Cross of Merit of the 1st class on Tuesday by Defense Minister Vlasta Parkanova for organizing train transport for the mostly Jewish children from Prague to London just as the Nazis were invading Czechoslovakia.

“I am completely overwhelmed that should happen to me for something I did before most of you were born,” Winton said during a ceremony at the defense ministry. “I thank you all.”

The saved children have some 5,000 descendants.

Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg said Tuesday he supported the initiative of Czech students who have collected more than 30,000 signatures on a petition that nominates Winton for the Nobel Peace Prize.

A women’s group is trying to ban teachers in Quebec from wearing religious objects such as yarmulkes.

The Quebec Council on the Status of Women, which advises the government on issues relating to women, argues that religious articles such as the hijab, a veil worn by religious Muslim women, and the nijab, which covers the entire face, are oppressive to women.

The ban would include large Christian crosses, Sikh turbans and yarmulkes, according to Canada’s National Post.

The proposed ban stressed the protection of Quebec culture and the religious neutrality of state institutions.

In 1995, the council fought to allow students on the verge of being expelled to be allowed to wear a hijab to public school.

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