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Parents tardy, kids detained

"A San Antonio-area elementary school is getting parents to bring their children on time by putting the kids in detention if they're late," reports Associated Press. "Even kindergartners are on the hook. The parents of six-year-old Brooke Loeffler tell KENS-TV that their daughter was given two days of lunchtime detention because she was repeatedly tardy to school at Olympia Elementary in Universal City. Her parents say they have a newborn baby at home and are struggling to adjust their schedule. Brooke was placed in detention after three late arrivals. School district officials say the policy has worked with most parents."

Too handsome to stay

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Three men were forcibly removed from an annual culture festival in Saudi Arabia and subsequently sent back to the United Arab Emirates after it was deemed that women could find them irresistible, says The Daily Telegraph. The UAE delegates were in attendance at the Jenadrivah Heritage & Culture Festival in Riyadh, the Saudi capital, when officers from the religious police stormed the stand and evicted the men because "they are too handsome," according to the Arabic-language newspaper Elaph. The UAE released an official statement indicating that the religious police were anxious over the unexpected presence of an unnamed female artist in the pavilion.

Old and determined

"As the oldest woman in the world at age 115, Misao Okawa is a fascinating interview for gerontology scholars trying to piece together the keys to longevity," says the Asahi Shimbun. "She meets two of the characteristics given by specialists [for the long-lived]: having a strong will and a sense of curiosity. However, she diverges from a third trait, which is to be outgoing." Okawa has been living in a retirement home since 1997. When she was 102, she fell and broke her leg, according to an official. After she was released from hospital and returned to the home, a staff worker found her doing leg squats while holding onto a railing in the hallway. When the worker asked her what she was doing, Okawa said: "My body will get out of shape."

Everyone errs, cops told

Japan's National Police Agency has instructed police forces nationwide to teach junior officers how to properly handle mistakes committed in the course of their duties, to reduce the number of scandals involving officers, reports the Yomiuri Shimbun. "As police officers are expected to demonstrate exemplary behaviour, police have so far educated officers according to the view that police officers should never make mistakes," the agency said. In one case, a 27-year-old senior officer of the Tochigi prefectural police hid investigation files. He had photocopied documents from past cases without permission and erroneously shredded one. The officer explained his actions by saying he was "afraid of being scolded by my boss." A senior NPA official said: "Even police officers make mistakes. We have to create a workplace culture that allows for small mistakes."

Heavy metal fans depressed

"How would you characterize adolescents who listen to heavy metal music? Angry? Perhaps prone to violence?" asks Pacific Standard magazine. "Newly published research suggests 'anxious' and 'depressed' are more accurate adjectives. An analysis of 551 college students found 'significantly higher levels of anxiety and depression among listeners of heavy metal/hard rock music as compared with non-listeners.' Furthermore, their underlying level of anger was not significantly different from their peers who prefer other musical genres."

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Thought du jour

Among the cheerful robots of the mass society, not human virtue but human shortcomings, attractively packaged, lead to popularity and success.

C. Wright Mills, American sociologist (1916-62)

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