Education: Oddly enough

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The Independent Online
Gun-toting tot: A five-year-old kindergarten pupil was arrested last week in Memphis, Tennessee, for bringing a loaded pistol to school. His teacher confiscated the gun after another pupil had brought her a bullet. When questioned, the boy said that he was going to shoot Ms Foster for putting him in "timeout" - a form of punishment in which children are sent to their rooms or made to sit alone. The child has been charged with carrying a weapon but it is not clear whether he will face prosecution. "A five-year-old is not capable of forming criminal intent," Juvenile Court Judge Kenneth Turner said.

The price of success: The dean at a Russian university law school was arrested during exams last week and charged with taking bribes from students. For the past two years, the dean at Polytechnic University in Vladimir had been charging 50-100 roubles (about pounds 5-10) for a simple pass in an exam, or 100-150 roubles (pounds 10-15) for a specific grade, according to the police investigator, Yuri Yevtukhov.

Sporting record: The Hindu Daily has reported a remarkable cricketing record in an under-13 schools match in Calcutta. Playing against the Bournvita cricket academy, the team from Ramakrishna mission school were bowled out for zero. Their innings lasted 18 minutes, and after a 10-minute break the academy took only two deliveries to win the game. The most successful bowler for Bournvita was Sayak Ghosh, who took six wickets in 12 balls, including the last four wickets off successive deliveries. Tanumoy Banerjee was the best batsman for the losers, surviving four deliveries.

Cause to riot: Police wielding batons had to be called in to break up a riot in Muscat when an estimated 300 students took part in a protest march through the Omani capital. They were carrying placards condemning the catering service, after 189 of their colleages at the Health Sciences Institute had gone down with food poisoning; five of the victims are in critical condition in hospital. One of the banners read: "Where is the health? we ask the Ministry of Health".

Good deed turns bad: A 12-year-old American girl is now listed on her school record as a drug-trafficker after helping a friend. When Brandy Dyer, 13, had a bad asthma attack on the bus coming home from Mount Airy middle school, Christine Rhodes came to her aid with a prescription inhaler while the bus driver called for help. Under school rules, she is now regarded as a drug trafficker, and it will stay on her record for at least three years. "This is what makes people not want to help other people,'' said Christine's mother, Donna Cianci, adding that under school rules her daughter could just as easily have been suspended.

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