Oddly Enough

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The Independent Online
No spanking: Californians are proud of the fact that they are smoke-free, fat-free and stress-free. But are they ready to give up spanking? Child welfare activist, Jordan Riak, is proposing that the city of Oakland establish itself as the US's first official "No Spanking Zone" in order to discourage parents from hitting their children. Riak runs a one-man, non-profit organisation, Parents and Teachers Against Violence in Education, and an anti-spanking website (www.nospank.org).

But several leaders in Oakland are opposed to this. "I feel discipline sometimes needs corporal punishment," said City Council President, Ignacio De La Fuente, adding that he himself was spanked frequently as a child. "I'm not talking about abuse," he continued, "but a slap on the butt doesn't kill anyone."

Cold cut: A student demonstrator in Athens expected to face tear gas and riot police on the streets. But he didn't think he'd get a hair cut.

According to reports, police sheared off the waist-long pony tail of a 16-year-old boy who was arrested during a march to demand the repeal of education reforms.