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The Independent Online
School runs: Three 12-year-old girls and a 13-year-old boy in Peoria, Illinois, were sentenced to 15 days in a juvenile facility, 90 days of home detention and two years of probation after pleading guilty to spiking their teachers' drinks with laxatives. The teachers were treated in hospital.

Indecorous behaviour: Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, has banned its traditional naked soccer game to celebrate the end of the exams. Last year's mixed-sex game resulted in seven students being charged with indecent exposure, and a police officer who was videotaping the game at the school's request was assaulted by a student.

Family business: Patrick MacDonald, 20, and his mother, Margaret, have reached a private settlement after the boy sued his estranged parent at Edinburgh Sheriff's Court for pounds 400 a month living expenses. Mrs MacDonald is a lawyer at the Scottish Office; her son is studying law at Aberdeen University.

Teachers' pay: In the Ukrainian city of Kherson, some 300 teachers went on hunger strike last Friday in a demand for back pay from the city administration. They have not been paid for two months.

Academic advances: Researchers at the University of Missouri have discovered that a chemical compound used in protective coatings on teeth can stunt the development of the sex organs of mice. Researchers in Edinburgh have started a study on the effects of music on hens' egg-laying capacity. They also hope to discover whether jazz, classical or rock music produces the best effects.

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