Oddly Enough

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The Independent Online
Parental responsibility: In what is believed to be the first case of its kind, the parents of a 16-year-old girl, in Lincoln, Nebraska, are suing the mother of the boy who got her pregnant. They allege that the woman knew the teenagers were having under-age sex but did nothing to stop it. In a pre-trial ruling, the judge said the boy had no case to answer, as sex was consensual, but the mother's responsibility has to be decided at a trial. "The issue is whether she had a duty to act," he said. "Certainly, it is foreseeable that harm can result to a person of tender years who finds herself pregnant."

Bad joke: Students at New Fairfield High School, in Connecticut, organised a "Prank Day" stunt that involved a phoney call to divert police to the other side of town then a break-in at the school where they greased doorknobs and handrails, pulled pins from fire extinguishers and hung pornographic pictures on walls - 71 have been suspended and 22 face criminal charges.

Writing on the wall: Delegates at a conference on school shootings in Memphis, Tennessee, were told that the prevention of school violence must begin with parents. "Parents need to know a child's bedroom like the back of their hand," the Rev Tommy Mitchell said. "Everything that goes on a kid's wall is a statement of who they are and who they want to be."

Nat King Kohl: A general knowledge test given to 100 students in Kuwait has produced results that have been described as "catastrophic" - 45 respondents thought that Madeleine Albright was an American actress and 23 denied she existed. Kofi Annan was identified as a member of the Cameroon soccer team and Helmut Kohl as a rock singer. The Syrian poet Adonis came out worst: 87 branded him an international terrorist.

The e-mail of Montecristo: Chiara Del Lama is to be educated over the Internet following a decision by an Italian schools officer. The six-year- old and her parents are the only inhabitants on the island of Montecristo, and it has been decided that she can remain on the island and attend the infant school of the Tuscan village of Riotorto through the Net.

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