Featured
From: St Osmunds
180 children are currently held in the prisons of Madagascar accused of stealing vanilla. They are often held in appalling conditions for years without a proper trial. Many children around the world suffer a similar fate. In Madagascar, selling vanilla is a trading policy, it sells for at least $150 in exporting markets . Stealing vanilla is a highly common crime there. It is a big business for the African island, an expensive commodity and people will try to get hold of it and sell it to make some more money for their often very poor families. Children are suffering a great deal in Madagascar just for stealing something as small as vanilla. The prison conditions there are abysmal. All these children have are concrete beds without mattresses and all are confined to tiny cells, cramped together. They are prisoners alongside 2000 other adults, many of whom have committed really big crimes and the prisons are only meant to hold 280 prisoners. Some haven't seen their mums in years because their families are very poor and can't travel to the prison. A BBC investigation dated 1st October 2019, found out that many of these children can spend more than 3 years in prison for that theft without even a trial. And when they go to trial, most of them don't even get a lawyer to defend them. In prison, they are miserable, dirty and only get one meal a day and no-one to care for them when they fall ill. Those are only some of the many children being held in prisons across the globe, children in Iraq are being punished because of things their parents did , Palestinian children have been captured and are being put into Iran's prisons for doing nothing more than protesting against grown up politics.  Innocent children everywhere are suffering in terrible conditions, they only have each other to rely on. According to the latest figures from Human Rights Watch and the UN's Child Fund, UNICEF, an estimated 1 million children are behind bars around the world today. In my eyes, it's  wrong to send children to jail at such young ages, in such poor living spaces. Human wrights groups are protesting against this but people in power just won't listen ! By Zandile Photo Cred : Getty Images
From: Barnes
It's an amazing achievement when a celeb gets their first perfect dance. This year, celeb Kelvin Fletcher was the first of the 2019 cast to receive a perfect score for his 'practically perfect' Charleston to a song from 'Mary Poppins Returns' with his talented partner Oti Mabuse during the memorable Movie Week. But AJ (Saffron Barker's partner) has told the world of fans that he doesn't believe that judges should be allowed to give 10s on the stage. He says the top mark should be 9.5 as there's "always room for improvement". Lots of interviewers asked the judges about his comments, but they declined to comment. Next week being Halloween week, after Saffron and AJ's impeccable dance last week, it seems that they have a pretty decent chance of receiving a perfect ten for their spoooky jive this week.
From: Barnes
A library book has been returned 60 years late. The somewhat battered book, Cultures and Societies of Africa, had been borrowed from Cambridge University Library. The library promised to waive the fine, which based on today's rate of £1.50 a week would amount to almost £4,700.  It was returned to Bonneville and Laius College by a former student on Wednesday and taken to the main university library. In a tweet, the library wrote: "Better late than never", adding "suffice to say we evened the fine". "Must have been a great book - or a very slow reader?",they added. A spokesman said it was not clear whether the student had kept the book for so long "mistakenly or deliberately". However, it was still listed on the library's system as missing. The book has now been returned to the cataloguing department and will shortly be put back on the shelf.
From: Barnes
It’s not unusual for families to assume a child's personality long before the baby can even protest. To this day, many parents want to know the gender of their baby before it is born, as their rooms are often painted pink or blue, and  clothing and toys is purchased as well: princess dresses and tiaras for girls, blue dungarees and dinosaurs for boys. Whatever toys we use or clothes we wear, our baby and toddler years of life are important in the development of our personalities, supporting us through teenage years and even adulthood. Assigning gender has a powerful influence on our view of ourselves, our future hopes and our personal opinions of other items such as makeup or football. Fortunately, times are changing, and our generation are living in times when genders are becoming less restrictive, giving children the right to, for example, wear different clothes or play with different toys. Helping with this step up are Mattel, who just released a set of customizable gender neutral dolls. Unfortunately, the opinion of them is controversial. While some welcome 'the dolls of the future', others think that we should stick with barbies. "The only females in our house are mom, our dog Sadie and our cat, Bell.  That means we don’t have any dolls.  There are lots of balls and trucks and cars and Nerf guns scattered throughout the house and the yard.  When it comes to our kids' understanding gender issues, I want them to understand that gender is a matter of creation, not preference.  Human beings are created, and we are created as male or female.' Todd E. Brady is vice president for university ministries at Union University.