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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
To celebrate books by Julia Donaldson, Royal Mail have created 10 new born stamps of the Gruffalo book! In 1999, her book was published. Surprisingly, six of the stamps are from the original tale and follow Mouse's journey through the deep dark wood, and the rest of the stamps are wonderful, new illustrations, by Axel Scheffler . In 2009, it was the most popular picture book and best bedtime story for children. It has being used in the theatre productions in the West End, Broadway and the Sydney Opera House, and it has been adapted into an Oscar nominated film! The story of this award winning book follows a mouse entering a deep, dark wood and escaping predators such as an owl, snake and fox by warning them of a mystical beast that will gobble them all up...the Gruffalo! Philip Parker from the Royal Mail said: "We are delighted that Axel Scheffler has taken us back to the deep, dark wood with his new illustrations of the much-loved characters." Get your stamps at Royal Mail now, £12.20 for the whole set!!!
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.