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Student News From Canada And Beyond, Issue 8


Chinese Suicide Rates Higher For Females, Rural Residents

A recent study shows that suicide among Chinese females is 25% higher than Chinese males. The study also shows that the suicide rate triples in rural areas of China as opposed to urban areas. That opposes western countries statistics in which the male suicide is 3.6 times greater than women says Li Xianyun, a medical from a Beijing hospital. The age groups mostly affected are between the ages of 15 to 34.

(source: Reuters Health)


Nicotine Laced Lollipops…Hey man, can I bum a sucker?

In the United States, critics are complaining about the appeal that nicotine-laced lollipops may have on children. Available over the Internet and at select pharmacies, the lollipops, which are intended to help smokers quit, are being sold without Food and Drug Administration approval in flavours such as watermelon, apricot and eggnog. “An addictive drug shouldn’t be sold as a lollipop without through review by the FDA,” said California Democrat Henry Waxman. He is concerned with the effects salicylate, an unapproved form of nicotine found in the lollipop may have on children’s livers.

(Reuters)


Driving Exam Violence In France

Would you want to wait a day before knowing the results of your driving exam? If you’re a driving student in France you might. Extra precautions are being considered as candidates are attacking driving examiners who fail them. One transport ministry official said examiners have been attacked in their vehicles and have been threatened with death or rape, often at gunpoint. France is already implementing a notification system in some areas. This system informs candidates by post whether or not the learner plates can be removed 24 hours after the exam has been performed.


Gee Here’s a Surprise…Failed Love Leads To Depression

New research is suggesting that teenage romance can lead to depression in later adolescence. The University of North Carolina surveyed 54 girls, focusing on the age, compassion and intimacy of their first relationship and their current levels of depression. The results showed that girls with unsatisfied levels of intimacy and companionship from their first relationships are more likely to be depressed later in their adolescence. “Maybe it’s more the experience during that first relationship, not just the age,” said author of the survey Susan Levy to Reuter’s health.

(Source: Reuters Health)


Eight Year Old Suspended For Driving To School

An 8-year-old Florida boy has been suspended from for 10 days after driving himself to school. The boy’s classmates caught him parking a stolen 2002 Ford Focus after missing the bus to school.
As ironic as it seems the youngster claims that his uncle was giving him driving lesson, regardless of the fact that he could barely see over the dashboard. No charges have been filed against the boy, as police did not see him operate the vehicle.


Gay Teen Sues School in Toronto

A gay high school student, has launched a lawsuit against his principal after he was banned from attending the prom with his boyfriend. Marc Hall, 17, argues that school administrators violated his rights under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms by “discriminating against him on the basis of his sexual orientation and publicly taking the position that they are justified in treating him in a discriminatory fashion, thereby encouraging others to do likewise in other contexts.” Hall is seeking $100,000 in damages.

(Sources: National Post, Canadian Press)


No Drugs But Boy Still Suspended in Ottawa

A 15-year-old boy suspended from school because a police dog smelled marijuana on his jacket retained one of Ottawa’s top criminal lawyers, saying he won’t let the school board trample his rights. Chris Laurin — who had no drug in his possession — wants the Ottawa-Carleton Catholic School Board to apologize and erase the suspension, or face a lawsuit. Even though they didn’t find any drugs — and the vice-principal admitted she couldn’t smell marijuana on the jacket — Chris was suspended and sent home.

(Source: National Post, Ottawa Citizen)


Ordered to Take Blood Transfusions in Calgary

A judge has ruled a 16-year-old Jehovah’s Witness must continue receiving blood transfusions against her will. Jehovah’s Witnesses refuse to accept blood transfusions basing their stance on Biblical scriptures. They say forcing blood on them is the spiritual equivalent of rape. Judge Kent ruled the girl is being manipulated by her family and her church and said, “Her life has been sheltered and she has not yet reached that stage where she can question her faith.”

(Source: National Post)


Teen Sentenced to Die by Stoning in Sudan

A pregnant teenager convicted of adultery has been sentenced by a Sudanese court to death by stoning, a method of execution that has experienced a comeback in radical Muslim countries recently. Abok Alfa Akok, 18, a tribeswoman from western Sudan, must face the brutal penalties imposed under shariah-based legal codes that mandate public amputations and executions.
Human Rights Watch has appealed to the Sudanese President, asking him “to prevent this cruel and inhuman punishment from being exercised against her.”

(Source: United Press International)


Students Face Drug Testing in Thailand

Thai students face nationwide compulsory urine tests in an attempt to curb a growing drug-use epidemic. The trafficking and consumption of methamphetamine — a cheap illegal stimulant — is fast becoming Thailand’s top social problem. Interior Minister Purachai Piumsombun said that schools and colleges would not punish those found to be drug users, instead, students would be rehabilitated and their records kept confidential.

(Source: BBC News)


Teen Hackers Turn Cybercops in India

The National Cyber Cop Committee of India – which has been set up by the software industry – is to be advised by a group of hackers, between the ages of 14 and 19 in order to crack down on cyber-crime. “They will tell us where our soft spots are – where government and industry websites are most vulnerable, thus helping us strengthen our e-security,” said Mr. Dewang Mehta, president of India’s National Association of Software and Service Companies (Nasscom).

(Source: BBC News Online)


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