Philobiblon: Morning reading

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Morning reading

Common sense on trafficking: police are threatening to report brothel customers for rape if they use the services of women they know to be trafficked.

Men who visit a sauna, brothel or flat where foreign prostitutes are working will be being asked to ensure the women are there of their own free will before they pay. If they suspect a woman is working against her will, they will be urged to contact Crimestoppers and provide police with the establishment's location.

I won't celebrate too much, however; I'll wait for the first prosecution, and the first conviction.
Proving that internet culture can break down even the most ingrained aspects of national cultural, The Times's Japan correspondent reports on the behaviour of his very own "troll".

Mr Kita (or “kitaryunosuke”, as he signs himself) plays a unique part in my life — he is my conscience, my nemesis and the closest thing I have had to a stalker. Early every morning, he logs on to the websites of the British newspapers and the BBC. He is interested in China, the Middle East and in coverage of Japan by foreign correspondents — especially, it seems, in articles written by me. These he carefully translates into Japanese and posts on to his weblog accompanied by the most violent and inventive abuse I have encountered in Japan.
It truly restores your faith in the Japanese language reading the things that Mr Kita writes about me, and his blog is an education. He’s called me a baka, of course, but that’s only the start of it. I have been denounced as a “charlatan”, a “rotten devil foreign reporter”, a “low-class foreigner” and — perhaps my favourite — “the private parts of The Times”.

"Good" schools get that way by selecting "good" pupils. Talk to any parent looking for a school for their child and they know this, but a survey has, surprise, surprise, found that head teachers even admit that they ignore admissions rules supposed to stop the cherry-picking. I do like the Guardian's angle on this bad behaviour:

Just about the only thing teachers and the government can unequivocally agree on these days is pupil behaviour. It's getting worse and something needs to be done about it. Yet the third Headspace survey of headteachers, carried out by Education Guardian and EdComs, administered by ICM and published today, suggests some heads might care to reflect on their own behaviour before pointing the finger at their pupils.
Less than three-quarters of the 822 headteachers who responded to the questionnaire said their school's governing body followed its admissions code of practice to the letter - 13% of secondary and 20% of primary heads said they "mostly" followed admissions procedures, while 4% of secondary and 2% of primary heads admitted they followed them only "to a limited extent". Astonishingly, 5% of secondary and 2% of primary schools claimed not to follow any part of their admissions codes.

So the pupils they reject all get dumped together in neighbouring schools, which then have problems. Surprise, surprise.


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