Russian children’s ice hockey match ends after brawl
An ice hockey match between two teams of 10-year-olds from Moscow and Novokuznetsk is called off after most of the players are sin-binned for fighting. Russian pro-hockey is often mocked for lacking the sort of fisticuffs that characterise the NHL, but that may not last for long. (via guardian.co.uk)
Up is Down and Girls are Boys: Swedish Toy Ad Flips the Script on Christmas
Fans of David Sedaris will know that Christmas in Europe can get weird. And this Christmas boys will be boys but also girls will be boys.
Top Toy — which holds the franchise for Toys “R” Us in Sweden — has released its Christmas catalogue and it features boys playing with dolls and girls playing with guns. If you ask the company’s director of sales Jan Nyberg, this move was because Top Toy is all hunky-dory and hip and cool. (via Gawker)
Germany: TV talent show sparks anger with kids’ version
Child protection groups have warned parents against letting their kids compete in Germany’s latest talent show – a version of Deutschland sucht den Superstar (“Germany seeks a superstar”) open to children as young as four.
“I advise parents not to apply,” Heinz Hilgers, president of the German child protection association (DKSB), said on Wednesday, after commercial broadcaster RTL announced that “DSDS Kids” would search for young singing stars aged between four and 14.
Hilgers said that the adult version of the show, where contestants have to be at least 16, was based on humiliation and embarrassment, and that an appearance on the show could have grave consequences for a child’s future development.
DKSB director Paula Honkanen-Schoberth was also appalled by the idea.
"Casting shows are geared towards making one person successful,” she told the Märkische Allgemeine newspaper. “The message for the rest is, ‘you’re no good.’"
"Children are not able to keep the consequences of a show like that in perspective," she said.
Apart from the prize money, children on “DSDS Kids” will compete for a stipend to invest in further showbusiness training.
The application deadline for the first season is March 31, though no details for the date of the first broadcast, the length of the season, or the identity of the jurors have been released yet. (via The Local)
A pupil writes on the blackboard as he attends a mathematics lesson at the local school. The school, well-known in the region for only 12 pupils studying here, is situated in the village, the population of which decreases each year. Nevertheless the school authorities and teachers are proud of the high level of education given to the few students who are treated individually and carefully here. Pupils, many of whom are winners of numerous local educational contests, like studying and exploring ecology, according to school representatives. (via Reuters.com)
Belgium mourns children who died in Swiss Alps coach crash – video
Family members of the crash victims and the Belgian prime minister, Elio Di Rupo, arrive in the town of Sion, near the crash site in the Swiss Alps, while mourners in Belgium lay flowers outside a school attended by many of the children, and the country’s archbishop says mass to mourners in the town of Leuven. Twenty-eight Dutch and Belgian citizens, including 22 children, died in the accident on Tuesday. (via The Guardian)
Swiss coach crash kills dozens, most of them schoolchildren
Two small Belgian towns are in deep trauma after a devastating bus crash in the Swiss Alps left at least 22 schoolchildren dead.
A further six people died in the crash, on Tuesday night in a tunnel in the south-western canton of Valais, or Wallis. The classes of 11- and 12-year-olds were returning from a school skiing trip to the small Flemish towns of Heverlee and Lommel, east of Brussels.
Distraught parents gathered at the Saint Lambert school in Heverlee anxiously awaiting news of who had died and who had survived the crash, which is believed to be the worst road accident in Switzerland’s history.
The bus was said to have been driving at high speed through the tunnel when it veered into the concrete tunnel wall. No other vehicles were believed to have been involved.
"A very sad day for all of Belgium. Words are not enough for this terrible accident," said the prime minister, Elio Di Rupo, before flying to the scene of the tragedy. Two military aircraft were made available to ferry parents of the victims to Switzerland.
Didier Reynders, the foreign minister, said the bus was alone in the tunnel at the time of the crash. “We have no indication of what caused the crash.”
There were 52 people on board the bus, overwhelmingly schoolchildren. Of the 28 who were killed, 22 were pupils. The other six dead included the two bus drivers. The remaining 24 were all injured, some very seriously. Many of them were taken by helicopter to Swiss hospitals. While most of the children were from two Flemish schools, there were also seven Dutch children on the bus.
The crash took place as the children were returning from a skiing trip in Val D’Anniviers. (via The Guardian)
Children from all over Ireland stand on stage at Google offices in front of their doodles before the overalll award in the ‘Doodle for Google’ competition was awarded to 6th year student Patrick Horan from St Munchin’s College in Limerick (via Telegraph)