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In Great Britain, the defense ministry announced that the noise to which soldiers are exposed from military brass bands, and likewise the noise from gunfire during infantry training exercises, was in violation of occupational-safety regulations safeguarding workers' hearing. "One solution would be to provide ear protectors during training, but then soldiers couldn't hear their sergeant major giving orders," said a ministry spokesman.
The chief of Britain's military staff, General Sir Charles Guthrie, assailed as "ill-conceived" a proposal floated by figures within British officialdom that the armed services should be compelled to accept disabled recruits for front-line positions.
Meanwhile, British schoolyards are prohibiting children from engaging in skipping and other quaint pastimes such as the game of "conkers," played by throwing chestnuts at classmates. A survey by Keele University found educators were nervous about being sued, and one headmaster declared that if he had his way he would "ban all playtimes, as they are a nightmare."