Weekly Daily Brickbats Archive 2005 January 1-31

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Swat

A British man was barred from his home for six months. A court also banned him from unsupervised visits with his three-year-old son and from telephone conversations with the boy. The man, whose name was not released by authorities, was also placed on two years probation. All this for giving the boy a single swat on the bottom after the child almost ran into traffic while the family was shopping. A police officer saw him strike the child and charged him with assault.

Sith Zoning Officials

Mike Degirolamo has one simple ambition. He wants to build a 20-by-12-foot model of a Jawa Sandcrawler on the grounds of a business in Gloucester Township, New Jersey before the next Star Wars film opens in May. The owner of the property says its fine. But the property sits in a historic preservation area, and city officials say a replica of a vehicle from the first Star Wars film may not fit in. They've scheduled a meeting to discuss that issue and any liability concerns before ruling on whether they'll permit the model to be built.

Zero Tolerance

Kelli Billingsley was suspended from her Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, school after she brought Jell-O to her fourth-grade classmates. Officials say the small cups looked like Jell-O shots. They even tested them for alcohol. The test showed no booze, but Kelli got booted anyway.

Blind Chance

French officials are considering forcing companies that employ more than 250 workers to accept resumes only if they don't contain the applicant's name, age, gender, address and photograph. The government's national employment agency is set to run a trial program with blind resumes in 2005. Proponents say the measure is needed to combat discrimination in the workplace, especially against immigrants from North Africa and their children.

Brussels Sprouts Corruption

Marta Andreasen, formerly the European Commission's chief accountant, says she was suspended from her job and ultimately fired because she refused to sign accounts she believed were unreliable. The EC says she was being disloyal, but she says she was concerned about fraud. In 2002 alone, her office found 10,000 possible cases of fraud in European Union accounts.