Weekly Daily Brickbats Archive 2009 February 22-31

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Speak No Evil

Jin Xide, one of China's best known experts on Japan, has disappeared after publicly stating that North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il is sick. Associates believe the government is investigating him under the state secrets act for those remarks.

You Can't Say That

Calcutta police arrested the editor and publisher of The Statesman, an English-language newspaper, after they reprinted an article from a British paper defending the right to criticize religion. The two were charged with "hurting the religious feelings" of India's Muslims.

Shooting Blanks

Devon Smith, 14, has been suspended from Northland High School in Columbus, Ohio, and could be expelled. Smith shot a foam Nerf dart at a friend, and school officials say that violated the school's zero-tolerance policy on weapons.

Judge Not

Has a judge made the Internet illegal in Italy? A Sicilian judge has found historian Carlo Ruta guilty of publishing an unregistered newspaper for publishing a blog. Ruta was fined and ordered to take down the blog. He could have been sentenced to up to two years in prison. Why was Ruta singled out? The Register notes that his blog detailed links between the Mafia and the government.

Baby on Board

Jennifer Davis's contractions were 3 minutes apart, and her husband John was trying to get her to the hospital before she gave birth. But the roads of the Greater Boston area were clogged at rush hour, so they asked a state trooper if they could drive in the emergency lane. He said they could as long as they kept their hazard lights on and only did it when traffic was stalled. A second trooper spotted them, but as soon as they told him their story he let them continue. A third trooper wasn't as understanding. He not only told them to stop driving in the emergency lane, he gave them a ticket.