Weekly Daily Brickbats Archive 2009 September 22-31

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Prison Library

The federal Bureau of Prisons twice rejected inmate Ali Omar Abu Ali's request to read Barack Obama's books Dreams from My Father and The Audacity of Hope. Officials said the books contain material "potentially detrimental to national security." But after media reported the agency's stand, officials changed their minds and said they will allow Abu Ali to have the books.

Don't Meet the Parents

In England, organizers of an inter-school sports day banned parents from the event because of concerns about kidnappers and pedophiles. More than 270 students from four schools competed in various athletic events as parents didn't watch. Paul Blunt, a spokesman for the organizers, said "All unsupervised adults must be kept away from children. An unsavory character could have come in, and we just can't put the children in the event or the students at the host school at risk like that."

Born Too Soon

Sarah Capewell says doctors at James Paget Hospital, in Great Britain, refused her prematurely born son any care because he was born 21 weeks and five days into her pregnancy. She says doctors told her they would have admitted him into a special care unit if he had been born just two days later. The Daily Mail reports that Health Service guidelines say babies should not be given intensive care if they are born at less than 23 weeks but those guidelines are not supposed to be mandatory.

Take It Off

Officials at Iowa's Atlantic High School placed an unidentified administrator on leave after five female students complained about a possibly illegal strip search. The five were searched after a classmate reported $100 missing after a gym class. Some of the girls were forced to remove articles of clothing. One reportedly had to strip completely nude.

In Dutch

Dutch police proudly announced they had destroyed an illegal marijuana farm, tearing up 47,000 plants they claimed had a street value of 4.4 million euros. They later found out they had destroyed a perfectly legal operation of the University of Wageningen. University officials said they were trying to develop new hemp fibers for textiles and paper and the plants had an extremely low THC content, making them unfit for drug use.