Nanny State

Brickbats

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You wouldn't expect the Chinese government to admit it has a manual for local officials on how to beat people without leaving marks. But when a whistleblower posted parts of the manual online, a newspaper called the government to ask about it, and an official with Beijing's Bureau of City Administration and Law Enforcement said it was real.

Caitlin Robinson's mother died from skin cancer, and her family says she's at risk for the disease. But officials at Robinson's Worcester, England, school have banned the girl from using sunblock when she goes outside. They say other students may be allergic to the lotion.

Security screeners at an airport in Columbus, Ohio, couldn't tell what was inside a sealed can they found in a woman's luggage. The owner of the suitcase told them it was pickles, but they didn't believe her. So a bomb squad blew up the can, revealing pickled mangos.

Royal Newfoundland Constabulary Chief Joe Browne says his department will apologize for detaining Dane Spurrell. Police saw Spurrell walking along the road and assumed he was drunk because of the way he walked. He was not drunk. He is autistic.

Walter Healey, a retired employee of the New York Tax Department, has pled guilty to identity theft. He accessed the personal information of more than 2,000 people and used it to obtain about 90 credit cards, with which he rang up some $200,000 in charges.

While Klaus Matzka of Austria was vacationing in London, police detained him and forced him and his sons to delete the photos they had taken of the city's famed double-decker buses. The officers told them it was forbidden to take pictures of anything related to transportation because of terrorism concerns.

The Denver Police Department has suspended an officer for flashing his badge and pointing his gun through a McDonald's drive-through window. The policeman reportedly was upset about how long it was taking to fill his order. 

Until press reports prompted them to back down, city officials in Bozeman, Montana, demanded that prospective employees list their user names and passwords to "personal or business websites, web pages or memberships on any Internet-based chat rooms, social clubs or forums, to include, but not limited to: Facebook, Google, Yahoo, YouTube. com, MySpace, etc."

Ewelina Bledniak's parents emigrated to the United States from Poland when she was just 2. Her father is now an American citizen, and her mother is a permanent resident seeking citizenship. But their lawyer did not properly submit paperwork for Ewelina, now 11. The government says she must return to Poland, a nation whose language she does not understand, or it will deport her.

In Washington state's West Valley School District, kindergarten teacher Sue Graham has been reprimanded for sending a bag of human feces home in a student's backpack. She attached a note saying she found it on the floor of her classroom.

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