Meat called bad for morals
The pros and cons of meat-eating may be a subject of debate for nutritionists, but one school textbook is clear: A fleshy diet will make you lie, steal and even commit sex crimes. The unusual moral guidance appeared in a schoolbook for 11-year-olds, purporting to offer guidance on issues from health and hygiene, to sex education and exercise, the NDTV news channel reported. On a page about non-vegetarians, the book said that they “easily cheat, tell lies, they forget promises, they are dishonest and tell bad words, steal, fight, and turn to violence and commit sex crimes.” The book’s marriage advice was also questionable, suggesting women should find a husband between the ages of 18 and 25. “To get married without a bad name is a dream of every young girl,” it said. Despite a strong culture of vegetarianism and a religious taboo on beef-eating, people are consuming an increasing amount of meat as the economy grows and consumers become better-traveled.
Children die in bus crash
At least 50 people, mostly nursery-school children, were killed yesterday when a train ploughed into their bus in the central Assiut Province, Assiut Governor Yehya Keshk said. The bus, which was taking 60 children on a trip organized by their nursery, was struck on a railway crossing in Manfalut, 356km south of Cairo, police said. The children were aged between four and eight. About 15 children were also injured, but none of them critically, state media reported. Minister of Transport Rashad al-Metini has resigned in the wake of the tragedy, saying he “accepts responsibility” for the accident. President Mohammed Morsi has also accepted the resignation of the Egyptian Railway Authority head.
Ethnic violence kills four
Police say four members of a family were fatally shot on Friday night in renewed ethnic violence in a riot-hit district in the remote northeast. Assam State Police Inspector-General GP Singh said yesterday that an indefinite curfew has been imposed in Kokrajhar District after the killings. Other details were not immediately available. Singh said army troops have joined thousands of paramilitary troops and police officers in patroling the region to prevent more violence. Assam State has been simmering with tension since riots broke out between ethnic Bodos and Muslim settlers in late July.
Syrian recognition mulled
Foreign Secretary William Hague said on Friday he would decide within days whether to officially recognize the new Syrian opposition after “encouraging” talks with its leaders in London. Hague said he had pressed Ahmed Moaz al-Khatib and his two deputies — on their first visit to a Western capital since a united Syrian opposition was formed last weekend — on the need to be inclusive and respect rights. “I’m encouraged by what I’ve heard and seen from the leaders of the coalition,” he said after meeting the trio at the Foreign Office, adding that he would make a statement to parliament on the issue next week. Earlier, Hague said in a BBC radio interview that the government was re-examining an EU embargo on arming the Syrian opposition, but said that London was currently only offering non-lethal support. France, Turkey and the Gulf states have granted official recognition to the new Syrian grouping, and Hague said the country was inclined to follow suit.