DIN­NER PARTY IN­TEL...

The top­ics you have to be able to dis­cuss this week

Financial Mail - - FOX FM -

1. Spank­ing new law

As the Con­sti­tu­tional Court de­cides on the right of par­ents to spank their chil­dren, in an ap­pli­ca­tion brought by Free­dom of Religion SA, in France MPS have voted over­whelm­ingly in favour of a bill that bans par­ents from smack­ing their chil­dren. The “cor­po­ral pun­ish­ment or hu­mil­i­a­tion” bill seeks to en­sure that parental authority is ex­er­cised with­out vi­o­lence. It now goes to the se­nate. About 85% of French par­ents resort to cor­po­ral pun­ish­ment. Pre­vi­ous at­tempts to ban the prac­tice have failed, though it has long been out­lawed in French schools, as it is in this coun­try.

2. Be­lated com­pen­sa­tion

The Dutch state-owned rail com­pany is to com­pen­sate sur­vivors and rel­a­tives of Jews trans­ported in its trains to the Nazi death camps dur­ing World War 2. Ned­er­landse Spoor­we­gen fer­ried 102,000 peo­ple to con­cen­tra­tion camps across Europe. It apol­o­gised in 2002. The de­ci­sion to pay fol­lows talks with Salo Muller, 82, a for­mer Ajax foot­ball club phys­io­ther­a­pist, whose par­ents were taken by train from Am­s­ter­dam to a tran­sit camp, then to Auschwitz and gassed. Muller’s 2017 book See You Tonight and Prom­ise to be a Good Boy! takes its ti­tle from the last words his mother said to him as she dropped him off at kin­der­garten, be­fore be­ing taken by the SS.

3. Send in the clones

As he cam­paigns for re-elec­tion next year, Nige­ria’s pres­i­dent, Muham­madu Buhari, 76, has had to deny ru­mours spread on so­cial me­dia that he has died and been re­placed by a looka­like. He said some peo­ple thought he had been “cloned”, but “it’s [the] real me, I as­sure you”. Ru­mours that Buhari, who has spent long pe­ri­ods on “med­i­cal leave” in the UK, has been re­placed with a body dou­ble called “Jubril” from Su­dan were widely shared on­line by what he termed the “ig­no­rant and ir­re­li­gious”.

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