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World briefs

‘Slavery’ used in maths homework

A New York City principal says she’s “appalled” by a homework assignment that used scenarios about killing and whipping slaves to teach maths in Manhattan.

Education officials say a teacher asked a group of nine-to-10-year-olds to answer slave-related maths homework questions.

One question stated the number of slaves who died while taking over a ship. It asked how many slaves were still alive.

The other said a slave was whipped five times a day and asked students to calculate how many times a month he was whipped. (AP)

Stranded penguin dies far from home

A penguin found stranded on a New Zealand beach more than 1,000 miles from its home has died.

The royal penguin was found on Sunday by hikers, emaciated and suffering kidney failure, and was taken to Wellington Zoo, but vets there were unable to save it. It was just the fourth time over the past 100 years that a royal penguin has been found on the North Island of New Zealand. They generally live more than 1,000 miles away around Macquarie Island, about half way between New Zealand and Antarctica.

The veterinary science manager at the zoo said they suspect the penguin suffered multiple organ failure. The zoo did the best it could, but the penguin was severely underweight and had no reserves. The penguin was about one year old. (AP)

Italian beach named as best in world

A remote beach in Sicily, Italy, has been named as the best beach in the world by a survey of travellers.

Rabbit Beach came top in the first annual awards for the world’s best beach based on millions of reviews and ratings by international tourists on the TripAdvisor website.

Rabbit Beach, on the island of Lampedusa off the south coast of Sicily, was described as an unspoiled nature reserve that can only be accessed by boat, and one of the few places in the Mediterranean where loggerhead sea turtles go to lay their eggs.

Second place went to Grace Bay, Providenciales, in the Turks and Caicos, while Australia’s Whitehaven Beach in the state of Queensland came third. (PA)

Celebrating Boring and Dull Day

Legislative sessions can be dull and boring, but politicians in Oregon have moved to commemorate the humdrum – even if no one is sure quite how.

Based on their mundane names, the communities of Dull in Scotland and Boring in Oregon formed an inter-national partnership last year to build up a series of cultural and commercial connections. Now Oregon House politicians have taken that a step further, voting to make August 9 Boring and Dull Day, putting the name of the US town first despite mild objections from their European counterparts.

The plan, which will now head to the state Senate, is intended to boost tourism. (PA)

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