Quirky World: Spelling test blunder ‘makes mockery of exam system’

Some of the stanger stories from around the world


A teacher who discovered that a spelling test due to be taken by thousands of children in England had accidentally been published online months in advance has said the mistake makes a “mockery” of the exam system.

Charlotte Smiles said the error was noticed on Wednesday as the school conducted an official trial of the exam when one pupil seemed familiar with the material. After speaking to a parent at another school she realised the exam had been made available as a sample paper on the Department for Education website on January 26.

A department spokesman described it as a “serious error” and “deeply regrettable”.

Over the limit


The new government scolded a media group for flouting guidelines against corruption by presenting an envelope with over $4,000 (€3,542) as a gift to an official. The limit to such gifts is 25,000 kyats (€18).

The state Myanmar News Agency reported that the president’s office had announced that the media company was notified of violation when it gave 5m kyats in cash to the personal assistant of an important official as a present during the Buddhist new year festival last week.

The announcement named neither party involved, saying no action would be pursued as it was the first violation and fell under a grace period.

The money would be given to the Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement for building water supply facilities, it said.

What an ass


Donkeys will be dispatched around Philadelphia this summer ahead of the Democratic National Convention.

Fifty-seven fibreglass donkeys will be displayed at various sites and attractions starting on July 1. The symbol of the Democratic Party will represent each US state, territory, Washington DC and Democrats abroad and will be painted with famous images from each location.

Donkeys Around Town is an effort to get residents in the convention spirit and encourage delegates and other visitors to explore the city.

In full colour


This Morning presenter Phillip Schofield has revealed he still owns the technicolour dreamcoat and loincloth he wore on stage as Joseph more than 20 years ago as he prepares to revive the role for a special short run tour.

He will perform two songs from the hit musical Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat for a tour celebrating knights and dames of the entertainment industry, with music by, among others, Joseph composers Andrew Lloyd-Webber and Tim Rice.

Schofield, who will be hosting the show, said of the multicoloured coat he wore for his stage performances at the London Palladium in 1993 that “it still does up round the middle — I would even go so far as to say it’s even less snug”.

Bare faced cheek


A New Jersey gallery has filed a federal lawsuit over a city code violation it received for displaying artwork of a partially nude woman in its shop window.

The Borghi Fine Art Gallery in Englewood sued last week, saying its constitutional rights were violated when it was issued with fines of $1,250 (€1,105) per day and the threat of up to 90 days in jail over artwork showing a woman’s bare buttocks.

Gallery owner Laura Borghi said code enforcement officer Walter Deptuch asked her to remove the artwork from the window of her shop in January.

When she refused, she said, she was issued with a violation fine.


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