Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
What next on Iran’s nuclear deal: follow the news here

Preschool caters to neither little boys nor girls

Plus printed chocolate, a motorcyclist protesting a helmet law dies of head injuries in an accident, a Polish man lives in a Brazilian airport for three weeks and more news you can lose.

A school in Sweden has become the first in the world to offer a "gender free" education.

Teachers at the Egalia preschool in Stockholm avoid using the pronouns "her" and "him", while children are told to refer to each other as "friends."

The school library has also been cleared of books which emphasise traditional gender roles and aspects of parenting, meaning that traditional fairy stories like Cinderella have been rejected in favour of a story about two giraffes who adopt a baby crocodile.

Toys like cars and dolls are also placed in such a way as to encourage both sexes to play with them.

One teacher, Emerlie Andersson, 27, said: "In my world, there is no 'girl's world' and there is no 'boy's world'."


Been there, sat tight

A Polish man spent more than two weeks waiting at Brazil's Sao Paulo airport for a friend who never showed up.

Robert Parzelski arrived from London on June 17, but apparently was too scared to venture outside when there was no one to meet him. Instead he decided to wait on a concrete bench, telling baffled airport staff in broken English: "I'm Poland."

For reasons that are unclear, workers named him "the German" but then provided him with cigarettes and food.

His story was eventually unravelled by a Polish doctor living in the city and Mr Parzelski was returned to London 18 days after setting out.


He proved their point

While leading a protest against laws requiring the wearing of helmets, a rider accidentally went over the handlebars of his motorbike and died of head injuries.

State police in New York said Philip Contos, 55, was driving his Harley Davidson in a rally organised by American Bikers Aimed Towards Education, which wants the wearing of helmets made voluntary.

Mr Contos hit the brakes causing the bike to fishtail, police said, adding that he was not wearing a helmet at the time.


School class explosive

Activists clearing landmines in Uganda found a live mortar bomb being used as bell at a local primary school.

A spokesman for the Anti-Land Mines Network said that the bomb was hollow at the bottom, allowing it to be struck, but that the top still contained explosive and a live fuse.

The bomb had not gone off, he said, only because the children were not strong enough to detonate the fuse when they hit it.

The group has since removed the bomb to a safe place. The area where the school is based is the site of a former rebel insurgency.


Print me a chocolate bunny

A printer than can produce chocolates has been invented at the University of Exeter in England.

The 3D printer uses liquid chocolate instead of ink, building up layers to create an edible product.

If a commercial model eventually goes on sale, the printer could be used by restaurants and shops to produce chocolates in any shape, including faces.

The team say that their dream is to "combine chocolate with digital technology".


Back to the top

More articles

Editor's Picks

 Iranian President Hassan Rouhani greets supporters after his arrival in Zahedan, the regional capital of Sistan and Baluchestan province on Tuesday, April 15, 2014. During Mr Rouhani's two-day visit, he will tour several other cities and hold meetings with local scholars and entrepreneurs. Maryam Rahmanian for The National

On the road with Hassan Rouhani

Iran's president is touring some of Iran's most underdeveloped provinces. Foreign correspondent Yeganeh Salehi is traveling with him.

 The Doha-based Youssef Al Qaradawi speaks to the crowd as he leads Friday prayers in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt in February, 2011. The outspoken pro-Muslim Brotherhood imam has been critical of the UAE’s policies toward Islamist groups, adding to friction between Qatar and other GCC states. Khalil Hamra / AP Photo

Brotherhood imam skips Doha sermon, but more needed for GCC to reconcile

That Youssef Al Qaradawi did not speak raises hopes that the spat involving Qatar and the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain might be slowly moving towards a resolution.

 Twitter photo of  Abdel Fattah El Sisi on the campaign trail on March 30. Photo courtesy-Twitter/@SisiCampaign

El Sisi rides a bicycle, kicks off social media storm

The photos and video created a huge buzz across social media networks, possibly a marker of a new era for Egypt.

 An Afghan election commission worker carries a ballot box at a vote counting centre in Jalalabad on April 6. A roadside bomb hit a truck carrying full ballot boxes in northern Afghanistan, killing three people a day after the country voted for a successor to President Hamid Karzai. Eight boxes of votes were destroyed in the blast, which came as the three leading candidates voiced concerns about possible fraud. Noorullah Shirzada / AFP Photo

Two pressing questions for Afghanistan’s future president

Once in office, the next Afghan president must move fast to address important questions that will decide the immediate future of the country.

 Friday is UN Mine Awareness Day and Omer Hassan, who does demining work in Iraqi Kurdistan, is doing all he can to teach people about the dangers posed by landmines. Louise Redvers for The National

A landmine nearly ended Omer’s life but he now works to end the threat of mines in Iraq

Omer Hassan does demining work in Iraqi Kurdistan and only has to show people his mangled leg to underscore the danger of mines. With the world marking UN Mine Awareness Day on Friday, his work is as important as ever as Iraq is one of the most mine-affected countries in the world.

 Supporters of Turkey's ruling AKP cheer as they follow the election's results in front of the party's headquarters in Ankara on March 30. Adem Altan/ AFP Photo

Erdogan critic fears retaliation if he returns to Turkey

Emre Uslu is a staunch critic of Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Now, with a mass crackdown on opposition expected, he is unsure when he can return home.


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National