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International News Archive
April 14 - April 20, 2001


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This page contains news for the period April 14 through April 20, 2001.



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Monday, April 16, 2001

Colombia High Court bars schools from expelling students based on sexual conduct

A story released today by EFE News reports that Colombia's Constitutional Court has ordered schools to eliminate rules on sexual behavior from their codes of conduct, officials said.

The ruling was in response to a lawsuit by a high-school student who was expelled for getting pregnant and living with her boyfriend. The target of the suit was the San Luis Beltran school in the city of Manati, in northern Colombia.

The student was publicly expelled after classmates complained of inconsistent enforcement of the code of conduct.

The high court's ruling will now force schools throughout the country to no longer consider extramarital sex, abortion, prostitution or homosexuality disciplinary violations.

Saturday, April 14, 2001

Unmarried British soldiers to get private rooms

A story published by the BBC News on March 14, 2001, reports that the British Ministry of Defense will begin phasing out the old-style army barrack dormitories because newer recruits no longer find it acceptable to share a room.

Defense Secretary Geoff Hoon has announced a 200m-a-year improvement program for the forces' unmarried quarters accommodation, which aims to eventually offer all single service personnel their own room.

Defense officials have admitted that the step was being driven by the need to retain a different generation of recruits who wanted greater privacy.

"In the 21st century people are increasingly expecting their own rooms with decent facilities," one source said.

The three British services have historically taken different views on unmarried accommodation, with recruits to the RAF the most likely to get a room of their own.

But the Army has traditionally regarded dormitories as good for building team spirit, and most unmarried private soldiers still live in shared accommodation with four to a room.

The Defense Ministry says the aim is for all single personnel, apart from new trainees, to get their own accommodation with a shower.

However, officials have acknowledged the program could take10 years to complete.

The new investment will initially have to go into improving the poor state of much of the existing unmarried accommodation.

Mr. Hoon, addressing building contractors in London, said that some barracks accommodation, was "frankly appalling".

"Some of it is simply unacceptable. Its condition is positively damaging to operational effectiveness, to retaining service men and women, and to the day-to-day efficiency of defense.

"And we know it is getting worse," he said.


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