A collection of some of the best reads from the BBC News website this week, with an injection of your comments.
Surely it’s no more dangerous than doing Lego online? In an age where violent computer games are everywhere, Minecraft seems the least of parents’ worries. But Jolyon Jenkins thinks his 13-year-old son Joe is spending too much time in a virtual world. The excitement can make reality seem “slower, paler, less stimulating” in comparison, he’s told by an expert. What effect is this having on kids? Year two primary teacher Thom Brooks-Graves tweeted that Minecraft was a “surprisingly common topic at [the] last parents evening.” But Alison Atkin was frustrated with the debate: “Is Minecraft going to ruin humanity? Do we really need to ask this for every ‘new’ thing?” And @fth_nix kept it simple: “Minecraft rocks”.
Girls in parts of Tanzania are often forced to undergo female genital mutilation, even though the practice is illegal. Faced with FGM, many had nowhere to turn – until now. A safe house has opened in the north of the country to offer protection when they need it most. Rhobi Samwelly is the co-ordinator of the safe house, which is funded by the Anglican Church and supported by other churches together with the local mosque. She raced against the clock to get everything ready before the arrival of the first teenager. “I’m going to work to make sure I save these girls,” she says. On Twitter @Brainman365 wrote: “Great woman, Rhobi Samwelly”, while Lauren Wolfe was moved by the story of the father who brought his daughter there.
Cocoa close escape
This is the story of the man who nearly drowned in chocolate. From a ramshackle camp in the woods outside Calais, a Syrian refugee was making his 18th attempt to stow away in a lorry bound for the UK. Along with six others, he climbed into a tank of melted chocolate while the cab driver was asleep. He lowered himself into the warm liquid. It felt good at first. But then things started to go wrong. Paul Waldmann tweeted: “Shall stop using the phrase Death by Chocolate so flippantly after reading this.”
More fool me
And finally, April Fool’s Day… It’s a tricky time to follow current affairs. Major news outlets often carry at least one spoof story so it pays to be sceptical. But not every whacky tale is in fact false. Often the “real” stories are even more outlandish. This time Downton Abbey’s creator wanted a 1970s spin-off, there was a campaign to stop Chinese people giving themselves names like Lady Gaga and the Swedes banned unlicensed dancing. All might sound fanciful, but they’re not. Here is the Magazine’s annual round-up of April Fool’s Day stories that are not April Fools.
Here are some things we’ve enjoyed this week from elsewhere around the web:
Baseball games are longer than ever. Here’s why – Vox
No, Psychiatry Could Not Have Prevented the Germanwings Disaster – New Yorker
19 thought-provoking maps that will change how you see the world – Independent
Beavis and Butt-Head’s creator on why techies are ripe for comedy – FT
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