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Violence prevention, peer to peer

ORLANDO, FLA. – When Sickles High School in Tampa received a series of bomb threats following the Sept. 11 attacks, administrators were at a loss about what to do. But the students held a rally and promised to turn in anyone who called in another threat. The threats stopped cold.

Now, "Silence Hurts," a Florida campaign to encourage more students to speak out against violence at schools, is being launched nationally at the International Youth Leaders Crime Prevention Conference in Orlando. A video documentary will feature interviews with victims of school violence and students who have implemented antiviolence programs. Officials hope that MTV will show the video and that TV stations will air public-service announcements.

Recruiting trend: chess scholarships

Move over, football and basketball stars. Now chess players are also being offered scholarships as colleges try to enhance their public image.

Seven years ago, the University of Texas at Dallas and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, were alone in recruiting chess players. Now, as many as 15 colleges and universities do. "Chess is a way of making a name for a strong university that doesn't have a 300- or 400-year history like Harvard," says Tim Redman, director of the Texas-Dallas chess program, which gives about 10 chess-related full scholarships a year.

Students recruited to Dallas and Maryland were among the competitors in a national collegiate chess championship last weekend in Miami.

Take out the trash, learn a bit of English

TAIPEI, TAIWAN – Authorities are urging Taiwanese to seize any opportunity to learn English – even when taking out the trash. The Tainan city government in southern Taiwan has selected 300 English sentences to be recorded onto tapes that will be played by garbage trucks. It is illegal to leave trash bins beside streets in Taiwan. So garbage trucks now play Beethoven's "Für Elise," and people come out with their trash when they hear the tune. But beginning in September, the trucks will play conversational English, such as "How much does a pound of cabbage cost?"

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