• Homework in China: China is loosening up its educational system – encouraging more independent thinking and creativity (see story) – just when many US school systems are going 'back to basics' in an attempt to raise standards. But in China, those 'basics' are drummed into children in a fashion few American kids would recognize. Staff writer Peter Ford's 16 -year-old son, Robin (who attends the French Lycée school in Beijing) spent a couple of weeks with a Chinese family in Nanjing, attending Chinese school with an exchange partner. He returned home astonished by his Chinese friend's workload.
"He did homework half the weekend," Robin reported ,"and worked after I had gone to bed each night. He had way too much homework to be able to grow up like a normal child. "
– David Clark Scott
This Week's Look Ahead
• Monday, May 14:
Adelaide, Australia – Confessed Taliban combatant David Hicks returns from five years at Guantanamo Bay to serve nine-month sentence in his hometown.
Quito, Ecuador – President Correa to unveil a banking bill to lower interest rates.
Belgrade, Serbia – Deadline for Serbia to form a government or elections must be held.
• Tuesday, May 15:
Moscow – Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice visits Russia.
• Saturday, May 19:
Bucharest, Romania – National referendum on whether to impeach suspended President Traian Basescu. Critics accuse him of abusing his position, but he's popular
– Associated Press, Reuters