Maybe a taco would be better

Two hours later, when the excitement was over, Marshall Junior High principal Diana Russell "didn't know whether to laugh or cry." About what? Well, about the news report on the radio that caused worried parents to rush to her Clovis, N.M., school, the closure of nearby streets, the positioning of police sharpshooters on rooftops, and the lock-down and search of the building. And all because a concerned citizen had called in claiming to have seen a student arrive for the day with what looked like a rifle wrapped in foil. No gun was found. But then an eighth-grader volunteered that the caller must have been referring to his 30-inch-long burrito filled with steak, lettuce, salsa, guacamole, and jalapeños, which he'd made for extra credit. The assignment: come up with a unique product and build an advertising campaign around it.

Ranking mother countries: world leader is ... Sweden

On Sunday, millions of sons and daughters will treat their moms to a nice restaurant meal to celebrate Mother's Day. For a few hours, at least, the distaff side of the family will be the center of attention in American society. Still, when it comes to issues that most concern mothers, perhaps the ideal place to be is Sweden. That's the conclusion of Save the Children, the Westport, Conn., humanitarian organization that evaluates the status of mothers and children in 110 countries. Grades are based on the well-being of mothers as measured by such factors as literacy rate, the percentage of births attended by trained personnel, and participation by women in national government. The US was 11th; Afghanistan finished last. The 10 best countries for mothers, from the index:

1. Sweden
2. Denmark
3. Finland
4. Austria
5. Germany
6. The Netherlands
7. Norway
8. Canada
9. Australia
10. Britain

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