Odds and Ends – May 4, 2018 – May 10, 2018

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Mom: Preschool’s ban
of the term ‘best friend’ is silly

Georgetown, Mass. (AP) – A Massachusetts family is looking for a new preschool for their 4-year-old daughter because her current school has barred use of the term “best friend.” Christine Hartwell says her daughter, Julia, appeared sad recently when she came home from the Pentucket Workshop Preschool in Georgetown. The little girl told her mother she was upset because her teacher told her she couldn’t call one of her classmates her “best friend.” School officials did not comment. But, in a letter to the Hartwells they said, it had been their experience that the use of the term “best friend,” even when used in a loving way, can lead some children feeling excluded. Hartwell called the ban “outrageous” and “silly.” She says children should be allowed to speak from their heart.

Egypt’s mufti issues fatwa
against buying Facebook ‘likes’

Cairo (AP) – Egypt’s top mufti has issued a fatwa, or a religious decree, saying that buying Facebook “likes” is prohibited under Islam because it’s a form of fraud and deception. Grand Mufti Shawki Allam regularly issues all sorts of fatwas, usually in response to questions by Muslims seeking religious guidance in matters related to even the most trivial issues. The questions are asked of the Dar al-Ifa, the Sunni Muslim institution in charge of religious rulings, mainly based on the Muslim holy book of Quran and the sayings of the Prophet Muhammad. The mufti posted on the institution’s Facebook page earlier this week that it is “religiously prohibited” to pay someone to click a “like” on a promotion. Allam says “it’s deceptive,” citing Muhammad’s saying, “He who deceives is not of us.”

Highway department apologizes
for ‘inappropriate message’

Seattle (AP) – Washington State’s transportation department has apologized for an “inappropriate message” that appeared on one of its traffic signs. Motorist Ruslan Kozlov tells KCPQ-TV he was driving on Interstate 5 south Tuesday afternoon when he spotted the message “U Suck” on an overhead sign. The transportation department said it was “clearly a mistake” that was caused by a “training error.” The agency says it’s taking steps so it doesn’t happen again.

WiFi network named ‘remote detonator’ prompts gym evacuation

Saginaw Township, Mich. (AP) – A Michigan gym patron looking for a WiFi connection found one named “remote detonator,” prompting an evacuation and precautionary search of the facility by a bomb-sniffing dog. The Saginaw News reports nothing was found in the search Sunday at Planet Fitness in Saginaw Township, about 85 miles (140 kilometers) northwest of Detroit. Saginaw Township police Chief Donald Pussehl says the patron brought the WiFi connection’s name to the attention of a manager, who evacuated the building and called police. The gym was closed for about three hours as police responded. Pussehl says there’s “no crime or threat,” so no charges are expected. He notes people often have odd names for WiFi connections. Planet Fitness says the manager was following company procedure for when there’s suspicion about a safety issue.

Headless doll triggers major police
operation in Germany

(Kohls Sueddeutsche Mediengesellschaftdpa via AP)
(Kohls Sueddeutsche Mediengesellschaftdpa via AP)

Berlin (AP) – An apparent headless body that prompted a major police operation in southern Germany has turned out to be a doll. Police in Baden-Wuerttemberg state say a passer-by spotted what appeared to be a clothed but headless corpse covered in blood lying by a stream in Remstal, near Stuttgart, late Monday. Officers cordoned off the suspected crime scene and firefighters were called to retrieve the body, which was lying in an inaccessible place. In a statement Tuesday, police said that only once firefighters reached the site were they able to determine that it was, in fact, a doll.