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French Presidency race, sex offender web-site and more . . .

Paul Coletti | 09:01 UK time, Friday, 17 November 2006

Good morning and welcome. As ever this is the time of day when you can help us decide what we should cover in this evening's programme between 18:00 and 19:00 GMT. What's a global talking point that will get people across the globe chatting/debating/ranting at each other?

Has France has taken one step closer to its first ever female President? Ségolène Royal won the leadership race for France's socialist party and if you don't know who she is then try this search and here's some further background on her beliefs and inimitable style - she certainly uses the media in a way Mrs Thatcher never would have. But is France ready for a female President?

The annual UN Human Development Index report measures countries based on life expectancy, education and standard of living. Norway comes first (why is it always a Scandinavian country that blags the top spot?) and Niger comes bottom in position 177. Note that some of the word's worst off nations aren't even in the report owing to lack of data. Here's a summation of the report's findings but try this search on the subject for a revealing insight into how each country puts its own angle on the story. Is the gap between the developed nations and the poorest wider than ever?

The UK has launched the Child Exploitation and Online Protection web site. It allows citizens to check on the status of some of Britain's most dangerous offenders still at large and includes images and descriptions. You can check it out here. Is this just a form of electronic vigilanteism or is the UK simply catching up with something the US has been doing for years on a national and state level

Also, look out for a Blog post here from a teacher called Marcy in Detroit. She's a WHYS listener and suggested we cover classroom violence so we invited her to tell us and the world about her experiences here. A listener, Uziel in Chicago, also e-Mailed us a few days ago on a similar topic. Here's an example of what they're concerned about. Is this something you feel if getting out of control? Remember, we like it when you tell us what to cover.

Video Games have reared their increasingly controversial heads again. Rule of Rose has a limited release in the US because Sony were so frightened of a backlash but an EU Justice Minister is calling for tougher restrictions because the game, which sees the player take on the persona of a young girl trying to ecsape from an orphanage, features sadistic and brutal behaviour such as having a rat pushed into your face and being thrown in the 'filth room'. Is it really that bad, have you played it? Do these games really encourage bullying and brutality amongst children in real life?

The Yad Beyad school in Jerusalem caught my eye for its attempts to bridge the sectarian divides in the Middle East. It has children from Jewish and Arab communities and holds lessons in Hebrew and Arabic. What's more, one of the headmistresses is the sister of Amir Perez, the Israeli Defence Minister. Is this a glimmer of hope in a troubled region?

Other talking points included the Tongan mini-revolution and a few European cities are trialling the removal of most of their road signs and markings - with surprising results.


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