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Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Just Say Non!

Halloween is said to be dying in France after a short-lived bonanza, according to media reports.

Halloween is seen as too American by someIn decline because it is perceived as "too American", a French association called "No to Halloween" - which was set up to combat the trend - has now wound down as a result of the festival's waning appeal.

A British cleric is also in the news urging people to say "No" to the darker side of Halloween. The Rt Rev David Gillett, the Bishop of Bolton, with the Mothers' Union - a Christian parenting group - is backing a campaign called "Halloween Choice" to promote the lighter side of the festival.

And in America the Pentagon is also trying to say "No" in an attempt to influence media coverage about Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and the war in Iraq - an example of how governments react when a war is not going too well, as in the run-up to the US mid-term elections, George W Bush has been campaigning hard warning US citizens to "just say no" to the Democrats.

Still on the subject of Iraq, and the British elective body of the House of Commons has said "No" to an inquiry into the Allied occupation. Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett warned it was "not the time", as an inquiry could undermine troops' morale.

The European Union is also preparing itself to just say "No" to Turkey over Cyprus, human rights and free speech, showing a stark symbolism of the West and Islam unable to work together.

And finally, in northern Ethiopia a tradesman is saying "no to war" by turning burnt-out shells into cylinders used in coffee machines, while in the UK, with a huge student population, the two universities in Nottingham have launched initiatives to curb bad behaviour, encouraging students to say "No" to booze and loud noise.

There's more chance of Turkey joing the EU.

Picture courtesy of BBC News online.

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