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In brief: Children should be seen and heard

Germany is so desperate to encourage people to have more children that the government is proposing a bill allowing citizens under six to laugh, shout and play at any volume.

Germany has a plethora of rules about noise. The government said yesterday that the proposed law would exempt children from strict regulations on noise limits.

'Glee' beat Beatles and Elvis on chart

The act with the most songs on the Billboard Hot 100 chart isn't the Beatles, Elvis or Michael Jackson. It's the cast of 'Glee'.

In just 18 months of appearing in the charts, the Fox TV series has set the record for the most songs on the Billboard chart in the chart's 52-year history. This week, 'Glee' debuts six songs on the chart, giving them 113 songs in total -- five more than the now second-place Elvis Presley, who had 108.

Chad children 'gravely violated'

A United Nations taskforce has reported "grave violations" against children in poverty-stricken Chad, including recruitment of child soldiers, deaths and injuries and sexual violence against girls.

Secretary general Ban Ki-moon said in the report to the UN Security Council that the level and extent of attacks in the central African nation last year were not as high as 2009, but still "unacceptable".

Man in six-hour swim to shore

An Australian fisherman who was knocked overboard by a rogue wave survived a six-hour swim to shore without a lifejacket.

Authorities realised the man was missing when someone spotted his unmanned boat with the engine still running, south of the Queensland capital Brisbane. The man was forced to make the 4.7-mile swim to shore.

Gazza pledges to beat bankruptcy

Former England football star Paul Gascoigne promised at the High Court yesterday to pay off his debts to the taxman to avoid the threat of being made bankrupt.

The deputy registrar agreed to adjourn a petition for bankruptcy for six weeks so he can pay the more than £30,000 (€35,500) owed to Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs.

Irish Independent