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Germany

Achtung Santa! A German Study Sets The Ideal Limit On Toys

Play is a fundamental part of childhood development. But when it comes to toys, as one nursery in Bavaria has shown, there's something to be said for moderation.

Less is more!
Less is more!
Judith Blage

PENZBERG — No clutter. No model railways, no toy trucks, no dolls, not even crayons. For 12 weeks, children in this state-run nursery in Penzberg experience what adults would term minimalism. Every morning, the kids, aged 3-6, come in and find tables, chairs, cushions and plates laid out. Outside there's a garden. Except for the other boys and girls, there's nothing else.

Once every three years, the nursery in this Bavarian town has three months without toys. It's a tradition that goes back 30 years. So how do the children and their nursery teachers find it? "In the first month, it gets very, very loud," says Tamara Eberl, the nursery's deputy director. "In the second month, they start to make up very creative games. And in the third month, we see the children that are usually shy suddenly find their voices, and the loud children become calmer."

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Geopolitics

Has Lebanese Politics Finally Freed Itself Of Iran's Influence?

Lebanon's recent elections have shrunk the legislative block led by national power-brokers Hezbollah. But will a precarious new majority be able to rid the government of the long shadow of Tehran?

Supporters of pro-Iranian Hezbollah sit in a street decorated with picture of the party chief Hassan Nasrallah

Ahmad Ra'fat

-Analysis-

The results of parliamentary elections in Lebanon, have put an end to the majority block led by Hezbollah, the paramilitary group concocted by the Islamic Republic of Iran. Hezbollah and its Christian allies, the Free Patriotic Movement, led by President Michel Aoun, lost their 71 seats and will now have 62 (of a total 128 seats).

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