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Look Who's Coming To Dinner: Cops Invite Themselves To Homes Of Young Criminals

In Switzerland, police officers and educators invite themselves to dine with kids under investigation, and their families, in a new effort to get both parent and child to understand the consequences of criminal behavior.

Swiss police (Kecko)
Swiss police (Kecko)
Catherine Cossy

ZURICH - You have to picture the scene. It's still early in the evening. The teenager is slouching a bit in his chair, avoiding eye-contact with his parents. The atmosphere is tense. Drinks and food have been served to the two guests who have taken a place at the family dinner table. Though the basics of the visitors are already known, everyone is now waiting for them to explain the exact purpose of their presence.

"My son hasn't done anything serious," the mother slips in once again. That's Martin Niederer's cue. He introduces himself: he's a police officer, a member of the Zurich juvenile division; his fellow guest is a representative of the prosecuting authorities. Niederer then asks the youngster to tell as accurately as possible what he did to find himself in the sights of justice.

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Ideas

García Márquez And Truth: How Journalism Fed The Novelist's Fantasy

In his early journalistic writings, the Colombian novelist Gabriel García Márquez showed he had an eye for factual details, in which he found the absurdity and 'magic' that would in time be the stuff and style of his fiction.

Colombian novelist Gabriel Garcia Marquez reads his book

J. D. Torres Duarte

BOGOTÁ — In short stories written in the 1940s and early 50s and later compiled in Eyes of a Blue Dog, the late Gabriel García Márquez, Colombia's Nobel Prize-winning novelist, shows he is as yet a young writer, with a style and subjects that can be atypical.

Stylistically, García Márquez came into his own in the celebrated One Hundred Years of Solitude. Until then both his style and substance took an erratic course: touching the brevity of film scripts in Nobody Writes to the Colonel, technical experimentation in Leaf Storm, the anecdotal short novel in In Evil Hour or exploring politics in Big Mama's Funeral. Throughout, the skills he displayed were rather of a precocious juggler.

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