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US & UK Bad for Kids

A Times Online article entitled "Outcry after Unicef identifies UK's 'failed generation of children'" is mainly about children's advocacy groups admonishment of the British government in response to a Unicef report that lists the U.K. "in the bottom third of 21 industrialised countries in five out of six categories — material well-being; health and safety; educational well-being; relationships; behaviour and risks; and subjective well-being — ending up overall last, after the United States." The reporter relies mostly on quotes from the accusations that the "Chancellor has failed this generation of children and will fail the next if he's given a chance" and rebuttals from the government: " “Nobody can dispute that improving children’s well-being is a real priority for this Government," said a spokeswoman.""

I had to read down to the 10th paragraph to get an idea of what age group are "children," where we learn that a high proportion of 15-year-olds don't aspire to much more than skilled labor, and further on, where the quotes use the vague descriptor "children and young people."

An Aljazeera.net article does a much better job of describing the findings of the report, and although nothing in the writing indicates it, I can almost see the smirk of the writer in the lead: "Britain and the United States are the worst places in the industrialised world for children to live, according to a report by the United Nations Children's Fund (Unicef). " What can you expect from godless infidels?

In truth, this reporter handles the topic with an even hand. After the initial jab, they describe what factors were studied for the report and where other countries ranked, they give this in-all-fairness quote from a Unicef director: "All countries have weaknesses that need to be addressed and no country features in the top third of the rankings for all six dimensions."

In this article we learn more specifically which children were studied and that " youngsters aged 11, 13, and 15 reported being drunk on two or more occasions." We also learn that this study was the first of its kind, and that "the report said no direct link had been found between gross domestic product and children's well-being."



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