Dispatches > Quick Takes

Quick Takes

"Quick Takes" Continued...

Issue: "Tiananmen massacre," June 6, 2009

Kids these days

If some religious teens rebel by ­abandoning their faith, how do faithless teens rebel? According to a study released in May by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, more than half of Americans surveyed raised in staunchly atheistic or agnostic households have abandoned disbelief and are now, as The New York Times phrased it, "defecting to faith." By comparison, only 14 percent of people raised Catholic and just 13 percent of people raised Protestant have abandoned the faith of their childhood, the survey ­concluded. Of those switching to theism after a childhood of atheism, about half said they had unmet spiritual needs.

Beaten back

It's hard to figure how Fabian Moore and Tommy Wayne Garrett will explain themselves to cellmates after failing spectacularly on a home invasion caper in Claiborne County, Tenn., on May 12. Police say the two broke into the home of 58-year-old Wanda Bray at 6 p.m. as she was making dinner. The intruders demanded Bray's medication, but the women refused, instead flinging the homemade chili she had just prepared at the intruders as a makeshift weapon. Bray then flung other household objects at the pair before eventually chasing them from the house with a broom. Authorities later arrested the men-and Samuel Partin, their ­getaway driver-and charged the trio.

Up in smoke

A recent edict from a Chinese province was about as popular as a smoker on an airplane. Authorities in the central province of Hubei had an unusual mandate for local government ­employees: Smoke or get fined. The rule came as stockpiles of cigarettes made by local manufacturers grow. Officials with Gong'an County said local government workers had to drag their way through about 230,000 packs of Hubei-produced ­cigarettes in the next year in order to account for over­production and to avoid fines. Officials had hoped the rule of forced smoking for government employees would help boost the area's stalling economy, but public opposition prompted a reversal. "We decided to remove this edict," a local government website announced, without elaboration.

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