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Since 1st March, 1999
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Sex by fifteen

Washington, May 21 (Reuters): About 20 per cent of American teen-agers have had sex before their 15th birthday and only a third of parents of these sexually active kids know about their activities, according to a report released yesterday.

“We can no longer pretend that sex waits until high school,” said Sarah Brown, director of the non-profit National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, which released the report.

an analysis of data from seven different sources, most from the mid- to late-1990s, the group’s report found that about one in five US teen-agers younger than 15 has had sex at least once.

noted the study also showed the vast majority of young teenagers were not having sex, but added in a telephone interview: “Many have, and for those young people we should be very, very concerned.”

many cases, Brown said, parents were unaware of their children’s sexual activity: “We found that only about a third of parents of sexually experienced 14-year-olds had a clue to what might be going on.” The report found that boys aged 14 and younger were slightly more likely to have had sex than girls the same age, and that sexually experienced teenagers were more likely than virgins to engage in other risky behaviour.

Crate chair

New York (Reuters): Some New Yorkers make the news for taking a stand. Jesse Taveras is suddenly famous for taking a seat. The 19-year-old Bronx man was pictured on the front page of the Daily News on Tuesday after he received a summons for sitting on a milk crate in front of the hair-braiding salon where he works. “Unauthorised use of a milk crate” may not be high on the list of crimes that most New Yorkers worry about, but that is what Taveras was charged with in a summons issued on Sunday.

Batik feat

Singapore (Reuters): Sleeping two hours a day for the past five days, a 62-year-old Singapore artist hopes to enter the record books with the world’s longest batik painting. A visibly tired Sarkasi Said had finished the 100 metre by 0.7 metre Indonesian-style painting of orchids on Tuesday morning and planned to submit the entry to the Guinness Book of World Records, a spokeswoman for Sarkasi said. His painting of purple and yellowish flowers and shooting green stems was inspired by Singapore’s Botanic Gardens, using a modern adaptation of Indonesia’s centuries-old traditional batik textile art of dyes and wax. Known in Singapore as the “baron of batik”, the Muslim artist has won several local awards for his batik art.

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