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The Week Unwrapped: Happiness, Child Q and school uniforms

What makes a country happy? Why are the police strip-searching children? And do school uniforms have a future?

Olly Mann and The Week delve behind the headlines and debate what really matters.

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In this week’s episode, we discuss:

Happiness

The tenth annual survey of world happiness has once again put Nordic countries at the top of the table. Why are the Finns and Danes so content with their lot, and why are no African countries in the top 50. Some analysts have suggested that the result has as much to do with the way in which the survey is compiled as with actual levels of happiness – but in the absence of other measures it seems to be the best guide as to how the world is feeling.

Child Q

Two police officers were withdrawn from frontline duties this week after it emerged that they had strip-searched a 15-year-old girl after her school reported that she might be carrying cannabis. No drugs were found. The case has shed light on the number of children who are strip searched by police in London – and led to allegations that police and teachers are racially profiling youngsters.

School uniforms

Japan has a long history of school uniform rules that seem bafflingly strict to onlookers in the West: it’s not unusual for schools to specify the colour of underwear and require children to dye their hair black. Now, though, public schools in Tokyo are relaxing some of the more stringent rules, after a survey of parents and teachers found that support for them was falling. Are the days of school uniform numbered, in Japan and elsewhere?

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