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Talking points: Parenting crimes, stag prank, Seyfried’s romantic philosophy

Democratic Congressman Mark Takano brought back bad memories when he went to town on a letter circulated by U.S. Republican House members – grading it an F. A former high-school English teacher, Takano took issue with the GOP’s memo and decided to pick up his red pen again, delivering the words every student dreads: “Exaggeration – avoid hyperbole;” “evidence?!” and “weak draft, re-do.”

Welcome to Talking Points, a daily roundup of digital miscellany


British parents "should be prosecuted for not loving or ignoring their children," according to a Liberal Democrat MP who has put forth a bill in the Commons that pushes criminal charges for parents who purposely deny their children love and affection. "It would mean that for the first time parents could be guilty of a crime by subjecting children to sustained humiliation, refusing to speak to them, isolating them or constantly making them a scapegoat," writes The Telegraph's John Bingham. In Britain, inflicting psychological abuse is a crime if committed between adults, but not between an adult and a child. The new law would criminalize "emotional abuses" of children, treating such behaviour as gravely as physical or sexual assault. Mark Williams, the MP pushing the bill, insists the goal isn't to "criminalize discipline" or punish parents who simply aren't very warm.

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A British groom erupted in shingles and nearly missed the wedding after he was hit with an elaborate stag prank that involved smoke grenades, kidnapping and a Guantanamo-styled jumpsuit. Ollie McAninch, 33, and his fiancée Clair were taking a leisurely country drive when 16 masked men – actually the couple's friends – surrounded the car, wielding baseball bats. They stuffed the terrified groom into a van, where they bound, gagged and forced him into in an orange jumpsuit. The bros somehow kept their composure for two hours, crisscrossing 160 kilometres before again redressing McAninch, this time in a lime-green "mankini" reminiscent of Borat. From there, McAninch was instructed to cycle 16 miles: The official stag awaited him at a boot camp. The groom's shingles subsided by wedding day and he generously invited his Jackass buddies. His bride-to-be was there too, and was in on the whole thing. Trust issues?


"Everybody I've dated I've been sexually attracted to immediately. Sparks don't grow – your vagina doesn't become more inclined to wanting someone just because you're around them."

– Amanda Seyfried

The Lovelace actress explains her romantic philosophy in the August issue of Elle. Relegated to the friend zone, again.

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