Indonesian kids given pets to wean them off smartphones Nov 22, 2019 0 1388 12345 AFPBandungOfficials in one Indonesian city have hatched a plan to wean children off smartphones -- by giving them their own fluffy chicks to raise.Around 2,000 four-day-old chicks will be handed out to pupils at elementary and junior high schools in Bandung in the coming weeks in an attempt to distract the kids from their gadgets.Students must feed their new pets before and after school and can keep them at home or on school premises if they don’t have space in their backyard.Authorities in the city, around 150 kilometres (95 miles) southeast of the capital Jakarta, have dubbed the unusual project “chickenisation”.At a ribbon-cutting held Thursday, a dozen chicks in cages were distributed with a sign that read: “Please take good care of me”.“There is an aspect of discipline here,” said Bandung’s mayor Oded Muhammad Danial. But the project isn’t just about curbing schoolkids’ phone habits, he said -- it is also part of a national plan to broaden pupils’ education launched by President Joko Widodo.Danial first announced the chick project last month but said the city needed time to sort out logistics with local chicken farms.Mother Yayah Ratnasari was sold on the chicks-not-smartphones plan, and even expressed hopes it might encourage her son to become a poultry farmer. “It’s more beneficial for them to take care of chicks than play with smartphones,” she said. RELATED ARTICLES POPE MEETS THAI BUDDHIST PATRIARCH ON VISIT PROMOTING HARMONY Nov 22, 2019 0 186 China vows to ‘fight back’ after US Congress backs HK pro-democracy stir Nov 22, 2019 0 799 Hong Kong university siege nears end as protesters leave campus Nov 22, 2019 0 1772 Kim Jong-un rejects invitation to S Korea summit, says KCNA AFP Seoul North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has rejected an invitation by South Korean President Moon Jae-in to a regional summit next week, Pyongyang’s state media said on Thursday, in a stark illustration of the dire .. Nepal’s PM appoints nine ministers in cabinet reshuffle Kathmandu: Nepalese Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli appointed nine new ministers on Thursday in the first cabinet reshuffle since he took office 22 months ago. President Bidhya Devi Bhandari administered the oath of .. Charges dropped against immune Sri Lanka’s new President G Rajapaksa AFP Colombo Corruption charges against Sri Lankan president Gotabaya Rajapaksa were dropped on Thursday by a court, which handed his passport back as he acquired immunity from prosecution after being elected last .. President’s brother Mahinda sworn in as Sri Lanka’s new prime minister Colombo: Opposition leader Mahinda Rajapaksa was sworn in as prime minister of Sri Lanka on Thursday following his brother’s victory in the presidential election The 74-year-old Rajapaksa was sworn in before .. US confirms freed Taliban hostages on German soil AFP Frankfurt am Main Two Western hostages held for three years by the Taliban in Afghanistan landed in Germany on Thursday after a prisoner exchange two days earlier, a US diplomat confirmed. American Kevin King and .. Indian couple go on trial in Germany for spying on Sikhs Berlin: An Indian couple accused of spying on Sikh and Kashmiri communities in Germany went on trial on Thursday on charges that carry a sentence of up to 10 years in prison. The suspects were charged in March and have been ..