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19th July 2013 at 01:00

THIS WEEK

13-19 JULY 2013

SATURDAY

Swinging into action

Teachers in the UK never seem happy - but then again, they're always under fire. The two largest unions announced further strikes over changes to their pay, pensions and working conditions. Get the brazier going.

SUNDAY

Marvellous machines

One minute they're working on car production lines, the next they're beating Usain Bolt in the 100m. The International Conference on Climbing and Walking Robots kicked off in Sydney, Australia.

MONDAY

Compare and contrast

England's education bosses said they will publish like-for-like school league tables so those on estates are not unfairly compared with those in leafy suburbs. Expect moans, though, as someone has to come bottom.

TUESDAY

La Belle Musique

Masterclasses in the "beauty of the French musical repertoire" were laid on at Les Francofolies de La Rochelle festival in France. Headliner Rufus Wainwright put on his best French accent for the occasion.

WEDNESDAY

Stick with it

With the memory of Wimbledon fading, sports fans took to the lawns once more for the British Open croquet championships in London's upmarket Fulham. Not an activity you see on the timetable very often.

THURSDAY

Fact-finding mission

The United Nations Human Rights Council was due to send a "Special Rapporteur", Najat Maalla M'jid, to Madagascar to look into the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography on the island.

FRIDAY

say cheese, everyone

Nasa's Cassini probe is due to take pictures of Earth from deep space. The craft is now exploring Saturn, so our planet will appear as a tiny, pale blue dot between the planet's rings. Ever feel small? You should now.

NEXT WEEK

20-26 JULY 2013

SATURDAY

Speed boats

Excellent mixed-ability schools ahoy! The majestic sight of the Tall Ships Race coming in to port in Helsinki, Finland will be satisfying for boating fans. Next stop for the 100-ship race is Riga in Latvia.

SUNDAY

Mud, Mud, Glorious Mud

The annual Boryeong Mud Festival in South Korea famously attracts English teachers in the country looking to let off steam. Just make sure pics of you wearing nothing but a gigantic face pack don't get on to Facebook.

MONDAY

Advancing years

Feeling old? Can't go on? Dreaming of your teachers' pension? The International Longevity Centre-UK is worried about how the government is responding to the ageing population and is due to launch a report.

TUESDAY

Santa clauses coming to town

Believe it or not, more than 100 professional elves, pixies and St Nicks will be heading to the 56th annual World Santa Claus Congress in Denmark to discuss, among other things, present size and the best reindeer food.

WEDNESDAY

Youthful faith

Rio de Janeiro in Brazil is hosting World Youth Day celebrations, initiated by Pope John Paul II and first held in 1986. Young Catholics from around the world gather to celebrate their faith and swap mementos.

THURSDAY

Singing Wagner's praises

With titles such as Der Ring des Nibelungen and Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg you can't go wrong with a Wagner opera. A sell-out five-week festival to celebrate the composer's works starts in Bayreuth, Germany.

FRIDAY

Felicxan Esperanto-Tagon!

Officially, only about 1,000 "native" speakers exist but that still puts it one up on Latin. Esperanto Day aims to promote the language, invented by L.L. Zamenhof to improve international understanding.

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