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BABIES: A LOOK AT ONE YEAR IN THE LIFE OF FOUR BABIES AROUND THE WORLD, from Mongolia to Namibia to San Francisco to Tokyo. Babies plunges you into the heart of four different cultures and seizes the most touching, funny, unique and universal moments of the first steps in life.

Hello from Mumsnet Towers...

cooperative

Where we're buffing up our red noses for tomorrow's Comic Relief webchat with Shappi Khorsandi (Friday 18 March, 1.30-2.30pm). Should be a right larf.

It's all books 'n' booze on the webchat front next week. First up is Christos Tsiolkas, author of The Slap, our seriously opinion-splitting Book of the Month. He'll be running Mumsnet's lit-crit gauntlet on Wednesday evening (23 March, 8-9pm).

Then it's glasses spittoons at the ready for our first Mumsnet Wine Club tasting on Thursday (24 March, 9-10pm). There are just a few tasting half-cases left; do order one and join us for a wee tipple.

Oh, and the As to your student-loan Qs and the As to your money-saving Qs are all now in. All credit <snurk> to our finance experts Nichola Malton and Holly Thomas.

Now for this week's parenting news...

Japanese earthquake leaves children orphaned and families homeless: The massive earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan last week has left countless children without parents, and thousands of families without a home, food or fuel. As many as 10,000 people are feared dead, and concern is mounting about continuing radiation leaks from the damaged nuclear-power facility at Fukushima. (BBC News 16.03.11; join the discussion on Talk)

Doctors urge government to abandon NHS reforms: Doctors' leaders are demanding that the government to put a halt to its overhaul of the NHS in England. The British Medical Association (BMA) says the proposed plans are "dangerous and risky" and would lead to the "fragmentation" and "privatisation" of the NHS. The government says the BMA should be trying to be more constructive. (Independent 16.03.11; read the NHS webchat with Diane Abbott)

WHAT CAN O2 DO TO PROTECT YOUR CHILD ONLINE? O2 love the web but want to know if they're doing enough to keep our children safe and our privacy protected? Take part in O2's live online debate with Facebook, NSPCC, the BBC and key policymakers on Tuesday 22 March, from 8.45am to 12.30pm.

Other stories in brief

mnbest

Hot threads

Quote of the week: CarmelitaMiggs wins – high and dry – the contest for worst-present-ever: "For my 40th birthday, my mother-in-law gave me a waterproof mattress protector. A friend suggested I write her a thank-you note, saying, 'I am incontinent with delight.'"

Competitions

Try your luck with our March competitions. Here's what you could win:

Don't forget to keep an eye on winners' corner to see if your name comes out of the hat...

BABIES: A LOOK AT ONE YEAR IN THE LIFE OF FOUR BABIES AROUND THE WORLD, from Mongolia to Namibia to San Francisco to Tokyo. Babies plunges you into the heart of four different cultures and seizes the most touching, funny, unique and universal moments of the first steps in life.

gltc

Aitch's TV round-up: Night of Comic Relief, Friday 18 March, BBC1, 7.30pm onwards
Fearne Cotton and the gang (Lenny Henry, Davina McCall, Michael McIntyre, Graham Norton, Jonathan Ross and Claudia Winkleman) will be presenting all the fun until 2.30am (aka when they wheel out the "songs from the West End musicals!"). Promised highlights include sketches from James Corden, Miranda Hart, Harry Hill, Steve Coogan, Armstrong & Miller, as well as special episodes of Masterchef, The Choir and, at 9pm, coverage of the trek across the Kenyan desert. There is no mention of Dr Who in the press release but that can't be right as I'm sure I've seen a trailer. My advice? Give generously, and give early. That way you can switch over with a cleared conscience when it all gets too much...
Discuss this show (and others) on our Telly Addicts Talk board.

Recipe of the week: Carmenere's Irish teabread
Ridiculously easy cakey treat for St Patrick's Day – and beyond. Add a drop of whisky for extra oirish charm.
You can review this recipe here - or why not upload one of your own?

That's all from us. We're off to sport a or two...
Love, MNHQ

IS YOUR CHILD LEARNING TO READ? TAKE OUR SURVEY FOR CHANCE TO WIN £250 JOHN LEWIS VOUCHERS. Pearson, the UK's leading educational company, have asked us to find out how you feel about reading with your child, and the support and resources you get from your child's school. Survey open to all UK Mumsnetters with at least one child in the earlier stages of learning to read (ages 3 to 7).

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