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Greetings from Mumsnet Towers,

Where coming up we've got a lunchtime webchat with 'Slummy Mummy' columnist Fiona Neill to chime in neatly with the publication of her latest book, What the Nanny Saw. Join her on Thurs 18 Aug from 1-2pm for a cheering chinwag. 

We've got the answers back from bug-buster Matthew Green to your questions about biting beasties and horrid household pests.

And a quick reminder that our book of the month in September will be David Mitchell's The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet. So if you're still torn about your holiday reading, pack this and then join the discussion with David next month.

Now for this week's parenting news...

"Hard questions" for parents of rioting youths: Headteachers' leader Brian Lightman says the families of youngsters involved in violence and looting must face "uncomfortable truths". Commenting on the outbreaks of violent looting across London and other English cities, he said teachers were often faced with pupils who had never had boundaries set by adults: "Parents are not willing to say 'no'." Education secretary Michael Gove said new measures coming into force in schools in September would mean discipline was "taken more seriously". (BBC News, 10.08.11; join the discussion on Talk)

Call for more specialist maternity doctors: The number of obstetric physicians must be increased and GPs, and other doctors, trained in obstetrics to ensure pregnant women don't receive substandard care and die from preventable and treatable conditions, say experts. While the overall number of pregnant women who die has fallen, the number dying from existing medical conditions, such as heart failure or diabetes, has risen. Doctors writing in the BMJ say this is, in part, due to increasing numbers of women having their babies later in life. (Telegraph, 10.08.11)

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Other stories in brief

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The week on Talk

Quote of the week

AlmaMartyr on the strangest baby gifts: "Someone bought DH a fillet steak as a treat for him. Nothing for me or DC."

Blog of the week

Babyrambles muses on age-inappropriate toys: "In just over four years my parenting changed beyond recognition. I went from a mother who had a meltdown if her son picked up an age-inappropriate toy to one who hardly blinked an eye when her daughter was chewing a pencil sharpener..."
Enjoy more juicy blogs on our Bloggers Network.

Competitions

Check out the great prizes in our August competitions. Here's what you could win:

FUTURE OF SAFETY TOUR INVITE: would you and a friend/DH/DP like to attend a Ford exclusive press/Mumsnet event, the Future of Safety Tour, in Glasgow, Manchester or Cardiff? Click here for full details.

Recipe of the week

MaisieToo's courgette and carrot chocolate brownies
Got a courgette glut? This receep is "fantastic", say Mumsnetters, and roping in the kids will pass a pleasant summer holiday hour. For more inspiration, browse all our courgette recipes.

You can review this recipe here - or why not upload one of your own?

That's all for now. 
Love, MNHQ

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