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Monday, March 05, 2007

59 things that would have stayed secret



The Times provides a list of intriguing facts disinterred by the Freedom of Information Act.

»The NHS has been giving girls as young as 13 contraceptive injections and implants that make them infertile for up to three years, in an attempt to cut teenage pregnancies

»Tony Blair spent nearly £2,000 of taxpayers' money on cosmetics over six years

»More than 1,000 girls aged 14 and under had abortions in a single year

»More than 300 babies a year are being left with brain damage because of oxygen starvation caused by lack of proper care at birth

»A cache of more than 300 weapons, including air pistols, swords and an improvised flame-thrower, were seized from schoolchildren in one year

»The Elgin Marbles were damaged by two schoolboys fighting in the British Museum in 1961. One of the boys fell and knocked off part of a centaur's leg

»Ted Heath was once offered concert work by Idi Amin of Uganda. The eccentric dictator made his offer in a 1977 telegram

»The Thatcher Government concocted a plan to search for the Loch Ness monster using a team of dolphins

»Alastair Campbell thought that it was a “barmy” idea for Tony Blair to appear on the Simpsons show in 2003, but that Mr Blair could be seen to “seize any opportunity to promote Britain”