• China's public-park restrooms have for years suffered toilet-paper theft by local residents who raid dispensers for their own homes (a cultural habit, wrote Hong Kong's South China Morning Post, expressing taxpayer feelings of "owning" public facilities), but the government recently fought back with technology.
At Beijing's popular Temple of Heaven park, dispensers now have facial-recognition scanners beside the six toilets, with pre-cut paper (about 24 inches long) issued only to users who pose for a picture. (Just one slug of paper can be dispensed to the same face in a 9-minute period, catastrophic for the diarrhea-stricken and requiring calling an attendant to override the machine.) [South China Morning Post, 3-2-2017; BBC News, 3-20-2017]
• The U.S. House of Representatives, demonstrating particular concern for military veterans, enhanced vets' civil rights in March by removing a source of delay in gun purchases.
A 2007 law had required all federal agencies to enter any mentally-ill clients into the National Instant Criminal Background Check database for gun purchases, but the new bill exempts veterans (including, per VA estimates, 19,000 schizophrenics and 15,000 with "severe" post-traumatic stress syndrome). (An average of a dozen veterans a day in recent times have committed suicide with guns.) [Huffington Post, 3-16-2017]