From today's UK papers

四月 11, 2002

Education chief attacks government's 'Stalinism'
The government's education policy came under attack from one of its most trusted advisers last night over the "Stalinist" national curriculum and its over-reliance on primary school testing. Tim Brighouse, who announced his retirement as chief education officer for Birmingham City Council days ago, called for primary school league tables to be scrapped to avoid as many as one in four youngsters being labelled failures at 11. (Independent)

Slight bias in school scheme
Children chosen for the government's gifted and talented campaign in inner-city schools are "slightly more likely" to be girls, well-off, from a white background and with English as a first language, according to a study by the National Foundation for Educational Research, the London School of Economics and the Institute for Fiscal Studies. The programme is part of the £500 million Excellence in Cities initiative, designed to boost social inclusion. (Financial Times, Daily Telegraph, Times)

EU scientists defend animal tests
Scientific advisers to the European Union have taken the offensive against the increasingly active protest movement against research using monkeys and apes. They say such experiments are vital in the battle against global diseases. They argue there are no alternatives to trials that might prevent and cure malaria, Aids, vCJD,diabetes and asthma, and that researchers will move elsewhere if work stops in Europe. (Guardian)

American students drink to death
Four American students die every day from accidents involving alcohol and 192 are victims of alcohol-related sexual assaults, according to a report. The first comprehensive study of the impact of drinking on students' health reveals a culture of excessive drinking at US universities and the damage it causes to those who drink and to bystanders. (Times)

Cigarette can cause mental ills
Smoking may be a major cause of mental illness as well as lung cancer and heart disease, research has found. Evidence from the New York Psychiatric Institute suggests that tobacco can contribute to panic attacks, anxiety problems and schizophrenia. (Times)

The illusion that creates big TV stars
The stars' lament that the camera piles on the pounds is more than an excuse for celebrity over-indulgence. Scientists have proved that television really does make you look half a stone heavier. Research by psychologists from the University of Liverpool has shown that two-dimensional images, such as those captured by television cameras, make people look artificially large by distorting the eye's perception of size. (Times, Daily Telegraph)

Poles lose attraction for world's navigators
Caught among icebergs and lost in fog, an anxious mariner taps his compass and watches the needle swing round to point the way it always points: towards Leighton Buzzard. Or Timbuktu, or Bali, or anywhere. This could be the destiny of every compass in the world within a thousand years if scientists' suspicions are confirmed, and the immense magnet at the core of our planet is about to flip. In a paper this week French and Danish scientists say they have identified patches of the planet where the earth's magnetic field is oriented in a difference direction from usual. (Guardian)

More work and less play for Britons
The British are the underdogs of Europe, working harder, paying more tax and enjoying less holiday time than workers on the Continent, research published today suggests. According to the survey carried out for Bradford & Bingley, the British accept longer working hours - and a higher cost of living - than their European neighbours. (Daily Telegraph)

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