From today's UK papers

August 2, 2001

The Independent

US scientists, politicians and pressure groups were at loggerheads last night after the House of Representatives voted for a complete ban on human cloning - even if it were used for medical research into debilitating diseases.

A team of American scientists which hopes that computer-chip technology will soon be able to restore the sight of people blinded from birth reported yesterday that they had successfully inserted silicon microchips into the eyes of three elderly men.

Pressure has intensified on the government to overhaul its student finance system after research published by the Institute for Public Policy yesterday found it too unpopular with voters to be sustained.

A rare first-edition copy of Charles Darwin's seminal work on natural selection has been returned to the Boston Public Library after disappearing at least 30 years ago.

Daily Telegraph

An almost complete skeleton of a titanosaur, a plant-eating dinosaur that roamed earth 65 million years ago, has been discovered by fossil hunters at the State University of New York and the University of Antananarivo.

Scientists are promising instant sunshine at sports events such as Wimbledon after developing a powder that can suck rain clouds from the sky.

President George W. Bush applauded congressmen yesterday for their "strong ethical statement" in voting to ban cloning for research into diseases as well as human reproduction.

Financial Times

The Cambridge-MIT Institute yesterday rejected suggestions that cultural differences between the two had undermined the work of the joint venture.

Be careful how you store your pens and think twice before you cover your work space with mascots or pictures of loved ones. New research from the University of Edinburgh suggests colleagues will be able to categorise you - and may even approach you for a loan.

Employers could be asked to contribute to the Individual Learning Accounts of under-skilled employees as the government tries to tackle the "huge problem" of adult education.

China formally charged a US academic who used to teach at the Communist Party school yesterday with endangering national security, illustrating that US-China relations are set to remain thorny despite successful high-level meetings last month.

The movement to build a new-generation internet through a global computer "grid" will receive a big boost today when IBM, the world's largest computing company, commits itself to grid technology.

The Guardian

Police in Bournemouth are planning to allocate a stretch of beach for foreign students as part of a scheme aimed at protecting them from growing verbal and physical attacks.

Teachers yesterday voted to demand an end to the right of parents to choose where their children go to school in an attempt to stamp out the "yuppie Land Rover brigade" of middle-class parents ferrying their children to the best state schools.

It probably would not matter anywhere except in a country that gives its thinkers the status other countries give their rock stars, but it seems the French Socialist Party has lost the support of some of its most precious allies: the intellectuals.

Miscellany

Heart tissue has been created from human embryo cells for the first time by scientists at Technion Medical School in Israel, raising hopes that transplantation could become a thing of the past. ( Daily Telegraph , Independent )

The novelist Sir V. S. Naipaul drew criticism from the gay community yesterday after he attacked two pillars of 20th-century literature and economics as homosexual "exploiters". ( Independent , Guardian )

The former Soviet republic of Azerbaijan dumped the Cyrillic alphabet yesterday, switching to the Latin script that tens of thousands of its citizens cannot read. ( Daily Telegraph , Financial Times , Guardian )

Scientists at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in Vienna predict global population to fall at last - possibly leaving the elderly to hold sway over the young ( Guardian , Daily Telegraph , Independent )

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