From today's UK papers

October 25, 2001

Cheap student loans must go, says Treasury
Cheap loans for students would be scrapped and limited grants introduced under a package of reforms of student finance being backed by Downing Street and the Treasury that could leave some undergraduates worse off. (Guardian) 

Government halts training scheme after fraud claims
A government training scheme aimed at improving the basic skills of millions of adults is to be suspended after allegations of fraud. Nearly 300 companies and trainers claiming to be providing courses are being investigated by the Department for Education and Skills after complaints from people who have opened government-backed individual learning accounts.  (Independent, Guardian, Times, Financial Times) 

Nasa's Odyssey orbits the red planet at last
Officials at Nasa were celebrating yesterday after the successful orbit of the Odyssey spacecraft around Mars, long considered the "Bermuda triangle" of the solar system because of the many missions that have been lost there. (Independent, Guardian, Times)

Pakistan forces arrest two nuclear scientists
Two Pakistani scientists who helped develop the country's nuclear weapons programme have reportedly been arrested by security forces for their alleged link with the Taliban regime in Afghanistan. (Times)

Drugs reform could allow medical use of cannabis
The government's relaxation of the drugs law could pave the way for cannabis to be used to treat medical conditions, says to GW Pharmaceuticals, the UK firm licensed to cultivate the drug for research. (Independent)

Satisfaction guaranteed (well, almost)
With ministers considering a national survey of student satisfaction. The Independent has conducted its own poll into undergraduates' views of teaching. (Independent)

Hands-on e-skills development
A new apprenticeship scheme maximises graduate ability. (Independent)

Rules relaxed in rush for smallpox vaccine
The US government is to allow drugs firms to speed up safety trials in their search for a new smallpox vaccine as fresh evidence emerges that Washington is preparing for full-scale biological warfare. (Guardian) 

Northern Ireland is urged to end 11-plus
Northern Ireland should scrap the 11-plus and outlaw selection by academic ability, a review body set up by education minister Martin McGuinness recommended yesterday. (Daily Telegraph)

Mutant weeds are harvested to find how plants work
A company has created 100,000 genetically modified versions of a single weed to help solve the mystery of how plants work, a Germany company disclosed yesterday. The mutants grown by Metanomics, a Berlin-based company, mark the most systematic effort to unravel the secrets of metabolism. (Daily Telegraph)

Stage set for clash at WTO meeting over drug patents
With just two weeks to go before the World Trade Organisation's ministerial meeting in Doha, Qatar, the stage is being set for a damaging north-south clash over demands by developing countries for a "pro-public health" interpretation of the WTO's intellectual property agreement, which would give them wide powers to override drug patents. (Financial Times)

Oxford publishes weird word manual
In the new Oxford Dictionary of Weird and Wonderful Words , lexicographers have selected odd words that they think deserve to be brought back into circulation.  (Times)  

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