From today's UK papers

January 24, 2002

Talks begin to consider teacher 'superunion'
The end of more than 80 years of fractious competition between teaching unions could be in sight after the second largest, and hitherto most reluctant, classroom association agreed to begin discussions about merging with its rivals. The leadership of the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers has agreed to launch a debate among members about the creation of a 500,000 strong "superunion" with the National Union of Teachers and the Association of Teachers and Lecturers. (Guardian)

Pay boost for young teachers
Teachers could earn more than £30,000 annually just five years into their careers, under the terms of a £500 million pay settlement agreed by the government yesterday. (Daily Telegraph, Independent, Guardian, Times)

BBC halts prison experiment
The BBC is to end its replication of the notorious Stanford experiment, when university students were "imprisoned" to study responses to solitude and oppression. The original in 1971 was terminated after six days when the participants' behaviour had degenerated. The BBC version appears to have met a similar fate. (Guardian)

Scruton failed to declare tobacco payments
The right-wing philospher and writer Roger Scrutton, who fiercely attacked the World Health Organisation's tobacco-free programme, is paid a salary of more than £50,000 by one of the world's largest tobacco companies, Japan Tobacco International, it was disclosed last night. (Independent, Guardian)

Richest 10% spend seven times more than poorest
The gap between the rich and poor was demonstrated yesterday by official figures from the Office for National Statistics showing that the 10 per cent of households in the top income bracket spent nearly seven times as much as the 10 per cent with the lowest incomes. (Guardian)

Frozen ovary banks offer childbirth in later life
Scientists from the Jones Institute for Reproductive Medicine, Virginia, have successfully transplanted entire frozen ovaries for the first time in an experiment that could reverse the menopause of women who would otherwise be sterile after cancer treatment. The breakthrough could also open the door to an era when young professional women could have one of their ovaries stored in a tissue bank for 20 years or more to prolong their fertility. (Independent)

Stem cell alternative to embryo research
A type of adult stem cell that can be made to grow into any other tissue in the body has been discovered by a scientist from Minnesota University. If the finding is confirmed, it could make the cloning of embryos for their cells unnecessary. (Independent)

Fear of flying could raise blood clot risk
Fear of flying, and its attendant stress, could be a main cause of the dangerous blood clots known as deep vein thrombosis, doctors said yesterday. They called on airlines to cooperate with further research to investigate the hypothesis. (Independent, Daily Telegraph)

Counting sheep can keep you awake
Counting sheep has no effect on insomniacs, a new study says. The traditional method of encouraging tiredness - picturing sheep jumping over a gate - actually keeps people awake longer than normal, according to research by two Oxford University scientists. (Daily Telegraph, Independent, Guardian, Times)

Pagan witch hired to teach at Heythrop
A self-declared witch has been hired as a lecturer at a leading Jesuit university faculty. Heythrop College, part of the University of London, has appointed Vivianne Crowley, who describes herself as a Wiccan high priestess, as a visiting tutor. (Daily Telegraph)

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