From today's UK papers

January 25, 2002

Colleges need private tie-ups
Britain's universities need to link more effectively with the private sector to drive forward technological innovation and the creation of successful industrial clusters if England's regions are to meet government targets on wealth creation, Professor Michael Porter, of Harvard Business School told a meeting of regional leaders in Leeds yesterday. (Financial Times)

Exam boards' errors delay Cambridge place
Two more examination boards came under fire yesterday as it emerged that grading errors had cost a comprehensive school sixth-former his place at Cambridge University for this year. (Times)

Scruton faces sack from FT over tobacco retainer
The rightwing moralist Roger Scruton faces the sack as a Financial Times columnist for failing to declare his £4,500 monthly retainer from one of the world's biggest tobacco companies. Andrew Gower, The FT 's editor, yesterday described the philosophy professor as "very foolish" after a meeting with executives to discuss the writer's fate. (Guardian, Independent)

30% of UK children live in poverty
Around 30 per cent of British children live in poverty - household income less than 60 per cent of the national average - against a German figure of 19 per cent according to a study for the Anglo-German Foundation. (Guardian)

Birth defects rise near toxic dumps
The risk of having a baby with a chromosomal abnormality such as Down's syndrome is increased by 40 per cent for women who live within two miles of toxic landfill sites according to EU researchers from the London School of Medicine and Hygiene. (Guardian)

Solution to Darwin's ecology puzzle
Scientists turned literary detectives have unearthed a lost experiment in biodiversity that underpinned the thinking of Charles Darwin - and continues to have profound implications for the planet. Reports of what was the first experiment in ecology, 40 years before the word was coined, have languished in the British Library for 175 years, according to the US magazine Science . (Guardian, Daily Telegraph)

Alcohol can help prevent dementia
People who have between one and three alcoholic drinks a day can reduce their risk of dementia in later life by up to 70 per cent, according to Dutch researchers from Erasmus University Medical School. (Daily Telegraph)

Gender pay gap narrowing slowly
The pay gap between the sexes has narrowed further, according to official figures, but equality campaigners said progress was too slow. The office for National Statistics said yesterday that female hourly earnings, excluding overtime, rose to 81.6 per cent of male earnings in April in 2001. (Financial Times)

Millions suffer as Aids turf war rages
A "turf war" has broken out between the main organisations responsible for developing a vaccine for Aids. Rivalry and backbiting between two arms of the United States government with hundreds of millions of dollars to spend on vaccine development is hampering the global effort against the virus that causes Aids. (Independent)

Survey reveals double risk of epilepsy drug
A new study by the British Epilepsy Association shows that babies born to women taking a common epilepsy drug during pregnancy are almost twice as likely to have birth defects than those on other epilepsy medication. (Times)

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