From today's UK papers

February 22, 2002

Bank gives $50m as a green gift to the globe
Fifty million dollars over five years (£35 million) for the environment was promised yesterday by the HSBC bank, in what is believed to be the biggest corporate donation for green projects. The money is to be split between three green charities and used to improve water quality and supply, help to save endangered plants and train young conservationists across the world. (Independent, Financial Times, Daily Telegraph)

LSE backs down over Mittal pledge
The London School of Economics was yesterday caught up in the political funding row over Latshmi Mittal, after claiming that the Indian steel tycoon had pledged to fund scholarships to the tune of £200,000 but stopped giving money after his daughter failed to win a place. The LSE withdrew a damaging statement claiming that the Indian steel tycoon had "reneged" on a pledge to make a donation after his daughter Vanisha was denied a place in 1999. (Guardian)

Cabinet secretary to become master
Sir Richard Wilson, the cabinet secretary, was named yesterday as the next master of Emmanuel College, Cambridge. Sir Richard retires as head of the home Civil Service at the end of August, he will take up his post in October. (Times)

Top doctor wants more MMR tests
The senior author of the study that triggered fears of a link between the MMR vaccine and autism breaks his silence today by calling for urgent research to "resolve the genuine concerns of parents". In a letter published in The Lancet , John Walker-Smith says large population studies make it clear that "the MMR vaccine is safe in most children". But these studies do not rule out the possibility that, in a "very small group" of children, there could be a link between the jab and bowel and behavioural disorders. (Independent, Guardian)

Pregnant women should eat fish weekly
Pregnant women who eat fish once a week reduce the risk of a premature birth or having an underweight baby, a new study from Skejby University Hospital, Denmark, suggests. Women who seldom or never eat fish are three times more likely to have a pre-term delivery or a baby with a low birth weight, the research published in today's British Medical Journal indicates. (Independent, Guardian)

DNA fingerprinting turns sci-fi into reality
Scientists at the University of Evanston, Illinois, have invented a way of instantaneously analysing minuscule quantities of DNA in a breakthrough that promises to revolutionise forensic science and medicine. The inventors of the technique claim it is thousands of times more accurate than existing methods of DNA fingerprinting and that it can be used anywhere from the scene of a crime to a doctor's surgery. (Independent)

The cold snap that civilised the world
A sudden drop in temperatures 5,000 years ago ushered in the modern climate and may have encouraged the development of complex civilisations around the world. Researchers from the University of Georgia and the University of Maine studying ancient fish bones off the coast of Peru say the temperature fall heralded El Niňo, the periodical warming of the Pacific which brings unusual weather patterns every two to seven years. (Daily Telegraph)


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