From today's UK papers

March 14, 2002

Blair sidesteps biggest issue of all
Prime minister Tony Blair prompted speculation on his beliefs about the origin of the universe yesterday when he refused to criticise a city technology college for teaching fundamental creationist theory alongside Darwin's theory of evolution. When asked in the Commons about the controversial approach of Emmanuel College in Gateshead, Mr Blair - known for his strong Christian beliefs - avoided giving a straight answer and instead defended the need for "diversity" in education. (Independent)

Scientists dispel 'mystery of autism'
The cause of autism, the fast-growing disorder that has struck fear into the middle classes and has been linked with the MMR vaccination, may be less mysterious than has been thought, scientists report today. (Independent)

Treasures of Sutton Hoo finally return home
"The hoard is laid bare," declared Seamus Heaney, quoting his own translation of Beowulf as he opened a £5 million exhibition centre at Sutton Hoo yesterday. As a literary unearther of Anglo-Saxon treasure, he was the natural choice for a bardic inauguration of the National Trust's refurbishment of one of Britain's most important archeological sites. (Independent, Guardian)

Medical hopes dashed over adult stem cells
The hope that adult cells can be turned into brain, heart, muscle or any other type of cell to develop a range of revolutionary treatments receives a serious setback from research published today. (Daily Telegraph, Independent)

Screen for literacy, PM urges employers
Tony Blair will urge Britain's employers today to screen for literacy and numeracy problems after research revealed that 3.5 million employees cannot read, write or add up properly. The government announcement is the next stage of its £1.5 billion assault on Britain's lack of basic skills. (Independent, Financial Times)

BBC is students' ideal employer
Its bosses are accused of dumbing down the organisation, its new channels are attracting meagre audiences and its reporters are banned by Zimbabwe. Yet the BBC is the most desirable place to work, according to a poll of 6,000 final-year university students. The corporation has reclaimed the number one slot in the survey, having surrendered it last year to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, which slips to second. (Guardian)


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