From today's UK papers

March 26, 2002

Teachers plan to merge three biggest unions
Talks will begin next month on the creation of a "super union" for teachers, it was revealed yesterday. Leaders of the three biggest teachers' organisations will meet the TUC general secretary, John Monks, to discuss a timetable for a merger or federation. The three are the National Union of Teachers, the Association of Teachers and Lecturers and the NAS/UWT. (Independent, Times)

£80m offer by Berlin to exiled academics
Germany is to spend nearly £80 million of government and private funds on higher education in an attempt to lure back researchers from overseas and stem the loss of domestic talent. Stifling bureaucracy and mismanagement have pushed thousands of researchers to America. (Times)

No blood pressure risk for coffee drinkers
Coffee drinkers can relax - the world's most popular beverage does not significantly increase blood pressure, a study by Johns Hopkins University, Maryland, has found. Coffee has been linked in recent years with increased risk of heart disease and arthritis but the postulated link with blood pressure stretches back six decades. New research shows that moderate coffee drinking has no impact on blood pressure, even after 30 years of espressos. (Independent)

Breath test to help dyslexics
A simple breath test could help children beat dyslexia and other learning problems, scientists said yesterday. Experts at Oxford University developed the test to identify those who would benefit from a pioneering treatment for a variety of learning difficulties. (Daily Mail)

Childcare costs stop mothers returning to work
Thousands of mothers are still prevented from returning to work by exorbitant childcare costs, according to an Institute for Fiscal Studies study published yesterday. About a quarter of women caring for a young child say they would like to work but cannot do so because Britain has some of the highest nursery and childminding costs in Europe. (Independent, Guardian)

Scientists unlock the secrets of Antarctica
The final gap in the atlas of the world has been filled in by Nasa scientists with the completion of the first detailed map of Antarctica. Satellite images captured with advanced radar technology have been used to chart it with unprecedented precision, revealing the contours and shifting ice flows of its frozen cloak for the first time. (Times)

Beer-loving Belgians healthiest in the world
Never mind their passion for heaps of steaming mussels, French fries soaked in mayonnaise, potent beer and chocolates, Belgians are the healthiest people in the world, the London-based World Markets Research Centre said yesterday. (Independent)

Europe claims place for .eu in cyberspace
European integration moved into cyberspace yesterday, challenging national pride by enabling citizens and businesses to have .eu websites. Taking a step that could undermine existing domain names such as .uk or .fr, telecoms ministers gave their final approval to an ambitious project designed to encourage e-commerce within and beyond the single market. (Guardian)

All change in Wales?
The historic University of Wales looks sets to survive a radical restructuring of higher education demanded by the Welsh Assembly - but in changed form. (Guardian)

Living a lie every day
University workplaces are as prejudiced against gay staff as anywhere else, according to a disturbing new survey. (Guardian)

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