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January 2, 2002

Nasty surprise for knight
Sir Ian Kennedy, who was knighted in the new year’s honours, has lost his job as professor of health law, ethics and policy at University College London. Sir Ian had secured leave from the college to chair the Bristol children’s heart surgery inquiry but was then told the college no longer required his services.

Edwardian census proves a big hit
Within minutes of a site giving details of the 1901 Census going online this morning it was impossible to get on to it. The Public Record Office has published the census to allow amateur historians the chance to trace their family roots. It includes the names of an infant Queen Mother and comedian Charlie Chaplin and lists the names, ages, addresses and mental health of more than 32 million Edwardians.

Scots track school dropouts
The Scottish Executive is planning new measures to trace thousands of school age children who have dropped out of the education system. Parents groups have reacted angrily to the proposals to find 5,000 youngsters who have never attended school, using birth registers, census information, health visitor records and nursery enrolments. 

Soton scientists trial asthma aids
University of Southampton researchers are hoping to find alternatives to current asthma treatments to help reduce adverse effects. A project will see trials of a new spray form of steroids and a second study will test a new inhaled steroid to replace tablets used in asthma attacks.

Afghans hold entrance exams tomorrow
Entrance examinations for higher education institutions in nothern Afghanistan are to be held tomorrow. General Abdorrashid Dostum, deputy defence minister of the interim government, has issued special orders on their conduct, including an exhortation to military and local authorities to make sure that any instructions they issue do not interfere with the conduct of the examinations.

Transkei defies ban on 2002 recruitment
South African education minister Kader Asmal has banned the University of Transkei from recruiting new students for the 2002 academic year, which begins this month. The university has defied the order and claims to have registered more than 2,000 new students. The Pan Africanist Congress has threatened mass action to head off what it fears could be closure of the university.

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