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March 11, 2002

Languages essential for European jobs, say Lords
Peers today urged the government to keep foreign languages compulsory from age eight to 16 so that people can get ahead in the continental European jobs market. The Lords European Union Select Committee also recommended “mutual recognition”, harmonisation of academic and vocational qualifications across the EU, to make it easier for people to get work in different countries.

Hunger hormone enlisted to fight obesity
Scientists from Imperial College and Hammersmith Hospital may have discovered a new target in the battle to combat obesity - a human hunger hormone. The hormone, known as Ghrelin, stimulates appetite. Its effects had been observed only in animals before now. Volunteers who received the hormone consumed on average 28 per cent more calories than those given the placebo.

Missing gap-year student's body recovered
The body of British teenager Amy Nicholls, who went missing while swimming in an African lake, was recovered today with one of her arms missing. Ms Nicholls, an 18-year-old gap-year student from Barnet, north London, was feared to have been attacked by crocodiles after vanishing in Lake Challa in Kenya on Friday.

£8m Edinburgh centre unveiled by Princess Royal
The Princess Royal today opened an £8 million biomolecular research centre at Edinburgh University. It brings together expertise in biology, chemistry and medicine to research the causes of disease and develop new treatments. Its work will include investigating Creutzfeld-Jakob disease and parasitic and heart disease.    

Wisconsin cuts force admissions freeze
The University of Wisconsin System is to suspend undergraduate admissions because of uncertainty over the extent of budget cuts by the state legislature. It already faces a $51 million cut and a further $20 million reduction was proposed last week including a limit on tuition increases of 8 per cent.

More cash for Canadian Commonwealth of Learning
Canada is to double its support for the Vancouver-based Commonwealth of Learning, from CDN$1.1 million (£488,000) to $2.2 million a year, the minister for international cooperation, Susan E. Whelan, has announced.    

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