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March 12, 2002

Durham review alarms students
The University of Durham has announced a wide-ranging review of its academic and administrative operations in a bid to strengthen academic leadership and secure stable finances for the future. The move has alarmed students who immediately organised an occupation of the library. A university spokesman said there was no "hit list" of departments earmarked for closure and no decisions had yet been taken.

Lib Dems attack quangos
Learning and skills should become the responsibility of beefed-up regional governments, according to a Liberal Democrat blueprint for devolution in England. Liberal Democrats, who met in Manchester at the weekend for their spring conference, heard how directly elected regional authorities ought to have the option to take over central government quangos such as the Learning and Skills Council and its 47 sub-regional offices.

Royal Society enters battlefield DU debate
A Royal Society report on depleted uranium (DU) published today said most soldiers exposed to normal levels of DU on battlefields would not be at risk of kidney damage. A spokesman for the National Gulf Veterans and Families' Association immediately rejected the finding, saying there was anecdotal evidence that large numbers of soldiers had been harmed.

Interest grows in internet banking
By 2011, eight out of ten people will do their banking through the Internet, according to a global survey by Ulster University financial services sector researchers. Kate Stewart and Laura Bradley say branch closures will accelerate, but internet banking will never completely replace the traditional bank branch.

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