Today's news

September 24, 2002


No cash for extra students after A-level debacle
Universities will not receive extra money for taking on additional students caught in the A-level re-grading debacle, the Department for Education and Skills has conceded.
( Guardian )

A-level grade fixing inqury opens
After the first day of evidence given to the inquiry into the fixing of A-level grades, The Times reports that Sir William Stubbs will fight to save his job today when he answers allegations that he ordered examining boards to reduce A-level grades awarded to thousands of students. It also talks to a British student who claims that the international baccalaureate helped her to choose a more suitable degree course than A levels would have done.
The Guardian and The Independent report that National Union of Teachers has accused headteachers of undermining confidence in A-level exams, calling them “irresponsible”.
The Daily Mirror writes that trainee teachers were hired to mark this year’s A levels. One 21-year-old student, who had worked at a secondary school for less than five months, marked 350 psychology papers.

Students urged to shelve porn vote
Lib Dem students have been asked to spare Charles Kennedy’s blushes today by withdrawing a vote on pornography. The Liberal Democrat Youth and Students movement had planned to force a vote on a motion calling for the relaxation of censorship laws.
( Times )

California allows stem-cell research
California has adopted a law that opens the state’s doors to stem-cell researchers, in a move that runs contrary to White House policy.
(Guardian )

Research link collapses
A public/private link between the John Innes Research Centre, Norwich, and the Swiss-based multinational Syngenta collapsed last week to the “regret” of the Biotechnology and Biological Research Council.
( Guardian )

Retired academics to help developing countries
The Association of Commonwealth Universities last week announced a link with a retired academics database so academics who want to carry on teaching can provide temporary supply cover in developing countries where there are shortages exacerbated by the brain drain and Aids.
( Guardian )

Scientists to test food after carcinogen scare
Universities and research institutes have been invited by the food agency to bid for work to test a wide range of British foods for the possibly cancer-causing chemical acrylamide, in an attempt to assess the scale of the threat.
( Guardian )

End of Universe for PhD student
Russian PhD student Oxana Fedorova has been stripped of her Miss Universe title after apparently becoming uncooperative and refusing to carry out her duties.
( Times, Metro )

Earth was once dead ringer for Saturn
The Earth may once have been encircled by a ring similar to Saturn, according to research that offers a novel explanation for one of the planet’s most extreme periods of climate change. The results of the research, by scientists at Sandia Laboratories, New Mexico, and the University of New Mexico, were published in the Journal of Geophysical Research, Atmospheres .
( Times )

Sexes divided over bullying at work
Men and women react differently to bullying at work, researchers at the University of Bergen told a conference at the University of London yesterday. Male victims are more likely to confront the bully while women seek help or take sick leave.
( Times )

New door found in pyramid
Scientists using a robot have discovered yet another door deep inside the Great Pyramid, Egypt’s chief archaeologist has said.
( Times , Daily Mirror , Guardian )

An aspirin a day can halve the risk of Alzheimer’s
Taking a daily dose of aspirin can halve the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, according to scientists.
( Neurology , Daily Mail )

Historian dies
Rosalind Mitchison, the historian who fuelled interest in Scotland’s past, has died age 83.
( Daily Telegraph )

Satellite developer dies
Sir Robert Wilson, developer of the International Ultraviolet Explorer satellite, has died age 75.
( Independent )

Economist dies
David Walker, the economist on the 1967 foot-and-mouth inquiry, has died age 76.
( Independent )

Feminist dies
Feminist Sue Lees, who changed the rules for rape victims in court, has died of ovarian cancer age 61.
( Guardian )

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