Today's news

September 27, 2002

Too late for A-level victims, say universities
Universities have warned ministers that they face unprecedented levels of disruption if they are forced to take in thousands of new students as a result of the grade-fixing inquiry.
( Times )

Ministers exonerated over A-level fixing
The independent inquiry into A-level fixing will today exonerate ministers over claims that they pressured exam boards into lowering pass rates, but it is likely to hasten the departure of Sir William Stubbs, the head of the examinations watchdog.
( Guardian , Daily Telegraph , Financial Times , Times , Daily Mirror , Independent )

The future of education secretary Estelle Morris hangs in the balance today when the verdict of inquiry into the A-levels fiasco is unveiled.
( Daily Mail )

Scientist fired for superchips fraud
Scientist Hendrik Schon, who was tipped for a Nobel prize after he claimed to have found a way to make microchips cheaper and more powerful, has been sacked by one of the world’s most prestigious laboratories for faking his findings. This week a panel of scientists, set up by Dr Schon’s employer Bell Laboratories of Lucent Technologies, New Jersey, concluded that his breakthrough was science fiction.
( Daily Telegraph )

Ministers’ student activities gave PM the jitters
Student indiscretions by some of today’s government ministers, including the home secretary Jack Straw, led to an attack of nerves in Whitehall, according to newly released records of their Labour predecessors in 1970. Jittery about voters’ reaction to campus sit-ins and sieges of university offices, the then prime minister Harold Wilson demanded an independent inquiry after a meeting with vice-chancellors about “publicity seeking militants”.
( Guardian )

Yale students arrested at peaceful protest
Almost 800 Yale University students and employees have been arrested at a peaceful and carefully choreographed demonstration in support of workers in dispute. Many protesters filled out “pre-arrest” forms distributed in advance and queued in alphabetical order to receive £56 fines for creating a public disturbance.
( Daily Telegraph )

Ecstasy linked to Parkinson’s-type illness
One million Britons who take Ecstasy every weekend are playing Russian roulette with their brains, scientists warned today. Research by the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine found that there was a link between the drug and Parkinson’s-type illness.
( Daily Mail , Guardian , Daily Telegraph , Financial Times , Times , Independent , Daily Mirror , Science )

Fertility can be boosted by years on the pill
Women who take the contraceptive pill are increasing their fertility, doctors at Brunel University have discovered.
( Daily Mail , Guardian , Daily Telegraph , Journal of Human Reproduction )

Transplant hope for rare wombat
Ovary transplants could help to save the northern hairy-nosed wombat from extinction, according to a study by researchers from Monash University in Melbourne.
( Daily Telegraph , Science )

Spermicide may increase risk of HIV
A spermicide thought to protect against HIV may actually increase the risk of infection, according to a study by scientists in Belgium.
( The Lancet , Daily Telegraph )

Surgery cuts risk for women with cancer gene
Women at high, inherited risk of breast cancer who have surgery to prevent it, substantially reduce their risk of developing the disease, researchers said today.
( Daily Telegraph , The Lancet , Independent )

Prostate is men’s top cancer threat
Prostate cancer is now the most common form of the disease in men, taking over from lung cancer, scientists have found.
( The Lancet , Daily Mirror )

No sex in the city, women warned
Women should move out of the city if they want to find a marriage partner, according to official research today. Maire Ni Bhrolchain, of Southampton University, said the marriage market differed in different areas “because of a heavier migration into large cities by younger women up to the age of 40”. ( Daily Telegraph )
"Local marriage markets in Great Britain: how diverse?" can be accessed at:
http://www.statistics.gov.uk/downloads/theme_population/PT109.pdf


New dark age will dawn by 2202
Natural blondes are a dying breed and will be extinct in 200 years, researchers have found. Research also discovered that blonde barmaids earn 20 per cent more in tips than non-blonde colleagues and blondes can help soften the ordeal of long queues in supermarkets.
( Daily Mail )

Assisi’s saints brought back to life
Five years after the earthquake that shattered the great medieval works of art at Assisi into tiny fragments, the friars at the Basilica of St Francis yesterday unveiled masterpieces thought lost forever. A specialist team, supervised by Professor Giuseppe Basile, head of the Italian Central Institute of Restoration, painstakingly reassembled the paintings.
( Times , Independent )

More elephant species than thought
Scientists believe textbooks are wrong to say there are just two types of elephant. As well as the African and smaller Asian elephant, they say there are others, including three different species of African elephant.
( Daily Mirror )

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