Today's news

November 1, 2002

Parents should save £1,200 a year to pay university fees
Parents should start saving £1,200 a year from a child’s birth to cover the cost of higher university fees, financial analysts said yesterday. Many families would have to delay having children, downgrade to cheaper properties or continue working past the retirement age, the analysts said. Alan Smithers, professor of education at Liverpool University, said that parents should be ready to make sacrifices.
(Times, Daily Mail)

Sacked exams watchdog to sue
Sir William Stubbs, the head of England's exams watchdog who was sacked by former education secretary Estelle Morris at the height of the A-levels crisis, is to take legal action against the government for unfair and wrongful dismissal. The former chairman of the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority said yesterday that he was also prepared to sue for libel.
(Financial Times, Independent)

Writing is on the wall for Tate's dirty words
Forget the strange and bizarre Turner Prize exhibits. The unintentional stars of this year's show at Tate Britain are the caustic comments left by members of the public. For the first time in the competition's history, visitors have been allowed to air their views on paper and pin them up in a specially dedicated room. Ironically, they have become an exhibit in themselves, with visitors voting the comment room more interesting than the pink pornographic words, the Perspex ceiling and the giant black block which make up the official works this year.
(Daily Telegraph, Guardian)

Artists take revenge on the minister who paints
Leading Modernists took their turn yesterday to review the artistic efforts of Kim Howells, the culture minister who dismissed this year’s Turner Prize entries as "conceptual bull****". The minister likes to paint portraits and landscapes during parliamentary breaks. Anish Kapoor, who won the Turner Prize in 1991, ridiculed Dr Howells's paintings as "perfectly ordinary". The artist, who studied at the Hornsey School of Art, as did Dr Howells, said the minister's comments reeked of a controlling state.
(Times, Independent)

Fears for 22% of world's plant species
One plant species in four could be endangered, according to scientists today. Two US researchers report in the journal Science that at least 22 per cent of plant species on earth may be at risk of extinction. Plants are the makers of the world, producing oxygen, and converting the sun's energy into food, fuel, and shelter for the rest of creation.
(Guardian, Daily Telegraph, Independent)

Genetic test saves lives in the womb
Scientists at Bristol University have found that a mother's blood contains so much of her unborn child's DNA that it is possible to determine the baby's blood group from her mother's blood a few weeks into the pregnancy. Previously, the only way to get DNA from the baby was by passing a needle into the womb, which was risky for the unborn child.
(Daily Telegraph)

Cot deaths may be linked to old mattresses
Researchers at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Glasgow have found that in half of all cot deaths examined, the babies died on used mattresses. Two-thirds of those mattresses had come from another home, with associated bacteria a possible factor.
(Times, Daily Telegraph, Independent)

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