Today's news

December 4, 2002

Cabinet rebellion over top-up fees grows
A cabinet rebellion over Tony Blair's support for plans to introduce top-up fees for university students gathered force last night. Arch-loyalist Helen Liddell, Scottish secretary, added her name to a lengthening list of ministerial opponents of the idea.
(Financial Times, Guardian)

Tax the rich (like my dad), says Straw junior
Oxford's student leader, the son of foreign secretary Jack Straw, has called for higher taxes on the wealthy to fund university education. William Straw, president of the Oxford University Student Union, said people earning more than £100,000 - including his father on £125,000 - should pay 50p in the pound on income over that amount.
(Evening Standard)

University boom creates era of sexual tolerance
The boom in university education has led to a sea change in Britain's tolerance of homosexuality, according to a report. Just under half the population now believe that homosexuality is always or mostly wrong, down from three-quarters 15 years ago, according to the British Social Attitudes survey.
(Times, Guardian)

Pill warning to women with cancer in the family
Young women with a family history of breast cancer could significantly increase their risk of developing the disease if they take the Pill, according to a study published today in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute .
(Daily Mail, The Times)

Bin Gordon Brown's idea of a university
Most of our universities should close. The education they offer is worthless, and the promise of advancement that they hold out to their students is fraudulent, according to Telegraph columnist Andrew Gimson.
(Daily Telegraph)

Law school chief quits over rape claim
The dean of law at the University of California, Berkeley, has resigned over a claim that he raped a student. John Dwyer's resignation ends further investigation of the allegation, which he denies.
(The Independent)

Life began in rocks under the ocean
Life on earth began in tiny metal spheres in rocks thousands of feet under the ocean, a new theory claims. One of evolution's great mysteries can be explained by the formation of microscopic "incubators" that allowed complex biological molecules to form, say scientists.
(The Independent, Nature)

Hell of residence
As the Blairs are said to have bought a £250,000 flat for their student son Euan, The Times investigates "studentification", which brings huge profits to landlords but major problems to locals.
(The Times)

University challenged
After 100 years, John Prescott's alma mater Ruskin College, described as the working-class Eton, is moving to a purpose-built Berkeley Homes unit on contaminated land previously occupied by a radiator factory a mile outside Oxford. In the teeth of opposition from students and lecturers, the college's governing executive has voted to press ahead with the move.
(Daily Mail)

Arctic to lose all summer ice by 2100
The Arctic Ocean will be completely devoid of summer ice before the 21st century has ended, a Nasa study predicts. The new work shows that the permanent ice cap over the ocean - the cover that survives through the warm summer months - is disappearing far faster than previously thought.
(New Scientist)

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