Today's news

February 12, 2003

Three-way fight for Oxford chancellorship
The contest to be the next chancellor of Oxford University turned into a three-way fight yesterday. Lord Neill of Bladen, QC, the former chairman of the committee on standards in public life, Chris Patten, the European Union's external affairs commissioner, and Lord Bingham of Cornhill, the former lord chief justice of England, all announced their candidatures yesterday. Mr Patten starts as the bookmakers' favourite. He has the political authority and international standing that Oxford traditionally seeks, and is widely seen as Tony Blair's favourite Tory.
(Times, Guardian, Financial Times, Independent)

Cruelty scientist ridicules hunt ban case
The case for banning deer hunting outright has been branded "scientifically illiterate" by the Cambridge academic who produced evidence that the sport is cruel. In 1997 a report by professor Patrick Bateson for the National Trust found "clear-cut" evidence that deer hunting with hounds was cruel. But yesterday the zoologist and provost of King's College rejected the government's conclusion that the evidence against deer hunting, based on his research, was "incontrovertible". He called for further scientific tests.
(Daily Telegraph)

Report clears monkey research
A Home Office investigation of monkey research at Cambridge University has concluded that it is well managed and revealed no evidence that the true amount of suffering had been concealed, as claimed by animal rights activists. The Home Office yesterday published the findings of the investigation triggered after infiltration by the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection of one of the university's laboratories.
(Daily Telegraph)

Supermarket launches biodegradable bags
UK supermarket Sainsbury's will launch a carrier bag made from tapioca starch in April. The bags biodegrade when composted in 28 days. Between 10 billion and 15 billion conventional, non-degradable plastic bags are used in the UK each year, with the average household working its way through 323 of them.

Red squirrel first to adapt to global warming
Scientists from the University of Alberta in Edmonton have discovered that the red squirrel has become the first animal to change its genetic make-up to cope with the effects of global warming. Faced with increasing spring temperatures and food supply, North American red squirrels in south-west Yukon have advanced breeding by 18 days over the past 10 years - six days for each generation.
(Daily Telegraph)

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