Contractor to manage digs for Reading students
Jarvis, the facilities management and infrastructure services concern, is to provide further student rooms at Reading University. The group has been appointed the preferred bidder on a 35-year scheme to provide and manage accommodation for more than 400 students on the university's St George's Hall campus. The scheme will have a £15 million value and comprises two phases: one of 184 existing rooms to be transferred from the university and refurbished; and the other of 245 new en-suite rooms built on campus. Both phases will be operational by September 2004.
Sars virus may have mutated
A Canadian scientist said yesterday that the coronavirus previously thought to be responsible for the Sars outbreak had not been found in 60 per cent of Sars victims. Scientists suspect that the virus may have mutated and can survive outside the body for longer than was previously thought - up to 24 hours. It is also penetrating the usual protective clothing worn in hospitals more easily than expected.
Cambridge spy drama by BBC criticised
The BBC defended its decision yesterday to make a £4.5 million drama depicting the Cambridge spies as heroic idealists amid claims that it had produced a "piece of KGB propaganda". The corporation admitted that its four-part drama about the lives of Kim Philby, Guy Burgess, Donald Maclean and Anthony Blunt had merged fact with fiction and had tried to understand the idealism that had driven them to spy for the Soviet Union. Cambridge Spies starts on May 9.
Expert in West African languages dies
Gordon Innes, pioneering professor of West African languages at the University of London (1979-84), died of liver failure on 5 April, aged 78.