Today's news

June 2, 2003

Barristers may have to pay for poorer students
Barristers could have to pay the fees of trainees and be encouraged to pay off part of their student debts under proposals to attract entrants from poorer families. New entrants to the Bar would be funded through a levy, possibly compulsory, of the profession under plans drawn up by leaders of the Bar. Another proposal would lead to the payment of students' £8,000 fees through their vocational training. The package of cash incentives is intended to rid the profession of its image as a preserve of the wealthy and elite. A task force led by Sir David Calvert-Smith, QC, Director of Public Prosecutions, is looking at a package of reforms, including a levy from barristers' fees to raise money for grants for about 400 pupils a year.

St John's, Oxford, bans The Sun
Students at Oxford University have banned The Sun - to the fury of more down-to-earth colleagues. Senior members of the Junior Common Room, the student body at St John's College, voted to blacklist the tabloid newspaper. They claimed The Sun would be "offensive in our social space". Instead, they supply the Guardian and Independent free of charge for students to read. Last night students at the college contacted The Sun to brand the ban "censorship" and vow to fight it. No one from the St John’s JCR was available to comment last night.
(The Sun)

Science on the scent of a cure for paralysis
Scientists have repaired a rat's severed spinal cord using nerve endings from inside its nose. Neurosurgeons said last night that the UK research, reported in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, offers the best chance yet of a cure for patients such as Superman actor Christopher Reeve. There is hope that hospital trials will start within the next year to 18 months.
(Daily Mail)

'Gecko tape' brings Spider-Man within reach
Scientists at Manchester University have invented a "gecko tape" that mimics the ability of lizards to run up smooth surfaces and walk upside down on ceilings. The technology might eventually enable people to climb buildings and rock faces equipped with Spiderman-style gloves. The UK scientists, working with Russian colleagues, used microfabrication techniques to make a synthetic version with tiny plastic fibres instead of the hairs that cover the lizards' feet.
(Financial Times, Independent)

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