Today's news

August 4, 2003

College lecturers reject pay deal
University lecturers have rejected a pay offer that, a fortnight ago, was hailed by employers and support staff unions as a historic breakthrough. The snub by the Association of University Teachers could lead to industrial action in the autumn. The association has re-opened negotiations with employers to seek a pay offer which makes up lost ground against comparable professions. The other main lecturers' union, Natfhe, has deferred a decision on the offer but said it wanted to return to negotiations.

Coffee before exercise helps fight the flab
Drinking a cup of coffee before taking exercise can increase stamina while helping to promote weight loss. Researchers at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra found that substances in caffeine triggered the muscles to use fat to fuel exercise instead of the usual carbohydrate stores. Another study, conducted at the University of South Carolina, shows that a cup of coffee before going to the gym can delay exercise-induced fatigue by up to 60 per cent. Concerns that caffeine promotes dehydration during exercise are also about to be dismissed. A paper to be published in the next edition of the Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics, strongly disputes any evidence that caffeine promotes the loss of water from the body.

Gender divide splits graduate job hunters
A researcher at Carnegie Mellon University in the US has concluded that men are indeed from Mars and women are from Venus when it comes to looking for employment. Studying how graduates deal with job offers she noticed that 57 per cent of males asked for more money while only 7 per cent of females popped the same question. Those who did won themselves an extra $4,050 on average - almost exactly the difference between men and women's starting pay.

Study says worn out cigarette warnings must change
Cigarette packets should carry pictures of cancer-ravaged organs to stop smokers becoming complacent about health warnings, a study has recommended. Cancer Research UK found that warnings used at the moment could become "worn out" and, over time, ignored. The research was commissioned by the European Commission as evidence to support the EU Directive On Tobacco Product Regulation, which will be released today at the 12th World Conference on Tobacco or Health in Finland.

Police officer dies chasing Welsh college burglar
A police officer chasing a teenager fleeing a break-in at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff on Saturday night was knocked down and killed. Andrew James, 38, suffered multiple injuries when he was struck by the passing car in front of the college. He died four hours later at the University Hospital of Wales. The driver was questioned, but is not expected to be charged. The suspected burglar escaped.

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