Today's news

June 2, 2004


Iran spares condemned academic
Iran's hardline judiciary has revoked the death sentence of dissident academic Hashem Aghajari, officials announced yesterday. The verdict had sparked mass student protests in 2002. Aghajari was convicted of blasphemy for a speech in which he said Muslims were not "monkeys" to follow blindly the teachings of senior clerics.
( Guardian )

Orchid surprise for steel town botanists
The steel town of Sc unthorpe learned with delight yesterday that its name may be given to a possible new species of British orchid discovered in the grounds of the local North Lindsay College. "It looks as though it may have established itself rather than being a one-off cross-pollination," said Kevin Wheatley, a horticultural lecturer at the college who spotted the two clumps of delicate purple flowers while parking.
( Guardian )

Fashion students take a bow for dazzling debut
An end-of-term show was put on yesterday by 36 BA honours students at Central Saint Martins, the world's leading fashion college, marking the start of the fashion-student catwalk season. Graduate Fashion Week opens next week in Battersea Park, London, where 700 students from 33 colleges will show their collections. The Royal College of Art in Kensington Gore will also unveil the best work from the year's MA graduates.
( Daily Telegraph )

Prince honoured by Scots university
The Prince of Wales became the first person to receive an honorary degree from the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. The academy recognised Prince Charles, who became patron after the death of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, for services to the arts.
( Times )

Internet access boosts library visits
Free and low-cost internet access has increased visits to libraries, which have risen for the first time in nearly a decade. Five million more people visited a library in 2002-03 than in the previous year. However, 122 million fewer books were issued that year than in 1997-98.
( Times )

Smoking turns saliva into cancer cocktail
Smoking converts healthy saliva into a deadly chemical cocktail that increases the risk of mouth cancer, according to researchers at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, who led the study published in the British Journal of Cancer .
( Daily Telegraph, Times ) 

Dinosaur find reveals parting of the continents
A dinosaur discovered in Africa has given scientists new clues about the creation of the world's continents. As well as filling gaps in Africa's fossil record of carnivorous dinosaurs, the Saharan find has revealed how Africa, South America and India separated millions of years later than thought. The University of Chicago-led expedition findings are published today in the Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, Biological Sciences .
( Daily Telegraph )

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