Today's news

July 13, 2005

Muslim scholar to press on with lectures
Britons of all races must pull together to promote a common understanding, a leading Muslim scholar said yesterday. Tariq Ramadan said only a shared dialogue between Britain's different communities could isolate extremists. He said that he intends to press ahead with his lecture visit to London and Birmingham despite calls for him to be banned from the UK. A newspaper printed claims that Egyptian-born Professor Ramadan, had sought to justify suicide bombings and was banned in the US and France for links to terrorists.
The Guardian

Too few jobs for physiotherapists
Newly qualified physiotherapists could face unemployment when they graduate, a survey suggests. The Chartered Society of Physiotherapists asked all 2,142 students due to graduate this year if they had jobs to go to. Of the 804 who replied, only a quarter had jobs. The society blamed a mismatch between the number being trained and the number of jobs available. An increase in graduates was planned and paid for by the Government and the National Health Service. Phil Gray, chief executive of the society, said: “This year’s shortage of junior jobs is not a result of training too many physiotherapists, it is a failure of local workforce planning."
The Times

UK firm renews stem-cell hope
British scientists working in stem-cell research are used to working on shoestring budgets, and those in the private sector are no exception. Investors have been nervous of backing the area in the past. But yesterday's news that UK-based specialist ReNeuron plans to return to the Aim market, as well as the expected flotation of Scottish rival Stem Cell Sciences, indicates there is a new optimism in the field, despite difficulties that other biotechnology companies have had in raising money recently.
The Guardian

£1m etching by Picasso acquired by gallery of modern art
An etching by Pablo Picasso of the famous Weeping Woman , valued at nearly £1 million, has been acquired by the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art. Weeping Woman evolved from Picasso's work for probably his most famous painting, Guernica , depicting the suffering of the Spanish town bombed by the German Luftwaffe during Spain's Civil War. But while both etching and painting show the suffering of Spanish women in that war, the etching is also inspired by the tragic figure of Picasso's mistress of nine years, Dora Maar, an artist and photographer.
The Scotsman

Leaping the language barrier
Two former Edinburgh University students have set up a company to exploit a system that identifies the spoken language using technology that could have enormous benefits for telephone call handling and language translation. It is early days yet for the young company - described, in fact, as a late-stage pre-company - which is still settling in and courting venture capitalists, but the founders believe that it has tremendous potential in a growing market.
The Scotsman

Shuttle to launch despite last-minute mishap
Space shuttle Discovery is set for launch at 1551 EDT (1951 GMT) Wednesday, despite an accident on the eve of launch that threatened to delay lift-off. On Tuesday evening, a plastic cover fell off one of the shuttle’s cockpit windows and damaged protective tiles on a panel about 18 metres below. The damaged panel shields an engine pod that flares out near the base of the orbiter. But engineers quickly replaced the panel with a spare, and Nasa said it would probably not affect the launch, from Florida's Kennedy Space Center.
New Scientist

Bees 'should just buzz about'
Bees, ants and other insects should stop waggle-dancing and laying chemical trails to tell each other about where food is found and just get on with searching for it, scientists have discovered. Bristol University biologists found that there were many instances where insects would be better off searching randomly for food rather than relying on a network of scouts. "In honey bee colonies, worker inactivity is surprisingly common," they said in a Royal Society publication.
The Scotsman

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