Today's news

September 1, 2005

Academic finds Beslan still traumatised by school siege
The continuing trauma of the children and families of Beslan a year after the terrorist siege of the town's school in which 331 people died has been witnessed at first hand by Nottingham Trent lecturer Cerwyn Moore. He has just returned from the Russian town, where he interviewed hostages in an effort to understand their captors' motivation for his research on contemporary violence. Dr Moore, who has written about female suicide bombers, was particularly interested in the two or three women terrorists who played a prominent part in the early stages of the siege, but appeared to be sidelined by the third day as the situation deteriorated and were no longer seen by the hostages.
The Guardian

Rise in EU student numbers as 100,000 Britons miss out
The number of students at UK universities from new European Union countries has risen by 62.1 per cent although 100,000 UK students may not get a place. Figures from Ucas, the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service, show EU ranks have swollen from 2,286 to 3,381. The biggest rise is from Lithuania, up 416.1 per cent from 48 to 248. Applications from Poland soared by 99.3 per cent to 8. The number from Latvia is up 244.2 per cent to 148. In Britain, 110,042 youngsters are still seeking a place.
The Independent

Minister hammers home fees message
The Government attacked the "myths" surrounding top-up fees on the eve of the opening of university applications for 2006. Ministers are concerned that the controversial introduction of tuition fees of up to £3,000 a year in England will hit applications next year, particularly from lower income families. They are hoping the abolition of up-front fees and larger interest-free loans to cover living costs will make the package acceptable to young people and keep the applications coming.
The Guardian

Colleges' alarm at drop in Chinese students
The number of Chinese students being accepted for courses at British universities has fallen sharply, leading to fears of funding problems at institutions that rely on their fee income. Tougher requirements for student visas have caused the 21.3 per cent fall in the number of Chinese recruited compared with this time last year, universities say. The figures, contained in yesterday's update from the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service on the numbers being accepted on to courses beginning this autumn, show only 3,464 students from China have had their places finalised compared with 4,401 in 2004.
The Financial Times

Asylum seeker areas more tolerant
People tend to be more hostile towards asylum seekers in areas where few of them live while residents living alongside asylum seekers are more positive, according to a study presented yesterday at the annual international conference of the Royal Geographical Society. The paper, by Dr Nissa Finney of Liverpool University, reported that 75 per cent of local residents had "negative opinions of asylum seekers" in areas such as Swansea and Barrow-in-Furness where ethnic minorities represented less than 2 per cent of the population.
The Financial Times

Scientists find missing links in chimp genome
Humans and chimpanzees share "perfect identity" in 96 per cent of their DNA sequence, an international team of scientists reports today. Their findings, a landmark in the scientific study of humans and great apes, are drawn from the completion of the full genome sequence of a chimpanzee. Clint, a 24-year-old male who died of heart failure last year at a research centre in Atlanta, Georgia, now lives on in the world's databases as the fourth mammal - after humans, mice and rats - to yield a full genetic blueprint.
The Guardian, Nature, New Scientist, The Independent

Virgin olive oil is the natural way to kill pain
Extra virgin olive oil relieves pain in the same way as ibuprofen and may explain the healthiness of a Mediterranean diet, researchers have found. The oil contains a newly found compound, oleocanthal, which suppresses the same pain pathway as non steroidal anti-inflammatory agents such as ibuprofen, although the two chemicals are not related.
The Daily Telegraph, Nature

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