Today's news

December 7, 2005

Academics welcome terror bill concessions
Academics have welcomed moves by the Government to protect scientists and lecturers from prosecution under the new terrorism bill. Jonathan Whitehead, the head of parliamentary affairs at the Association of University Teachers, said: "We're pleased by what the government is doing. They are clearly engaging with the concerns of the academic community and we have acceptance from all sides that we have to exempt legitimate academic work from the bill and we need to find the best way to do that." A spokesman for Universities UK said: "This should provide additional protection for academics and library staff carrying out their everyday work. However the bill still has some way to go to address universities and libraries concerns."
The Guardian

Hospitals warned over unaccredited medical schools
NHS hospitals were warned yesterday to be wary of offering placements to students from overseas medical schools amid concerns about the quality of their training. The General Medical Council has issued a factsheet detailing the position on accrediting degrees from certain UK-based overseas medical schools. The move comes after an investigation into the links these schools claim to have with overseas universities.
The Guardian

Clash over military recruiters on US college campuses
The US government said yesterday that universities must accept military recruiters on campus if they accept federal money in a court case that could have far-reaching implications for college policy. The Bush administration wants the Supreme Court to decide whether colleges should accept military recruiters even if they do not want them on campus because of the Pentagon's policy banning openly gay people from the military.
The Guardian

Quintain fund for student lodgings
Quintain, the property group behind super-projects at Wembley and Greenwich Peninsula, is set to launch a fund of up to £400 million to invest in student accommodation. The group is in talks to buy two student accommodation schemes in Sheffield and Manchester and has consents to build others in Oxford and on its Wembley and Greenwich sites.
Financial Times

World feels effect of hottest year on record
This year is on target to be the warmest on record, a global conservation group said yesterday as 2005 saw record-breaking drought in the Amazon basin and sea-ice levels in the western US and Arctic lower than ever. Caribbean water temperature also reached a record high this year, according to the report from the WWF. Its authors said: "We're on track for the hottest year ever, surpassing the previous high of 1998." WWF warned that governments meeting in Montreal must make the Kyoto agreement on climate change, initiated in 1997 but largely ignored by the US, work.
The Scotsman

You may not like it, but broccoli can beat cancer
A variety of "super broccoli" has been grown that may boost protection against cancer, scientists said yesterday. The variety has higher levels of sulphoraphane and will help the half of the population which lacks a gene that allows the body to retain the protective plant chemical, they said. Professor Richard Mithen, of the Institute of Food Research in Norwich and the lead scientist on the project, said yesterday: "Eating a few portions of broccoli each week may help to reduce the risk of cancer."
Daily Telegraph

Why brainy bats are the biggest losers in sac race
Males that boast the largest testicles also have the smallest brains, a study of bats has revealed. Although not quite proof of the charge that men tend to think with their genitals, the discovery offers the first firm evidence that males make an evolutionary trade-off between intelligence and sexual prowess.
The Times

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