Today's news

February 15, 2006

Universities of hate
Preachers of hate such as Abu Hamza are targeting students and young offenders in colleges and jails, the Government's terror watchdog warned yesterday. Up to 20 rogue imams could be in Britain seeking to radicalise impressionable young Muslim men, Lord Carlie of Berriew said. The distinguished politician and lawyer urged ministers to step up checks on imams arriving in the UK from abroad. Lord Carlie spoke a week after Hamza, 47, was jailed for seven years at the Old Bailey for soliciting murder and stirring up race hatred. British universities, prisons and young offenders institutions are places where the maverick imams operate.
The Daily Express, The Times

One in four student nurses abandons study
A quarter of student nurses drop out of training before they qualify, costing the NHS some £57 million a year, according to figures published today. Financial pressures, the burden of childcare and bad experiences of ward rounds are thought to be the main reasons behind students leaving early. Drop-out rates are worst in London and the south-east, and among students taking the four-year degree course rather than three-year diplomas. The Royal College of Nursing believes this is because students taking degree courses in England are means tested and so receive at most a £2,837 bursary whereas those taking diplomas are given £6,859 irrespective of their finances.
The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph, The Times

Sensor can monitor baby's oxygen during birth
Scientists at Warwick University have developed a probe that can detect a baby's levels of oxygen during birth and act as an early warning system for distress. The sensor can indicate the first signs that a baby's brain is being starved of oxygen, giving midwives and doctors a more accurate idea of when a caesarean is necessary. The team also hopes that using the probe will prevent unnecessary emergency caesareans, as doctors sometimes perform one if they fear the baby is suffering foetal hypoxia, or oxygen starvation. At present, blood samples are taken to a laboratory for analysis, which causes a delay. The probe measures a blood chemical called hypoxanthine, and Warwick Medical School said it would give doctors in the delivery room almost instant data on whether an unborn child faced the risk of hypoxia.
The Daily Telegraph

Help on way to save endangered archives
Thousands of documents detailing the history of Edinburgh could be saved after councillors admitted to the dire state of the city's archives yesterday and promised to pour resources into saving them. The "priceless archival heritage" dating from the tenth century was in danger of being lost because of inadequate storage. Now, after a group of prominent historians aired their concerns, the City of Edinburgh Council said it would recruit new staff and draw up a recovery plan to save the archives, which include the first recorded rules for golf and records concerning the establishment of the Edinburgh Festival.
The Scotsman

Global spread of English 'a threat to UK'
The global dominance of English, which has brought economic and cultural benefit to Britain for the past 100 years, now poses a major threat to the UK's international standing, according to research published today. The study commissioned by the British Council reveals that as the number of people around the world who speak English nears 2 billion, the advantage traditionally enjoyed by UK citizens is disappearing, with millions of students in other countries speaking English and at least one other language. The report's author, David Graddol, says UK students should be encouraged to learn Spanish, Mandarin and Arabic, "languages of the future", if they want to keep up with international competitors.
The Guardian

Scientists try speed-dating to discover secret of love
Scientists are to investigate how people can find their perfect partners - by observing speed dating. A top psychologist is planning to carry out the world's first mass experiment on the science of speed dating. Organisers of the 2006 Edinburgh International Science Festival programme are looking for 200 volunteers to take part in the experiment in April to discover the truth about the psychology of compatibility. Under the eye of Professor Richard Wiseman of the University of Hertfordshire, participants will complete a personality test, take part in a series of five-minute meetings with potential suitors, and then rate the degree to which they liked the people they were introduced to.
The Scotsman

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