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May 31, 2006

'Law to be used' to stop Israeli university boycotts
An international lobby group formed last year after lecturers voted to boycott Israeli universities has vowed to oppose any renewed plans "through legal channels". The warning from the Israeli-led International Advisory Board for Academic Freedom, a body formed at Bar-Ilan University last year after the Association of University Teachers attempted to impose an academic boycott on Israel, came as the international outcry over Israeli sanctions today intensified. Yesterday, the lecturers' union Natfhe voted to support a boycott of Israeli academics who fail to publicly dissociate themselves from Israel's "apartheid policies".
The Guardian

Animal rights group reveals university lab builders' secret address
Animal rights protesters have discovered the secret location of builders working on the construction of a new Oxford University laboratory, it was claimed last night. Speak, a group that says it uses only legal means to protest against vivisection, will demonstrate outside the men's quarters in a Cotswolds village on Saturday. "The plans by the university to keep secret the workers' location has been foiled," it said. "Once again we have the university on the run; now is the time to press home our advantage."
The Daily Telegraph, The Independent

Brucie snubbed over 'racist' curry joke
Bruce Forsyth caused students to walk out of an Oxford Union debate when he told an ill-received joke about Indian take-aways. The veteran entertainer shocked students by taking a mobile phone from an Asian audience member and jokingly trying to order a curry from her mother who was on the other end of the line. When Taski Ahmed's phone rang during Forsyth's address, she quickly turned the handset off. Forsyth stopped his speech and asked her to ring the caller back so he could speak to them. Looking rather embarrassed, 20-year-old Miss Ahmed did so, but first explained it had been her Bangladeshi mother calling, who spoke no English.
The Daily Mail

MEPs and scientists pair up to forge stronger links
The Royal Society today announced a new scheme that pairs seven British MEPs with seven scientists in a bid to improve links between the scientific community and European politicians. The scientists will spend a week shadowing their MEPs to try to better understand how they contribute to legislation; they will also spend time learning the inner workings of the European parliament and how policy is made in Europe. The MEPs will, in turn, visit the scientists' laboratories to discover more about how scientific research is conducted.
The Guardian

Europe's Columbus lab, saviour of the space station, arrives in US
It is the single most expensive project in Europe's history in space: a 20-tonne, billion-euro scientific laboratory designed to study some of the complex problems humans would encounter on a long trip to Mars. And yesterday the lab, seen as a saviour for the much-derided International Space Station project, took another significant step when it arrived at Cape Canaveral in Florida to be readied for launch late next year. Scientists believe Columbus is a way to re-energise the scientific goals of the space station, which has been starved of funds to the point that it has provided little to no scientific return for its $100 billion (£53 billion) price tag.
The Guardian

'First Lady of Rome' is found under the Forum
The perfectly preserved skeleton of a "bejewelled lady of rank" who possibly ruled Rome two centuries before the supposed founding of the city by Romulus and Remus, has been discovered by archaelogists beneath the Forum. The woman, dubbed "Queen of the Latins" or "The Lady of the Forum", was buried with a beautiful amber necklace, bronze brooches and a ring-shaped bronze ornament to hold her plaited hair in place. She was described as "physically harmonious" with "perfect teeth". Anna De Santis, an expert on the prehistorical period and part of the archaeological team which made the discovery, said that the woman clearly had "high social status".
The Times

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