Today's news

September 6, 2006

Ahmadinejad tells students to purge universities of liberal professors
The fiery Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, demanded yesterday that students denounce liberal professors, amid growing signals that a purge of regime opponents is gathering steam. The radical leader told religious young people that he wanted to hear their anger. "Students should shout at the president and ask why liberal and secular university lecturers are present in the universities," he said. Employing the xenophobic rhetoric for which he has become renowned, Mr Ahmedinejad blamed outside powers for the problems in academia. "Our education system has been affected by the secular system for 150 years and colonialism seeks to expand its secular system," he said.
The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian

Cameron's India trip wins university support
David Cameron's Indian venture has struck a chord with British universities busily trying to recruit students from the subcontinent and, increasingly, to set up research links with their increasingly sophisticated counterparts there. "We certainly support the Conservative party in identifying India as a key higher education partner," said Universities UK today. Not only have vice-chancellors been making their way to India after years of being dazzled by China but Tony Blair was there a year ago. He may have got less publicity than his Tory opponent but the prime minister was in a position to promise actual cash - a £10 million fund for education and research links between UK and India.
The Guardian, The Financial Times

Fury as academics claim 9/11 was 'inside job'
The 9/11 terrorist attack on America which left almost 3,000 people dead was an "inside job", according to a group of leading academics. Around 75 top professors and leading scientists believe the attacks were puppeteered by war mongers in the White House to justify the invasion and the occupation of oil-rich Arab countries. The claims have caused outrage and anger in the US which marks the fifth anniversary of the terrorist attacks on Monday. Professor Steven Jones, who teaches in physics at the Brigham Young University in Utah, said: "We don't believe that 19 hijackers and a few others in a cave in Afghanistan pulled this off acting alone."
The Daily Mail

Scientists angry after platform is given to 'charlatan's fantasy'
Leading scientists have criticised Britain's premier public forum on science for hosting a series of lectures on controversial research into the paranormal that suggests the possibility of mental telepathy and the existence of consciousness after death. The British Association for the Advancement of Science (BA) was sharply rebuked yesterday for allowing paranormal researchers to have a public platform at its annual Science Festival, held at the University of East Anglia in Norwich. Mainstream scientists expressed surprise that the BA had invited Rupert Sheldrake, who investigates paranormal experiences, and Peter Fenwick, a retired neuropsychiatrist who investigates near-death experiences, to its annual meeting.
The Independent, The Times, The Daily Telegraph

Hawking seeks graduate assistant
One of the world's most famous scientists wants an assistant. Stephen Hawking, professor of mathematics at Cambridge University, is looking for a graduate student to help him prepare lectures and assist with scientific papers. The university is offering a salary of up to £23,457 to the right candidate, who would be based in the department of applied mathematics and theoretical physics. Professor Hawking, 64, was diagnosed with the crippling muscle-wasting condition motor neurone disease at the age of 22. He is wheelchair-bound and speaks with the aid of a computer and synthesiser.
The Guardian

Boris Johnson goes Warhol to become poster boy for Tories
Move over Marilyn Monroe. The Conservatives have a real blond pin-up for student rooms. Boris Johnson, who by now has almost certainly been famous for 15 minutes, is the star of an Andy Warhol pastiche created by the Tories in their pitch to university freshers' fairs this term. The shadow higher education minister was photographed specially for the poster, which features him in his trademark hand-across-floppy-fringe pose. "Students seem to like Boris Johnson, I think they like the fact that he's pretty upfront, he's amusing to talk to and he's very witty - and he's higher education spokesman, so who better to put on our posters?" said Justine Greening, MP for Putney and the Conservatives' vice-chairman for youth issues.
The Guardian

Professor recommends wine and chocolate
The menu for a healthy heart took a turn for the better yesterday with some welcome advice from a professor of nutrition. "Have a cup of coffee, drink two or three glasses of red wine a day, take a cup of green tea, eat 100 grams of dark chocolate and be happy," said Alan Crozier, of Glasgow University. All were rich in the antioxidants that protected arteries, he told the World Congress of Cardiology. But establishing which of the many components of red wine were the most beneficial was complex. The healthy properties of the wine were affected by its variety, where it was grown and the weather, Professor Crozier said.
The Daily Telegraph

Eating nuts 'cuts risk of heart attacks'
Eating nuts about twice a week can decrease the risk of developing heart disease by a significant amount, doctors were told yesterday. Only two servings a week of eight grams of nuts, enough to cover a small plate, can reduce the risk by as much as 11 per cent, according to a study presented to the World Congress of Cardiology. Almonds, walnuts, cashews and brazil nuts were included in the study, as well as peanuts, which are legumes. Surprisingly, eating a small amount of nuts five days a week led to only minimal weight gain, another survey showed. The new nut analysis is part of a huge European study started nearly 10 years ago which is looking into the links between diet and cancer and heart disease.
The Daily Telegraph

German gesture reopens debate on Elgin Marbles
The British Museum was under new pressure to return the Elgin Marbles to Greece yesterday after a German university gave back a tiny sculpture taken from the 2,500-year-old Parthenon. The 3in by 5in sculpture of a man's foot, from the north section of the Parthenon frieze, was handed back by Heidelberg University, and Giorgos Voulgarakis, the Greek culture minister, said: "This is a major symbolic gesture ... a new page in the previously deadlocked debate for the return of all [Parthenon] sculptures from museums abroad." Greece says the Elgin Marbles - removed by Lord Elgin in the early 19th century - are an integral part of the temple on the Acropolis in Athens.
The Scotsman

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