Today's news

March 15, 2007

University is accused of censoring antisemitic Islam lecture
The University of Leeds was accused of infringing free speech last night when it cancelled a lecture on “Islamic antisemitism” by a German academic. Matthias Köntzel arrived at the university yesterday morning to begin a three-day programme of lectures and seminars, but was told that it had been called off on “security grounds”. Dr Köntzel, a political scientist who has lectured around the world on the antisemitic ideology of Islamist groups, said there were concerns that he would be attacked. He said that he was “outraged” that his meetings had been cancelled and had yet to receive an explanation.
The Times, The Daily Telegraph

Watchdog to examine low number of student bursary take up
A government watchdog is to investigate whether university students are missing out on bursaries designed to offset the cost of tuition fees, it has emerged. Some universities have reported fewer applications for help than expected from their students from poorer backgrounds, but the full picture will not become clear until the Office for Fair Access has checked figures from all institutions this summer. Universities promised that more than £300 million a year would be available in financial help when they introduced top-up fees of up to £3,000 last autumn.
The Guardian

Brown to sell off student debt
Student loans worth an estimated £16 billion are to be privatised by the Chancellor, Gordon Brown, in a move that will give him extra funds for education in next week's budget. Hiving off the huge debt - money owed by thousands of students to the Student Loans Company - to the private sector would release enough money to allow Mr Brown to meet Labour's manifesto commitment that spending on education would rise more than the growth in the economy. According to latest figures, the Student Loans Company, which runs the student loan system, lent £3 billion in 2005-06 because of the increase in student numbers. The loan pushed up government debt and made public finances appear weak.
The Guardian

Taiwan students form Nazi party
A group of students from Taiwan has caused uproar by founding an avowedly Nazi organisation and boasting that it is inspired by Adolf Hitler. The National Socialism Association was set up by Lahn Chao, a masters student from the National Chengchi University in the capital, Taipei, and 19 others. Its website is a call to arms to rejuvenate the island's politics, end democracy and retake mainland China for the nationalist cause, and bears a symbol in black, red and white loosely based on the swastika flag. It makes few concrete political promises, though website forums contain a large number of links to apparently pornographic websites and online games.
The Daily Telegraph

Simple glass of fruit juice could help in fight against killer diseases
Drinking a daily glass of grape, apple or cranberry juice could help combat major illnesses such as heart disease and cancer, researchers said yesterday. A study at Glasgow University measured levels of antioxidants - chemicals that combat damage inside the body - in a range of popular juice drinks. Purple concord grape juice had by far the highest levels and range of phenolic antioxidants, which are found in plants. The juice contained the same level of these compounds as are found in Beaujolais red wine.
The Scotsman, The Independent, The Daily Telegraph

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