Today's news

March 27, 2007

Fury at US intelligence chief’s Exeter visit
Academics at Exeter University have protested against a talk given by Stephen Cambone, a former US intelligence chief accused of condoning abuse in Iraq. The academics, particularly those who are Muslim, are furious that Mr Cambone was invited, let alone paid, to spend the night in a hotel. "Did Cambone really have to visit Exeter?" asks one. "Couldn't academics have interviewed him, rather than make this gesture of having him on campus? I would have very serious questions if I were a student coming to Exeter University from the Arab world. And I have been asking myself whether I really want to continue at Exeter if this is the kind of behaviour it deems acceptable." Exeter invited the former Pentagon official to give a talk last Thursday. It used a government grant for a social science research project to pay £100 for him to spend a night in a hotel, plus £26 for travel expenses.
The Guardian

Indian enrolments in UK hit record level
Students from India are enrolling in record numbers at British universities, figures published yesterday show. There were 19,205 studying for first degrees or postgraduate qualifications last year, a 15 per cent rise on 2005. Applications from China, however, were down by 3.7 per cent, although the country spent the most on higher education with 50,755 students paying the full cost of university. There was also a 12 per cent fall in the number of students from Hong Kong, to 9,445. The number of Nigerian students grew by nearly 18 per cent. Sally Hunt of the University and College Union said: "The foreign market is a lucrative one for UK universities, and our reputation for quality is one reason so many foreign students want to study here."
The Daily Telegraph, The Times, The Financial Times

Crime dramas boost study of forensic science
Crime dramas such as CSI and Waking the Dead may have helped fuel a rise of nearly a third in the number of students taking degree courses in forensic and archaeological science. The explosion in fictional and documentary screen portrayals of scientific analysis of crime scenes and cold-case reviews has coincided with a 32.4 per cent increase in undergraduates enrolments on such courses, figures from the Higher Education Statistics Agency revealed yesterday.
The Guardian

Stem-cell treatment saves liver cancer patients
Patients treated for advanced liver cancer have grown new liver cells after being injected with stem cells taken from their hips. Six out of eight patients are still alive two years later with fully functioning livers. Surgeons at the University of Dusseldorf took bone marrow stem cells from the hips of patients with advanced liver cancer and injected them into the healthy parts of the liver. The organ is capable of regeneration, but the patients had only 20 per cent of healthy liver left, not enough for surgery.
The Daily Telegraph

Man charged after traffic cones thrown from bridge
A young man has been charged with throwing traffic cones from a Edinburgh bridge - just months after a student suffered horrific spinal injuries when she was hit by a cone thrown from the same spot. Kate Flannery was feared paralysed after being hit by a traffic cone dropped 60ft from George IV Bridge, but today revealed she is now walking again. The 23-year-old Irish student plans to return to her studies at Queen Margaret University in just a few months. A man has already appeared in court in connection with that incident.
The Scotsman

Wikipedia founder launches rival online encyclopaedia
Larry Sanger, one of the founder members of Wikipedia, has launched a competitor to the online encyclopaedia. Citizendium aims to avoid the inconsistency and vandalism of Wikipedia while retaining its democratic ideals, Mr Sanger said. Volunteer contributors to the new site will be expected to provide their real names, and experts in given fields will be asked to check articles for accuracy. Approved articles will receive a green tick to indicate their reliability.
The Times

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