Today's papers

July 2, 2002

Trapped Russian researchers rescued from pack ice
Two South African helicopters yesterday airlifted the last of 79 Russian scientists from a research ship that has been trapped in the Antarctic pack ice for nearly three weeks.

Found: Nelson's bloody purse and his wife's despairing letters
Previously unknown letters written by Admiral Nelson's heart-broken and spurned wife, Fanny, and a blood-stained purse that was on Nelson's body when he died are among the objects described by experts as 'the most remarkable Nelsonian archive to be discovered for more than a century'. The collection is to be sold and is expected to fetch £1 million at auction at Sotheby's in October.
(Telegraph, Times, Guardian, Mail, Independent, Mirror)

Topp's bottom lands him in jail
A Leicester University student who spent a night in a cell on the island of Rhodes for baring his bottom at a coachload of tourists has accused Greek police of overreacting. Simon Topp, 20, said his behaviour was mild and that the police were using a clampdown on drunkenness and sexual excess as an excuse to take revenge on 'disliked' British tourists.

Caesareans 'slow new conceptions'
Giving birth by caesarean section could make it harder for women to get pregnant again, researchers from Bristol University warned today.
(Telegraph, Times, Mail, Guardian, Independent)

Clinics urged to halt multiple births
Fertility doctors yesterday urged clinics to stop producing test tube twins and triplets, warning that multiple pregnancies were putting babies and women in unnecessary danger. A French team, led by Professor Jean-Luc Pouly of University Hospital in Clermont-Ferrand, found that IVF triplets were five times as likely to die as single babies, while twins had two and a half times the risk of fatal complications.
(Telegraph, Mail, Guardian, Independent)

Fear of abnormalities over sperm injections
A revolutionary technique for fertilising a human egg, introduced ten year ago, might carry a small risk of serious genetic abnormalities for the children of some infertile men, Australian scientists have warned.

Pupils may get £40 a week to stay on at school
Children from less well-off families are to be paid up to £40 a week to stay on at school after the age of 16, Gordon Brown is expected to announce in his forthcoming spending review.
(Guardian, Times, Telegraph, Mail)

Legal old boys stay in charge
The old boys' network is alive and well in university law schools, according to a survey by the Quality Assurance Agency. It found that only 2 per cent of external examiners at old universities came from new universities.

RAE review asks critics for ideas
Major changes to the controversial research assessment exercise were signalled last week when the funding councils announced a review of how university research is assessed. They have appealed to critics of the RAE to come forward with ideas.

Scientists capture massive solar eruption
A massive solar eruption, more than 30 times the length of Earth's diameter, has been captured by satellite instruments as it blasted away from the Sun. The eruption was revealed by the Solar and Helioscopic Observatory (Soho) satellite, a joint venture between Nasa and the European Space Agency.

Death penalty unlawful, US judge rules
A US federal judge declared the death penalty unconstitutional yesterday, saying that it 'creates an undue risk of executing innocent people'.
(Guardian, Times, Telegraph)

Spy appointed as new Law Society watchdog
One of Britain's spy chiefs has been appointed to improve the Law Society's troubled complaints procedure and help the public to resolve disputes with solicitors. Sir Stephen Lander, outgoing director general of MI5, is to become the legal profession's first independent commissioner.

Pioneering biochemist dies
Erwin Chargaff, one of the giants of world biochemistry who pioneered our understanding of DNA, has died aged 96.

Straw dogs video ban lifted
Britain's film censors have lifted the ban on the video release of Sam Peckinpah's notorious 1970's film, Straw Dogs, about an American university researcher (played by Dustin Hoffman) who erupts into violence when drunken Cornish villagers assault him and his wife (played by Susan George).
(Independent, Guardian)

London academies to boost standards
New city academies are to be opened as part of a government plan to reverse the poor performance of schools in London.
(Times, Financial Times)

Iran may free student dissidents
Iranian students who went on hunger strike last week to campaign for the release of six political prisoners have been told they may be released. The fate of three of the prisoners, who had been sentenced to death for their role in student-led unrest in July 1999, has been high on the list of priorities in talks between the European Union and Iran.
(Financial Times)

Rush to plug Vietnam's learning gap
Vietnamese familes are ready to spend their scarce cash to climb aboard the country's education bandwagon, and Australia's recently opened Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, the communist country's first wholly foreign-owned university, is hoping to profit from the thirst for knowledge.
(Financial Times)      

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