Today's papers

July 3, 2002

Blair rules out abolition of student tuition fees
Tony Blair last night ruled out the abolition of student tuition fees, but he said the government was looking at ways to ensure that children from working-class backgrounds were not discouraged from going to university. In the same Channel 4 interview, he also rejected demands to scrap the new AS levels, despite protests from teachers that this year's sixth-formers are the most examined generation of school pupils. 'The reason for introducing them was to broaden what people study,' he argued.
( Telegraph )

Top economists bicker
Kenneth Rogoff, head of research at the International Monetary Fund, has made an outspoken and personal attack on Joseph Stiglitz, the Nobel prizewinning former chief economist of the World Bank. At a debate last Friday to launch Professor Stiglitz's new book, Mr Rogoff suggested that Globalization and its Discontents should be withdrawn and complained, 'Joe, as an academic, you are a towering genius.... As a policymaker, however, you were just a bit less impressive'. Professor Stiglitz, speaking in London yesterday, said he had been 'quite dumbfounded' by the attack and said it was '90 per cent a personal diatribe'.
( Financial Times )

Scots otters prey on unintelligible 'foreigners'
A pair of Canadian otters brought to Britain a year ago are under guard at the National Sea-life Sanctuary near Oban in Scotland because of fears that they will be attacked by indigenous cousins unable to understand their 'foreign accents'. Dr Matthew Evans, an animal communications expert from Stirling University, said: 'Dialects are common in animal communications but because of the differences in the sounds they make, it will be difficult for these Canadian otters to communicate with the native ones and they could be at considerable risk.'
( Independent )

Children blow whistle on 'boring' recorders
Pupils say they are fed up with learning the recorder at school because it is childish, boring,uncool and kills off their interest in music, according to findings published by the Economic and Social Research Council. Dr Susan O'Neill, the report's author, said there was a 'huge decline' in musical participation once children reached secondary school, and the recorder could be to blame.( Telegraph, Independent )

Scramble, scramble... moths heading this way
Scientists have used an innovative radar to spot an insect invasion from the Continent, giving farmers warning of a potential pest attack. The attack by diamondback moths has been detected by a novel Vertical-Looking Radar developed by a team from the Rothamsted Radar Entomology Unit and unveiled today at the Royal Society's Summer Exhibition.
( Telegraph )

Graduates get more for their rent
New graduates can take advantage of the oversupply of rental property to pick up good deals on accommodation in the UK's major cities, lettings experts claim.
( Times )

North's new war museum unveiled
Manchester's Imperial War Museum North - a shark's tooth in aluminium perched on the waterfront of the Manchester Ship Canal - opens to the public on Friday. It is the first building in Britain to be designed by the renowned architect Daniel Libeskind.
( Guardian, Times, Independent )

Cannabis 'can trigger schizophrenia'
Smoking cannabis affects brain chemistry so seriously it can trigger schizophrenia, a Japanese scientist claims. The research, by Dr Hiroshi Ujike of Okayama University, is reported in the journal Molecular Psychiatry .
( Mail )

Everyday chemicals linked to male infertility
Chemicals mimicking female hormones contained in substances as humdrum as beer, paint and tofu can affect human fertility, researchers at King's College London have discovered.
( Guardian, Times, Mail, Independent )

IVF fails more often if male partner smokes
Men who smoke are almost three times less likely to make their partners pregnant through IVF than non-smokers, according to Dr Michael Zitzmann of the Institute of Reproductive Medicine in Munster, Germany.
( Guardian, Mail )

Vaccine could slow down CJD
A vaccine could be used to slow the development of bovine spongiform encephalopathy and the human equivalent, vCJD, according to a study published in the American Journal of Pathology by Bath and New York universities.
( Telegraph )

Keep sex out of the classroom
As two studies published in the British Medical Journal have found that sex education has no impact on the rate of teenage pregnancy, Frank Furedi argues that the classroom is no place for children to learn about sex and relationships.
( Telegraph )

Oxford philosopher dies
Gordon Baker, a distinguished American Oxford analytic philosopher who wrote extensively on Wittgenstein, Frege and Descartes, has died aged 64.
( Independent )

Labour historian dies
Royden Harrison, a pioneer of labour history studies and workers' education, has died aged 75.
( Guardian )

First female chief for disease control centre
The Bush administration will announce today that Julie Gerberding will be the new director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a cornerstone of the US public health system. Dr Gerberding, 46, is currently the centre's acting deputy director for science and a well-respected medical researcher. She is the first woman to head the agency.
( Financial Times )

Public health professor and book historian dies
Peter Issac, professor of public health engineering at Newcastle University and bibliographer, has died aged 81.
( Times )

Medic who helped Belsen survivors dies
Michael Davys, consultant psychiatrist and physician and a medical witness in 1945 to the horrors of Belsen concentration camp, has died aged 80.
( Times )

Dancing bees explained
British scientists believe they have unlocked the secret of the dance of the honeybee. A team from the Institute of Arable Crop Research in Hertfordshire claim to have proved the long-held theory that the dance is a form of communication designed to tell hive mates where to go to get the richest source of nectar.
( Mail )





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