Update: 12:00

July 30, 2002

On-the-job-training criticised in report
Most young people are failing to finish on-the-job training courses that are often badly run and of poor quality, the Adult Learning Inspectorate's report for 2000-01 says today. Chief inspector David Sherlock said 69 per cent of foundation and 64 per cent of advanced modern apprentices dropped out before completing their courses. Only 46 per cent of NVQ trainees stayed the distance.
One in ten employees care for elderly person
Workers who care for an elderly person are often more reluctant to ask their employers for help than staff who look after children, a study by researchers from the centre for social gerontology at Keele University said today. Their study carried out for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation showed that at least one in ten employees was caring for an older adult, usually a relative.

London Socialist Historians back BL staff strike
The London Socialist Historians' Group is backing the strike action by Public and Commercial Services union workers at the British Library which started yesterday. The strike was held in protest at a "meagre" 0.4 per cent inrease on a 3.6 per cent offer, taking the deal to 4 per cent.

Seven-year sentence for Egyptian professor 
Egyptian social scientist Saad Eddin Ibrahim was sentenced this week to seven years' imprisonment after a retrial ordered when his conviction in May 2001 on charges condemned by Amnesty International provoked an international outcry. 
A sociology professor at the American University in Cairo, he was accused of defaming Egypt's reputation abroad after making a documentary - never broadcast - suggesting that voter participation was a good way of preventing election fraud. 
Charges included disseminating false information harmful to Egypt's interest and embezzlement and receiving foreign funds without authorisation. He served eight months in jail before protests in the United States and Europe secured a retrial. 
After the retrial, which began in April, the Supreme State Security Court sentenced Professor Ibrahim, director of the Ibn Khaldun Center for Development Studies in Cairo, and his co-defendants. 
"This trial against human rights defender Saad Eddin Ibrahim aims to silence the human rights movement in Egypt," Amnesty International said. Following today's verdict, those convicted may seek a final review of their case before the Court of Cassation.

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