World Watch

May 25, 2001

New Haven
More than 200 Yale University academics boycotted United States president George W. Bush's visit to receive an honorary degree. A statement signed by 208 professors said: "There is nothing about his performance thus far which merits the decisive accolade."

A professor of political sociology at the American University of Cairo has been sentenced to seven years in prison for undermining the dignity of the state and tarnishing its reputation, receiving foreign funding without permission, bribing public officials and forging voter-registration cards. Twenty-seven colleagues of Saad Eddin Ibrahim, at the Ibn Khaldun Center for Development Studies, which he established in Cairo in 1988, were convicted and sentenced to prison terms ranging from one to seven years.

Amnesty International has called on the Ethiopian government to free academic Mesfin Wolde-Mariam and fellow human rights activist Berhanu Nega, who were arrested on May 8 and accused of instigating student protests. The two men, who deny the allegations, were due in court again today.

Chinese students at Cornell University have urged university president Hunter Rawlings not to allow former Taiwanese leader Lee Teng-hui to visit the university during his stay in the United States.

The former director of finance for the Universite de Montreal business school has been sentenced to three years in jail for a construction project fraud that cost the university C$1.1 million (£500,000).

New York
The private United States-based University of Phoenix's parent company, the Apollo Group, has announced a partnership with Thomson Learning. The Universitas 21 global network of universities is also expected to finalise a deal with Thomson shortly.

Lecturers at the National University of Madagascar have begun an indefinite strike in support of better pay and conditions, and an independent process to appoint a new vice-chancellor.

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