NEWS IN BRIEF

  INTERNET   WEBPAGES  
  Students can get cheaper books through the Internet   Student webpage lobbies government's plans for fees  
  AN INTERNET bookshop has recently offered students an easy way to buy books and save money.

Bookpages is a service that allows all students with a valid ac.uk e-mail address to register with a Student Bookpoints scheme. Under this scheme, every ten pence spent on books with the company will accumulate, redeemable for a 10% discount on future purchases, much like supermarket loyalty cards.

All types of books are available through the scheme, not just academic titles. However, it does stock a wide range of academic books that are difficult to obtain through normal retail outlets. In all, Bookpages boasts a catalogue of 1.2 million titles, said to encompass all British books currently in print.

  The University of North London is causing a stir with the strong criticism of the government voiced on its new homepage.

UNLU has recently joined student union counterparts like Imperial, University College London, and Kings with a Union homepage on the internet.

Whereas other colleges present information on events, representatives, publications and societies, UNLU have backed this with a strong editorial from the Student Union president, Aidan MacDonald, and a call for action through the homepage on the fees issue.The homepage can be found at http://www.unl.ac.uk/

 
         
  NATFHE   INTERNET  
  Conference launches survey on how lecturers job has changed   New student web-site launched by Times  
  The University & College Lecturers’ Union has released a survey looking at the impact of the Dearing Report on lecturers’ pay and conditions.

The 500 lecturers completing the survey felt that too much paperwork had interfered with personal contact with their students. They also complained of little recognition in their own research.

“The message from the survey is clear”, Dr Liz Allen, Head of Higher Education at NATFHE said.

“Lecturers want to teach and they want to teach well; they also want to undertake research and other activities. But they also want sufficient protection to safeguard them against overwork and exploitation.”

  The Times newspaper has launched a student oriented Web-site which will include student contributions in a magazine style format.

4-D will be the first broadsheet web site to offer students on-line shopping services for books and CDs. It will include features on news, sport, food, fashion and travel. In addition there are plans for chat-style interaction and forums to encourage student involvement. Competitions and a graduate jobs section, the first of its kind, are also promised.

Editor Toby Kay says “Previous targeted Web-sites have let students down by patronising them or ignoring the issues of real importance”. He claims that 4-D will break new ground by involving students in production and focusing on the real interests of students.

 
         
  DRUGS   ZOMBIE  
  Miracle cure for heroin addiction   UCL Anthropologist has clue to Zombie mystery  
  The united nations has committed £240,000 to research into Heantos, an herbal remedy which is thought to aid in curing numerous drug addictions.

Heantos was discovered by Vietnamese scientists and is made up of over thirteen different plants. The inventor of the substance, Tran Khoung Dan, was so convinced of his product that he initially sold his house to finance the research and even took opium himself to see if Heantos would cure him.

Tests have shown that it can cure heroin addiction in five days, and a stream drug addicts are asking to try for themselves. Yet, the UN still warns that addiction must be cured not only physically, but also mentally.

  RECENT RESEARCH findings of a UCL academic claim that ‘zombies’ are actually people suffering form acute psychiatric disorders.

Zombification is a common part of Haitian culture where it is believed that corpses are brought back to life by using black magic. Sorcerers claim that around 1,000 corpses annually are stolen from graves and reanimated for slave labour.

Roland Littlewood, of the department of Anthropology and Psychiatry, believes that these ‘zombies’ are actually people suffering from psychological disorders or possibly brain damage or epilepsy.

He claims that the belief in Zombies may make it easier to integrate people with mental disorders into society.

 
         
  SMOKING RISK   ALCOHOL  
  Passive smoking at an increased risk of Heart disease and cancer   Drinking limit to be lowered in Britain  
  NEW FINDINGS indicate that passive smoking increases the risk of lung cancer and heart disease by almost a quarter.

46 studies conducted within the UK and published in the British Medical Journal point to evidence that the blood cells responsible for clotting are particularly sensitive to smoke. This causes a comparatively high increase in risk.

Whilst non-smokers inhale just 1% of the smoke their increased risk of disease is 23% compared to that of smokers who are 80% more likely to suffer from Heart disease.

According to anti-smoking group ASH around two million people a year in the UK suffer from diseases caused by breathing other’s smoke.

  Transport Commissioner Neil Kinnock has proposed a campaign to cut the number of road deaths in the whole of Europe by introducing a European-wide limit of 50mg per 100ml of blood.

This proposal, currently being debated by ministers, would lower the British limit by 30mg, down to the equivalent of about one pint of beer or two glasses of wine.

The mark would match those standards already existing in France, Holland, Austria and Greece.

Mr Kinnock said he hoped that the shocking news of the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, would boost the chances of an agreement on this issue.

Britain currently has the lowest road accident death amongst EU states, nearly seven times as low as that of Greece, which has the worst record.

 
         
  CRIME      
  Violent crime in London tops New York rates      
  A NEW REPORT suggests that London has overtaken New York as a crime capitol. The figures issued by the Warren Legal Institute of California confirmed there are nearly twice as many burglaries and car thefts per head in London than in New York City.

The number of notifiable offences in the Metropolitan Police District increased by three per cent from 817,082 in 1995 to 841,784 in 1996. However, Scotland Yard’s own figures show that even though London has more non-violent crimes per head than in New York, the number of burglaries in London have dropped fourteen per cent since 1992. New York still has a much higher homicide rate than London. For every 1 murder here, there are 10 in New York.

     

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