May Week – News in Brief

23 June 2011

Sheffield Hallam student faces extradition to US

A student at Sheffield Hallam University is facing extradition to America for allegedly running a website that provided links to television shows and films hosted on other websites.

Computer science undergraduate Richard O’Dwyer was arrested three weeks ago for running the website, which has since been seized by US Immigration and Customs. O’Dwyer is accused of being the administrator of the site.

He is scheduled to appear in court on 12th September for a further hearing. He has not entered a plea.

Slutwalk Cambridge councillor hopes for city march

A Cambridge councillor who marched in solidarity with victims of rape and sexual violence in London’s Slutwalk hopes there will be a similar protest in Cambridge. Belinda Brooks-Gordon, who represents Castle ward, joined more than 3,000 people at the Slutwalk, in response to a Toronto officer’s comments on how girls can avoid sexual assault.

Cllr Brooks-Gordon has written at length about the rights of sex workers. She commented: “Too often the victims of sexual violence are told that it is their fault.”

US University returns to single-sex dorms

The president of The Catholic University of America announced that the university would be taking a stand against binge drinking and ‘hooking up’ by abolishing mixed dorms.

John Garvey likened the move to a “slightly old-fashioned remedy” saying that the transition will “probably cost more money” but ultimately “our students will be better off”.

The reaction has been reported to be mixed amongst students, with males generally more against it.

Record 700,000 students compete for university places

The number of candidates attempting to get into British universities is set to top 700,000 for the first time, figures suggest, as students race to beat a rise in tuition fees in 2012, suggesting that a third will be left without places.

 Demand is strongest for practical courses, more likely to lead straight to a job, such as engineering and the sciences, while the number of students competing for arts and language subjects has declined.

This is likely to leave 220,000 without a place, almost a third.

Hand grenade found in a skip

A bomb disposal team have had to carry an explosion after a suspected hand grenade was found in a skip.  The team from RAF Wittering was called out to a skip in Cottenham, near Cambridge to carry out the controlled explosion in a nearby field. A police spokesman said: “We were called to reports of the discovery of a suspected hand grenade in a skip in Histon Road, Cottenham, shortly before 9am today.”Bomb disposal experts attended and the device was taken to a nearby field where it was destroyed in a controlled explosion shortly after noon.”

US universities report sharp rise in UK applicants

America’s universities are receiving a surge of applications from British students, as UK universities are “creaking at the limits” through the continuous cuts. Following in the footsteps of Harry Potter star Emma Watson, British students have being setting their sights on the elite institutions, with the number of students applying to Harvard rising from 370 to 500 this year.  Andrew Halls, head teacher of King’s College, a public school in Wimbledon, suggested that “there’s a feeling that , you may not get as much teaching as you would like.”

Man escapes jail after shooting off a wart

A man was so desperate to get rid of a wart he decided to use a shotgun, blasting off half his finger and almost ending up in prison in the process. After a few pints of beer, Sean Murphy took a 12-bore shotgun and blasted off the itchy wart, losing most of his finger at the same time. He subsequently found himself up on firearms charges for illegally possessing a shot gun. Appearing in Doncaster magistrates’ court, he was awarded a 16 weeks suspended sentence which, he has stated, he is “happy with”. He added: “The best thing is that the wart has gone.”

Oxford serial pervert strikes five times in ten days

Female students in Oxford are being warned to avoid going out unaccompanied after five sex attacks in the city in just ten days. The attacker is believed to be in his early 20s and possibly Albanian.

A teenager was the latest victim after she was pushed to the ground, punched in the head and sexually attacked before she managed to flee. Undergraduates were also being advised not to go out alone, but in groups of two or more, and carry personal alarms in their pockets. Police have not confirmed if any of the assault victims were students.

US teacher punched pupil after being called the “C” word

A teacher from Florida has been arrested for assaulting a student after being called a vulgar word.

Footage captured by another student shows Sandra Hadsock, a 22-year veteran art teacher apparently strike a male student while the class gasps in horror.  She was subsequently arrested and placed on indefinite leave.  Though the prosecutors have decided to not press charges, Hadsock’s lawyer is still hoping the teacher will be allowed back to work.

Hadsock has received support from the teacher’s union and community members.

Asterix comics study: violence is “astonishing”

Neurosurgery researchers at the Heinrich Heine University of Düsseldorf, Germany have sifted through 34 volumes of the French comics and identified 704 discrete cases of traumatic head or brain injury.

However, while well over half should have caused serious neurological deficit or even death, none of the characters manifest permanent impairment. These findings are, according to the researchers, “astonishing”. From these findings, the researchers conclude traumatic brain injury (TBI) is not treated with the appropriate gravitas in the comics.

Kingston University uproar over Islamic society name change

Kingston University Students’ Union has come under attack after a lengthy battle over the name of an Islamic society.

Mohsen Al-Khoei, president of the Shia-Muslim Ahlul Bayt Society, was disgruntled at the fact that it had taken the union three months and several meetings to constitutionally add the title Islamic to its name.  The SU agreed to the name change after being told by the university chaplain, that the society was affiliated to the Muslim Student Council. The SU did, however, insist it went through all the correct procedures.

Injured student protester now in court for violent disorder

A student, who had to undergo brain surgery after receiving head injuries during a fees protest, has had to appear in court, facing five years in prison.

Alfie Meadows, 21, a philosophy undergraduate, said: “I ended up in hospital after being struck on the head with a police baton. I am now being prosecuted for violent disorder at that protest.”

Hundreds of protesters are expected to demonstrate outside Westminster City magistrates’ court today, where Mr Meadows and 43 other student activists will appear.

Teen arrested after blow-up doll prank

An Indiana teenager has sparked a bomb scare after a prank involving leaving a blow up doll in a girl’s bathroom.

Tyell Morton could face up to eight years in jail after he was caught by security cameras walking into the girl’s bathroom with a package and then exiting without it. Suspicious staff called the bomb squad who responded to find a blow up doll on the floor.

Morton said: “It was just a senior prank, you know. I mean they’re blowing it out of proportion.” He has since been banned from his school.

Did Apple rip off student’s iPhone App after rejecting it a year before?

A student who launched a hugely successful iPhone App is considering legal action, after Apple allegedly released their own identical application.

Greg Hughes, 20, came up with Wi-Fi Sync in his second year at Birmingham University. The computer sciences student offered it to Apple for sale through its official App Store; it was, however, turned down due to ‘security’ issues.

He was then shocked to discover Apple launching its own wireless app and has announced he intends to take the matter further.