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Issue 467, 21 May 2001

In the news

Head of Earth Sciences Dr Roger Clark has been combining his expertise with his passion for war planes in the £6m hunt for Spitfires. The Yorkshire Post featured the plans of farmer David Cundall and Dr Clark to locate 12 Spitfires abandoned in 1945 and buried at a military airfield in Myanmar, formerly Burma. The pair are currently analysing data from a ground-penetrating radar used to survey the site. The radar has shown up certain ‘box-shaped images’ which it is believed may be the outlines of the buried planes.

The University of Leeds has fared extremely well in the Times good university guide league tables. Leeds achieved top twenty places in the majority of subjects available at the University and top ten in food science, geology, English, East Asian studies, art & design, communication studies, agriculture & forestry, chemistry, physics & astronomy, geography, history of art, French, Middle Eastern & African studies, music, dentistry, pharmacology, anatomy & physicology, and what the Times termed ‘other medical subjects’. The guide aims to offer pointers to the best degrees in each subject.

Plans by Bretton Hall to create a new Institute of Performing Arts where students will be able to study for degrees in subjects including popular music was featured in the Yorkshire Post. More than £9m is to be invested in the institute, described as a ‘fame’ school by the paper. Acting principal of Bretton Professor David Sugden said: "Students on the popular and world music degree will find that rather than studying the pop charts they will face an intellectually and creatively challenging programme."

News that one in three 11 year old girls are now overweight and one in ten is obese was covered extensively by the national and local press. The Guardian, Independent, Daily Mail and the Yorkshire Evening Post and regional papers and radio throughout the country all reported on the findings of a report published in the British Medical Journal, co-written by Mary Rudolph, community paediatrician at Leeds Community NHS Trust.

She said the same children were measured over three years, and the results were frightening. The survey suggested children were not eating much more now than they were 20-30 years ago. But, according to Dr Rudolph, the key difference is lack of exercise: "There is a great deal of evidence now on declining levels of physical activity in children – that’s what we should be tackling."

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