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November 20, 2015

Germaine Greer gives Cardiff University oration despite campaign to prevent lecture

Germaine Greer gives Cardiff University oration despite campaign to prevent lecture

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Friday, November 20, 2015

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Feminist author and academic Germaine Greer gave a lecture at Cardiff University on Wednesday despite a petition with over 3,000 signatures calling for its cancellation.

Cquote1.svg I feel like the words Germaine Greer has spouted in recent years has no place in our movement Cquote2.svg

—Emily Cotterill, LGBTQ rights activist

Australian Greer gave the Hayden Ellis Lecture entitled “Women and Power: The Lessons of the 20th Century” under security with uniformed police officers and university security guards. The lecture covered equal pay for women, and Emmeline Pankhurst and the Suffragettes.

Ms Greer had been criticised by LGBTQ rights activists for comments made about transgender reality television star Caitlyn Jenner, and her belief that ‘post-operative’ trans women aren’t ‘real women’. The women’s officer of the Cardiff University Student Union called for cancelling the lecture in a Change.org petition which has received over 3,000 signatures. “I’m 76,” Greer said in a BBC Newsnight interview, “I don’t want to go down there and be screamed at and have things thrown at me.” However, ultimately she did give the lecture.

The Independent reported a group of around two dozen protestors outside the lecture. LGBTQ rights activist Emily Cotterill, who was at the protest, said she believed transphobia had no place in modern feminism. “I feel like the words Germaine Greer has spouted in recent years has no place in our movement”, Ms Cotterill said.



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October 25, 2015

Cardiff student union calls for cancellation of lecture by Germaine Greer

Cardiff student union calls for cancellation of lecture by Germaine Greer

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Sunday, October 25, 2015

The Cardiff University student union has called for the cancelling of a November lecture by feminist author and academic Germaine Greer, following comments about transgender star Caitlyn Jenner and other trans women that they have labelled ‘transmisogynistic‘.

Image: Photo by user Walnut Whippet on flickr; cropped slightly by Daniel Case.

In an online petition, women’s officer Rachael Melhuish asserts that Greer “…has demonstrated time and time again her misogynistic views towards trans women, including continually misgendering trans women and denying the existence of transphobia altogether.”

The petition adds that while debate should be encouraged in universities, Greer’s ‘problematic’ views of trans people, especially trans women were dangerous.

Cquote1.svg It happens to be an opinion, it’s not a prohibition. Cquote2.svg

Germaine Greer

According to The Guardian, in an interview on BBC2’s Newsnight Greer said that Jenner had stolen the limelight from other women in the Kardashian family.

“It seems to me that what was going on there was that he/she [sic] wanted the limelight that the other… members of the family were enjoying and has conquered it, just like that,” Greer said.

According to SameSame.com.au, Greer defended her previous statements denying that trans women were ‘real women’.

Greer stated that she believes she is being pressured not to talk about trans people because of her belief that ‘post-operative’ trans women are not women. “I’m not saying that people should not be allowed to go through that [gender reassignment] procedure,” Greer said.

Greer clarified her position by stating that “It happens to be an opinion, it’s not a prohibition.”

This is not the first instance where Greer’s statements about trans people has come under criticism.

In 2012, New Zealand Lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) advocacy group Queer Avengers ‘glitter bombed‘ Greer at a book signing in Wellington. According to SameSame.com.au, the group said at the time: “transphobic feminism is so 20th Century. It wasn’t okay then and it’s not okay now.”



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October 22, 2011

University of Wales to close down after 120 years

University of Wales to close down after 120 years

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Saturday, October 22, 2011

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120 years after it was founded, the University of Wales (UoW) will shut down. Already comprised of several institutions, two will merge fully while two more will become independent universities.

University of Wales crest.png

With a charter from 1893 and the Prince of Wales as its chancellor, problems began at UoW last year after concerns the head of a Malaysian partner institution, a local pop artist, had non-legitimate qualifications. This was followed by Thailand’s authorities denouncing another UoW partner as illegal, then an investigation in the UK into all the UoW’s foreign ties.

The Quality Assurance Agency said UoW’s overseas checks on foreign institutions were inadequate. The UK Border Agency is investigating a possible visa scam whereby foreign students were sold exam answers for a qualification leading to UoW entry and British visas. Two colleges — Rayat London College and Lampton College — are suspended over the claims.

Trinity St David and Swansea Metropolitan universities are to merge, forming University of Wales: Trinity St David. It is to use the latter’s own royal charter, which is itself 190 years old. Newport and Glyndwr are set to become universities in their own right. The dissolution follows calls from the leaders of rival universities for the end of UoW.

“I warmly welcome the historic decision taken today by the University of Wales Council,” said UoW Vice-Chancellor Professor Medwin Hughes, who will fill the same role for the new University of Wales: Trinity St David. “The transformed University will serve and deliver for Wales.” His counterpart for Newport, Dr Peter Noyes, said “The inevitable end to the story of the University of Wales should not detract from a distinguished history lasting 12 decades. Wales should be sad that this day has come[.]” UoW chairmain Hugh Thomas has resigned.

The Prince of Wales is among past students, having spent a 1969 term there. The institution’s various member organisations at one point included the now-separate Cardiff University.



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November 24, 2010

UK students protest for second time this month

UK students protest for second time this month

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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

At least three hundred students gathered outside the gates of Cardiff University.

Mass-walkouts took place today in cities throughout the United Kingdom, as students campaigned against rising tuition fees and government cuts.

Protests took place for the second time in as many weeks in places such as Aberystwyth, Cambridge, Southampton, Liverpool, and Brighton. Events included a ‘study-in’ at the Edinburgh Liberal Democrat headquarters, a 10am protest in Trafalgar Square attended by thousands, and a ‘dress in red’ march in Manchester.

In Cardiff, at least a hundred students rallied outside the main gates of Cardiff University‘s main building, in an event organised by a group named Actions Against Cuts Cardiff, with the support of a member of the National Union of Students executive committee. Occupations of university buildings have also begun in Birmingham, Plymouth, and the Royal Holloway.

In London, students are infuriated by what they say is London South Bank University‘s decision to ban anti-cut related meetings from their campus earlier this month. One student described it as “undemocratic and scandalous” as, according to the students, they were forced out of their booked room by security guards, and prevented from partaking on any on-campus meetings — but South Bank University maintains that it was a “misunderstanding” due to a double-booked room. Dr. Phil Cardew, Pro Vice-Chancellor of LSBU, maintained that “freedom of speech lies at the very heart of the higher education community whether it is academic, political or social debate”, and that “the students were encouraged to continue their discussions in the Students Union”.

A police van was vandalised in Trafalgar Square.

Not all the demonstrations were peaceful. Central London saw two officers injured as the police attempted to hold back the protesters, a police van attacked and vandalised, and three arrests were made. Police, keen to make sure that the 30 Millbank occupation was not repeated, were out in force, clashing with students in Cambridge, where two arrests were made, and kettling protesters of up to a thousand, according to protest organisers, as dusk approached.

The group that organised the protests, the “National Campaign Against Fees And Cuts” (NCAFAC), told students in the run-up to the protests to not “be afraid of blocking traffic if you have enough people”. On their blog, they stated that “[they] would like to see university students planning to march around their campus, bursting into lecture theatres and spreading the word”, a move that would breach many University codes of conduct. When contacted by Wikinews, the group did not respond to requests for clarification.

Universities are facing more than £900m ($1.4bn) cuts in the next three years. This protest comes as, earlier this month, 50,000 students and lecturers took to the streets in a National Union of Students organised rally, which culminated in the violent occupation of the Conservative Party campaign headquarters at 30 Millbank. In Westminster, a student suspected of throwing a fire extinguisher off the headquarters’ roof pleaded guilty in court today, under the charge of violent disorder, and will appear in Southwark Crown Court at a later date for sentencing, the maximum of which is five years imprisonment. Some protesters involved in the 30 Millbank occupation led an ‘energising meeting’ in Cardiff yesterday, prior to today’s demonstration.

Many students do not understand the reasoning behind the cuts. The Trotskyist student group, Cardiff University Socialist Students, wonder why, compared to the “£120 billion the government throws away every year on evaded, avoided and uncollected taxes”, the “few billion” required to pay tuition fees is “tiny”. The group also advocates cutting the Trident nuclear deterrent in order to pay for fees, and wonder why the vice-chancellor of the university was awarded a 4% pay rise (to £275k p.a.) compared to last year, whilst during the economic recession.

Last week, three hundred sixth-formers marched in Finchley, Margaret Thatcher’s old constituency, throwing shirts at the local Tory headquarters, echoing the phrase “They ripped the shirts of our backs”. Lower income college students are hit badly by the budget cuts, as plans to abolish Educational Maintenance Allowance (EMA), the up-to £30 a week subsidy for 16-19 year-old full-time students with household incomes of £30,810 or less.

The protests were primarily organised on the popular social networking site, Facebook. One Facebook user said earlier this week that the protests were “a perfect opportunity for students to show how disappointed we are with Nick Clegg”, who was advised by security officers earlier to desist from cycling from his home in Putney to Downing Street over fears that he could be pounced upon by angry students en route.



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May 22, 2008

Indiana Jones returns to the screens

Indiana Jones returns to the screens – Wikinews, the free news source

Indiana Jones returns to the screens

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Thursday, May 22, 2008

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The new film about the fictional character Dr. Henry “Indiana” Jones Jr. played by Harrison Ford premiered worldwide on May 22, four days after the opening of the 61st Cannes Film Festival in France.

The film is about the fictional mystery surrounding the crystal skulls, which do exist in reality, but are considered fakes by some sceptical scientists. “Some of them are quite good, but some of them look like they were produced with a Black & Decker in someone’s garage”, Professor Ian Freestone of Cardiff University said, arguing that the ancient Aztecs or Mayans might not have had instruments with modern tool capabilities for the task.

The film was directed by Steven Spielberg and produced by George Lucas (Lucasfilm).

Alongside Ford, the film features stars Shia LaBeouf and Cate Blanchett. The latter of the two was ‘butched up’ for the role of the Soviet agent, the main villain in the film.

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was rated PG-13 and runs 2 hours and 3 minutes. The film budget was US$185 million and it will need to gross US$400 million or more at theatres to make a profit for Paramount Pictures.

The previous film of the franchise was released in May of 1989 — 19 years ago.



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February 23, 2005

Dark matter galaxy discovered

Dark matter galaxy discovered – Wikinews, the free news source

Dark matter galaxy discovered

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Wednesday, February 23, 2005 Astronomers claim they have discovered the first galaxy made entirely of dark matter.

The galaxy was found 50 million light years away using the University of Manchester’s Lovell Telescope in Cheshire and confirmed with the Arecibo telescope in Puerto Rico.

While it contains mass that rotates like a normal galaxy, it contains no stars. Rather, it appears to entirely comprise dark matter, mysterious matter that differs greatly from the normal (baryonic) matter with which we’re familiar.

The discovery came from a five-year project to study the distribution of hydrogen atoms throughout the Universe. Hydrogen gas releases radiation that can be detected by radio telescopes.

In the cluster of galaxies known as Virgo, an international team from the UK, France, Italy and Australia led by researchers at Cardiff University found hydrogen atoms amounting to 100 million times the mass of the Sun.

They have named the find VIRGOHI21.

The find is considered incredibly important because cosmological models suggest that dark matter is five times more abundant than baryonic matter in the Universe yet is difficult to study from Earth because of the planet’s proximity to the Sun.

“The Universe has all sorts of secrets still to reveal to us, but this shows that we are beginning to understand how to look at it in the right way,” says Jon Davies of Cardiff. “It’s a really exciting discovery.”

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