US universities are the educational bright spot Yet even there, signs of trouble are emerging. Elite schools such as Harvard.
Stanford, and Johns Hopkins may be in danger of pricing them- selves out of the market. US universities, are also not graduating enough stu- dents. The deficit of students is particularly acute in engi- neering in computer- sci- ences, where there have been sharp cuts in federal research funding. The US industry that is most clearly ahead' in train- ing and productivity, said participants, is drug discov- ery. US educators are puzzled that while spending on state schools has risen shandy in the country, student perfor- mance has improved little.
A partner with the competence, experience and imagination to find the right solution for your opportunity. This will be followed cm Thursday by an announce- ment by John Prescott, dep- uty prime minister and chief transport minister, of his long awaited plans to break up the Underground net- work into three privately owned infrastructure conces- sions which would be let to the private sector on year leases.
Under Mr Prescott's plan, which has been in gestation for more than six months, train services would con- tinue to be operated by Lon- don Transport in the public sector. But it is understood that the Treasury has insisted the private sector should be allowed to take over train operations if the public sector Called.
The newly-elected execu- tive London mayor would have a reserve power to strip LT of its train operating function, and to franchise routes to the private sector.
Rail track, privatised owner of the national rail infrastructure other than on the Underground, would be interested in acquiring the whole network, although Mr Prescott has doubts about whether the company would be able to meet all of its Investment obligations else- where on the rail network. By leaving open the ques- tion of how many con css sions are let, ministers accept that the bidding pro- cess could last six months.
Foot- ball? It was ice hockey. Dedicated devotees in dank rinks have long kept the game going in a country that once won an Olympic gold medal - in Now, if Taylor is to be believed, that is changing. Taylor says the advent of Anschutz and its London team will give the two-year- old Superleague - whose eight teams are mostly based to become a big Hugh Camegy in the north. But can professional ice hockey really take root in Britain? Some omens are not good. Fee hockey has suf- fered in recent years from a series of confiising changes in the league structure and the loss of key sponsors.
The Superleague began when a group of the stron- gest clubs in effect broke away from the British Ice Hockey Association. But there is minimum co-ordination between them. Of the eight teams, only Manchester Storm and the Sheffield Steelers are believed to make money. Another glaring feature is the overwhelming domi- nance of imported players and coaches - mostly Cana- dians. These are fewer than 10 British players in the Superleague. Ian Taylor has a clear vision of what can be achieved.
He says the league is very different as an attraction from outdoor.
It is competing against cinemas and other indoor events. It is this vision that Anschutz has bought into. But the six- team World League. Ameri- can football's European off- shoot, means nothing to most people. So it will be called NFL Europe when the season starts next month. It will be spent largely on backing television pro- grammes and other projects to tell more Europeans about the game. Rhein Fire, the other Ger- man team, has sponsored manhole covers and sold Barbie Doll cheerleaders.
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The London Monarchs are to become the England Mon- archs, with a red-and-white kit that makes them look like the En gland soccer team in helmets. They will also play some games in Birming- ham and Bristol. Then, Channel 4 offered prime-time UK televi- sion coverage. Now Ameri- can football is shown outside prime time. That loss was equivalent to just over 0.
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The crisis broke when the government announced two years ago that mad cow dis- ease was probably responsi- ble for a new variant of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, the fatal human brain condi- tion. That caused a sharp drop in beef consumption and led to a worldwide ban an UK beef exports. In Offsetting that loss, though, was a rise in sales of other kinds of meat, benefit- ing the sheep, pig and poultry sectors, and the financial help given to the industry. Sir Donald said in the sec- ond year the burden began to shift from taxpayers to producers, ranging from beef farmers to meat processors.
Although its business was taken over by ING of the Netherlands, Barings pic went into administration and was placed in liquida- tion in Investors in two issues of floating rate notes issued by Barings in S and will receive some of their money back, as will holders of a issue of perpetual sub- ordinated notes.
The deal was hammered out by the City Disputes Panel, a dispute resolution body for the London whole- sale financial markets. This time, Mr Brown has had time to plan major changes, "t is the first opportunity to get stuck into the pet projects m the [Labour pre-electionj manifesto, such as inheri- tance tax," warns Mr Philip. The centrepiece will be the welfare to work provisions, designed to help people shift from reliance on benefits into employment Mr Brown will almost certainly take from the better-off to help finance this scheme.
The following are areas to watch. The initial proposals for IS As. Which will replace per- sonal equity plans Peps and tax-exempt special savings accounts Tessas in April But the betting seems to be that he will tweak aspects of the existing regime rather than go for a radical overhaul. Labour signalled that it wanted to make 1HT much tougher, and almost any aspect of the present system could be attacked.
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But the new rate might not come into force until April This would increase the tax bills of 4m people by up to 25 per cent, according to the Asso- ciation of British Insurers. Editorial Comment. With the inci- dence of low pay 50 per cent higher than in the rest of the UK. The government is committed to an election pledge to introduce a national rate later this year - and has so far ignored the calls from local businesses to make an exception for regions such as Northern Ireland. The venture, in which HSBC's Midland bank offshoot and Matsushita Electric have holdings, will offer home shopping, banking and other ser- vices.
Commission officials will shortly present Karel Van Miert, competition commissioner, with a proposal outlining acceptance of the deal. It is understood that there could be some less signifi- cant alterations - as yet undisclosed - to BTs role iri the ven- ture. This marks a break with the previous government's refusal to accept money from the fund that is earmarked for the support of industries fac- ing decline.
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David Blunkett, education and employment secretary, said; "We are putting behind us the way the previous government eschewed the European Union. Gang violence has been a problem for years although police say shootings have fallen sharply since the mids, when there were on average three a week.
However, there have been leur shootings In Manchester m the past fortnight, one fatal. There is a problem and maybe we codd be doing a little more. Despite the excellent state of the public finances, he needs the money to implement his pledge to help the workless to become workers. In his second Budget on Tues- day he will no doubt keep his promise not to raise the rates of income tax.
He will keep it to the letter, but little more.
Raising employers' National insurance contributions, for example, may be different from an income tax rise. But, ultimately, its Impact will be felt by well-paid employ- ees as wages adjust Chancellors have long favoured the taxation of sin. No doubt as the son of a Scottish znanse, Mr Brown will want to encourage sobriety.
But raising duties on. Mr Brown made his raid on the privatised utilities and on pen- sion funds in his July Budget So if he needs more cash for , it will probably have to come from capital g ains and inheri- tance taxes, or by raising employ- ers' National Insurance contribu- tions for the better paid. Although there may be changes to capital gains tax, on the questionable grounds of pro- moting more long-term invest- ments.
In this more lucrative field. Mr Brown can offer a respectable argument for taxing better-paid jobs to help people struggling op the Income ladder. Poverty trap Ibis has long been recognised as a disincentive to employment and is one of the barriers which Mr Brown is likely to tackle In his welfare to work package.
https://enomjavati.gq Some believe he could easDy afford to meet it without significantly raising taxes elsewhere. In principle, therefore. First, forecasts of public deficits are notoriously uncertain. Since Mr Brown wants to hold borrowing below public investment over a complete economic cycle, this fig- ure represents a safety margin for prudent management. Inflation target Secondly, the continued rapid expansion of the domestic econ- omy Is endangering the govern- ment's inflation target of per cent Despite the downward revi- sion yesterday of figures for national output in , fourth quarter output was buoyant - although external trade is begin- ning to be hit by the strong pound.
This is not a time for fis- cal loosening.