What students are talking about today (Sept. 13 edition)

A new monkey, Iran’s student club and new world rankings
Maurice Emetshu/Plos One

1. Scientists say they’ve discovered a new species of monkey living in the remote forests of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It’s only the second new monkey discovered in nearly three decades. The researchers have published on Cercopithecus Lomamiensis in Plos One. The monkey is known to locals as “Lesula.” Okay, so in that way, it’s not an entirely new discovery.

2. The president of the Iranian Cultural Association of Carleton University, a student group, solicited money for the club from Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s chief of staff, reports Maclean’s Michael Petrou. The now-closed Iranian embassy obliged, providing financial support. Canada lists Iran as a state sponsor of terrorism.

3. The QS World University Rankings have been released. MIT is #1 globally. In Canada, McGill University is ranked highest at #18. It’s  followed by the University of Toronto at #19. The University of British Columbia is #45. Other schools in the top 200: the University of Alberta #108, Montreal #114, McMaster #152, Western #173, Queen’s #175 and the University of Waterloo #191.

4. Newsflash: stealing music is still illegal. A U.S. court has decided that a Minnesota woman who shared songs online owes record companies $222,000 for copyright violations. A lower judge apparently erred when he’d cut her fine to $54,000. The U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal from a Boston University student after a lower court decided he owed $675,000 for music.

5. The bizarre anti-Islam film that set off anti-American violence in at least four North African countries was posted to YouTube in June and translated into Arabic on YouTube in the days before Sept. 11, reports the New York Times. Strangely, it’s still unclear who exactly financed, produced and translated of the film that shows the Prophet Muhammad in very unbecoming ways.

6. Swimmers at the University of Alberta are upset that photos of them were downloaded from social media websites and circulated online with sexually explicit captions. It sounds like the type of thing that happens in high school, not university, but they’re asking the school to investigate.

7. This isn’t exactly important news, but there’s something about the inevitable fall from grace experienced by former child stars (think Lindsay Lohan, think Macaulay Culkin) that gets people talking. Amanda Bynes is the latest. Despite two hit-and-runs she was seen “driving aimlessly for hours Tuesday while smoking out of what appears to be a marijuana pipe on a suspended license.”

8. The University of British Columbia’s law school offers a course called “access to justice.” Poverty advocates are angry that it’s being taught by the former attorney general who oversaw cuts to the legal aid system. UBC won’t force changes, it says, citing academic freedom. Seems reasonable.

9. A 38-year-old Vancouver Island man was attacked by a cougar. His pants were shredded as he climbed to safety atop a piece of industrial equipment. It happened in Ahousat, near Tofino.

10. After two days of news about the ever-increasing cost of tuition, some relief for Manitoban students was announced. The province will drop the interest rate from prime plus 1.5 per cent to prime starting Sept. 1. As someone paying off Ontario student loans, I’m a little bit jealous.

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