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University appoints honorary professor in bid to open medical school

THE first Honorary Professor of Medical Education has been appointed by the University of Bradford.

Dr Alex Brown is director of Undergraduate Medical Education at Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, and a key member of the university’s widening access into medicine working group.

He has played a leading role in the development of high quality medical education at the university and has worked extensively in schools in Bradford to encourage pupils to study medicine who might not have otherwise considered it.

His appointment also supports Bradford’s ambition to develop a medical school.

Prof Brown said: “I was very pleased and surprised to receive this honour from the University.

“It has been very rewarding to be a part of the team developing plans for the medical school which will be a great addition to both the University of Bradford and the local population.”

Professor Shirley Congdon, deputy vice-chancellor, added: “Alex has a real passion and commitment for widening access to medical education and has played a key role in the development of our proposed innovative medical school curriculum.

“He has created and sustained an outstanding approach to supporting medical students on placement at Bradford NHS Teaching Hospital Trust. I am delighted that he accepted this position and he will be instrumental in our bid to develop a medical school.”


David Meade death threats in end-of-world trolling

David Meade
Image caption David Meade from Rathfriland in County Down is a mentalist – but did not predict the end of the world

Having the same name as a man who predicted the world would end on Saturday – last Saturday – has caused County Down psychic David Meade no end of grief – even five death threats.

American conspiracy theorist David Meade claimed that Planet Nibiru would collide with Earth on 23 September.

David Meade, from Rathfriland, County Down, has been forced to dissociate himself from the claims.

Newspapers have incorrectly linked the claim to him on social media.

His picture has also been used in relation to the story.

Mr Meade, who now lives in Banbridge with his wife Elaine and their family, said: “About six or seven months ago we started getting the odd tweet here and there and I thought it was hilarious.

“I think part of the source of the confusion, first of all, is that it is a pretty unusual way to spell Meade, with an ‘e’ at the end.

“But then also, when people were arriving on my site they were seeing things like ‘mentalist’, ‘mind reader’.

“That probably sounds like the sort of person that would predict the end of the world,” he confessed.

“The last two weeks have been extraordinary and actually it’s verging on worrying this morning.”

The father-of-two is both a lecturer in international business and an entertainer who “caught the bug” for mind-reading as a teenager.

His website has been so inundated with traffic that it has crashed three times, something he said was a concern, as he has five employees.

“Sixty percent of my work is in the United States, it is deeply worrying to think that this nonsense could be there online and could affect my business,” he said.

He has now received five death threats but said that he is not taking the threats seriously.

His lawyer is in contact with a number of media outlets asking them to retract stories linking the County Down man to the story.

“A Fox news anchor linked directly to my Twitter feed, directly to my website, and, to date, has refused to apologise for it,” he said.

“My main concern is that no one seems bothered to correct this.”

The entertainer seems confident the Earth is not facing impending doom – from an unknown planet at least – and has offered a “1000%” refund on tickets sold for his upcoming tour “in the event of an apocalypse”.

Following the fact that the world did not end on Saturday, the American David Meade told the Washington Post: “The world is not ending, but the world as we know it is ending.”

“A major part of the world will not be the same the beginning of October,” he said.

He describes himself as a “Christian numerologist”, whose apocalyptic theory is based on a “numeric code” he said he found in the Bible.

Image copyright Planet X News
Image caption David Meade, the “Christian numerologist”

Mainstream Christian groups have dismissed his theories and have denied that Christians believed them.

He describes himself as a having studied astronomy and being a “specialist in research and investigations” and talks about a “Planet X”.

However, the US space agency said Planet Nibiru, also known as Planet X, does not exist.

David Meade, the conspiracy theorist, said, however: “The existence of Planet X is beyond any reasonable doubt.”

He said Nasa discovered Planet X in the 1980s and that preparations for it striking – or closely passing – Earth were well under way in both the US and in Russia.

Bath Spa University transgender research block labelled ‘astonishing’

Person holding a rainbow flagImage copyright Getty Images

A therapist says he is “astonished” by a university’s decision to stop him studying people who decide to reverse gender reassignment operations.

James Caspian wanted to write a thesis on “detransition” as part of his master’s degree in counselling and psychotherapy at Bath Spa University.

He said it was rejected by the university’s ethics committee because it could be “politically incorrect”.

The university said it couldn’t comment until after an internal investigation.

Mr Caspian, a counsellor who specialises in therapy for transgender people, told Radio 4: “I was astonished at that decision.

“I think that a university exists to encourage discussion, research – dissent even, challenging perhaps ideas that are out of date or not particularly useful.”

He says he wanted to study people who had swapped gender and then changed their minds after coming across evidence of a growing number of people who regretted having the surgery and finding no research had been done into the subject.

The university, formerly known as Bath College of Higher Education before gaining full university status in 2005, initially accepted his proposal but he struggled to find people willing to take part.

He said: “I found it very difficult to get people willing to talk openly about the experience of reversing surgery.

“They said they felt too traumatised to talk about it, which made me think we really need to do the research even more.”

Better ‘not to offend’

He amended his proposal – to include people who had transitioned to men and reverted to living as women but without reversing their surgery – and resubmitted it, but it was rejected by the ethics committee.

“The fundamental reason given was that it might cause criticism of the research on social media and criticism of the research would be criticism of the university and they also added it was better not to offend people,” he said.

According to the Times, it was rejected because “engaging in a potentially politically incorrect piece of research carries a risk to the university”.

American transgender activist Riki Wilchins said studies on transgender people could have a “political undercurrent” and potentially have a negative effect on the way they are treated.

“People have been launching studies that undercut transgender people’s access to surgery for decades now,” she told Radio 4.

But Mr Caspian said older studies were out of date and the research was necessary “to help people”.

He added: “The whole field has completely changed over the last few years.

“The idea that we might use the information from the research I was going to do in a way that wouldn’t help people is completely wrong.”

He is considering a legal challenge but is waiting for the university to conclude an internal investigation.

Motorway delays due to a broken down vehicle

Arson attack on abandoned motorbike

Motorbike attacked by arsonists in early morning blaze

Police in missing man inquiry find a body

Police searching for missing 26-year-old man find a body

GALLERY: Hundreds join colour rush fun run

HUNDREDS of people turned out for a colour rush to help keep up the work of a local hospice.

The family-friendly event at Oakwell Hall Country Park on Sunday, September 24, saw entrants in the 5k event get covered head to toe in brightly coloured powdered paint.

People could choose whether they walked, ran or even danced their way round the course.

Once everyone had crossed the finishing line a giant party was held to end the day.

Money raised from the annual event will be used to support Kirkwood Hospice in Albany Road, Huddersfield, which provides specialist palliative care for the terminally ill in Kirklees.

Many people taking part were there for poignant reasons of their own in memory of loved ones or for those who are being cared for at the hospice.


Others, including a group of solicitors, were there from local businesses and companies just to support a good cause.

To find out how you can give support, go to

Patients complete Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust sailing challenge

Participants and supporters at the end of the challengeImage copyright Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust
Image caption Supporters and participants welcomed the crew of the final leg back to Largs on Saturday

More than 125 young people recovering from cancer have completed a round-Britain sailing challenge run by yachtswoman Dame Ellen MacArthur.

The Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust project began in May and saw young people aged 10 to 30 visit 58 towns and cities in the UK, over 17 relay legs.

Ryan Campbell, who took part, has undergone treatment for osteosarcoma – a rare type of bone cancer.

He said: “It’s about surpassing what you think you can’t do.”

Mr Campbell, 22, from Gourock, Inverclyde, was on board the 44ft yacht for the final leg of the journey which ended on Saturday.

“It’s such an amazing cause and there’s nothing else like it out there,” he said. “It’s not focused on being ill.”

Another of those who took part, Hannah Spencer, said she “wouldn’t be here” without the trust.

Image copyright Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust
Image caption Ryan Campbell, who took part in the voyage, described it as “an amazing cause”
Image copyright Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust
Image caption The sailing challenge took place over four months

The 23-year-old, from Belper, Derbyshire, was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukaemia in 2009 and worked as a volunteer mate on the voyage.

Dame Ellen, the charity’s founding patron, said the project was about “rebuilding the confidence, self-belief and independence of those involved”.

She said: “It’s been fantastic following all the adventures of the young people during Round Britain 2017.”

Image copyright Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust
Image caption The Ellen MacArthur Trust helps young cancer patients by introducing them to sailing and other water-based activities

Olympic sailor Luke Patience was among those who welcomed the crew back to Largs, from where the voyage began in May.

He described it as “an extremely humbling experience”.

The sailing journey took place in areas including Cowes, Cardiff, Glasgow, Belfast, Plymouth, Bristol, Liverpool, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Hull, London and Southampton.

The crew also visited cancer treatment centres where they meet other young people who are still in recovery.

In 2005 Dame Ellen, who is based in Cowes on the Isle of Wight, broke the world record for the fastest solo circumnavigation of the globe. The current record holder is French yachtsman Thomas Coville.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Dame Ellen MacArthur broke the world record for the fastest solo circumnavigation of the globe in 2005
Image copyright Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust
Image caption The sailing journey took in areas including Cowes, Cardiff, Glasgow, Belfast, Plymouth, Bristol, Liverpool, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Hull, London and Southampton