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Bin Laden money at universities

CAMBRIDGE, MASS. - Harvard University has pledged $1 million to a scholarship fund for family members of people killed in the Sept. 11 attacks. Last week, a Cambridge city councilman suggested - because the university received $2 million from a half-brother of Osama bin Laden in the early 1990s - that Harvard has a duty to contribute more money. University officials say the fund has nothing to do with that suggestion. Other schools have also taken bin Laden money. Tufts University spokesman Pete Sanborn says that Tufts received "a few hundred thousand dollars" in the late '90s from a half-brother of Osama bin Laden to support its Southwest Asian and Islamic Civilization Studies program, but school officials are confident the money was not connected to terrorist activity.

Court to hear religious vouchers case

WASHINGTON - The US Supreme Court begins its new term this week, taking on controversial cases about issues ranging from Internet pornography to the execution of mentally retarded capital crimin-als. In a vouchers case, the court will decide if using taxpayer money to subsidize tuition at religious schools violates church-state separation. President Bush has endorsed the plan; the ruling could affect his faith-based services initiative, which awards public funds to religious charities.

A troublesome teen trend

SINGAPORE - School officials in Singapore are concerned about a new trend of self-mutilation among school girls. According to a local paper, incidents of 'cutting' have recently been reported at five girls' schools. Students cut their arms and hands with penknives and other sharp objects, in what psychiatrists call an escape from school and family problems. "They're overwhelmed, so they hurt themselves to get help," says Linda Semlitz of the Adam Road Hospital.

Online high schools growing fast

MONTE VISTA, COLO. - Seven years ago, a poor Colorado school district piloted online education with a few 'troubled' kids. Today hundreds of high schools nationwide are offering online classes. "A lot of kids are missed by the education system," says Dan King, who runs the Choice 2000 virtual high school in Perris, Calif. "Online education really is for many of those."

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