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Stop Use of Asbestos in India, Advise Experts
Posted on 2002/4/15 23:46:02 ( 693 reads )


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NEW DELHI, INDIA, April 16, 2002: A group of medical professionals have urged the government to immediately stop mining and milling of asbestos in India, as it can cause lung cancer in those exposed to it. At an international symposium on health effects of hazardous material in New Delhi, participants urged the government to provide medical follow-up as well as compensation to affected workers. Asbestos tends to break into very fine fibers -- some of these pieces may be 700 times smaller than human hair. Once released into the air, they may remain suspended for hours and even days. Asbestos is already banned in most developed countries, including the US. The European Union has decided to phase out asbestos by 2005. In India, however, the bulk of asbestos continues to be imported from Canada (which exports 99% of the asbestos it produces) and used for making pipes, laminated products, asbestos textiles, brake lining among others. The National Institute of Occupational Health at Ahmedabad has shown the prevalence of asbestosis, an irreversible and progressive lung condition which results from the inhalation of asbestos fibers amongst workers.




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Nepal King Calls For Unity
Posted on 2002/4/14 23:49:02 ( 682 reads )


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NEPAL, April 15, 2002: Nepal's King Gyanendra has called for national unity to fight the long-running Maoist rebellion. In a message to mark the Nepalese New Year, King Gyanendra said the continuing violence and destruction of the infrastructure had ruined the economy. His statement followed one of Nepal's worst outbreaks of violence on Friday, in which more than 130 people were killed. Rebels attacked four western towns with guns, grenades and rockets, killing nearly 50 policemen and six civilians. Some unconfirmed reports said the death toll could be much higher. This marks one of the worst spells of violence in Nepal since King Gyanendra declared a state of emergency in November after the rebels withdrew from peace talks.




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Morari Bapu on Peace in Gujarat
Posted on 2002/4/14 23:48:02 ( 717 reads )


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GUJARAT, INDIA, April 15, 2002: Morari Bapu is among the country's foremost preachers on the Ramayana, traveling around the globe preaching in Gujarati or Hindi interspersed with joyous song. He was also one of the few prominent religious figures to join peace efforts (in Rajkot, Ahmedabad and Mehsana) during last month's sectarian disturbances in Gujarat. In an interview he refused to be drawn into specifics or certain controversial areas but with references to the Ramayana and other sources he expressed his views on the recent disturbances in Gujarat and the Ayodhya movement. "In the Ramayana it says 'Param Dharam Shruti Bidit Ahimsa.' In other words Ahimsa (non violence) is param dharam (prime religion). Violence in the name of religion is not good. What divides is not religion, what joins is religion," said Morari Bapu. When asked how peace could be brought to Gujarat, he said: "In my view whatever events have happened, they should stop and we should build a bridge of trust in each other and love. People should go to the victims. The Ramayama talks of love of all towards one another. That is the kind of atmosphere we should create and in the true sense build a Ramrajya which is Prem Rajya (kingdom of love)."




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Bali Observes Day of Silence
Posted on 2002/4/14 23:47:02 ( 868 reads )


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JAKARTA, INDONESIA, April 14, 2002: Indonesia's tourist island of Bali was eerily quiet yesterday, with the international airport closed and tourists confined to their hotels as residents observed the Hindu New Year or Day of Silence. Flights, including those passing over the island, were banned for 24 hours starting at 6:00 a.m. for Nyepi, a day of purification and self-reflection for Hindus. Shipping links to and from the island were also closed for 24 hours. Bali is predominantly Hindu. The rest of Indonesia has a Muslim majority. The holiday began on Friday night, when villages across the island held rituals to send evil spirits out to sea. The island was closed yesterday, according to tradition, to prevent the spirits from returning.




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Bali's Day of Silence Marred by Clashes
Posted on 2002/4/14 23:46:02 ( 722 reads )


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JAKARTA, INDONESIA, April 14, 2002: Bali's normally solemn Day of Silence, a Hindu religious day of introspection, turned rowdy at the weekend when devotees went on a rampage in two villages. Brawls broke out during processions of the giant Ogoh-Ogoh puppets late on Friday, the eve of the Nyepi festival, leaving at least four people injured, including one with severe burns. The ghoulish effigies, up to 5 meters high and 2 meters wide, are paraded on the night before the Nyepi to banish evil spirits. Denpasar Police Detective chief Budi Wasono said the melees were a result of misunderstanding. Nyepi is observed throughout Bali for 24 hours, during which it is forbidden to light lamps or fires, work, travel or indulge in physical, social or business activities.




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History of Celibacy
Posted on 2002/4/14 23:45:02 ( 0 reads )


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NEW YORK, NEW YORK, April 14, 2002: "For a species that has transformed mating into an obsession, human beings over the centuries have shown an abiding interest in the opposite of sex -- celibacy," begins this interesting article. "The practice is in the spotlight these days because of the molestation scandal which has rekindled debate over whether the Roman Catholic Church should allow married priests. But it's actually been followed in many cultures since ancient times: by secluded monks, Rome's Vestal Virgins, and powerful leaders such as Mohandas Gandhi and Queen Elizabeth I. It remains an exalted ideal in several religions, and has become a trendy lifestyle choice for some people with no religious motives. ... In Hinduism, celibacy is considered an important virtue, practiced by supreme priests but not required of all priests. Many Hindus, Gandhi among them, believe abstinence is a way to convert sexual energy into spiritual energy." For the rest of the article, click "source" above.




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PETA Ranks Oakland A's Ballpark Four for Meatless Fare
Posted on 2002/4/14 23:44:02 ( 624 reads )


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SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA, April 8, 2002: While the hot dog (a beef sausage in a bread roll, not a cooked canine) remains the overwhelming favorite at American ballparks (where baseball and American football games are played), fans are increasingly snacking on broiled tofu, boiled soybeans and other vegetarian fare. So big is the trend that People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) recently ranked America's top-10 vegetarian-friendly ballparks. Oakland's Network Associates Coliseum placed fourth. PETA's Dan Shannon admits the survey was unscientific but says it shows sports arenas have learned that America's 17 million vegetarians who gain 1 million converts annually -- are a cash cow. "This is a trend you're going to see increase," he said. "Not only is it common sense, it's financial sense. These things sell." Until recently, baseball's vegetarian fans had to snack on junk food or go hungry through the game. Ballparks have long offered quasi-vegetarian snacks like cheese pizza, nachos and fries. But only in the past few years have they offered truly vegetarian fare like veggie dogs, veggie burgers and veggie stir-fries.




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Request for Articles for Trinidad's Indian Heritage Day
Posted on 2002/4/14 23:43:02 ( 754 reads )


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TRINIDAD, WEST INDIES, April 14, 2002: The Indo-Caribbean Cultural Council (ICC) is inviting writers to submit their work for publication in its Indian Arrival Day 2002 magazine. This Indian heritage day, which commemorates the arrival of indentured laborers from India to Trinidad, will be observed as a national holiday on May 30, 2002. Writers who wish to contribute on cultural topics, socio-political issues, current events, or any other subject relevant to the history of Indians in Trinidad and the Diaspora are asked to submit their material in the form of articles, reviews, short stories and poems. The theme of the magazine is "Protection of Traditional Knowledge." The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) defines traditional knowledge as the information in a community transmitted orally form generation to generation that has not been documented. The deadline for submission of articles not exceeding 1,000 words is May 13, 2002. For further details e-mail "source" above.




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Counterfeit Drugs Are a Problem in South-East Asia
Posted on 2002/4/14 23:42:02 ( 671 reads )


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UNITED KINGDOM, April 5, 2002: Alarming research published recently in the British Medical Journal has revealed that a significant number of medical drugs sold in south-east Asia are counterfeit. Scientists have found that drugs used to treat malaria are fake, that a vaccine to prevent meningitis was made from tap water and that birth control pills were made of wheat flour. Imitating what legitimate drug manufacturers use for packaging such as a blister-pack design and holograms, fake drug production is suspected to be linked with organized crime. According to this article, the World Health Organization estimates that one in 10 pharmaceutical drugs sold around the world are counterfeit. In Cambodia alone, 60% of anti-malaria drugs are fake and five other SE Asian countries estimate that 38% of anti-malaria drugs used are ineffective. Dr. Paul Newton of Oxford University, who led the team conducting the research published in the BMJ says, "One third of all the anti-malarial drugs artesunate that we bought in south-east Asia was fake, containing none of the drug it was supposed to contain." Lambert Rago of the WHO further adds, "Counterfeit drugs kill people. There are a lot of case reports where vaccines do not contain anything and you just don't vaccinate people at all." The BMJ goes on to say that, "Drug companies have tended to avoid publicizing the problem for fear of damaging public confidence in medicines."




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Thought For the Day
Posted on 2002/4/14 23:41:02 ( 891 reads )


Source: Hinduism Today





Worry kills more people than work because more people worry than work.




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Kashmir Pundits Criticize Silence on Their Plight
Posted on 2002/4/13 23:49:02 ( 638 reads )


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NEW DELHI, April 14, 2002: As political parties vie with each other in expressing concern over the plight of communal violence victims in Gujarat, Kashmiri Pandits today criticized the political spectrum for "maintaining a deafening silence" over the sufferings faced by a populace of more than 350,000 after their migration from the Kashmir Valley due to militancy in 1990. "Kashmiri Pandits can understand the plight of victims of the Gujarat violence as we have also undergone similar sufferings," said Kashmiri Samiti President Sunil Shakdher. He, however, alleged that the Gujarat incidents had "exposed" the double standards of the political parties, particularly the "so-called secularists." "We find copious tears being shed for the Gujarat riot victims. But not even verbal sympathies have been expressed over the plight of Kashmiri Pandits, whose almost entire population of 3.5 lakh was uprooted because of Islamist terrorism," Shakdher said. "The political parties found nothing wrong in uprooting of an entire community simply because it does not constitute a vote bank," he charged.




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Gujarat Politician Stabbed for Helping Minorities
Posted on 2002/4/13 23:48:02 ( 746 reads )


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AHMEDABAD, INDIA, April 14, 2002: When communal violence tore the state apart, Someshwar Pandya attempted to keep the social fabric together, according to this report in the Times of India. On Saturday morning, Pandya, of Sardarpura, a village where 32 members of the Muslim community were burnt alive on March 1, was attacked by six persons armed with sickles and lathis. He was admitted to the Civil Hospital here with deep wounds on the forehead. "They had threatened me with dire consequences for helping the Muslims in the village," Pandya told the Times. He has identified all six assailants and named them in an report lodged with the Vijapur police station. Pandya is the general secretary of the Vijapur unit of the Congress and is reported to have helped minorities to shift to safer places after March 1 attack. He is also said to have helped several riot-affected get their complaints registered which were not being accepted by the police.




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RSS Honors Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami
Posted on 2002/4/13 23:47:02 ( 662 reads )


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BANGALORE, INDIA, March 15, 2002: Kaushalendra ("source" above), secretary for the Nagpur RSS offices, writes, "The meeting of the Akhil Bharatiya Pratinidhi Sabha held at Jansewa Avasi Vidya Kendra, Bangalore on March 15, 16 and 17, 2002. Sarkaryawah Shri Mohan Bhagwat presided over the meeting. Param Pujya Sarsanghchalak Ma. K. S. Sudarshan and Ex-Sarsanghchalak Ma. Rajjubhaiyaji were also present at the General Body meeting. In the beginning, the meeting paid homage to Poojya Swami Sivaya Subramuniya at his attaining the Mahasamadhi by observing two minutes silence. It is a great loss to his organization and to the whole Hindu society world over. The A. B. P. S. shares the unbearable grief of the bereaved family and prays to the All Merciful to give fortitude to all his followers to suffer it. May his vision lead us all to enlightenment."




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Tamil World Processor Released
Posted on 2002/4/13 23:46:02 ( 386 reads )


Source: The Hindu





NEW DELHI, INDIA, April 14, 2002: India's President, K.R. Narayanan, today released Tamil Word-2001, a Tamil word processor developed by Tamil Arasi, at a ceremony held at Rashtrapati Bhavan here. While a copy of the word processor was presented to the President by M. Natarajan, Editor, Tamil Arasi, the Editor of Viduthalai Tamil Diary, K. Veeramani, received the first CD ROM, which has been described as a "milestone in the development of Tamil as a scientific language." At an audio-visual presentation, it was stated that the word processor was aimed at facilitating the work of the common man in the language known to him. In a note circulated at the venue, Dr. Natarajan said the development of word processors like MS-Word in English had influenced and compelled Indian languages to get into the process of modernization. Such facilities were essential for the survival of any language in the present century and in the Tamil language, too, there had been significant advancement in standardizing fonts and keyboards. While editing facilities and incorporation of language tools are yet to be perfected, the word processor provides software in Tamil, including fonts, editors and language tools similar to MS Works, Word Perfect and Word Star. The Tamil Word 2001 provides for user-friendly keyboards in Roman, Roman-Tamil, Tamil Typewriter and Tamil Net 99 and 15 different fonts besides editing facilities including Mail Merge, toggle between Tamil-English and English-Tamil calendar conversion. The software has a wide range of language tools such as spell-check, grammar check, "Sandhi" check, sorting, indexing, conversion of numbers to letters and vice-versa, transliteration (Tamil-Roman) and dictionaries.




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How to Define Race in Today's America
Posted on 2002/4/13 23:45:02 ( 735 reads )


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DENVER, COLORADO, April 17, 2002: When it comes to race and how to define it, the subject has become controversial in America. The 2000 census form allowed Americans to choose from 126 racial and ethnic categories and they could pick more than one. Results of the census showed that around 7 million Americans consider themselves to be a blend of two or more races. Scientists, biologists, and anthropologists think that the concept of race no longer has validity. However, the average person on the street still identifies people according to race. A multiracial advocacy group called Project Race in Tallahassee, Florida, has been lobbying state governments to add "multiracial" as a category on government, school and medical forms. So far six states have adopted the new category. Evelyn Hu-DeHart, chair of the ethnic studies department at the University of Colorado at Boulder says, "Some young people are claiming race when they don't have to. In the bad old days, you would do your best to 'pass' as white because (being another race) was such a stigma." Now according to Hu DeHart, young people want to claim race because they want to identify with a deeper heritage and culture. Nina Roberts, a Ph. D. student at Colorado State University, whose father is white and whose mother is a blend of three other races, agrees that, "Environment, far more than genetics, defines race and the result is a learned culture." So the definition of race becomes further blurred as the U.S. census 2000 found that people now define their own race in terms of what they believe and practice. However, when comparing the census of 2000 with the one done in 1790, we see how far the American people have come. Back then the population was divided into three groups -- free whites, slaves and all other free persons (e.g., the American Indians).




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