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New Siva Temple at Malibu
Posted on 2001/4/28 23:49:02 ( 727 reads )


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LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, April 27,2001: Nestled between the San Fernanda Valley and Malibu in the Santa Monica Mountains, lies a Hindu Temple where more than 3,000 people gather each weekend to worship. Originally built in 1984 and dedicated to Lord Vishnu, the site was chosen because the terrain is similar to the seven hills temple, Venkateswara Tirupati Temple, in India's Eastern Ghat. New activity and an expansion project has brought 14 artisans from India to create a new temple on the same location in honor of Lord Siva. Built in the traditional South Indian style, the new temple's construction is overseen by Indian temple designer, Muthiah Sthapathy. With careful consideration, the rules of vastu, the Indian art of placement, have been followed in the construction of both temples so that the energy stays uplifting. The Malibu Temple is a popular place of pilgrimage for East Indians travelling to the Los Angeles area.




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Temple Control Escalates to Violence
Posted on 2001/4/28 23:48:02 ( 634 reads )


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KATHUA, INDIA, April 28, 2001: Two rival groups, the Shiv Sena and Mandi Sher Singh, who have been fighting over the control of old Ashapurni Mandir, have been debarred from the religious place by police. The situation escalated to violence on April 28 where 8 people were injured after a clash of swords and rods. Meanwhile, the local people have appealed to authorities to set up a trust to run the affairs of the temple so that it can be re-opened for worship. They also advocated that the two rival groups not be allowed on the premises or allowed to dictate the affairs of the temple in any capacity.




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Pregnant Women and Curry
Posted on 2001/4/28 23:47:02 ( 698 reads )


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LONDON, ENGLAND, April 24, 2001: Pregnancy is notorious for bringing out food cravings in women, especially around the fourth month. In Britain, after completing a survey on 500 mothers-to-be, a British supermarket chain has concluded that the food of choice for 75% of these women was none other than the nutritious and delicious East Indian curry.




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ISKCON Devotees and Monks Held After Clash
Posted on 2001/4/27 23:49:02 ( 685 reads )


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KOLKATA, INDIA, April 29, 2001: The police arrested 72 devotees and monks of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) who went on the rampage and clashed inside its Kolkata temple office on Saturday, according to this report from Times of India. An assistant commissioner of police and four constables were injured while trying to separate the warring sadhus. Some monks and devotees were also injured and furniture was damaged in the clash over "an old dispute," police said. About 150 devotees and monks of ISKCON's Mayapur temple in Nadia district arrived here on Friday night and tried to "evict the outsiders" in the ISKCON's Albert Road temple office. This led to heated exchanges and scuffles, police said. Though the nature of the "dispute" was not known to the police, but was likely over the "ritvik" issue in the organization which has to do with the succession of leaders since the founder's death and with who is authorized to initiate devotees. Police said tension had been brewing in the premises since Friday night. The arrested were lodged in the city police lock-up. A strong police contingent has been posted in front of the ISKCON temple office as a precautionary measure. The ISKCON organization denies any connection with Hindu religion.




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New Jersey Jain Sangh Celebrates Mahavir Jayanti
Posted on 2001/4/27 23:48:02 ( 745 reads )


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NEW YORK, NEW YORK, April 27, 2001: The international Jain Sangh, based in New Jersey, observed the 2,600th birth anniversary of Lord Mahivir, the 24th and last Thirthankar in the Jain religion. More than 700 people attended the April 8 celebration held at Knights of Columbus hall in South River, N.J. The program included prayers, pujas, a group pledge of tolerance and nonviolence, discourses and a cultural program. Among those who attended the fete was United States Representative Frank Pallone, Jr.




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India As an Agricultural Superpower
Posted on 2001/4/27 23:47:02 ( 638 reads )


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NEW DELHI, INDIA, April 28, 2001: The president of India's 500,000-strong Federation of Farmers Association, P. Chengal Reddy, told a conference in Delhi that he believes India could increase its agricultural output by an additional 100,000,000 tons of food annually. He advocates better education of farmers in more productive methods. As well, he sees a great potential in export of some of India's 1,000 varieties of mangoes, 5,000 medicinal plants and 3,000 aromatic plants.




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French and Italian Preschools Examined for U.S. Model
Posted on 2001/4/27 23:46:02 ( 368 reads )


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NEW YORK, April 25, 2001: Under prompting from President Bush to restructure the Head Start Program, American educators, parents and community leaders are looking to two very different European models for guidance and ideas. It has been proposed that the Head Start Program provide earlier reading instruction and if that be the case, the French have dedicated dollars and energy in this direction since 1921. The pre-school curriculum taught in French schools focuses on communication and vocabulary in an effort to prepare children for first grade academics. Starting pre-school at age three, the program includes a hot lunch, nap-time, story telling, drawing, painting and dance. While the Americans are looking to the French for direction, the French are sending delegations to Italy to observe their artistic approach to learning. In stark contrast to the rather regimented French system, a municipal preschool in Reggio Emilia finds children sprawled on thick carpets working quietly on complex art projects in bright sunlit classrooms. Class sizes are small and teachers rarely use the word "no" in this environment. Classrooms have no alphabet cards or blackboards. The philosophy behind these pre-schools in Italy is to develop each child's joy of learning and desire to communicate. Back in America, the two systems of France and Reggio Emilia reflect the battle lines between American educators; those who want a structured academic pre-school and those who want children to develop at their own pace.




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Earthquake Prediction and India
Posted on 2001/4/26 23:49:02 ( 829 reads )


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PUNE, INDIA, April, 27, 2001: A model to predict earthquakes, developed by a California-based scholar of Chinese origin, Zhonghao Shaou, uses the concept of "earthquake clouds." The same concept is dealt with in detail in the 32nd chapter of Varahamihira's "Brihat Samhita." The greatness of the Ujjain-born scholar, philosopher, mathematician and astronomer Varahamihira (505-587 CE) is widely acknowledged. The 32nd chapter of the manuscript is devoted to signs of earthquakes and correlates earthquakes with cosmic and planetary influences, underground water and undersea activities, unusual cloud formations and the abnormal behaviour of animals. "I find it rather odd that the description of earthquake clouds in Brihat Samhita matches the observations made by Zhonghao Shaou at the Earthquake Prediction Centre in Pasadena, California," said B. D. Kulkarni, head of the National Chemical Laboratory's Chemical Engineering Division. Zhonghao Shou, a retired chemist based near Caltech in California, has been using satellite imagery and other scientific tools to fine-tune his theory of "earthquake clouds" as precursors to earthquakes. Shou says he has predicted 39 quakes since 1990.




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Norwegians Impressed With India's Jail Reform
Posted on 2001/4/26 23:48:02 ( 671 reads )


Source: The Daily Pioneer





NEW DELHI, INDIA, April 24, 2001: A Norwegian man arrested and jailed in India for smuggling heroin has made such a remarkable transformation through the Vipasana meditation program the jail offers that the Norwegian government is looking into instituting the same program in its jails. Vipasana is a Buddhist meditation method involving long hours of meditation and silence packed in a short period, such as ten days. It was instituted when Kiran Bedi was warden. Norway became aware of the man's transformation after his mother visited the jail and was astounded at her son's improvement. She told Tihar authorities that she had regained her son, whom she had lost to drugs. A Norwegian TV crew shot a film on the man and other foreigners in Tihar, many of whom had benefitted from the meditation and the jail's other innovative rehabilitation programs.




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Britain National Dish is.... Chicken Tikka Masala??
Posted on 2001/4/26 23:47:02 ( 789 reads )


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LONDON, ENGLAND, April 21, 2001: A bland red curry known as chicken tikka masala has joined the ranks of pizza and chow mein in culinary history. That is, just as until a few decades ago no Italian in Italy had seen a pizza, and no Chinese in China ever tasted "chow mein," now the British have not only invented an Indian-like curry, their foreign secretary, Robin Cook, called it "Britain's national dish." Some 23 million dishes are served every year to satisfy British palates, preceded by onion bhajis and cooled down by pint after pint of English lager. Retail chain Marks and Spencer sells 18 tons of its readymade version every week. The dish is spiced grilled chicken served with a thick sauce, and apparently invented to satisfy a British customer's demand for gravy with his meal. The designation as national dish has not gone unchallenged, however. Some culinary experts have proposed fish and chips, others rib eye steak and chips, neither noted for their contributions to the consumer's health.




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Are Bradford's Troubles Ethnic or Social?
Posted on 2001/4/25 23:49:02 ( 774 reads )


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LONDON, ENGLAND, April 25, 2001: A recent outbreak of violence in West Yorkshire County and Bradford has led to controversy as to the cause. This Times of India article is just the latest of several articles that discuss the incident. By appearances the looting, fire-bombing and street fighting could be attributed to racial tensions between Hindus and Muslims. However the writer of this article digs deeper and speculates that the real source of tension lies in a class difference where poor whites and Muslims are pitted against middle-class whites and Hindus. Stacy Burlett of Bradford University, who has studied the multi-ethnic community for several years, believes that the fight was about the "poor working class fighting the richer outsiders." In the case of the recent uprising, it would have been the rich wedding party of Hindu girl and white boy celebrating under the noses of the poor whites and Muslims in the neighborhood. True to fact, most Hindus arrived in Britain well educated and with money, whereas most Bangladeshis and Pakistanis came to Britain with very little education and less money. By appearances, each group migrated socially toward peers among the English with similar levels of education and income. Thus a poor Bangladeshi teen living on the streets finds a comrade in the poor Irish youth, while the well-educated son of an Indian doctor finds friends among the better-off whites. The debate continues and politicians have been warned that the situation is escalating from a multi-ethnic one to a huge social problem.




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France Love's for Lord Siva!
Posted on 2001/4/25 23:48:02 ( 847 reads )


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PARIS, FRANCE, April 26, 2001: Lord Siva continues to fascinate the French literary world that has already seen the publication of numerous books on Him. Two more books on differing aspects of Siva have joined the list. "Le religion de Shiva" (The religion of Siva) which tries to explain Hinduism through the famed temple art of South India in the medieval ages, has been written by renowned Sanskrit scholar, N. Ramachandra Bhatt and translated into French by French Sanskrit scholar Pierre-Sylvain Filliozat. The second book, written by Catherine Clement, a renowned French writer and wife of a former French diplomat who had served in India, deals with Varanasi, a city closely related to Siva. "Bhatt has reunited Indian tradition, history, ethnography and art to approach one of the principal compositions of religion in India," says Filliozat. Both the books were released recently by Indian Ambassador to France, Kanwal Sibal, at separate functions.




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Singapore Hoping for a Baby Boom
Posted on 2001/4/25 23:47:02 ( 671 reads )


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SINGAPORE, APRIL 15,2001: The tiny city-state of Singapore, with a scant four million population, is encouraging its citizens to have more babies. Concerned with its declining birthrate, the government has developed monetary and workplace incentives to persuade people to have larger families. The government is offering cash for couples who have a second and third child, extended maternity and paternity leave, flexible working hours and sometimes, special deals on apartment rentals. Like other nations with rising living standards, most Singaporeans have been choosing to have smaller families. The birthrate has fallen to 1.5 children per woman of childbearing age where 2.5 is needed to maintain the population level. Even this figure masks the true situation, which is that poor Muslim Malays are having three or four children per family, while the educated Chinese and Indians are having just one. That would explain why, although the new baby-boom incentives do not discriminate on the basis of education, Senior Minister Lee Kuan Yew, recently stated, "Our educated people should have three children per family." Singapore at least is still increasing in population, at just 1.15% per year, whereas Russia, Italy and several other countries are dropping each year. Germany has reached zero population growth.




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Farmers Aand Scientists Fight Over Genetic Modification of Crops
Posted on 2001/4/25 23:46:02 ( 699 reads )


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LONDON, U.K., April 23, 2001: Indian and British farmers joined hands to fight new agriculture techniques being planned by scientists from their countries. The contest took place in Norwich in East Britain where the John Innes Center held its Global Agriculture 2020 conference from April 17 - 21 on genetically modified (GM) crops with the theme "Global Agriculture 2020 - Which Way Forward." Chairing the event was M.S. Swaminathan, of India's Green Revolution who called for an "evergreen revolution" through progressive use of gene technology to develop new crops. Some of Britain's senior-most agriculture scientists attended, supporting the work of the Swaminathan Institute in Chennai. In opposition, a rival meeting themed "Feeding or Fooling the World?" and backed by Oxfam, ActionAid, Greenpeace and the Soil Association was called by a group of non-governmental organizations to oppose GM foods. It was held from April 17 to 21, alongside the conference of scientists. The rival meeting was better attended because of increasing unpopularity of GM food in Britain. British farmer Ed Cross teamed up with Umnapur Lakshmi, a farmer from Andhra Pradesh who told of how she rotates crops to grow as many as 80 varieties in a year and gets good yields without any genetic modification. Devinder Sharma, chair of the Forum for Biotechnology and Food Security in Delhi told the conference that GM foods are unnecessary. "India has a surplus of foods and still people go hungry," he said. "The problem is one of access and distribution, not of shortfall of production."




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Britain's Asian Diversity--the Sources of Conflict
Posted on 2001/4/24 23:49:02 ( 741 reads )


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BRITAIN, UK, April 20, 2001: In Britain, the non-white minority ethnic groups are estimated at 3.8 million or just under seven per cent of the population. Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi communities make up about 1.87 million of this figure. Along with religious and cultural differences, socio-economic levels vary widely within the Asian community. Indian children show the highest rates of success at school, while the lowest rate is seen among Pakistani and Bangladeshi students. According to Department of Education and Employment statistics, whites have the lowest rate of unemployment, followed by people of Indian origin. The highest rate is found among the Bangladeshi community. Tariq Modood, a professor of sociology at the University of Bristol, notes that Indians were the first Asians to bring their families to Britain, as early as the 1960's. Pakistanis and Bangladeshis came much later and were generally less qualified when they arrived. Although all Asian youth are increasingly going to university, there is growing social and economic division within the communities. The gap between well educated and under educated is leading to tensions among the black and white people from all communities.




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