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Lawsuit Filed Against McDonalds
Posted on 2001/5/11 23:49:02 ( 680 reads )


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SEATTLE, WASHINGTON, May 12, 2001: Seattle-based attorney Harish Bharti has filed a class-action lawsuit against McDonald's, alleging that the fast-food giant misled its customers for over a decade by advertising its french fries were vegetarian while all the while they were flavored with beef extract. The ingredient list on McDonald's web site states, "French Fries: potatoes, partially hydrogenated soybean oil, natural flavor, dextrose, sodium acid pyrophosphate (to preserve natural color). Cooked in partially hydrogenated soybean and corn oils, TBHQ (to protect flavor)." The beef flavoring comes under "natural flavor." Bharti filed the complaint in the King County Superior Court on May 1, on behalf of three plaintiffs, alleging that McDonald's engaged in deceptive and fraudulent business. Of the three plaintiffs, two are Hindus and vegetarians, and the third plaintiff is a vegetarian. According to the complaint, "Defendants are aware of the religious sentiments of Hindus, and in defiance of Hindu beliefs, sentiments and religious sanctity, defendants knowingly put beef products into the french fries." Meanwhile, a report in The Wall Street Journal said that, as far back as 1990, McDonald's had made a claim of using "100% vegetable oil." McDonald's, in a "clarification" carried by the Journal, said: "We never made any claims of vegetarianism with our french fries or any other product."




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Yoga Break Can Save Your Workday
Posted on 2001/5/11 23:48:02 ( 738 reads )


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NEW YORK, NEW YORK, April 11, 2001: Many office workers are inventive about recharging their batteries during their lunch hour. Andy Lerer, a cash analyst for a Manhattan publisher, delivers meals to house-bound AIDS patients. Merna Skinner, VP of a consulting firm, often turns off the lights, the computer and the cell phone in her office and lights several candles. Workplace stress is nothing new, but specialists say more people are affected than ever. The hectic pace of the Internet age and the rapidly changing economic climate has an increasingly stressful effect. Some people seek spiritual solace. Chuck Ughetta, secretary-treasurer of a securities firm, goes to mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral. Charlie Buck, president of an executive recruitment firm, favors a Hindu discipline, practicing hatha yoga once a week for 90 minutes: "It revs me up mentally and physically and gives me more energy than if I'd just had eight hours of sleep." According to this article, even one US Supreme Court judge is a yoga fan.




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Indian Science of Architecture Workshop in Maryland
Posted on 2001/5/11 23:47:02 ( 724 reads )


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LANHAM, MARYLAND, May 12, 2001: The Sri Siva Vishnu Temple is conducting a three-day workshop on Vaastu Shastra, the ancient, traditional, Indian building architectural science, at the temple premises (6905 Cipriano Road, Lanham, Maryland) from June 15 to 17, 2001. This workshop will be conducted by the leading world authority on Vaastu Sastra, Dr. Ganapati Sthapati, former principal of the only college of temple architecture in the world. Contact "source" for more information.




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Ramakrishna Mission Swamis Assemble for US Conference
Posted on 2001/5/11 23:46:02 ( 739 reads )


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GANGES, MICHIGAN, May 9, 2001: The public is invited to attend a conference, "Vedanta in the Third Millennium," in western Michigan from June 22-24, 2001. Twelve senior swamis of the Ramakrishna Order will assemble at the Vivekananda Monastery and Retreat, in Ganges, Michigan, about a two-hour drive from Chicago. According to Dr. Shyam Bhatia, professor at the University of Chicago, the conference is intended primarily to "explain how the Ramakrishna-Vivekananda movement can be a part of that urge for a new spiritual age that is being felt in the West." The three-day program includes meditation, devotional bhajans, worship, Indian cultural events and a youth essay competition based on the ideals of Swami Vivekananda.




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Tagore Centers in Bangladesh Under Attack
Posted on 2001/5/10 23:49:02 ( 650 reads )


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BANGLADESH, May 8, 2001: Bangladesh police have increased security at cultural centers connected with Rabindranath Tagore, the revered author and poet. Authorities fear the centers may be subjected to bomb attacks. Tuesday is the 140th anniversary of the birth of Tagore, whose largely secular legacy of poems and song stir great emotion in Bangladesh. The government accuses hardline Islamic groups of demonstrating their intolerance against Bengali culture by instigating a series of bomb attacks over the the last two years at cultural festivals. The recent attacks have fueled the debate about the country's future, whether Bangladesh will assume a more overtly Islamic character or whether it will continue to take pride in secular Bengali culture and tradition.




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Hindus Killed in Kashmir
Posted on 2001/5/10 23:48:02 ( 696 reads )


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JAMMU, INDIA, May 10, 2001: Suspected Islamic guerrillas beheaded eight Hindu villagers and seriously injured three others Thursday after abducting them from a forest in Kashmir state, police said. Police said the militants came to the mountainous area as the 11 villagers were grazing cattle near the village of Sajan in the Doda district, about 150 miles northeast of Jammu, winter capital of Jammu-Kashmir state.




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Yoga To The Rescue Of Diabetics
Posted on 2001/5/10 23:47:02 ( 654 reads )


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PANAJI, INDIA, April 17, 2001: It is estimated that, by the year 2025, India will have the largest number of diabetics in the world. Unable to afford the insulin used in the allopathic treatment of diabetes, Indians are turning toward yoga practices and related changes of lifestyle, according to this article, and achieving some success in the control of the disease.




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Detailed Report on Kolkota ISKCON Battle
Posted on 2001/5/10 23:46:02 ( 718 reads )


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KOLKOTA, INDIA, May 3, 2001: A more complete, though not necessarily unbiased, report on the attack and subsequent arrest of dozens of people at the ISKCON temple in Kolkota (Calcutta) is posted at "source" above. The report reads in part, "The high drama began on Friday afternoon as 100 'devotees' from Mayapur burst into the Calcutta temple. The so-called 'devotees' also contained many professional 'heavies' who had been hired especially for the event. They immediately demanded to take possession of the temple, and began to occupy the ashram and other parts of the building. Devotees from the temple who got in their way were beaten and sustained injuries."




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Chinmaya Mission Jubilee Celebration Announced
Posted on 2001/5/10 23:45:02 ( 766 reads )


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NEW JERSEY, USA, May 11, 2001: On May 19, 2001, the Chinmaya Mission will be holding a gathering of all Indian and Hindu organizations in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania to announce the grand spiritual and cultural extravaganza planned for July 8-14, 2001. The year 2001 marks the Golden Jubilee of the Chinmaya Mission, founded by H.H. Swami Chinmayananda. For details, click on "source" above.




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Correction: Historian Seeks Help on Sindhi Diaspora
Posted on 2001/5/10 23:44:02 ( 902 reads )


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MUMBAI, INDIA, May 7, 2001: Hiro Shroff's project, "Sindhi Jottings," covers the worldwide migration of Sindhis from Pakistan following the partition of India in 1947. He would appreciate input from HPI readers for his project. Contact him at "source" above. This email address has been corrected from yesterday's HPI.




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India To Enforce Ban on Prenatal Sex Tests
Posted on 2001/5/9 23:49:02 ( 714 reads )


Source: Agence France-Presse





NEW DELHI, INDIA, MAY 5, 2001: With the population count showing a dramatic drop in the male-female ratio among children in many parts of the country, India's Supreme Court has directed the government to enforce the ban on procedures to determine the sex of unborn children. Such procedures have led to abortions of female fetuses and an increasing imbalance in the ratio of males to females in the population. The Times of India reported that, "The court has asked state governments to furnish quarterly reports on the enforcement of laws banning sex-selective abortions in the country and to begin a campaign against female infanticide and prenatal determination of sex."




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Extremists Burn Buddhist Temple in Tripura
Posted on 2001/5/9 23:48:02 ( 802 reads )


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AGARTALA, INDIA, April 10, 2001: A Buddhist temple and several huts of the Chakma community were ransacked and torched by All Tripura Tiger Force insurgents in Dhalai district of Tripura, police said on April 10. A group of ATTF insurgents raided Taichakma village on Sunday night and ransacked and set ablaze a thatched Buddhist temple, police said quoting delayed reports. Villagers who tried to extinguish the flames were severely beaten by the extremists, who then set ablaze 13 huts belonging to five chakma families. Earlier, insurgents of National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT), which had served a notice in the hill areas last year warning of stern action against villagers who practice any other religion except Christianity, had on December fifth ransacked a Buddhist temple and taken away scriptures and the idol in Almara village of south Tripura district.




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Dalit Women Suffer Abuse at the Hands of Upper Class
Posted on 2001/5/9 23:47:02 ( 746 reads )


Source: The Guardian





NEW DELHI, INDIA, May 9, 2001: This heart-wrenching article exposing the injustices against Dalit ("untouchable") women in the feudal states of Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan, is based on a study done by Amnesty International. Reportedly women from the untouchable class are routinely raped and harassed by upper caste villagers and landlords. To make matters worse, if rape victims report the attack to the police they could be assaulted, their families threatened, or their statement ignored and dismissed as false. Police have also been known to participate in the rape assaults. As a result, less than five percent of cases make it to court. Besides sexual assaults, the whole untouchable class have been treated poorly for years. Dalits riding a bicycle, wearing shoes in front of a upper-caste person or drawing water from a designated upper-class well could be harassed or beaten. Spokeswoman for Amnesty International, Emma Blower, is quoted as saying, "There is a hideous amount of violence against women in rural areas."




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US Official Criticizes Lanka Ban On GM Food Imports
Posted on 2001/5/9 23:46:02 ( 683 reads )


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COLOMBO, SRI LANKA, May 10, 2001: A senior US official has criticized Sri Lanka's sweeping ban on genetically modified (GM) food imports, according to this report in India Abroad, describing it as "totally unwarranted" and without any "credible scientific evidence" to support it. Weyland Beeghly, the agricultural counselor at the US mission in New Delhi, said Thursday that Sri Lanka's ban, which came into effect May 1, was the first anywhere in the world. It is somewhat difficult to understand this claim, as both Europe and Japan prohibit the sale of GM foods out of safety concerns. In a related development, the New York Times reported that more than one quarter of the America's seed suppliers have found corn seed contaminated with traces of a biotech variety wasn't approved for human consumption. The biotech seed, named StarLink, was approved only for animal consumption because of unanswered questions about whether a special protein, called Cry9C, in the corn can cause allergic reactions in people.




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Historian Seeks Help on Sindhi Diaspora
Posted on 2001/5/9 23:45:02 ( 844 reads )


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MUMBAI, INDIA, May 7, 2001: Hiro Shroff's project, "Sindhi Jottings," covers the worldwide migration of Sindhis from Pakistan following the partition of India in 1947. He would appreciate input from HPI readers for his project. Contact him at "source" above.




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