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5,000-Year-Old Structure Survives Quake
Posted on 2001/2/2 22:47:02 ( 952 reads )


Source: Intel IT Update





KOTDA MOUND, DHOLAVIRA, GUJARAT, INDIA, February 2, 2001: Beyond the endless mounds of concrete and bricks that are now this part of Gujarat, there is a patch of ancient history that withstood the devastating quake: Dholavira, a Harappan landmark. The biggest Indian site of the 5,000 year-old Indus Valley civilization remains solid while the structures built by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to provide shelter to its staff have crumbled. The site has suffered no damage at all. It was excavated only in the early 1990's, nearly 20 years after it was discovered. Villages only a couple of miles away have been devastated by the quake. One could, of course, argue that the ancient site had already been through several earthquakes of this magnitude, and what damage could be done has been. Still, the contrast with the modern structures is stark. Of the six men employed to guard the site, five fled the day of the quake. The sixth remained only because he lives in Dholavira. The site is spread over 100 hectares and is believed to be the only town during that period to have an elaborate underground drainage system, houses, streets and wells. Every year, the ASI begins excavation in December and continues until April. This year, no excavation activity has started, reportedly because a team with technical expertise could not be drafted.




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Germany Attempts to Curb Mad Cow Disease
Posted on 2001/2/2 22:46:02 ( 846 reads )


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BERLIN, GERMANY, January 31, 2001: In an attempt to eradicate mad cow disease, technically known as bovine spongiform encephalopathy, the German government announced that it will be slaughtering 400,000 cattle. This drastic reaction is the result of falling exports to 34 other countries who have banned German meat. Also German citizens have reduced their consumption of beef by 50 percent after more than 20 cases of the disease in cows have been discovered since last November. No cases of humans infected with the disease have been detected in Germany. Elsewhere in Europe the beef industry is suffering because of the scare.




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Concordia University Hosts Mahabharata Conference
Posted on 2001/2/2 22:45:02 ( 1040 reads )


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MONTREAL, CANADA, February 3, 2001: An International conference on the Mahabharata will be held at Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, from May 18 to 20, 2001. Contact Dr Shrinivas Tilak, Department of Religion, Concordia University, Montreal, Canada, for details at "source" above. Day one topic on the foremost epic of Indian history is "Methodological Problems of Teaching the Mahabharata." Day two is "Character Analysis Based on Ethical Issues." Day three is "Challenge and Response in the Context of Philosophical, Social, and Other Issues."




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Media Bashing, A Blot On Kumbh Festival
Posted on 2001/1/29 22:49:02 ( 758 reads )


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LUCKNOW, INDIA, Jan. 27, 2001: At the biggest ever bath during Mauni Amavishya in Allahabad Kumbh festival, police and state paramilitary forces on January 19 went berserk and attacked journalists on duty inside the media centre of the State Government in the Kumbh area. Four journalists are still in a local hospital in Allahabad, with multiple injuries. The government is slow to proceed against the guilty men and could not announce the stipulated compensation to those injured and hospitalized even after the lapse of a week or make good the damage of cameras and equipment of lensmen.




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Conversion Slur On Tripura Church
Posted on 2001/1/29 22:48:02 ( 868 reads )


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AGARTALA, INDIA, January 28, 2001: The Baptist Church authorities in Khumlung have allegedly made it incumbent upon Hindu tribal students in a school near the headquarters of the autonomous district council to attend regular prayer sessions in a nearby church. Now the growing religious conflict between the National Liberation Front of Tripura and the Hindu resistance groups over the issue of a forced conversion drive by militants has taken a new turn. The NLFT is backed by the Church. The guardian of a student of the residential school said on condition of anonymity that his son and other students of the school were being "virtually forced" to attend prayer sessions. He said, "We tribals have our traditional religious faiths and practices akin to Hinduism and it is unfair on the part of school authorities to force underaged children to attend church." Sources at Khumlung, described the allegation as "completely false and malicious."




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Ashtanga Yoga is a Hit in Atlanta
Posted on 2001/1/29 22:47:02 ( 868 reads )


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ATLANTA, GEORGIA, January 28, 2001: Power yoga is about learning to breathe, relax and acquire an awareness of your body. In the process you work up a sweat, push your muscles to their limit and stretch like silly putty. According to this recent article in the Atlanta Journal, the popularity of power yoga is on the rise in Atlanta. Three years ago, only four to eight people showed up for classes at Atlanta Yoga, which specializes in astanga yoga. Now, each session averages 15 to 20 students. Excercisers who once thought yoga as too sedate are filling classes for astanga, also called power yoga, a new variation on a centuries-old exercise. Power yoga combines traditional yoga poses into continuous movements that require not only great flexibility but considerable strength. Power yoga is very challenging. It brings on a sweat, so it's appealing to the workout crowd.




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Temple Protests Web Acceptance of Offerings
Posted on 2001/1/29 22:46:02 ( 721 reads )


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GURUVAYOOR, KERALA, January 26, 2001: The managing committee of the Sree Krishna temple at Guruvayoor in Kerala has decided to initiate legal action against four firms for accepting sanctified offerings from devotees through their Web sites. K.M. Satheesan, administrator of the temple, told India Abroad on Jan. 15 that the four firms had sought permission from the authorities to accept such offerings, which was denied.




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Catholic Priest Claims Being Ejected From Earthquake Relief Hospital
Posted on 2001/1/28 22:49:02 ( 789 reads )


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AHMEDABAD, INDIA, January 29, 2001: An article in the Washington Times by Janaki Kremmer reports that a Catholic priest, Father Cedric Prakash, director of the Saint Xavier's Social Service Society, came to help at a hospital here. Prakash claimed he was shouted at by Hindu volunteers and pushed around until he left. He said, "Hindu hotheads are trying to dominate the rescue effort." The most massive volunteer presence in the earthquake area is the RSS, or National Volunteer Corps, India's single largest social service organization. Prakash did not explicitly attribute his treatment at the hospital to the RSS. Tensions over the presence of Christian relief organizations are bound to surface as such organizations generally regard disasters as an opportunity to preach their gospel and make converts.




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Christian Tribals Reconverted To Hinduism
Posted on 2001/1/28 22:48:02 ( 915 reads )


Source: The Times of India





RAIGARH, INDIA, January, 26, 2001: An estimated 360 Christian tribals reconverted to Hinduism under the banner of Vanwasi Kalyan Ashram on Wednesday. The function proceeded peacefully as BJP Rajya Sabha member Dilip Singh Judev washed the feet of the tribals before declaring their reconversion to Hinduism. Judev later claimed that 1,500 persons belonging to 315 tribal families were brought back to Hinduism under "Operation Ghar Wapai" on Wednesday.




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Peace Found at Kataragama Temple
Posted on 2001/1/28 22:47:02 ( 940 reads )


Source: Religion News Service





KATARAGAMA, SRI LANKA, January 27, 2001: "It is very, very peaceful here," said Hirono Hideki a 51-year-old Buddhist monk from Tokyo, referring to the Kataragama Temple in southern Sri Lanka. Declared a "Peace Area" by both Hindu and Buddhist leaders, the temple is a major pilgrimage spot for devotees of either faith. Temple elephants inside the compound offer homage with lotus flowers to Hindu dieties every day three times a day as pilgrims kneel and pray to Lord Skanda. Buddhist monks are a visible presence during this ritual. The temple complex as a whole has multiple Hindu Shrines with a white Buddhist temple about one half mile away.




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New York Times Gives a Dim Report on Biotech Industry
Posted on 2001/1/28 22:46:02 ( 757 reads )


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NEW YORK, January 25, 2001: Early efforts to escape government regulation have backfired on the biotech industry in America, according to this very long article in the New York Times. Opposition to labeling, lobbying in Washington to set their own rules and general ignoring of consumer concerns have all caught up with the industry the report says. Now Americas are getting as edgy as the Europeans, who have completely banned genetically modified food from human consumption. The Times report is unusual in its bleak evaluation of the industry's future.




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Scientists Unveil Human Cloning Effort
Posted on 2001/1/28 22:45:02 ( 848 reads )


Source: Reuters





CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, January 27, 2001: An international group of reproductive experts plans to start a serious effort to clone humans to provide children to infertile couples, a U.S. scientist said. A viable embryo, probably using stem cells or other cells taken from the man, could be available for implantation in the woman's uterus within 18 months, said Dr. Panayiotis Zavos of the Andrology Institute of America and the Kentucky Center for Reproductive Medicine and Invitro Fertilization in Lexington, Kentucky. Zavos noted, "This is going to be the first serious effort. As revolutionary as it may sound, as fictional as it may sound, it will be done. It's a genie that is out of the bottle and will be controlled." To create animal clones, scientists frequently made hundreds of failed attempts to develop viable embryos. Medical ethicists have posed the possibility of cruel failures in human cloning, where genetic abnormalities result in grotesque fetuses unable to survive outside the womb.




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Thirty Million To Wash Their Sins On Jan 24
Posted on 2001/1/27 22:49:02 ( 768 reads )


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KUMBHNAGAR, INDIA, January 23: One man is given the responsibility of ensuring that the millions attending the Kumbh Mela have a satisfactory bath. Rising 30 feet above the Sangam confluence, stands a three-story control tower. Special Superintendent of Police, Alok Sharma, is constantly monitoring for danger signs that could bring a crushing stampede. Starting this evening an estimated 30 million pilgrims will converge toward three bathing ghats. At any point in time there will be 60,000 persons at each ghat with 10 million people moving in and out so that the concentration of people does not get too much to handle. Sharma uses one rule of thumb, "At every point, one must be able to see a bit of ground from the watchtower. Not just a sea of heads. The moment the ground disappears, it means danger." There are complications of a winter Kumbh. In the summer pilgrims leave the ghat wearing wet clothes, but in the winter they stay back, dry their clothes and then proceed. The water is uncomfortably choppy and extremely deep in some places. Bathers spend an average of 15 to 16 minutes to finish. Some pilgrims try and return the way they entered, instead of taking the marked exit routes.




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Dalai Lama condemns Christian, Muslim practice of seeking converts
Posted on 2001/1/27 22:48:02 ( 1655 reads )


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ALLAHABAD, INDIA, January 27, 2001: Stepping into one of the hottest religious controversies in South Asia, the Dalai Lama has joined Hindu leaders in condemning the Muslim and Christian practice of actively seeking converts. "Whether Hindu or Muslim or Christian, whoever tries to convert, it's wrong, not good," the Dalai Lama said Thursday after a meeting with leaders of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad. "I always believe it's safer and better and reasonable to keep one's own tradition or belief," the Dalai Lama, a winner of the Nobel peace prize, said. He spoke after the Hindu Council's general secretary, Ashok Singhal, had said, "Buddhism, Hinduism and other non-aggressive religions have to unite to douse Islam ... an aggressive religion." The Dalai Lama and others signed a statement saying: "We oppose conversions by any religious tradition using various methods of enticement." At dusk, he joined the Shankaracharya of Kanchi, one of India's four top Hindu religious leaders, in a special prayer on the river banks. The two stood on an elevated platform and worshipped the Ganges with 108 lighted lamps. Then he scooped up water from the river and sprinkled it on his head in a mark of respect. The Dalai Lama planned to stay through Friday, to meet and bless Buddhists and give a public speech on world peace at the festival grounds.




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Mad Cow Crisis Spreads in Europe
Posted on 2001/1/27 22:47:02 ( 839 reads )


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BRUSSELS, BELGIUM, January 26, 2001: European Union farm ministers will meet next week amid calls for tougher measures to combat the mad cow disease crisis affecting the continent. As consumers lose their confidence in beef, governments will debate whether they should extend compulsory testing of cattle for the brain-wasting disorder to younger animals and ban potentially dangerous meat cuts such as T-bone steak. EU executives will report on how member states have coped with the compulsory testing of older cattle for mad cow disease if destined for the food chain and the disposal of meat-based animal feed, banned for six months, but there will be no specific proposals. Germany has detected 20 cases of the disease since November.




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