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New York Times Gives a Dim Report on Biotech Industry
Posted on 2001/1/28 22:46:02 ( 752 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 ( 844 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 ( 759 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 ( 1644 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 ( 832 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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Immigrants Boost Britain's Economy
Posted on 2001/1/27 22:46:02 ( 779 reads )


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LONDON, ENGLAND, January 25, 2001: Immigrating from Northern India in 1975, Perween Warsi started her own business over 20 years ago by making and selling samosas from her home in Derby. From this humble beginning her multi-million dollar business now employs 1,300 people in 4 factories. Such a success story confirms Britain Immigration Minister Barbara Roche's statement, "Immigration is good for us. Self-selection by migrants is likely to mean they are more resourceful, entrepreneurial and ambitious than the norm." Statistics confirm that Britain's population is declining and aging. By encouraging immigration new resources enter the country, productivity increases and inflation declines.




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Public Appeal by Pramukh Swami Maharaj for Earthquake Relief Work
Posted on 2001/1/26 22:49:02 ( 757 reads )


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BARODA, INDIA, January 26, 2001: HDH Pramukh Swami Maharaj announced today: "Everyone is aware that the earthquake has wrought unimaginable destruction throughout Gujarat and other states in India. Thousands have died and thousands more have been made homeless. As citizens of Ahmedabad it is our duty to work together to do everything we can to help those affected. Many institutions have come forward and contributed to help the victims. But there is still a need for much more aid. A call for help has been raised from all. In addition to Ahmedabad, Bhuj and Jamnagar, and their surrounding areas, have suffered extensive damage. At present the sadhus and volunteers of the Bochasanwasi Shree Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha are fully engaged in helping the victims. The Sanstha is providing food and other emergency aid on a large scale. It is our sincere request to all to contribute in whatever way they can in this time of need and support us in this humanitarian work. Let us all work together patiently to face these unfortunate circumstances and recover from its consequences. We pray at the sacred feet of Bhagwan Swaminarayan, all the avatars and holy sadhus that the souls of thousands who have died are blessed with peace, that the families and relatives of the victims gain inner strength to bear this calamity and that all who have suffered are able to quickly recover from their injuries and regain full health." As HPI goes to press, this item has appeared: "Considering the situation in the old city areas in the region, still inaccessible with nearly 150,000 people trapped there, official sources did not rule out the possibility of the casualties crossing the 100,000 mark."




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Major Relief work undertaken by BAPS saints and volunteers
Posted on 2001/1/26 22:48:02 ( 719 reads )


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AHMEDABAD, INDIA, January 26, 2001: Bochasanwasi Shree Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha, BAPS, has its international headquarters in Ahmedabad. It has established massive earthquake relief work using scores of other BAPS centers in Gujarat, BAPS has outstanding experience in disaster relief, and is recommended by HPI as an excellent channel for donations to the relief effort, especially considering their huge presence in this area. USA: "BAPS Earthquake Relief Fund," P.O. Box 891449, Dallas, TX 75389-1449. India: "BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha" Swaminarayan Mandir, A/C Department Shahibaug Ahmedabad, 380004 Gujarat, INDIA. UK: "The SHM-Gujarat Earthquake Relief A/c" Shree Swaminarayan Mandir, 105 -119 Brentfield Road, Neasden, London NW10 8JP. Money can also be reliably contributed through the Prime Minister's National Relief Fund. USA: Embassy of India Attn: Head of Chancery, 2107 Massachusetts Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20008. India: Prime Minister's National Relief Fund, Prime Minister's Office South Block, New Delhi 110011 India. Hindus should be aware that Christians regard such disasters as opportunities for getting new converts. This message just arrived from "Gospel of Asia," a Christian missionary-sending organization based in Texas: "Please do remember our leaders and native missionaries as they seek to meet the physical and spiritual needs of these earthquake victims. We are particularly asking the Lord to use this tragedy for His glory, to soften hearts and open doors for the Gospel." See http://www.gfa.org/




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Kumbha Mela's Brutal Side -- Hundreds Of Old Women Abandoned
Posted on 2001/1/26 22:47:02 ( 1062 reads )


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ALLAHABAD, INDIA, January 25, 2001: Here, amid noisy crowds and cold winds laden with the sand of the Ganges, you can hear the sound of weeping from a cowshed-like structure. These are the unheeded cries of elderly women, abandoned by their families. This is the uglier side of the Maha kumbha Mela, where millions go to wash their sins, some to abandon their elderly mothers and female relatives. "This happens at every Kumbh festival. For families, Kumbha is a convenient way of getting rid of their old women who require care and attention," says Ramesh Mishra, in charge of the shelter for "lost women and children." The shelter in Kumbhnagar has been jointly set up by the Ranjit Pandit Shiksha Samiti and Hemvati Nandan Bahuguna Smriti Samiti. "We have nearly 10,000 women in our shelter, all of them over 50. About 3,000 of them, who are genuinely separated from their families, will return home. It is just lack of love and sensitivity for women who have lived past their utility." It is clear from the vast difference in retrieval rate for children and for the old people that old people are being deliberately abandoned.




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Jharkhandstate.com Demonstrates New Font Technology
Posted on 2001/1/26 22:46:02 ( 756 reads )


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INTERNET, EARTH, January 23, 2001: Jharkhandstate.com has started a Hindi section. It is totally based on the Dynamic Font Mechanism that eliminates the need to download a font. Those interested in creating their own webpage are invited to go to the address given above where a set of complete tools, backgrounds, lines, icons are available. The mother institution KITS has just finished its dynamic font technology project that provides a 100% display of desired fonts in any website, in IE4+ and NN4+. This will aid regional languages Hindi, Bangla, Oriya as well as South Indian languages in virtually any language or script/font. They are planning to provide free solutions to dynamic fonts to non-profit regional websites.




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Request for Funds
Posted on 2001/1/26 22:45:02 ( 869 reads )


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EAST JAVA, BALI, INDONESIA, January 22, 2001: An organization in East Java called the Santana Dharm Trama Foundation is appealing for funds to start a priest training program. They say training for suitable candidates is needed in the country and the community feels that trained priests are vital to uphold the tradition. HPI recommends that contributors research the foundation before sending funds.




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$ 1.8 Million Needed for Maryland Temple
Posted on 2001/1/26 22:44:02 ( 900 reads )


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WASHINGTON, MARYLAND, January 24, 2001: Temple construction may come to a standstill unless an additional US$1.8 million is collected. The North Indian style complex in Metropolitan Washington will include a 25,000 square foot temple, library, multipurpose hall, classrooms, and kitchens. Temple trustee, Shusheal Gupta, is confident that the affluent Hindu community will proceed as they have already raised one million dollars.




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Millions Gather for Hindu Festival
Posted on 2001/1/25 22:49:02 ( 792 reads )


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ALLAHABAD, INDIA, January 24, 2001: The pilgrims had come to share in the spiritual experience of a lifetime: a mass ritual bath on the peak holy day of perhaps the largest religious gathering in history -- the Maha Kumbh Mela, a 41-day festival. This one is considered the most sacred in 144 years because of a unique planetary alignment. More than 25 million Hindu devotees were reported to have gathered here today, and by the time the festival ends on Feb. 21, a total of 70 million pilgrims - of the 850 million or so Hindus in India are expected to have taken the plunge, which they believe cleanses their souls of sin. "What I feel right now is just bliss," said Vivek Ananda Shastri, 28, a teacher from Bombay, as he emerged from the frigid waters. "Daily life tires the soul as well as the body. This one bath is like a new birth for my soul." The festival has been a major logistical feat for police and civilian authorities. More than 25,000 police have been stationed here to control the crowds with security tightened to avoid any untoward incident. See also www.deccanherald.com/ deccanherald/jan25/ mel.htm




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Secrecy Of Makara Jyoti
Posted on 2001/1/25 22:48:02 ( 816 reads )


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KERALA, INDIA, January 14, 2001: A division bench of the Kerala High Court declined to order an inquiry into the secrecy of makara jyoti (celestial light) appearing at Ponnambalamedu on the makara sankranti day during the Sabarimal pilgrimage. The bench stated, "To find out whether makaravilakku is natural or artificial is not the duty of this court to enquire. These are all matters of faith and belief from time immemorial. The court is not empowered to go into the correctness of such a belief." Two petitions were filed after a stampede claimed 52 lives while watching the light on January 14, 1999. The petitioners maintained that the light was nothing but the lighting of camphor by employees of the state electricity board under instruction from the management of the Ayyappa temple at Sabarimala.




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Hindu Conference in Trinidad
Posted on 2001/1/25 22:47:02 ( 858 reads )


Source: Hinduism Today, Paras Ramoutar





TRINIDAD, January 26, 2001: Members of the Satya Kabir Nidhi Organization hosted the 6th Centenary International Conference at the Rudranath Capildeo Learning Resource Centre, Couva in January 2001. The conference lasted for three days. Countries represented at this annual event included India, USA, United Kingdom, Canada, France, Czech Republic, Belgium, Suriname and Romania. The Satya Kabir Nidhi Organization which was founded in 1988 has been instrumental in the propagation of the teachings of the India born saint, Sadguru Kabir Saheb (1398-1518).




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