DECEMBER 2002




DECEMBER 2002 Contents


 South Asian Heritage

 Taxila - Dharmrajika Stupa


 Real Issues

 Biological Weapons
 - Fact Sheet



 Cultural Misperceptions
 'Why they hate us'



 Letter from Pakistan


 From the pages of History

 Maldive Islands - in 1884
 Part II



 2003 Convertibles

 Around us

 Coffee break



 New Tech-Toys


 South Asian Events in
 London & Washington DC


 the craft shop

 Lehngas - a limited collection

 the print gallery


 Silk Road on Wheels

 The Road to Freedom

Enduring Spirit

 Parsis-Zoroastrians of

The Moonlight Garden

Contemporary Art in Bangladesh





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Coffee Break

Snippets from round the world.
All sources are acknowledged.


Far Eastern Economic Review’s -ASIAN INNOVATION AWARDS

Gold Award Winner:

Sri Lanka born Ariff Bongso, a professor at the National University of Singapore, for his work on human embryonic stem cells. Prof Bongso has grown a stem-cell line without the use of any animal cells. "Bongso is also one of the founders of the Singapore-registered stem-cell research company ES Cell International".

Source: Far Eastern Economic Review
October 24, 2002


Coke sells hot drinks in India

"Coca-Cola has announced that it is launching ready-to-drink tea and coffee in India. …… the beverages will be sold under the brand name Georgia from dispensing machines all over the country. (The new drinks went on sale from the middle of November). Coca-Cola plans to sell each cup of Georgia tea for four rupees - and coffee, five rupees."

Source: BBC News
Tuesday, 12 November, 2002


Goat debate in Bangladesh schools

Academics in Bangladesh have strongly criticised a decision by the education authorities to include a chapter on goat rearing in the national curriculum. ... They argue that children in city areas have no need to learn about goat husbandry and that its inclusion in the curriculum for 10-15-year-olds is a waste of time, energy and money. But the government argues that goats play an essential part in its poverty alleviation programme and that all children in the country should have knowledge about the animals.

Source: Alastair Lawson
BBC Correspondent in Dhaka
BBC News


Asians have higher risks of heart disease from birth

South Asians are 50% more likely to die from heart disease than people living anywhere else in the world. Doctors say a genetic predisposition is to blame for the high rates. But they also believe that environmental factors, such as obesity and a lack of exercise, are also taking their toll. "People who originate from the south Asian population - from India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and to a lesser degree Sri Lanka - have some of the highest rates of death from coronary heart disease compared to any other population in the world.

"In the UK, both men and women from the south Asian community have a 50% higher risk of dying from heart disease compared to the white European population. We also know that wherever people from the Indian sub-continent emigrate to - whether it's Fiji or Singapore or North America - rates of heart disease are still higher compared to the indigenous population." - Dr Sandeep Gupta, a heart specialist

Source: BBC NEWS
Monday, 18 November, 2002


Kerala households to go online

"The southern Indian state of Kerala has launched a project to try to give every household in the state access to the internet. The authorities say they are planning to give at least one member in each of the state's six million households training in information technology. They also plan to set up nearly nine thousand local internet centres so no household will be more than two kilometres away from a computer terminal."

Source: BBC NEWS
Tuesday, 19 November, 2002



Sun pictures show new solar features

"The new Swedish solar telescope in the Canary Islands documented previously unknown sunspot traits - thin, dark cores within the bright filaments that encircle sunspots, which are intense magnetic storms that erupt like dark blemishes on the solar surface."

Source: Richard Stenger
Nov. 18, 2002


People in news

Chairman Charles Wang, founder of Computer Associates International, has retired, and has been replaced by President and Chief Executive Sanjay Kumar. "Kumar, 40, joined Computer Associates in 1987 and has served as president and chief executive officer since August 2000."

Source: Greg Levine
18 Nov, 2002


Asian rice scientists work on new "Green Revolution"

Note: While the environmentalists are crying out hoarse about the inherent dangers of Genetically Modified (GM) Foods, a Research Institute in The Philippines, is carrying out on GM rice.)

"The International Rice Research Institute in the Phillippines, is working on new varieties of genetically modified (GM) rice that will not only be more nutritious, but will also be able to grow with much less water. One of the new varieties is known as "aerobic rice", because it requires much less water to survive. Another is "dream rice", which experts hope will provide the body with vital nutrients. The "dream rice" project is due to be presented for the first time at an Asian nutrition conference to be held in India in February 2003.

Swapan K. Datta, IRRI's chief plant biotechnologist, said that the IRRI has also developed another GM rice known as "golden rice", aimed at combating vitamin A deficiency, which can lead to total blindness. Datta is convinced about the safety of the new GM foods."

Source: Reuters News Service
18 Nov. 2002


Toyota to start leasing fuel-cell cars in December

"Toyota Motor Corp become the first automaker to win government approval tomarket fuel-cell passenger cars, touted as the eventual answer to most of the environmental concerns caused by conventional vehicles. The 20 'Toyota FCHV' cars will be leased in Japan and the United States starting December 2."

Source: Reuters
18 Nov. 2002










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