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epidemic in up: Japanese encephalitis (JE) has killed 153 people in eastern Uttar Pradesh, especially in Mahrajganj, Kushinagar, Gorakhpur, Sant Kabirnagar, Siddharthanagr and Deoria. As many as 530 suspected cases had been reported as of August 22, 2005. Authorities fear the situation can be controlled only after the monsoon season is over. JE has affected the region for the last 25 years, claiming around 1,500 lives. The viral disease is transmitted through mosquitoes, which breed easily in the rice and sugarcane fields in the area. Infection is marked by headache, high fever, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions and paralysis.
lg's new avatar?: After being publicly pilloried by environmentalists, South Korean manufacturer LG Electronics recently made a public commitment to eliminate toxic chemicals from all its consumer products. The world's third-largest electronics manufacturer found itself at the bottom of a published list that detailed electronics producers contributing heavily to the world's growing electronic waste problem. Critics say the e-waste -- comprising discarded cell phones, computers, and appliances -- inordinately finds its way to third-world dumpsites and low-tech recyclers, particularly in India and China. LG now joins other top-level electronics manufacturers that have made similar recent commitments, including Sony-Ericsson, Samsung and Nokia.
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