In Brief

Published: Thursday 31 October 2002

PILE OF PERIL: Toxic waste from piles of unused pesticides in Africa is threatening people's health and the environment. Despite several clean-up measures by the Rome-based Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), less than five per cent of the stockpiles have been disposed till now.

IN PROTEST: From October 5 to 15, 2002, the Las Vegas-based Shundahai Network is organising anti-nuke protest walks. Protesters will march to the Nevada test site and to the energy department's nuclear waste repository site at Yucca mountains, northwest of Las Vegas. They are agitating against the continued use of nuclear weapons and waste programmes in the US.

FOR BASIC RIGHTS: Thousands of public workers marched through Paris in protest of the government's plans to sell off parts of state-owned companies. The protests were triggered by the French government's declaration to sell their minority stakes in the companies. The government plans to raise billions of dollars that it requires for balancing the country's deficit to meet the EU standards.

MOSQUITO MENACE: Around 138 people have died of malaria in Assam recently. Out of a total of 23 districts affected by malaria, 15 have been declared worst hit. While Golaghat has the maximum death toll, Dibrugrah is the only district without a single reported case of the disease.

Nobel Prize: The Nobel prize for medicine and physics for 2002 have been clinched by two sets of trios. While researchers Sydney Brenner, H Robert Horvitz and John E Sulston bagged the Nobel for medicine, Raymond Davis Jr, Masatoshi Koshiba shared the honours for physics with Riccardo Giacconi.

FOCUS ON TRADITIONAL MEDICINES: India has approved the national policy on Indian systems of medicine and homeopathy. The policy proposes to increase the number of research and teaching institutes in the country. Other areas it proposes to delve into are quality control of products and changes in the existing laws.

Hazardous Pesticide: Monocrotophos, a pesticide significantly produced in India was added to the list of hazardous chemicals. The new addition was made in the Rotterdam Convention on Prior Informed Consent Procedure at its ninth intergovernmental negotiating committee meeting in Germany recently.

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