Published: Wednesday 15 November 2006

Animal rights activists are up in arms over a Halloween contest in New York which offers customers free entry if they eat a live Madagascar hissing cockroach. The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has denounced the contest. "Insects do not deserve to be eaten alive for a gratuitous marketing gimmick," PETA spokesperson Jackie Vergerio said.

On October 13, Irish rock star Bono launched the US version of his 'Red' campaign. The programme, the brainchild of the U2 singer and US philanthropist Bobby Shriver, encourages shoppers to buy Red-branded goods, while manufacturers of these goods pledge to channel a portion of their profits to anti-AIDS programmes in Africa.

Two Indian films -- The Cherub of the Forest, produced by Naresh and Rajesh Bedi, and Last Dance of the Sarus, directed by Bahar Dutt and produced by Global Broadcast News Pvt Ltd -- were awarded the Wildscreen Awards recently. The former focuses on the red panda while the latter is a report on the draining away of the sarus crane's habitat in eastern India.

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