Published: Monday 15 September 2003

The Ministry for Protection of the Environment and Natural Resources of Russia has sold nine plots of wood in the Kaluzhsky region through an Internet auction. Apart from over 1,600 hits from Russia itself, the auction site had traffic from Ukraine, US, Germany, Bulgaria, Norway, United Arab Emirates, South Korea and Turkey, among others. The authorities hailed the event as a move towards the creation of a Russian electronic stock exchange for wood that will improve forestry management.

In line with its new social responsibility policy, Smirnoff, the world's biggest vodka producer, has launched a 30-second TV commercial promoting responsible drinking. The campaign advocates the message "Knowing when to stop is a good thing." Incidentally, the commercial has come just when the UK government seems poised to introduce stringent rules for alcohol advertising. Ireland, the only European country with teenage drinking rates that are higher than UK, had recently disallowed liquor commercials on TV before 10 pm.

A new study, soon to be published in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association, has linked tooth loss to heart attack. Of the 711 subjects, aged 55 or over, 45 per cent of those with zero to nine teeth missing were found to have a buildup of artery-clogging plaque. The figure was at 60 per cent for those with 10 or more teeth missing.

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