Published: Thursday 31 March 2005

Thailand's fisherfolk have been hit hard by a recent government order to remove the cap on diesel prices. Many have stopped going to the sea; others are selling their vessels. "In the next few days, the dock will be full of idle fishing boats. Diesel is expensive while our catch is poor and fetches low prices," warns Sophon Chumyuang, chairperson of a trawler group.

Anthrax has killed at least 300 hippopotamuses in Uganda's Queen Elizabeth National Park since July 2004. "The death occurrence had stopped by the end of 2004...but the problem recurred in January 2005, with 52 hippos having died up to February 16," said Jovino Ayumu Akaki, Uganda's junior tourism minister. The country seeks an aid of US $144,000 to check the outbreak.

The UN World Food Programme has been charged by civil society groups with distributing genetically modified food in the food aid provided to Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala. This also includes a particular variety of corn not approved for human consumption.

US experts have appealed to the Indian parliament to reject a recent executive order on intellectual property rights that will prevent its pharmaceutical companies from selling cheap copies of drugs to the world's poorest patients. The new order is in line with the World Trade Organization's rules. India is the world's third biggest producer and a major exporter of generic drugs.

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