Showing posts from May, 2004

Tobacco giant accused over files

Tobacco giant accused over files

in an article in The Lancet, researchers say they are finding it difficult to access the documents. The company has rejected the claims.

Researchers believe the files may contain secret information on how BAT has tried to boost sales.

They believe the files may also include details of strategies to target children and people in developing countries.

Tobacco giants have "mid-term" plan in raising their profits in the developing and developed nations, targetting children through their cleverly made advertisements while shoving and pushing the researchers and the public away from getting access to the documents that could shed light in their devious plans. A remarkable movie on this issue was released in 1999, "The Insider", where a sharp description of tobacco company's scare tactics, their suppression of truth and putting enermous pressure on their own employees from revealing the damaging truth to the public were described well…

A Different Era for the Alternative Energy Business

The Not-So-Velvet Revolution

The Not-So-Velvet Revolution

The Americans and the Russians have long sparred for influence over Georgia. For the United States, Georgia's strategic value is in the black crude to be transported in a Caspian-to-Mediterranean pipeline now under construction, as well as the bragging rights in becoming big brother to a formerly Soviet state. NATO officials announced this month that Georgia is being considered for eventual admission into alliance membership.

But Georgia's most dangerous and fraught relationship is with neighboring Russia, which has over the past 10 years alternately indulged and punished -- but mostly punished -- its weaker neighbor. Russia's interest in Georgia is complex, said Alex Rondeli, president of the Georgian Foundation for Strategic and International Studies in Tbilisi, involving interwoven compacts with neighboring states, a postimperial impulse to control its backyard and an emotional relationship with a people Russians consider both historical vas…

Beauty and the Brainy

Darfur dims light of Sudan peace

Veiled Threats

Veiled Threats

DURING HIS FIRST term as president of Russia, Vladimir Putin used his power, his popularity and his secret police connections to ensure that his political opposition would effectively cease to exist. In four years he managed to weaken the independent media, particularly the broadcast media; chip away at the fairness of the electoral process; and ensure that opposition parties no longer have any sway in the Russian parliament. During his annual state of the nation speech last week, the Russian president hinted that he may aim at a new target in his second term: the "nongovernmental organizations" -- human rights groups, charities and unions -- that constitute the last remnants of the civil society that exploded into existence when Soviet totalitarianism disintegrated at the end of the 1980s. He accused them of ignoring "acute problems in the country" and said that instead they had focused on "getting financing from influential foreign and domestic…

How do you rank world misery?

Dual approach slashes heart risk

Religion and Repression

Path to a Peaceful Death

The Darfur Catastrophe

Outdated democracy: We vote, they rule

Outdated democracy: We vote, they rule

This is an interesting article published in The Globe and Mail. Dwindling voter turnout in Canadian election is considered one of the huge problems in Canadian politics. Especially, the youth, Canadians under the age of 35 are alarmingly staying away from exercising their democratic rights.

Don Tapscott has provided a few good ideas that need to be further explored. His ideas are not exactly new, these are floating in the net for sometimes now, but haven't seen its acceptance in the mainstream yet.

Here are his suggestions:
I offer two suggestions. The first is for the winner to start exploiting today's cheap and plentiful information and communication technologies and involve Canadians much more fully in the governing process between elections. The second is to overhaul the election process itself. Our current system defies logic, because it almost always elects a government that most voters don't want.
Excellent idea. Why not tappin…

Bangladesh arrests head of anti-poverty group

Dear Readers,

The following is an excerpt from The International Herald Tribune: 
Bangladesh authorities have arrested the executive director of one of the country's largest nongovernmental organizations, Proshika, on charges of corruption.

Qazi Faruque Ahmed, along with his deputy, David William Biswas, was arrested on Saturday after years of strain between Proshika and the government, a four-party coalition led by the Bangladesh Nationalist Party of Prime Minister Khaleda Zia. The Bureau of Anti-Corruption has accused Ahmed and other officials of embezzling money from Proshika's poverty alleviation fund and misappropriating money from the fund to pay income tax for 12 Proshika consultants.

Proshika supporters argue that the arrests are politically motivated, pointing to Ahmed's outspoken criticism of the growth of fundamentalism under a government that includes two Islamist parties, and the government's perception that Ahmed supports the opposition Awami League.


Archaeologist sacks "Troy"

Never mind that the siege of Troy, which Homer says lasted 10 years, was telescoped by a screenwriter into a mere three weeks. And forget the fact that the Trojan Horse gambit wasn't in the "Iliad," nor did Paris and Helen live happily ever after in the dactylic hexameter version. Maybe Homer got those parts of the story wrong -- after all, he lived in the eighth century BC and was talking about events that had supposedly transpired at the end of the Late Bronze Era, 400 years earlier. What really infuriates Rose are the props and set design of "Troy," which he calls a "chronological train wreck."

The jewelry sported by Trojan princesses in "Troy," Rose points out, belongs in the Early Bronze Age (a millennium before the Trojan War), while Brad Pitt's ship looks to be of 8th-century BC design. Then there are the coins placed on the eyes of the heroes killed in the movie -- even though coins wouldn't be invented for another 500-odd ye…

Women Lag Behind

Bangla Bhai's 'int'l-link'

No new anti-Bangladesh river policy

Foreign aid cash going toward terrorism fight: report

Liberals fuming as rivals launch verbal assault

Now that they've graduated, the Bush twins could enlist

Europe, America face a 'depth integration'

Is America Changing, Again?

Is America Changing, Again?
By Mahbubul Karim (Sohel)
May 27, 2004
Unreality Speech
A changing Iraq, a changing alliance. The former "best friend of America" has recently fallen from grace. He and his political organization Iraqi National Congress is termed as the traitors, the double agents, passing ultra secretive U.S. intelligence regarding Iraq to Iran. Even there are direct allegations arising from the CIA that Chalabi and his associates duped Americans by providing false WMD evidences that boosted the neoconservative segments of Pentagon, that eventually led to this chaotic devastating war in Iraq causing thousands of deaths and injuries on both sides, rousing militancy around the world, "have neither increased security nor ensured liberty" to the Americans nor to the international community.

From the beginning many in the U.S. and abroad observed the tug of war between the rational parts of American policy makers, intelligence, and military and the hawkish and …

What Bush Couldn't Deliver

Gen. Anthony Zinni, USMC (Ret.) Remarks at CDI Board of
Directors Dinner, May 12, 2004  

"I just came back from giving a lecture at UCLA
yesterday, and the lecture was on the Middle East.  I tried to ... for the
students there, step back and take a more strategic view of the Middle East and
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