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For The Record

 

Profile

Column

Science & Technology

Company Profile

By Syed M.Aslam
Apr 09 - 15, 2001

*** "OUR LIVES are secure, our property is secure, our religious affairs are secure. For that we appreciate the Taliban."

(Amrik Singh, a native cosmetics merchant, welcoming the restoring of law and order by the ruling Taliban in Afghanistan)

*** "WE KNOW that our stones do not harm the heavily armed soldiers but at least they know we refuse their presence on our land. I wish to be a martyr."

(Fifteen-year-old Palestinian boy Ahmed vowing to continue the popular resistance against Israelis in occupied Gaza Strip despite being shot and wounded)

*** "WE WANT roti (food), kapra (clothing), makan (shelter), bijli (electricity) and bandwidth."

(A popular slogan rephrased by the charismatic guru of Indian software industry, Dewang Mehta who was found dead in a hotel room in Sydney recently)

*** "THE INTERNATIONAL community should formulate specific guidelines and change banking laws to treat corruption on a par with international drug trafficking and terrorism."

(Cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan demanding release of the details of the alleged $ 1.45 billion assets of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto and her husband Asif Zardari saying that institutionalised corruption is the real reason of the mass poverty in developing countries like Pakistan)

*** "AMERICAN TAXPAYERS have to work from January 1 to May 3, the 123rd day of the year, before earning enough money to meet all of their tax obligations for 2001."

(Study conducted by Washington-based Tax Foundation, a fiscal policy monitoring group, showing that tax burden has sharply increased requiring average Americans to work two extra weeks to pay taxes today compared to 1992 when 'Tax Freedem Day' fell on April 18)

*** "THIS MACHINE needs to be trained like a newborn child. It's extremely important for us to make it a friend, not a criminal or an enemy."

(Vitaly Valtsev, one of Russian scientists, warning about the potential hazards of the first artificial brain, a neuro-computer with the same potential as its human counterpart, developed by the team)

*** "IN A COUNTRY LIKE INDIA where corruption is so enormous, if the press does not become a whistle blower then the decline is bound to be far quicker."

(Tarun Tejpal, the chief editor of journalistic portal Tehalka.com which rocked the Indian government exposing corruption at the top levels of political and military hierarchy)

*** "BUSH THE TOXIC TEXAN. Don't Mess With the Earth."

(A banner unfurled by the environmental watch group Greenpeace protesting the backing out of the International Environmental pact by US President George W. Bush in Crawford, a city in his native Texas)

*** "THEY WERE BORED stiff but, alas, not bored to death because that was indeed what they wanted most of all."

(Dutch health minister Els Borst citing the example of two 95-year-old people waiting to kill themselves with the proposed suicide pill yet to be regulated by the government)

*** "NAFTA PLACES corporate values over human values . . .Free trade is about cheap labour and everything else is window-dressing . . . What do we do with the poor? Keep excluding them from all trade agreements?"

(Critics, including Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, expressing concerns that North America Free Trade Agreement has failed to fulfil promises of social justice to the poor countries in Latin America treating them as unequal partners. The observations were made ahead of Summit of the Americas in Quebec which will be attended by 34 leaders of North and South America)

*** "ONLY 10 OUT 21 brands were found safe for human consumption and the remaining 11 brands were found unsafe/unfit for drinking."

(A laboratory report of the Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources revealing that 52 per cent of the branded mineral water, including one imported, is unsafe for drinking)