The Russian Ministry of Justice has rejected a request to register the Society of Jesus as an independent religious organization, reports the National Catholic Reporter. The Society of Jesus, commonly known as the Jesuits, was founded in 1540. According to the new Russian religious law, most religious organizations must re-register to receive legal recognition. Rejected registration groups cannot print or distribute religious literature, invite foreigners to participate in religious activities or set up educational institutions. Jehovah's Witnesses were re-registered nationwide on April 29, 1999.
Suicides explode in Japan
In Japan, more people committed suicide in 1998 than in any other year, reports the Daily Yomiuri. According to the Japanese National Police Agency, 32,863 people committed suicide in 1998, more than three times the number of road accidents in Japan. Much of the increase can be attributed to financial woes caused by unemployment that plagued the country following a recent economic downturn. Suicide is the sixth leading cause of death in Japan.
Deadly air pollution
"Road traffic is the fastest growing source of pollution in Europe, and in some countries more people die from the effects of air pollution than from [road] accidents," Reuters reports. According to a study by the World Health Organization, 21,000 people die prematurely in Austria, France and Switzerland each year from respiratory or heart disease caused by air pollution. In another report, 110 people are estimated to die prematurely every day in 36 Indian cities due to air pollution.
Digital data vanishes quickly
Computer scientists have argued for years that storing information digitally is more reliable than storing it on paper. Now, however, librarians and archivists are starting to tell a different story. "We lose a lot of important scientific and historical material due to deterioration or obsolescence," says Newsweek magazine. Digital storage systems such as hard drives are sensitive to heat, moisture, oxidation and stray magnetic fields. And depending on storage conditions, the magnetic tape used to store digital data could only last a decade, the magazine says. Another challenge for those seeking to obtain digital information is rapid technological change. The hardware used to store data changes so rapidly that systems can quickly become obsolete. Abby Smith of the Library and Information Resources Council says, "Information doesn't stand a chance if you don't have a recorder and a personal computer museum."
The Indian population exceeds one billion
According to the United Nations Population Division, India's population exceeded one billion in August 1999. Just over 50 years ago, India's population was one third of what it is today. hui. If India continues to grow at its current growth rate of 1.6% per year, India will overtake China as the world's most populous nation in about four decades. "India and China already account for over a third of the world's population," reports The New York Times. In less than half a century, life expectancy in India has increased from 39 to 63 years.
Decline in the marriage rate in the United States
A study by Rutgers University's National Marriage Project found that the marriage rate in the United States had dropped to the lowest level in history, the Washington Post reports on its website. The study also found that in the aftermath of World War II, 80 percent of the country's children grew up in families with two biological parents. Today, however, that number has dropped to 60%. "The percentage of teens who report having an illegitimate child is a 'rewarding lifestyle' has increased from 33% to 53% over the past two decades," the report said. No wonder the report says, "The institution of marriage is in serious trouble!"
Problems of education in Africa
More than 40 million school-age children in sub-Saharan Africa are out of school, reports the All Africa news agency. Several problems have hit the school system in the region. For example, many schools lack water and poor sanitation due to financial problems. Textbooks are in short supply and teachers are poorly trained. In addition to financial problems, there is a high frequency of teenage pregnancies, which is a major cause of their high dropout rate. AIDS has also had a negative impact on school attendance. "Early sexual activity in teens has led to increased levels of AIDS infection among teens," says Africa News. In some cases, girls who do not have AIDS have to stay home to care for affected family members. Dr Edward Fiske, primary education specialist for education, science and culture, United Nations: "Without a school, the future of most sub-Saharan African countries is at stake."
Mum has a prosthetic finger
"It appears that a foot prosthesis attached to a mummy was used in life before it was buried with its owner 2,500 years ago," reports the Sunday Times of London. The faux linen finger impregnated with animal glue and plaster is used by Dr. Nicholas Reeves described as "a refined production, well designed, made with skill and strength and clearly showing a special requirement". The tip was fitted with a fingernail and covered with a flesh-like tint. A series of eight holes were drilled in the tip for attachment. The holes closely follow the line of a Y-shaped sandal strap so that the holes are covered by the sandal strap when the toe is attached.
Drug abuse headache (MMH) can occur in patients who take headache medications three or more times a week. MMH is thought to affect 1 in 50 people and is caused by simple agents such as aspirin and prescription pain relievers. When the pain relieving effects wear off, the medicine can cause what the patient thinks is a normal headache or migraine. The patient takes more pain relievers and repeats the cycle. Dr. Tim Steiner of Imperial College London explains that "MMH should be accepted by any patient with daily chronic headaches". He also notes that although the disease has been known for several years, most general practitioners ignore it and simply prescribe stronger painkillers when patients stop taking them, reports the London Sunday Telegraph.
Bacteria lurking on the back of the tongue can produce sulfur fumes that cause bad breath, according to an article in the Prince George Citizen newspaper. "The bacteria thrive in a dry, oxygen-free environment and then live in cracks and holes that are removed by the air we send to our lungs," the report said. Brushing and flossing will help, but only about 25% of the bacteria are removed by brushing. Dentist Allan Grove believes that scratching your tongue, an ancient tradition in Europe, "is the most important thing you can do to prevent bad breath." Using a plastic scraper "is much better than a toothbrush to keep the tongue clean and pink," explains the citizen.
A new look at the universe
The Gemini North Telescope, based in Mauna Kea, Hawaii, opened its eyes to the universe in June 1999. With its light-collecting mirror, which measures 8.1 meters in diameter, astronomers can see darker objects in remote sections of space, reports the London Independent newspaper. The Gemini North and Hubble telescopes help astronomers identify events that happened long ago and "go back in time". The advantage of the Hubble telescope is that it is located in space. The twins, although on the ground, rely on computer hardware to subtract the distortions caused by atmospheric disturbances and produce images that are different, if not more, than those of Hubble.