Humanist Electronic Press Agency

Publishes only news about social, scientific and cultural achievements and progress of humanity.

N. 15 - August 1998

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Upon my return from a few days holidays away from computers I found my mailbox full of good news, requests of subscription to the bulletin and offers of cooperation! Now, this is good news!
We are still working on the idea of a daily issue of Good News on-line: stay tuned !
Many many thanks to all those who keep this project alive.


Senegal: Received didactic material
Argentina: Women's protest against land distraint
Kosovo: Published Amnesty International's reports
Gran Bretagna: Internet through electric cables
Cambodia: Protests against the government
Brasil: March of No land people
Europe: Humanist camps
Hungary: Humanist group against sexual discrimination
Spain: Found gene responsible for the formation of organs
Birmania: Protests for democracy
Argentina: Doctors for Kosovo
Hawaii: March against annexation
Argentina: "Active library"
USA: AIDS virus photographed
Argentina: Indios protest against the oil companies
USA: Free operating system


Where: Senegal
About: Received didactic material
Date: 11/8/98
Source: Andligueye Humanist Association
A shipment of didactic material has been delivered in Dakar, in the Guedjawaye area, by two members of the Humanist Association Italia-Senegal Andligueye to the members of the Senegal Huamnist Movement. A bigger shipment is expected in September which should also include 12 sewing machines.
The project, organised by the Humanist Solidarity Centre of Guedjawaye, Dakar, is entering its executive phase which should be fully operational by the end of the year. Anybody who wishes to make a contribution (donation of sewing machines, tailoring equipment or didactic material) please write to or telephone 0039-011-388526.

Where: Argentina
About: Women's protest against land distraint
Date: August 98
Source: Usurpa, Pulsar

A network of over 4000 Argentinian female land workers have managed to stop over 200 land distraints since 1995. The organisation is called "Mujeres en Lucha" (Fighting Women) and has a peculiar method of action: when a piece of land is about to be distraint, the members of the network gather on the place and, having surrounded the bailiff, sing the national anthem holding each other's hand. This method, coupled with a support network, has proved very effective in stopping the repossession of the land in many cases. The authorities in fact are aware that the problem of land distraint is caused by the goverment policy, which favours the big land owners and jeopardise the survival of 200.000 small estates.

Where: Kosovo
About: Published Amnesty International's reports
Date: 24/8/98

Source: Amnesty International
"The violent and abusive regime in Kosovo is so patent that it is easy to foresee the horror that the population of the western areas of the region will have to face" - has declared Amnesty International, who has published three reports on the tragedy of the Federal Republic of Jugoslavia. "Suffering, from an exceptional circumstance, has turned into an everyday reality. The misery caused by human cruelty has become a daily reality for an ever increasing number of people who are denied any help". Two of the reports deal with specific issues: the condition of women and the "missing" people. "During wars and in times of violence, women are amongst the major victims: in Kosovo this fact is being proved once again".

In the last two Amnesty International has organised a campaign against the violation of human rights which is taking place in Kosovo. Amnesty experts were sent on location and thousands of postcards and appeals have been sent to the Jugoslavia authorities and to the military groups of the opposition; the latter have been urged to stop the violence and the violation of human rights of which often suffer mostly the civil population. Amnesty has also urged other countries, in particular in Europe, to intervene in order to put an end to the abuses and guarantee the defence of the civil population. The Italian Amnesty section has requested the Italian chief of State and the Minister of Foreign Affairs to guarantee help to those seeking asylum in Italy.

Amnesty reports are available on Internet at:

Where: Great Britain
About: Internet through electric cables
Date: 8/98

Source: agencies, Nortel
NOR.WEB is a recently formed company born from the cooperation of Nortel and United Utilities for the diffusion of the Digital Powerline system, a data transmission technology which exploits the electric network instead of the telephone lines or the optical fibre. According to Nortel, the system, invented and realised in Kendal by engineer Paul Brown, allows a data transfer of 1 MB per second, ten times quicker that that of an ISDN line. This technology would be extremely cost effective (lines are already installed) and would allow a much quicker data tranfer rate.
Further information on:

Where: Cambodia
About: Protests against the government
Date: 24/8/98
Source: MI.S.N.A.
About 10.000 Cambodians held a demonstration yesterday in the streets of Phnom Penh to demand that the results of the elections of the 26th of July be investigated. The protest, led by the M.P. of the opposition Sam Rainsy and by some representatives of the Funcinpec party (the party of the former co-premier Norodom Ranariddh) took place without incidents. "We cannot accept the results of these elections (won by large majority by the leader of the Popular Party Hun Sen) because they have obviously been falsified" – have declared Rainsy and prince Ranariddh. The manifestastion had been prohibited for "security reasons".

Where: Brasil
About: March of No land people
Date: 3/8/98
Source: Usurpa
It has taken place - between the 3rd of August and the 7th of September the march of the "No land" people, a manifestation of protest against the goverment accused of causing with its policies the increasing impoverishment of the country. The march, which set out with 20000 participants, will reach 2000 towns over a route 40000 km long.

Where: Europe
About: Humanist camps
Date: 8/98
Source: Buone Nuove
Also this year summer holidays have been an occasion for many European humanists to get together and organise meetings, festivals, exchanges and activities in various holiday resorts.
Camps have been held in France (Brittany and Savoy), Italy (Calabria, Puglia and Sardinia), Hungary, and Greece. In some places, support activity groups were organised for centres near to the campsites, for example in Lucera (Italy) and Rennes (France). In general this has been a good occasion for all to promote new initiatives and coordinate activities on a national scale.

Where: Hungary
About: Humanist group against sexual discrimination
Date: 8/98
Source: Hungarian Humanist Movement
A group of gay humanists have founded in Budapest a club against sexual discrimination. The club organises the weekly meetings of the Humanist Movement and promotes initiatives to awaken public opinion on the issues of sexual discrimination. The first of these initiatives took place in August: a "Gay Tea" with the participation of many members of the gay community of Budapest.

Where: Spain
About: Found gene responsible for the formation of organs
Date: 7/8/98
Source: La Capital, Buenas Nuevas Argentina
A group of Spanish scientists of the University of Cantambria and of the hospital Marques de Valdecilla of Santander have detected the gene responsible for the formation and asimmetric disposition of organs in the body. Their findings, published by the magazine "Cell", agree with similar ones on gene Pitx2 performed by three other groups of scientists of Harvard University, Salk Institute of California and University of Tokushima in Japan. According to the research, this gene is the last of the chain of genes responsible for the process, and it is the only one to be active during the whole embryonial period on the same cell.

Where: Birmania
About: Protests for democracy
Date: 24/8/98
Source: MI.S.N.A.  
Over 80 Birmanian democratic activists - most of whom students - held a protest today in the streets of Yangon (Rangoon) against the military government of Myanmar. It is the first demonstration of its kind in over two years. The participants waved the red flag with the yellow peacock, the symbol of the democratic movement led by the leader of opposition and Nobel Price for Peace Aung San Suu Kyi; the demonstration floaded the main throughfare of town traffic, Hledan Junction, in the vicinity of the University, at the shout of "Down with the totalitarian regime!" . Police squads intervened to disperse the crowd, but there were no incidents.

Where: Argentina
About: Doctors for Kosovo
Date: 2/8/98
Source: La Nacion on-line, Buenas Nuevas Argentina
Three volunteer doctors of the association "Medicos en Catastrofe" - which is already active in Ruanda, Burundi and Haiti and counts about 400 members - set out for Kosovo to bring their help to the victims of the war. The mission will be coordinated by the Argentinian embassy in Belgrade.

Where: Hawaii
About: March against annexation
Date: 12/8/98
Source: Association for Threatened People
On the 12th of August the march of Hawaiian people demonstrating against the illegal annexation of Hawai to the United States reached Honolulu. The annexation - which took place exactly 100 years ago and followed the invasion of 1893 was recently declared illegal by the U.S. government itself, by means of a piece of legislation which apologyzes to the natives for the act.
For further information:

Where: Argentina
About: "Active library"
Date: 1/8/98
Source: Biblioteca Activa
From the 1st of August it's operational in Buenos Aires the "Biblioteca Activa", an initiative promoted by a local humanist group consisting in the creation of a network of people available to lend their books to others.The system is simple: a database on computer of all the books available and of the people willing to lend them. All the subscribers have access to the database, which is also printed once a month.

For further information: Eduardo Felice, e-mail:

Where :USA
About : AIDS virus photographed
Date: 8/98
Source : agency
After eight years of researches a group of American scientists managed to take a photograph of public enemy number 1, the HIV virus, while it's attacking human cells. Apart from the satisfaction of knowing what the terrible killer looks like, the finding is useful to help determining how the virus eludes the immunity system.

Where: Argentina
About: Indios protest against the oil companies
Date: 7/8/98
Source: Usurpa, Libertad Kondicional
The native communities of Mapuches and Kollas, supported by the organisation NDA (non-violent Direct Action) have organised a protest against the Argentinian oil company YPF and against the Bridas group. YPF are carrying out explorations and oil extractions in the Mapuche territory, polluting both earth and waters, and are planning to evict the natives out of their lands; the Bridas group are planning the construction of a gas pipeline in the Salta province (in the North-East of the country) running through the lands of the Kollas indios and devastating the eco-system. The pipeline should reach Chile and the way through the forest would cost the company 60 millions dollars less.

Where: USA
About: Free operating system
Date: 14/08/98
Source: Punto Informatico - ZDNet
Following the wave of free software for the Unix, Linux and Apache platforms, also Sun decided to distribute free its operating system Unix-like, Solaris, to non-commercial users, such as students, teachers, and developers.
Free software, especially on Internet, has always been really successful and has been a powerful promotional mean. Sun, who was already distributing free its developer kit for Java, says that Solaris, coupled the the Java language, constitues a highly sophisticated developing tool.
Free copy of Solaris for academics and researchers at:
For developers:


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