Humanist Electronic Press Agency

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

N. 29 - August 24, 2000

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This is the great universal truth: Money is everything. Money is government, money is law, money is power. Money is basically sustenance, but more than this it is art, it is philosophy, it is religion. Nothing is done without money, nothing is possible without money. There are no personal relationships without money, there is no intimacy without money. Even peaceful solitude depends on money.
But our relationship with this "universal truth" is contradictory. Most people do not like this state of affairs. And so we find ourselves subject to the tyranny of money - a tyranny that is not abstract, for it has a name,  representatives, agents, and well-established procedures.

Document of the humanist Movement:


* Orbiting Earth: Zvezda Has Docked With Space Station.
* Netherlands: More Accurate Lung Cancer Diagnosis Technique Confirmed
* Ukraine: Ukraine goes online.
* Great Britain: Scientists find nine new planets.
* USA: Uranium can be Used to Cure Cancer.

* Great Britain: Genocide Research Institute Opens in London.
* Greece: Ioc Seeks to Revive Ancient "Ekexiria".

* Germany: Payment for Nazi crimes.
* Azerbaijan: Demonstrators Demand Fair Elections.



Zvezda Has Docked With Space Station.
Orbiting Earth, July 25, 2000
(By: Juha Uski)
Zvezda, the Russian module that will provide power, guidance systems and living quarters for the International Space Station has docked with the fledgling orbiting outpost. The automatic module mating of Zvezda with the station took place about 240 miles (384 km) above Russia well before dawn arrived Wednesday in Moscow.
Russian and U.S. space officials expect the successful rendezvous to usher in a flurry of manned and unmanned flights to the space station, including the first long-term inhabitants, expected to arrive in October. The space laboratory, a massive 16-nation project headed by the United States, will be complete in another five years, after more than 40 space flights.
Zvezda's flawless launch on July 12th was a relief for both Russian and U.S. space officials, who called it a major success for the international space partnership. Since the launch, Zvezda's systems have been tested several times and ground controllers performed a simulated docking. "Zvezda" is Russian and means "Star".
The station is now made up of the Zarya module, built by Russia with U.S. funds and launched in November 1998, and the NASA-built Unity connecting chamber, launched in December 1998. The next major piece to be added is the U.S.-built Destiny science module, the center of the station's research activity, due to be launched in January.


More Accurate Lung Cancer Diagnosis Technique Confirmed
Netherlands, July 27, 2000
(By: Juha Uski)
The latest research in Groningen University Hospital in the Netherlands confirms that a combination of two scanning techniques - adding PET scans to the standard CT scans - gives a more accurate diagnosis of lung cancer than the usual single scan diagnosis. More accurate diagnosis leads to better treatment and makes it easier to decide whether an operation should be performed.
The standard scan is CT, which means computed tomography, also known as "CAT scans". CT is a computerized analysis of X-rays and its function is to spot possible tumors of at least 1 centimeter.
The additional scan recommended by the researchers is known as PET, which means positron emission tomography. PET uses a radioactive tracer to detect "hot spots" of increased metabolic activity, which is typical of tumors, even tiny ones.
PET scan technology was developed in the 1970s, but its complexity limited its use to large research universities until recently, when insurers began covering the scans and major hospitals started buying the machines.


Ukraine goes online.
Kiev, Ukraine
July 31, 2000
Radio Free Europe
(By: Juha Uski)
The president of Ukraine, Leonid Kuchma has signed a decree on Internet development in Ukraine, reported Interfax on July 31. The decree commits the government to provide Internet connections to scientific organizations, educational and cultural institutions, as well as to a wider segment of the population. The government is also to draft a bill on the protection of intellectual property and copyrights on the Web. The decree also stipulates that by the end of 2000 the government must create websites for all central and local executive branches of power, as well as for leading scientific and educational institutions in Ukraine.


Scientists find nine new planets.
Manchester, UK
August 7, 2000
AP, Reuters
(By: Juha Uski)
Teams of astronomers from Geneva (Switzerland), Texas and Berkeley (USA) told a meeting of the International Astronomical Union that they have found nine new planets circling stars outside our solar system.
Due to equipment limitations, it has been difficult to locate more than one planet orbiting one star. With the current telescopes one cannot see the planets orbiting other stars; instead, scientists are detecting how a circling planet can make a star wobble. Astronomers have now found 50 exoplanets (planets circling stars other than our Sun), 41 of them in the last five years, but this was only the second time they have found more than a single planet orbiting another star.
The findings suggest that it's quite common to have planets around other stars; therefore, our solar system is not as unique as we might think. That  makes the possibility of life in the universe more likely.


Uranium can be Used to Cure Cancer.
New York, USA, July 31, 2000
(By Juha Uski)
There is a ton of uranium-233 at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, USA. The uranium was made at the government's weapons fuel production plants in South Carolina and Washington state in the 1950s and 1960s and was intended for the use of nuclear power plants. However, the use of nuclear power did not rise as fast as expected, so the uranium was left there as nuclear waste.
However, now there might be a new use for it. An isotope called bismuth-213 can be obtained from what physicists describe as "a decay chain" from uranium-233. Bismuth-213 was used by researchers at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York to develop "alpha particle immunotherapy".
It appears that bismuth-213 can kill leukemia cells without harming healthy cells. Bismuth-213 "is kind of like a little bomb going off that you can
target right to that cancer cell,'' said the lab's program manager, Jim Rushton.
The lab has already completed initial human tests with surprising results. Not only was the therapy safe, but leukemia cells were eliminated in the blood stream and reduced in the bone marrow of 13 of the 18 patients participating in the tests. "We really think it has broad implications for the whole field of oncology, not just for leukemia,'' said Dr. Joseph Jurcic, one of the researchers. The researchers don't envision bismuth therapy replacing chemotherapy or surgery. Rather, they see its potential in "cleaning up residual cancer cells that are remaining behind after primary treatments,'' he said. This is no small challenge. Jurcic said only 30 percent to 40 percent of acute leukemia patients are cured by chemotherapy. "The majority of these patients go into remission with chemotherapy, but they relapse because of these residual cells. That's where we think the bismuth is going to be particularly useful.''
Apparently, there is enough high-powered bismuth-213 at Oak Ridge to treat up to 100,000 cancer patients per year.



Genocide Research Institute Opens in London.
London, England, July 21, 2000
(By:Juha Uski)
The world's first institute dedicated to research the causes of genocide has been launched in Britain.
The Aegis Institute is located in London and aims to bring together scholars from all over the world to analyze early indications of genocide and suggest preventive strategies. Critical voices point to past experience and claim that failure to prevent genocide was caused by lack of "political will" and not lack of information. On the other hand and in any case, this kind of information can be a useful tool in teaching non-violence.
The opening of the institute coincided with an appeal from the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, to make the prevention of armed conflict the cornerstone of world security. Mr. Annan said that heading off wars was the only way to stop a repetition of the carnage of the 1990s, when five million died in regional conflicts.


Ioc Seeks to Revive Ancient "Ekexiria".
Athens, Greece, July 25, 2000
(By Aristides Zinelis)
The president of the International Olympic Committe, Juan Antonio Samaranch, arrived in Athens for the inauguration of the International Olympic Truce Centre, an organization determined to put an end to hostilities around the world for the duration of the Olympic Games - in true ancient fashion.



Payment for Nazi crimes.
Berlin, Germany, July 17, 2000
(By: Aristides Zinelis )
German and U.S. officials and victims' lawyers signed a historic final deal, to pay 10 billion marks in compensation to hundreds of thousands of Nazi slaves and forced laborers. Up to 10 million foreign civilians and prisoners of war were used as laborers often toiling under deplorable conditions and worked to death.


Demonstrators Demand Fair Elections.
Baku, Azerbaijan, August 5, 2000
Radio Free Europe
(By Juha Uski)
Between 2,000 and 5,000 people attended a rally in Baku on August 5 to demand that the country's authorities ensure that the November 5 parliamentary poll is free and fair. The demonstration was called by 19 of the country's 34 parties from across the political spectrum. Some 300 policemen sealed off the square where the demonstration took place but no incidents were reported.


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SPAIN : Jesus Sordo
FINLAND : Juha Uski
Clara Winternitz
Rocio del Valle
Writing and correcting:
Clara Winternitz
Rocio del Valle
Jesus Sordo
Juha Uski
Olivier Turquet, Buone Nuove