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Technology transfer
Indian lab accuses US firm

WASHINGTON, June 27 — An Indian Government scientist has alleged that a US company to which he gave unpublished data “in confidence” walked away with his technology without signing a commercial transfer agreement.

China may not back Pak on Kargil
BEIJING, June 27 — China, a close ally of Pakistan, is unlikely to openly support Islamabad’s blatant violation of the Line of Control in Kashmir leading to the current tension in South Asia, analysts here said today.

Spanish bullfighter
Spanish bullfighter Manuel "El Cordobes" Diaz bites his bull's horn 26 June 1999 in the Leon fair.


Yugoslavia faces partition?
WASHINGTON, June 27 — The multi-ethnic and multi-religious state of Yugoslavia may face yet another partition, media reports here said.
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Barak angry at Israeli raids
Israel’s incoming Prime Minister, Ehud Barak, was caught off guard on Friday following the heaviest retaliatory raids for Hizbullah rocket attacks that his country’s air force has carried out on Lebanese targets in three years, leaving dead and injured on both sides of the border.
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Technology transfer
Indian lab accuses US firm

WASHINGTON, June 27 (PTI) — An Indian Government scientist has alleged that a US company to which he gave unpublished data “in confidence” walked away with his technology without signing a commercial transfer agreement.

The episode may have robbed the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) in Hyderabad an opportunity to make money by marketing this technology worldwide.

The technology concerns an “efficient, rapid and highly sensitive” test for estimating a wide range of proteins in biological fluids. It was developed by a team led by Mr P.D. Gupta, Deputy Director of the CCMB, one of the 40 laboratories under the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).

As protein assays are routinely required in biological laboratories, the CCMB technology had the potential of becoming a money spinner because of its stated advantages over existing methods.

Realising this, Pierce Chemical Company based in Rockford, Illinois, decided to incorporate the test in its product line and approached the CCMB in January 1996 when Mr Gupta and his colleague A.A. Waheed first published their paper in the journal, Analytical Biochemistry.

According to documents available here, the company acknowledge the CCMB technology as “a new method” for protein estimation and after having “discussed its potential on a number of occasions” within the company, obtained the protein assay kit from the CCMB for evaluation with the ultimate aim of “obtaining exclusive world-wide marketing rights to the technology.”

In March 1998 the company’s technology transfer specialist Greg Hermanson asked Mr Gupta to share with the company any additional data he might have that “would help to develop the best assay system” and also informed him that his company was “willing to sign a confidentiality agreement to obtain the unpublished data.”

Subsequently, this agreement was signed by Mr Dennis Klenar, vice-president of Pierce Chemical Company in August 1998 that led to Mr Gupta transferring unpublished data to Pierce Chemical Company in the belief that it would sign a technology transfer agreement with the CCMB for marketing the test kit worldwide. This would have netted the Indian lab sizeable money in terms of lumpsum payment and royalties on sale of test kits.

However, the company changed its mind and decided not to purchase the Indian technology after all. In a message to Mr Gupta on April, 1999, Mr Hermanson wrote: “We have obtained good results from your protein assay... However, after discussing the opportunity with several key people here at Pierce, we have decided not to pursue a licence agreement for this technology.”

Repeated attempts to contact Mr Hermanson for his comments on why his company changed its mind after obtaining commercially sensitive unpublished data, were unsuccessful.Top

 

China may not back Pak on Kargil

BEIJING, June 27 (PTI) — China, a close ally of Pakistan, is unlikely to openly support Islamabad’s blatant violation of the Line of Control (LoC) in Kashmir leading to the current tension in South Asia, analysts here said today.

It would be unrealistic to expect that the Chinese would tilt one way or the other, an analyst said here ahead of Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s week-long working visit to China starting tomorrow.

China is unlikely to do anything that would further escalate the already volatile South Asia, he said stressing that Beijing wanted good relations with both India and Pakistan.

The official Chinese stand on the Kargil issue is that both India and Pakistan should exercise restraint and relax the current tension.

Mr Sharif is expected to hold a detailed exchange of views with the Chinese leadership on a wide range of subjects, including political, economic, regional and international issues of common concern.

Official sources said special focus would be placed on security, peace and economic development in the region against the backdrop of the current volatile situation in South Asia.

Analysts said the Chinese leadership would again urge Mr Sharif to resolve the Kashmir issue with India through peaceful means.
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8 Mirage jets for Pak this week

ISLAMABAD, June 27 (PTI) — France will deliver eight multipurpose Mirage 3 and 5 fighter aircraft and an ultra-modern submarine during the fortnight to Pakistan, media reports said here.

The consignment of the Mirage aircraft, having twice the speed of sound, will be delivered to Pakistan this week, the Urdu daily ‘Jung’ said, quoting the French Ambassador in Pakistan.

Along with these fighter aircraft, France will hand over to the Pakistani authorities one ultra-modern Agasta submarine, capable of firing any missile system, in Paris on July 8, the report said.

France has an agreement with Pakistan for supplying 40 Mirage 3 and 5 aircraft by the middle of next year.Top

 

Yugoslavia faces partition?

WASHINGTON, June 27 (PTI) — The multi-ethnic and multi-religious state of Yugoslavia may face yet another partition, media reports here said.

“Encouraged by the defeat of Serbian forces in Kosovo, leaders of neighbouring Montenegro are stepping up their defiance of the Serb Government in Belgrade and are talking increasingly about the possibility of full independence for their republic,” the Washington Times reported.

The paper, in a report from Podgorica, Yugoslavia, said that during the airstrikes against Yugoslavia, the USA cast Serbia as autocratic and evil and Montenegro as good and democratic.

In the past few years, Yugoslavia has been partitioned, and partitioned again. Among the new states that emerged out of the former Yugoslavia are Slovenia, Croatia, three-headed Bosnia with autonomy for Serbs, Croats and Muslims and Macedonia.

All that was left was the rump state of Yugoslavia consisting of Serbia, Montenegro and Kosovo. Now Kosovo has been described by the state department spokesman to be a “de facto protectorate of the international community” though technically the US respects Yugoslavia’s territorial integrity.

Montenegro, a mountainous land of 600,000 persons perched above the Adriatic sea, traditionally had close political and ethnic ties with the much larger republic of Serbia. While there has long been a pro-independence strand in Montenegro politics, said the paper, it had never been influential.

However, “with the increasing international isolation of Serb-dominated Yugoslavia, the Montenegrians have begun seriously thinking about independence.

Yugoslavia, according to an estimate, will need at least $ 30 to 35 billion of aid to repair the extensive damage inflicted to it by the NATO bombings. But US President Bill Clinton and other western leaders insist that the country will not be eligible for reconstruction assistance earmarked for other Balkan countries as long as Mr Milosevic remained in power.Top

 

More Russians reach Kosovo

MOSCOW, June 27 (DPA) — Two more Illyushin 76 transports with a team of experts and equipment flew into the airport at Pristina today ahead of the arrival of the first ground troops next week.

They joined the 39-member advance party which was air-lifted to Kosovo yesterday amid reports that the country’s military is barely able to cope with the strain due to manpower shortage and funding cuts.

Once President Boris Yeltsin issued the formal deployment order, an Illyushin 76 air transport carrying the first 39 officers and experts along with airport electronic navigational equipment flew from Russia yesterday for Pristina where 400 Russian soldiers have been ensconced for two weeks.

The Illyushin’s arrival came amid growing fears about violence with Kosovo Albanians returning to the province seeking revenge on Serbs.

Pristina airport had been closed since the initial 200 Russian soldiers beat NATO forces into Kosovo two weeks ago, provoking a stand-off between the two sides.

The Russian Illyushin was immediately followed by a French C-130 Hercules, carrying supplies to re-equip the airport.

Following the weekend’s arrival of the small advance parties accompanying airport maintenance equipment, three more planeloads of technicians and equipment are to arrive tomorrow along with three NATO cargo planes.Top

 

Barak angry at Israeli raids
By David Sharrock in Jerusalem and David Hirst in Beirut

Israel’s incoming Prime Minister, Ehud Barak, was caught off guard on Friday following the heaviest retaliatory raids for Hizbullah rocket attacks that his country’s air force has carried out on Lebanese targets in three years, leaving dead and injured on both sides of the border.

Lebanese newspapers called Thursday’s raids - which claimed 10 lives, destroyed Beirut’s main power station, five bridges and a new communications centre - a “farewell to Lebanon” by the outgoing Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

That view was endorsed in Jerusalem by the quiet fury emanating from aides close to Mr Barak, who has not yet formed his coalition government a month after defeating Mr Netanyahu. Israel quoted a source saying Mr Barak was angry about the scale of the raids. He was not informed of the strikes until after Israeli jets had taken off.

“The acting government is, under the law, solely responsible for the actions taken and the actions carried out,” Mr Barak’s spokesman David Ziso said. Mr Barak has until July 8 to form a new government.

Israel on Saturday threatened to carry out more attacks on Lebanon if the Hizbullah, continues to fire Katyusha rockets into northern Israel. The Iranian-backed Islamic Shi’ite movement is fighting to end Israeli occupation of south Lebanon.

But Mr Barak, who has been locked in complex negotiations with potential coalition partners, is expected to take a firmer grip on policy. Sources suggested that the Prime Minister-elect had already counselled caution after two earlier Hizbullah provocations, when Mr Netanyahu — who is still nominally in control — had urged a violent response.

On those occasions Mr Barak’s view prevailed. But anger in the northern border town of Kiryat Shmona — where residents are virtually living in bomb shelters — boiled over this week.

Speaking from the beleaguered town, Mr Netanyahu said he hoped the violence was over. “The Hizbullah is wrong if it thinks that it can take advantage of the change of government in Israel,” he said.

Syrian radio said Mr Netanyahu had launched the attacks “in order to embarrass the new government Mr Barak is forming and create new difficulties for it.” It added that “Mr Netanyahu seems to want to leave the political scene committing a phenomenal mistake.”

Only a day before the attacks, interviews were published in which Syrian president Hafez al-Assad and Mr Barak traded compliments about each other’s ability to deliver peace. Mr Barak was elected the Prime Minister last month on a promise to withdraw Israeli troops from south Lebanon in a year, suggesting that he will also return the Golan Heights to Syria as part of a regional peace agreement.

The Hizbullah, supported by Syria and Iran, has often been seen as the means by which Damascus can put pressure on Israel to return the Golan Heights, taken in the 1967 war.

The Hizbullah has never been so confident, after forcing the South Lebanese Army to pull out of the town of Jezzine earlier this month.

In a classic spiral, the Hizbullah’s relentless “war of attrition” on the SLA and Israeli soldiers caused the Israelis to inflict continuous “collateral” damage on civilians with air raids and long-range artillery. That led to the Hizbullah every now and then breaking the unwritten rules with Katyusha salvos - until, finally, Israel on Thursday night unleashed its superior firepower on the Lebanese infrastructure.

The scale of the attacks may give the Hizbullah pause for thought. But, judging by their rhetoric, they will not be deterred from exploiting a military and psychological situation which they see as shifting steadily in their favour. — The Guardian, LondonTop

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Global Monitor
  Tallest wooden statue reopened
BEIJING: A 244-year-old wooden statue of Lord Buddha with 1,000 hands and 1,000 eyes, said to be the tallest wooden statue in the world, has been reopened for public viewing at a Buddhist temple in north China, an official report said on Sunday. The huge carving, 23.5 metres high and weighing 110 tonnes is on the UNESCO’s world heritage list since 1994, Xinhua news agency reported. The restoration work, costing $ 1.1 million, lasted about nine months, the report added. — PTI

Star Wars mania
TOKYO: Star Wars mania has struck in Japan, where fans turned out in droves at theatres around the country on Saturday for a sneak preview of the hit movie. Some in costume and others toting light sabers, the movie-goers began lining up as early as Thursday to see Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace’’, which officially opens on July 10, more than five weeks after its US debut. — AP

Arsenic poisoning
DHAKA: About 80 million people, two-thirds of Bangladesh’s population of 125 million, face arsenic poisoning from drinking well water, a new study has said. The three-month study published on Saturday tested water from 12,000 wells across the country. Sixty per cent were tainted by arsenic poisoning up to four milligrams per litre of water, said Mr Mahmudur Rahman of private Dhaka Community Hospital, which conducted the study with researchers from India’s Jadavpur University. — AP

Murdoch weds Deng
NEW YORK: Media mogul Rupert Murdoch and former television executive Wendi Deng were married aboard the News Corp. Founder’s yacht in New York harbour. A 12-minute firework display set to Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York” followed the wedding Friday night aboard Murdoch’s “Morning Glory,” drawing cheers from people who could see the ceremony from passing ferries and boats. — AP

Clinton-Gore rift?
WASHINGTON: Efforts by US Vice-President Al Gore to distance himself from President Bill Clinton’s behaviour during the Monica Lewinsky scandal have led to a rift between the two men, The New York Times reported on Saturday. “This has been the most tense their relationship has ever been,” the daily quoted a close Clinton advisor as saying. — AFP

Gay parade
PARIS: Gay pride demonstrations, part-celebration, part-protest, were held in several European cities, including Paris and Berlin, on Saturday in support of the rights of sexual minorities. Bikers led a colourful parade through Paris streets in a call for an end to homophobia in French society. Some 250,000 gays and lesbians took to the streets of Berlin for the colourful annual Christopher Street day parade to commemorate a protest against a police raid on a New York gay club in 1969. — AFP

Killer cop held
PRISTINA: NATO forces serving in Kosovo have arrested a Serbian police officer accused of murdering 56 persons, a British military spokesman said on Saturday. The man, whose identity was not released, is alleged to have carried out the killing at Lipiale near the Kosovo capital Pristina. He was taken in custody on Friday. — AFP

Elton seeks 25 m loan
LONDON: British singer Elton John is in talks with a city investment bank to secure a 25 million loan, the Sunday Times has reported. The 52-year-old rock star is believed to be offering financiers at Samuel Montagu his huge back catalogue of hits as security, the newspaper said. The bank will also be entitled to revenue from future songs if the debt remains unpaid. — AFPTop

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