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Monday, February 5, 2001

Gates’ gesture
By Anthony Browne

HE is already the world’s most generous individual benefactor, giving more to charitable causes than the US government. Now Bill Gates has given the largest single boost to the worldwide search for an AIDS vaccine.

The Microsoft founder pledged $ 100 million to the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative. He has teamed up with the Internet company, Yahoo!, which donated an extra $ 5 million.

This is one of the single biggest donations from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, a charitable foundation with assets of more than $ 21 billion. Its aim is to share advances in medicine with developing countries.

In the past two months, the foundation, run by Gates’ father, has given $ 25 million for AIDS prevention in Nigeria, and $ 15 million to develop drugs for African sleeping sickness. It also supports the global effort to eradicate polio. Gates has pledged to donate more than $ 1 billion a year to charitable causes, and last year gave away $ 1.44 billion.


Reprint of Web book released

THE first online reprint (second issue) of a Web book by an Indian "Towards a Perfect Democracy – Alternatives" was released last week.

The book by Hemant Goswami is being claimed to be the first online book by an Indian when it was first published on the Web in August last year. The hardcopy version of the book had been released in November 1999.
The site, www.onlineindiaweb.com, where the book can be accessed, received more than 78,000 hits since it’s launch. The book can be read online, printed through a printer or downloaded free of cost from the Net.
On questioning Hemant about the reason for providing the book free of cost on the Net, he says: "Most of the publishers are not interested to publish a book which speaks about social concern or political philosophy as such type of books are not run-through commercial success. "To avoid the trap of limited circulation and readership I decided in favour of Internet publishing," he adds.
Readers can visit www.onlineindiaweb.com to read the second issue of the first Indian online book. — TNS

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