- The Washington Times - Friday, September 20, 2002

China offers world rice-genome maps
BEIJING China yesterday agreed to make freely available its latest research on mapping the rice genome a move expected to enhance the food security and livelihoods of millions of rice farmers around the world. The announcement came at the International Rice Congress 2002 in Beijing.
The Beijing Genomics Institute of the Chinese Academy of Sciences announced it would share sequencing information recently formulated on thousands of rice genes that control essential characteristics of the rice plant.
"We are keen to help scientists in the developing world catch up with their better-resourced and funded colleagues in the developed world, especially in accessing essential technologies that can benefit their own citizens," said Yang Huanming, the institute's director.

Singapore aspires to become legal venue
SINGAPORE The government of this island city-state at the tip of the Malaysian Peninsula announced yesterday that it will create a special Intellectual Property (IP) Court to meet the growth in commercial disputes at the domestic and international level.
"When there are cases involving IP disputes, judges or judicial commissioners who have expertise in IP law will be assigned to hear them," said a statement issued by the Supreme Court. The announcement came after a government economic review panel recommended making Singapore a center for international-dispute resolution.
It said Singapore needs to develop niche expertise by nurturing specialist legal knowledge in such fields as life sciences and biosciences, electronic commerce, cyber-law, financial services and intellectual property.

Taped mating calls woo shy koalas
SYDNEY, Australia Australian wildlife officers have begun playing taped koala mating calls into bushland south of Sydney hoping to find koalas there.
A two-year survey by the National Parks and Wildlife Service is among the initiatives announced by the state government of New South Wales to preserve the shy marsupial, whose numbers have shrunk with development.
"Using the male's mating call in the breeding season has been found to be a good way to attract males, who are territorial, and the females so that we can confirm any koala population," wildlife service spokesman Daniel Connolly told Reuters news agency.

Weekly notes
Taiwan's Cabinet announced yesterday that it will return to China a 1,300-year-old stone Buddha-head carving stolen in 1997 from a temple in Shandong province. The statement did not say how the carving, made in 611 A.D., was stolen or by whom. It was bought by an individual, who was not identified, and donated to a Taiwan Buddhist group. Veteran war correspondent Peter Arnett yesterday marked the 100th birthday of his mother, Jane Arnett, at Invercargill, in his native New Zealand. Mr. Arnett, who won a Pulitzer Prize for his Vietnam War coverage and gained world recognition as CNN's correspondent in the Gulf war, is one of Jane Arnett's three sons, all of whom became journalists.

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