Watching the World
The International Agency for Research on Cancer has raised the classification of ultraviolet light tanning devices from “probably carcinogenic to humans” to “carcinogenic to humans.”—THE LANCET ONCOLOGY, BRITAIN.
In Argentina, 9 out of every 10 pregnant women did not want to become pregnant.—CLARÍN, ARGENTINA.
“The scientific discovery of new species is quite routine. Biologists are identifying them at a rate of about 50 a day. Nearly 17,000 new plants and animals were described in 2006 alone—some 1% of the 1.8 million species that have been named.”—TIME, U.S.A.
Do Guns Protect?
Does a gun protect the person carrying it in the event of an assault? A study by the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, U.S.A., concluded that, on average, it does not. After excluding situations involving the police, self-inflicted shootings, and unintentional shootings, researchers found that an individual carrying a gun is “4.5 times more likely to be shot in an assault than those not possessing a gun.” The study acknowledged that some gun owners successfully defend themselves with their own weapons, but the chances of doing so are low. The perception that gun possession is “a defense against a dangerous environment should be discussed and thoughtfully reconsidered,” said the report.
Monks Wearing Lipstick
New monks in Thailand have been “sullying the reputation of the conservative Buddhist faith” by wearing lipstick, overly tightening their robes, “walking with an exaggerated swing of the hips and carrying handbags,” says a news report from Bangkok. Concern over the behavior of homosexual novices has moved religious authorities to propose training monks in matters of decorum. A leading Buddhist preacher explained that homosexuality in itself is not banned among monks, “otherwise more than half of them would be defrocked.”
Trains for Women Only
For years women who traveled on India’s overcrowded commuter trains have had to deal with being insulted, groped, pinched, stared at, and generally harassed by male passengers. In response to rising complaints, the government has decided in some cases to remove men altogether, reports the Calcutta newspaper The Telegraph. As a result, in India’s four largest cities—New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, and Calcutta—a limited number of “Ladies’ Specials” are reserved exclusively for women. Passengers are said to be very pleased.