ecotourism news
issue 19, 15 November 2000

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World Ecotourism News

31/10/00 -
This year began with 24 million Africans infected with the HIV virus. In the absence of a medical miracle, nearly all will die before 2010. Each day, 6,000 Africans die from AIDS. Each day, an additional 11,000 are infected.
While governments of the "1st world" are pre-occupied with oil prices, mad cows and whether inflation will exceed 2% and while african generals are too busy selling diamonds, buying aircraft and earning commissions. 

Malta: 3 m i l l i o n migrating birds killed  e a c h  y e a r
25/10/00 by David Camilleri
Malta has one of the world's highest number of hunters per capita.  Each year, 3 million birds are shot or trapped on Malta while migrating between Africa and Europe in the spring and autumn. In 1982, hunters on the island of Ghawdex shot the last pair of nesting Maltese falcons. Since 1994, successive governments have relaxed the hunting laws to a point that enforcement no longer exists. The tourist industry supports 40% of the Maltese economy and it is the largest industry in Malta. 
Malta is preparing to join the European Union. Any thoughts?

"Eco" - tourism, coming soon at a complex near you...
27/10/00 - by the " Tourism Investigation & Monitoring Team" - Thailand
" Governments are utterly ill equipped for the U.N. International Year of Ecotourism (2002). They have tended to promote all forms of rural and nature tourism as ecotourism, while frameworks to effectively scrutinize, monitor and control developments are poorly developed or non-existent. In Thailand, the upsurge of ecotourism demand has resulted in construction frenzy in rural and natural areas to provide accommodation and infrastructure for visitors. A recently published survey by the Bangkok daily 'The Nation' found that under the pretext of ecotourism promotion, massive development projects - some involving logging operations - were in full steam in national parks countrywide, funded by loans from the World Bank's Social Investment Project and the Japanese Overseas Economic Cooperation Fund (OECF). There is evidence that biotechnology companies are sending scouts around the world - often posing as innocent tourists - to discover genes that have commercial value for the drug and food industry. These bio-pirates are especially hunting for local seeds, medicinal plants and even for genes of indigenous people, and once acquired, companies are likely to claim intellectual property rights on them." 
Depressing and worrying. Always be alert for fake "eco"tourism and expose it in the Ecotouring News.

Greek Environmentalists protest
11/11/00  - Ecotouring News
Most leading environmental organisations and many judges are up in arms against the Greek government's plan to amend article 24 of the Greek constitution. Article 24 currently stresses the value of the environment.  The government plans to insert a seemingly innocuous passage which allows development in order to meet public needs. Opponents allege it will open the door for uncontrolled development in forest areas. The Minister of Justice has admitted that the amendment of the article is effected so that "necessary road building would never again be held up by two trees". Environmentalists and the judicial responded that strict laws and the strict application of laws was the only hope of saving the forests from developers. Greece faces a major problem each summer with forest fires, about half of which are thought to be a result of arson by developers. The problem is compounded by a dry and hot summer climate, a lack of a modern land registry system and by local authority corruption.

Glowing with toxin
18/10/00 -
A gene from a firefly has been added to mammalian cells so that they glow when exposed to the toxin dioxin, and the cells glow brighter as the level of dioxin increases, making them a quick and simple test for the chemical in foods, animal feeds, and tissue. 
Darling, tonight you are glowing

Dead Sharks wash up in hundreds
18/10/00 - AP
Up to 300 dead sharks have been washing up on beaches along the Gulf of Mexico, and officials are baffled by what's causing their deaths. 
Pollution, submarine sonars it's your guess.

250-million-year old bacteria:  Wake up !
18/10/00 - AP
In what sounds like something out of "Jurassic Park," bacteria that lived before the dinosaurs and survived Earth's biggest mass extinction have been reawakened after a 250-million-year sleep in a salt crystal, scientists say.
Now is that a good idea or is that a good idea?

5,000 year old canoes discovered
19/10/00 - AP
More than 85 Indian canoes discovered sticking out of a lake bed near Gainesville, Florida  earlier this year. The discovery of the prehistoric canoes in Newnan's Lake was the largest of its kind in the United States. The Florida Bureau of Archaeological Research confirmed the canoes range from 500 to 5,000 years old, with most built between 3,000 and 5,000 years ago.

New, Large Protected Area in Cameroon 
20/10/00 - WWF
The Government of Cameroon has agreed to merge the Boumba-Bek and the Nki Reserves in the South East Forests to form the country's largest protected area. 

Indian Ocean Reefs almost dead
23/10/00 - AP
In the Maldives and Seychelles islands in the Indian Ocean, up to 90 percent of coral reefs have been killed over the past two years due to rises in water temperature, it was reported at the 9th International Coral Reef Conference in Indonesia. 

WTO asked to rule against Turtle protection law
24/10/00 - AP
Malaysia asked the World Trade Organization to rule a US law baning imports of shrimp from countries which use trawling nets that trap sea turtles as illegal. Environmental experts have said nets without turtle-excluder devices, which cost $75, are killing up to 150,000 turtles a year.
$75 ! apparently some people value the life of sea turtle at less than a cent

Surviving Lab chimpanzees to get sanctuary
24/10/00 - AP
The United States will establish a network of chimpanzee sanctuaries under a bill passed by the House. The sanctuaries would care for the animals after they are no longer needed for biomedical research.
Of course, no word of stopping experiments with chimpanzees, man's closest relatives. Year 2000 AD

Buy Tigers on Line ?!?
25/10/00 -
Chuvit, a zoo owner running in upcoming Thai elections, has proposed selling tigers over the Internet in an attempt to save the big cats from extinction. Traffic, the international wildlife trade watchdog has condemned this as "ludicrous". Chuvit said that if Thailand amended its laws to allow commercial production and sale of tigers online, about 20,000 could be raised domestically over the next decade and wipe out black market demand. Thailand and China are home to tiger "farms" set up in the 1980s in an attempt to supply the tiger trade and relieve poaching pressure on the critically endangered species. Some farms have been found to be fronts for selling captured wild tigers and fueling poaching, while others have reportedly purchased wild-caught tiger cubs to improve their breeding stock.
I wonder what would happen if  tigers too, thought humans had a "medicinal" value.

25/10/00 -
WRI estimates that the world’s freshwater system is so degraded that its ability to support human, plant and animal life is greatly in peril. They predict water shortages for more than half the world’s population by 2025. 

Hunting Antelope, in National Parks.
29/10/00 Xinhua
Zambia has arrested two Italian "tourists"  in Kafue National Park for killing endangered species. The hunters had licenses to hunt other animals but failed to account for an oribi antelope, a protected animal which they hid in a plastic bag. Eight Zambian poachers were also arrested after they were found with eight lechwe in Blue Lagoon National park. At least 40 cases of poaching have been recorded this month in these two parks alone. 
A case of naming game reserves national parks, so as to replace hunting fees with bribes? Hopefully not.

TOXIC Channel
31/10/00 Various
An Italian tanker with 6,000 tons of toxic chemicals on board sank in the English Channel as it was being towed to the French port of Cherbourg. 
Mmm, Bon appetit !

Taxing Packaging
Denmark's environmental protection agency has proposed setting taxes on packaging materials based on their environmental impacts, the first national government to do so.

Ancient ship found off Turkey 
30/10/00 -  AP
A team led by underwater explorer Robert Ballard has discovered an "absolutely astounding" wooden ship - perhaps 1,500 years old - in the Black Sea off the coast of Turkey. The ship's mast is still standing and stanchions rest nearby, held together with wooden pegs.  The unique oxygen-free deep water of the Black Sea allowed the ship to be preserved without the normal worm damage that affects wooden vessels

Hawaian Network oppose "Eco-Resort"
1/11/00 - by email
The Ho'okipa Network is opposing a project by the Robinson family, allegedly on  Forbes “Wealthy Americans” list, to construct a  250-cabin “low density” resort on 160 acres at Kapalawai on Kaua`i.  According to them the project would : "1. Spot zone former agricultural land for a resort. 2. Invade one of Kaua`i’s most secluded rural villages. 3. Place visitors adjacent to test fields for genetically-altered seeds. 4. Feature the Kaua`i shoreline most “impaired” by agricultural runoff. 5. Obliterate the marshy mouth of a Class 1 perennial stream. 6. Disturb an ancient Hawaiian fishpond and burial grounds." They state that "other things being equal, this project will probably be approved before Christmas". 
Interested readers may contact for more info. The truth or not of this case aside, as a rule and by definition one can not and should not undertake ecotourism projects against or without the local community.

Coral Bleach Explained
4/11/00  - Economist
The ninth international coral reef symposium shed light into the coral bleaching mechanism. Higher sea temperatures heat up anthozoans that make up the coral. Algae usually live symbiotically in the cells of the anthozoans and exchange nutrients with them. However when the anthozoans heat up the algae can no longer process light and instead of nutrients they pass on toxic oxygen to the anthozoans. The anthozoans only choice then is to expel the algae. 

Alice in Disneyland
6/11/00 - FOE/ Hong Kong
Environmentalists and fishermen who live near the Hong Kong Disneyland construction site are urging the government to halt dredging they believe is killing fish. "A large number of fish have been killed since this dredging started,"

Blasters Busted
6/11/00 - ENN
After a dramatic boat chase in the Komodo National Park in Indonesia, police and park rangers arrested 24 fishermen caught bombing coral reefs in the area. 

Leading Environmentalist Dies
7/11/00 - Various
David Brower, who as leader of the Sierra Club championed a drive to save the Grand Canyon, a the founder of Friends of the Earth, hailed by many as the conscience of the US environmental movement, dies at 88.

Mexico City: No smog !
7/11/00 - AP
Mexico City marked its first year in a decade without a smog alert.

Deer or Dear?
8/11/00 Itar Tass 
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Russia is planning to provide one million US dollars to save the wild northern deer whose number has dangerously decreased because of pollution in the northern Russian Taimyr peninsula. About 800 thousand wild northern deer remain in Taimyr compared to several million some years ago. 
This works up to no more than 80 cents per deer.   

Whale watching Boom
9/11/00 -
The International Fund for Animal Welfare released a comprehensive, 175-page global report on the economic boom of whale watching, citing it as a billion-dollar industry. Internationally renowned whale researcher Erich Hoyt authors the report, View the complete Whale Watching 2000 Report at:

21 New Biosphere Reserves.
9/11/00 - UNESCO
Twenty-one new biosphere reserves located in 15 countries were officially designated Thursday as Biosphere Reserves belonging to the World Network of Biosphere Reserves which now consists of 391 sites in 94 countries. The sites were designated by the Council of UNESCO's Man and the Biosphere Programme, currently meeting in Paris. The new sites include: the Pantanal (Brazil) - one of the world's greatest inland freshwater wetlands, where cattle farmers are engaging new economic activities with the development of ecotourism; the San Andres Archipelago (Colombia) - covering some 10 percent of the Caribbean Sea which is facing a huge challenge in seeking to develop and conserve its rich marine resources; the Nilgiri in the Western Ghats (India), with remnant forests with exceptionally high animal and plant diversity surrounded by areas of intense human activity; the Oases of South Morocco with ancient irrigated palm groves forming a bastion against the advance of the Sahara desert; and Cape West Coast, just north of Cape Town, (South Africa) an example of bioregional planning from the mountains to the sea. Biosphere reserves are chosen on the strength of their ability to reconcile the conservation of biological diversity and the sustainable use of biological resources.  

Police & Army in the Amazon
9/11/00 - BBC
The Brazilian government has launched a new plan to "clean the Amazon jungle of drug traffickers, illegal loggers and miners". Under the "Pro Amazonia" plan police and army units will patrol the Amazon supported by satellites as well as a $1.4 billion radar system along the Colombian border. 
As long as this is the reason and not Colombian developments.

Half of South Asian Land Lost
10/11/00 - UNEP 
According to the Global Environmental Outlook 2000 report, half of all land in South Asia and South East Asia has lost agricultural potential because of inappropriate agricultural practices, deforestation, overgrazing and climate change. Dramatic examples are deserts in Western China, India and Pakistan and dust problems in the Korean Peninsula and Japan.

International park in Southern Africa
12/11/00 Africa News Online
Ministers from South Africa, Zimbabwe and Mozambique signed a historic deal in the Kruger National Park, undertaking to establish a 35,000 square kilometre conservation and ecotourism area spanning the Kruger park, Gonarezhou National Park in Zimbabwe and a conservation area called Coutada 16 in Mozambique. In developing these eco-tourism opportunities, job creation for local communities will be a priority, Mr. Moosa, the South African Minister, said. The agreement followed the opening of the Kgalagadi trans-frontier park between South Africa and Botswana in May 2000. 

Strings attached
12/11/00 Dominion
Dominican Environment minister Atherton Martin, resigned because, as he says, his country supported whaling in exchange for US$7 million in Japanese aid for a fisheries complex. Mr Martin's alleged that Japan offered development aid to small nations if they were to vote against a South Pacific whale sanctuary. Dominica, a small Caribbean island country, voted with Japan against the sanctuary at an International Whaling Commission Meeting in July. The Japanese Whaling Association denies the allegations. 
Ironically, Dominica earns US$1 million a year from whale-watching.

Great Barrier Crush
12/11/00 -  South China Morning Post
Attempts were being made for 10 days to refloat a Malaysian-owned container ship that ran aground on Australia's Great Barrier Reef more than a week ago. The 21,000-tonne Bunga Teratai Satu, carrying 130 tonnes of toxic chemicals, which was sailing from Singapore to Sydney, struck Sudbury Reef off the coast of Queensland on November 2, rupturing its forward ballast tank. The ship crushed an area of coral about 100 metres long. The World Wildlife Fund blames the fact that vessels were allowed to sail inside part of the reef without pilots on the bridge. When pilots were on board, they often had to stay on duty for 36 hours, leading to inefficiency and fatigue. Allegedly, ship's  pilot had disembarked just before the ship grounded.

This venison is tough
13/11/00 - TIME
$800  robotic deer, elk, turkey and bear made by a Winsconsin Taxidermist have been bought by conservation officers in 45 US States and Canada to set traps for illegal poachers. One robo-dear just had a funeral after receiving 100 bullets in seven years and earning about $50000 in poaching fines. 

A Clearcut Case
13/11/00 - WWF
A report commissioned by Greenpeace and WWF, entitled "The Clearcut Case: How the Kyoto Protocol Could Become a Driver for Deforestation" alleges that Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), Japan's largest power utility, is implicated in the destruction of native forest in the Tamar Valley in the Australian state of Tasmania, and its replacement by fast-growing eucalyptus plantations intended for carbon credits under the Kyoto Protocol. TEPCO's investment of Aus$10 million (ca. US$5 million) in Tamar Tree Farms accounts for 3,000 hectares of eucalyptus plantation which are expected to yield TEPCO 130,000 tonnes of carbon credits that could be offset against rising carbon emissions in ...Japan. The report alleges that this project is not an isolated incident but is compatible with the forest-clearance programmes of the Australian and Tasmanian authorities.
Whoever conceived the scheme must be a schizophrenic personality. How on earth can you offset pollution in one place with planted forest some tens of thousands of miles away. 

New Ramsar site in Ecuador
13/11/00 -
Ecuador has designated its 6th Ramsar site,  "Isla Santay" (4,705 hectares, Guayas Province, 02o13'S 079o51'W) is  located in the delta of the Guayas River near the urban perimeter of the > city of Guayaquil.  It is probably the only known nesting area for the endangered Amazona autumnalis. The island is inhabited by 182 residents who practice fishing, traditional agriculture, and livestock raising on a sustainable level, but threats from continuing urban development have been noted. This is the 1040th Ramsar (=internationally important wetland) site globally .

Hot Air Emissions
13/11/00 - Various
Environmental groups, the EU and some developing countries accused the United States of seeking loopholes to avoid cutting pollution, as a U.N. conference in the Hague opened to set rules for reducing harmful gases released into the atmosphere.  The United States argues that unlimited emissions trading is the most cost-effective way to meet the global target of reducing greenhouse gases. 
Air vs. hot air

Clinton protects 58.5. million acres of forest
13/11/00 - AP
In a major win for environmentalists, the Clinton administration has added Alaska's Tongass National Forest - the nation's largest - to a protection plan for some of America's most pristine lands. The plan covers 58.5 million acres of national forests that do not have roads. 

Clinton bans Cats &  Dogs, fur
14/11/00  - AP 
Selling or making products with dog or cat fur is now a federal crime in the USA under a bill signed into law by President Clinton. Under the new law, importing, selling, making or transporting clothing, toys or other items made with the fur or skins of dogs and cats could result in a $25,000 fine and a year in prison.
Woof, Miaou

New EU Sustainable Agriculture Report
14/11/00 -
Crops for Sustainable Enterprise. Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, 2000-92 pages. 
Authors: Benjamin, Yorick & Van Weenen, Hans. LINK:
  (PDF: 548k) News

On the 15th of each month there is a lucky draw for all Member postings at the and the prize is a surprise eco-product from the Ecoclub Shop

The lucky winner of the 15th of November 2000 draw is: Ms. Jodi Stuart in the Ecotourism Jobs Section. Congratulations !

This month genuine ecotourism lodges in Canada, Peru, Sri-Lanka and Samoa have signed up with and are offering members a generous 10% discount. 
Visit them at or

A new type of membership - Expert membership is now available at Expert membership is suitable for eco-professionals that wish to offer services, either consultancy or other to members of or to the general public. For more information go to

Monthly Poll & Editorial

The ecotourism .CC Poll: 
Who really cares about the environment?

Total Votes so far:  63


 Gore  35%
Bush  13%
Nader 24%
Nadie ( = nobody) 29%

Best voter comment: "They all care about the environment...Until next Tuesday!"

This poll proved very timely. To keep it so we too decided to extend... the voting period for as long as the vote recounts go on in the real election. In our poll, there is a surprise showing by Nadie / nobody who has so far declined to comment on whether he will request a recount (Gore is leading only by 4 votes)

As this poll shows, the perpetual problem of even leading politicians is credibility. All of them, apart from the really nasty ones who tend to thrive on dividing issues such as race and religion, tend to say good things about the rights of Joe Public to clean air, conservation, jobs, low taxes, efficient government, education. Their problem is that Joe Public does not really believe them. He / she usually selects the lesser of two evils, by projecting the effects of their policies into his / her own microeconomy. The truth is that this microeconomy does not yet feature the environment, most voters find its fine "as long the rubbish is not in my own backyard" since they "have more pressing things to worry about".  

Even the most credulous voter knows that "Real" politics and compromise always seem inevitable when a politician is finally elected. Apart from the evident promises to Joe Public, less evident ones are made behind the curtains. What was for an opposition politician black and white, once elected it suddenly becomes for him/her a deep sea of grey in which the lucky politician will float like a cork, while the unlucky one, will drown.

There are differences between candidates in relation to the environment, with some making more promises which will soon turn into compromises, but the fact is that no politician, even with the best of intentions (a rare thing) is enough to effect change. Change also rests with Joe Public, his fears, habits and prejudices.

Members Forum

A column where Ecotourism Ring and Members may publish their news and views. 
The Editors are not responsible for any views expressed here but reserve the right to edit or reject manuscripts.

Save Kalash Valley before it is too late
by Agha Iqrar Haroon President,  Ecotourism Society Pakistan

One of the major attractions of Chitral are the Kalash valleys – the home of the Kafir-Kalash or 'Wearers of the Black Robe', a primitive pagan tribe. Their ancestry is shrouded in mystery. A legend has it that some soldiers of the legions of Alexander of Macedonia settled down in Chitral during 326 BC and the present Kafir-Kalash are their offspring. Therefore Kalash people can be considered as “Living Civilisation”. The 4,000 strong Kafir-Kalash live in the valleys of Birir, Bumburet and Rambur in the south. Bumburet, the largest and the most picturesque valley of the Kafir-Kalash, is 40 kms (25 miles) from Chitral and is connected by a jeepable road. Birir, 34 kms (21 miles) away, is accessible by a jeepable road. Rambur is 32 kms (20 miles) from Chitral. The road is jeepable upto Ayun and the remaining 16 kms (10 miles) have to be travelled on foot. The Kalash women wear black gowns of coarse cloth in summer and hand-spun wool dyed in black in winter. Their picturesque headgear is made of woollen black material studded with cowry shells, buttons and crowned with a large coloured feather. The Kalash are gay people and love music and dancing particularly on occasions of their religious festivals like Joshi Chilimjusht (14th & 15th May - Spring), Phool (20th-25th September) and Chowas (18th to 21st December). This writer along with a friend went to Bumburet on October 21, 2000 after a pause of five years and found shocking developments. This Valley due to good jeepable road experiences heavy influx of domestic and foreign tourists. These growing tourism activities have not only effected cultural fabrics of Kalsh people but the use of better food products which is mostly wrapped in synthetic based packing material has ruined the valley. You can find wrappers and empty packs of biscuits, pasteurised milk, instant juices and other eatable commodities everywhere in the Valley of Bumburet. You can even find wrappers of international standard condoms in water channels of Bumburet. Littering in Bumburet River is giving a very unpleasant scene. There is no doubt that growing tourism activities in this remotest area of Pakistan is providing financial benefits to local people but they are getting peanuts from the income this area is generated. There are three major motels including one owned by National Tourism Organisation that is Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation. Head offices or you can say owners of these all three big motels are living in big cities like Islamabad, Lahore and Peshawar. Money is directly going to these big cities. These hotels are using eatable commodities like jams, marmalades, butter, dairy products made by big companies of the country. Nothing is used made by Kalash people even meat and beef is coming up from Chitral. Tourism is providing only one thing to Bumburet ----left-overs. It was observed that there was no garbage dump provided to people by the Government or Non-government Organisations which are champions of environments in Pakistan. This problem needs attention of people involved in the field of sustainable tourism and environments and they should come out of their drawing rooms and offices and should do something on grounds. At least they can provide simple inexpensive garbage canes to shopkeepers of this area where they can collect left -overs and burn them as their fuel. Ecotourism Society Pakistan has no resources for this as it does not take any donation and membership is free and Society is run by core members out of their personal financial resources. It can only seek help from other people just to think about situation and come forward and do something before it is too late.

Trade Shows / Conferences

If you are organising or are aware of an ecotourism related Trade Show or Conference please send the details to to publicise it here. 

For more info on these and other events please visit  
N.B. To get free access please join at

Protecting and enhancing heritage
November 22 to 24, 2000 in Strasbourg, France

HIT 2000 
November 27 to 29, 2000 in Cannes, France  

Sustainable Community Tourism Destination Management
November 27-29, 2000 in Bangkok Thailand

Public Lecture: Can Tourism bring sustainable and equitable development? The case of Annapurna Nepal
November 27,2000 in London, UK

Africa Travel Associations (ATA) Fourth Ecotourism Symposium 
December 3 to 8, 2000 in Abuja, Nigeria.

European Seminar of Experts on Ecotourism
December 13 to 15,2000  in Barcelona, Spain

International Ecotourism Conference and Eco Expo 2000
December 13 to 20, 2000 in Playa del Carmen, Mexico

Tourism On Islands & Specific Destinations Conference
December 14 to 17, 2000 in Chios, Greece

International Symposium on Community Based Eco-Cultural Tourism 2001
January 10 to 14, 2001 in Tamil Nadu, India

Waste 2001, the "Middle East Congree & Exhibition for Recycling & Waste Management
Feb 28 to Mar 2, 2001 in Cairo, Egypt

2nd International Conference "From Eco-Efficiency to Overall Sustainability in Enterprises"
May 15 to 16, 2001 in Dusseldorf, Germany

Internet & Law Watch

Madonna Wins Namesake Domain 
18/10/00 - Various
Madonna won the right to use the domain after an international arbitration panel ruled entrepreneur Dan Parisi improperly registered the site to trade off the singer's name. The three-member panel of the World Intellectual Property Organization found Parisi, "lacks rights or legitimate interests in the domain name," and that the name "has been registered and used in bad faith."

19/10/00 - Wired News
A German hacker from Berlin's famed Chaos Computer Club is voted to the board of ICANN, which oversees domain issues on the Internet. He wants people to understand that "hacker" is not a bad word.

Errors cost
23/10/00 -
A pricing error costs $575,000.  The California-based company agreed to pay $50 apiece to the customers who filed a suit over a pricing error on a 19-inch computer monitor, which was briefly listed on's site in February 1999 for $164.50 – far below its normal price of $564.50

Dot-Com Jobs Cut by 18%
24/10/00 - WSJ
Job losses at Internet firms have jumped 18 percent between September and October and are likely to increase over the next three months, according to a Wall Street Journal report. The number of layoffs at dot-com companies rose from 4,805 last month to 5,677 by Oct. 20.

Microsoft Hacked !
30/10/00 - Various
Microsoft confirms that hackers have broken into its computer network but says it was "not very" damaging. Some security experts think otherwise. Microsoft reported that a hacker had access for 12 days and "was monitored the entire time", whatever that means. Microsoft has refused to say at what point it learned the hacker saw the source codes.

IRS goes offshore
31/10/00 - AP
In a sweeping tax-evasion probe, the IRS has been granted access by a US District Judge to thousands of MasterCard and American Express credit card accounts held by U.S. taxpayers in three offshore banking havens.  IRS maintains that they want to look at car, boat and airline ticket purchases and hotel and car rentals to learn whether the account holders are living beyond their reported means. The investigation is one of the largest targeting offshore accounts in the history of the Internal Revenue Service.

Online auctioneers not liable for bootlegs
10/11/00 - 
A judge has ruled online auctioneer eBay cannot be sued for allowing people to sell bootlegged audio recordings on its site, according to an AP report.

Eco - Quiz

Last month's Question was: 
What is the name of a tourist destination in both Greece and Jordan? 

The answer was: Petra, Jordan &  Petra, Lesvos Island, Greece
Petra actually means "Stone" in both cases. Petra in Jordan is a complex of ancient temples dug out in Stone while Petra in Lesvos took its name from a huge monolith on top of which a Byzantine church has been built. 

 Winners: C. Alexopoulos, Athens and P.V.P, Bucharest.

A harder question and a bigger prize this time !

The new Eco-Quiz:  Where is Fanning Island and under which other name is it known?

Answer correctly by email to and win a 20% discount for 1 purchase, valid until 31/12/00, at the Shop

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