China lumberjacks to become tree-planters BEIJING
(Reuters, Sept 4, 1998) - China will order its army of lumberjacks to lay down their axes
and plant trees, the Xinhua news agency said Friday amid mounting official concern over
how rampant logging has worsened deadly flooding this year. The State Forestry
Administration had drawn up a 19.5 billion yuan (US$2.3 billion) plan to stop logging
along the Yangtze and Yellow rivers and in the northeast and to start large-scale
reforestation, Xinhua said. The plan, to start this year, calls for a halt to logging by
65 lumber companies and a cut in timber production of 353 million cubic feet by 70 other
companies, it said.
Hectic Lifestyles Make for Record-Low Election Turnout, Census Bureau Reports Aug.
Nearly 5 million registered voters said they did not vote in the 1996 presidential
election because they couldn't take off from work or school or were otherwise too busy,
contributing heavily to the lowest voter turnout reported in a general election since the
Census Bureau began collecting these data in 1964, according to the Commerce Department's
"Among Americans who were registered but did not vote, more than 1 in 5 told us they
didn't go to the polls because they couldn't take time off from work or were too busy
triple the proportion who gave this reason in
1980," said Lynne Casper, co-author with Loretta Bass of the report, Voting and
Registration in the Election of November 1996, P20-504.
"Time constraints are now the single biggest reason Americans who are registered give
for not voting many people these days are finding their employers are putting so many
demands on them, they can't take time off to
vote," Bass added.
Another reason increasingly cited for not voting is apathy about the political process: 17
percent of non-voting registered persons reported they did not vote in 1996 for this
reason, up from 11 percent in 1980.
The report examines voting and registration in the 1996 presidential election compared
with that of previous elections; the data are shown by various demographic and
socioeconomic characteristics. Also, for the first
time, the Census Bureau analyzes voting and registration among the citizen population
(rather than among the voting-age population, which includes noncitizens) and compares the
rates for native-born and naturalized
Other highlights include:
Fifty-four percent of the voting-age population reported voting in the 1996 general
election, down from 61 percent in 1992. The 7-percentage-point decline was the largest
drop between consecutive presidential elections since 1964.
Eight percent reported voting by absentee ballot in 1996, double the percentage who did so
Overall, native-born Americans were more likely than naturalized citizens to vote in the
1996 election (59 percent compared with 53 percent). However, among Hispanics, the reverse
was true: 53 percent of naturalized citizens and 42 percent of the native born
Among citizens, Hispanics and Asians and Pacific Islanders continued to vote at lower
levels (44 percent and 45 percent, respectively) than Whites (61 percent) and African
Americans (53 percent).
The peak ages for voting were between 55 and 74; more than 7 of every 10 citizens in this
age group cast a ballot.
Although the National Voter Registration Act (the "motor-voter" law) went into
effect in 1995, only 66 percent of the voting-age population reported they were registered
in 1996,the lowest rate for any presidential election since 1968. Almost 3 in 10 people
registering to vote between January 1995 and November 1996 did so when they obtained or
renewed their drivers' licenses.
Data are from the November 1996 Current Population Survey (CPS). As in all surveys, the
data are subject to sampling variability and other sources of error. The CPS routinely
overestimates voter turnout. As discussed in detail in the report, the Current Population
Survey's overall turnout rate of 54.2 percent is higher than the "official"
turnout rate of 49.8 percent, as reported by the Clerk of the House.
The cloning of a sheep in Scotland, the identification of new genetic links to old
diseases and questions concerning the misuse of private medical information have helped
move biotechnology to center stage in the public consciousness this year. With this
heightened attention has come a broader, more vigorous public debate about exactly what
the biotechnology industry can -- and should -- do as a result of the progress it is
making. Answering these questions -- what is biotechnology, how is it benefiting society
today and what will it offer in the future -- are the reasons behind this guide. This
http://www.bio.org is intended to offer a useful source of facts, figures and ideas to
assist you in your study of this industry:
Biotechnology Industry Organization.