A newsreader on one of the BBC'sregional channels has become the first British journalist to wear a sari during a bulletin.
Sharuna Sagar, 29, who usually reads the morning news on BBC Midlands Today, decided to try the ethnic Indian dress recently when she had more time to get ready on the late shift.
She said: ?When I go to India I see the newsreaders in saris and they look fantastic and professional. As a British Asian I?m part of both cultures and would like to reflect that.?
Sharuna added: ?Normally there isn'ttime to put one on as I get up at 4 a.m.
?It takes 15 minutes and I really need someone to help me. Like a bow tie, you have to get it right.
?But when I knew I was going to do the late news I asked my boss, acting editor Dave Hart, and he said ?yes? before I could even finish my sentence.?
(Sharuna, whose family roots are in Hyderabad, works on BBC Midlands Today based at Pebble Mill in Birmingham.)
Can anyone patent yoga?
Yoga teachers in Britain have criticised US-based yoga expert Bikram Chaudhary for trying to copyright a series of postures.
Chaudhary is reportedly being sued in a San Francisco court for claiming to own the copyright of a series of
26 postures used in the ?Bikram style? of yoga.
Chaudhary'sstyle of yoga has gained some popularity in the US. But Britain-based yoga teachers believe he has no right to claim the widely practised postures as his own.
Janette Brown, an Iyengar yoga teacher in London, said Chaudhary must be ?completely mad? to try to copyright something that was practised for centuries.
?He may have a case if he is trying to patent his own Bikram sequence of postures and his Bikram style of yoga. But he must be bonkers if he thinks he can copyright these postures. His postures overlap with others; so he probably stole them from older forms anyway,? she said.
A spokesperson for Triyoga Institute in northwest London said no one could claim to own yoga. ?It is like patenting a language or sport?it'sjust ridiculous,? he said.
Reports say that some instructors in Britain have already stopped teaching the technique in order to avoid court cases against them by Chaudhary.
Scotland welcomes overseas students
Faced with dwindling population numbers, Scotland has decided to allow overseas students to stay on and take up work for two years after graduating from Scottish universities.
Scotland'sFirst Minister Jack McConnell said visas would be extended to overseas students who graduate from Scottish universities from September 2005. They would then be able to stay and work in the country for an extra two years.
He also launched a scholarship scheme for overseas postgraduate students.
He said: ?It is absolutely in the interest of every Scottish family that we create a country that is dynamic and growing?with opportunities for our children and our grandchildren.
?We need to attract and welcome new people. We need fresh talent.
?A more diverse, more cosmopolitan country is good for Scots. It will open the minds and broaden horizons. It will stimulate ambitions and ideas?to travel, to see some of the world, to learn from others. But to come home too.?
Scotland'spopulation is predicted to fall below five million by 2009.
Universities Scotland, the representative body of the country's21 universities and colleges of higher education, welcomed the news.
Its Director, David Caldwell, said: ?Scotland is a net importer of students from all over the world and overseas applications to our universities have been rising for most of the last decade. These are some of the world'smost talented people and we should be doing everything we can to keep hold of them.
?This will prove to be a significant lure to potential students who can now go on to strengthen our economy and enrich our society. The higher education sector applauds this as a far-sighted move.?
(The writer is a UK-based journalist and can be contacted on [email protected])