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What's the point of changing ships from 'she' to 'it'

asks ursula:A. Lloyd's List, the shipping industry's newspaper, has announced that it will neuter ships from now on. The newspaper, founded in 1734, will now refer to ships as 'it', ending the01:00 Thu 21st Mar 2002

Tell me it's not true - is Enron the movie coming out soon

asks Dogbreath:A. Oh yes, you haven't heard the last of this one. According to Variety, the trade paper of the film industry, there are currently four separate film ventures to record the01:00 Thu 21st Mar 2002

Is it true that the EU is going to limit what sort of vitamins we can take

asks PDTV:A. It looks likely that as many as 90% of the multivitamin and multi-mineral formulas we buy at health food shops will disappear if a European directive becomes law on Wednesday (March 13).01:00 Mon 11th Mar 2002

There's a lot of publicity about the fact that the author Arundhati Roy was jailed for one day, but why was she in court in the first place

asks HGray: A. India's Supreme Court gave Arundhati Roy a one-day jail sentence for criticising its procedures as a 'symbolic gesture'. The sentence is not such a big deal, but as a Booker01:00 Thu 07th Mar 2002

Why are ambulances going to be painted yellow

asks admason:A. British ambulances have been white with yellow and green markings for 50 years, but now they're turning yellow to bring them in line with the rest of Europe. The first ambulance has01:00 Wed 06th Mar 2002

How quickly is the population rising in the UK

asks PDTV:A. The official projections which were released in the Social Trends report in January 2002 suggest that the UK population will rise from the current 60 million and peak at 66 million in01:00 Tue 26th Feb 2002

Has Afghanistan stopped growing the opium poppy now

asks admason:A. No, despite the interim Afghan government, led by Hamid Karzai, announcing in January this year that it was banning the cultivation of the opium poppy. The trouble is that announcing01:00 Tue 26th Feb 2002

What's the thinking behind changing the leaving age to 19

asks Jarnold:A. The Green Paper is the biggest shake-up in secondary education for more than ten years. It proposes a new leaving age of 19. Q. Why A. It is designed to encourage all young people to01:00 Fri 15th Feb 2002

Has life improved at all for women in Afghanistan

asks ursula: A. For the five years that the Taliban ruled Afghanistan, women were not allowed to work or study. Before then, 60% of the 10,000 students at Kabal University were female. Since 1996,01:00 Thu 07th Feb 2002

Why is the separation of Siamese twins so controversial - surely it's better to have one healthy baby that two disabled ones

asks modge:A. It has been reported that the parents of the British Siamese - or conjoined - twins have accepted that an operation to separate the twins will cause the death of one of them. However,01:00 Tue 05th Feb 2002

Are there really Satanists in this country or is it just a bunch of Goths taking it a bit too far

asks MissDon:A. Satanists are in the news again because of 23-year-old Manuela Ruda who, along with her husband Daniel, was found guilty of murder in Germany. They had killed a man by hitting him with01:00 Fri 01st Feb 2002

Could the 'vomit bug' be caused by germ warfare

asks Jayne b-t:A. It highly unlikely. The 'winter vomiting' bug, which was first noted at Glasgow's Victoria Infirmary on January 9, has infected 254 patients and staff. And now 17 patients and eight01:00 Fri 22nd Feb 2002

Are we celebrating the Golden Jubilee or what

asks Ursula:A. It's debatable. The Palace itself is organising events over a long weekend, from Saturday June 1 to Tuesday June 4. There will be a ceremonial royal procession to St Paul's Cathedral01:00 Fri 22nd Feb 2002

Does Britain intend returning the Elgin Marbles to Greece in time for the Athens Olympic Games

asks admason:A. No. On 14 January, the British Museum ruled out any possibility of the Elgin Marbles being returned to Greece. These beautiful stone friezes, which once decorated the sides of the01:00 Wed 16th Jan 2002

Why did it take so long for ME to become recognised as a disease

asks woolley: A. Until now, most doctors didn't think that ME (myalgic encephalomyelitis, also known as chronic fatigue syndrome or yuppie flu) actually existed. Even when it was recognised that there01:00 Tue 15th Jan 2002

Why are India and Pakistan fighting over Kashmir

asks Allan: A. It's been going on for a while. It started in 1947 with the Partition which split the sub-continent into India and Pakistan, ending 163 years of British rule. Kashmir went with India. 01:00 Mon 08th Jan 2001

What happened to the Browns' baby - I thought that being premature wasn't a problem these days

asks Sporty:A. Gordon Brown and his wife Sarah lost their baby daughter, who suffered a brain haemorrhage after being born seven weeks premature. Q. What is the definition of premature A. A baby is01:00 Sun 07th Jan 2001

Is there a way to detect a biological attack

asks Tonyb:A. The US has spent millions of dollars trying to develop early warning detectors for biological attacks. It has set some up the Pentagon, but even these don't work particularly well. Which01:00 Mon 17th Dec 2001

Is the state of New York returning land to native Americans that was taken from them illegally

asks pathfinder A. They're not returning it, but they will now pay the Cayuga Indians (see the 1934 picture of a tribal chief on our home page - and a more recent one, of Chief Jacob Thomas, left) for01:00 Tue 04th Dec 2001

Should ecstasy users be treated more leniently as the police suggest

asks Su Smith: A. It's estimated that half a million people in the UK take ecstasy, a class-A drug, each weekend. However, ecstasy is controversial because of high-profile deaths of young people, such01:00 Wed 28th Nov 2001

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