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Health : 

The Healing Power of Beans

Simply adding beans to your diet can help you lose weight, prevent cancer and reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes, according to Michigan State University's nutrition experts. Beans help manage diabetes by stabilizing blood sugar levels in the body. Their fiber content aids in weight loss by helping people feel full and satisfied longer, which can help reduce overeating. The high fiber and folate in beans also helps reduce heart disease risk factors such as high cholesterol and high homocysteine levels. Researchers speculate that beans lower cancer risk by lowering the levels of certain hormones in the blood. To benefit, get 1/2 cup of cooked beans (any kind) daily or 2 to 4 cups per week.


Mega calls for 'fair' campaign

JAKARTA: President Megawati Soekarnoputri urged political parties on Thursday to be fair in appraising the current administration and not to denounce the government to gain votes in the upcoming elections.Speaking during the inauguration of the first double-track railway line in Cikampek, West Java, the President said election campaigns could be conducted without damaging the government's image."I know the parties will try hard to denounce the current administration. I ask all parties to be fair in judging whether the government's performance is good or bad," Megawati said. She said that campaign should be conducted in a fair and ethical manner. The country will see the first ever direct presidential election in 2004, and the campaign period will begin in March next year. --JP



Christine Hakim
Indonesia's movie queen shines offscreen

Last year, Christine Hakim became the first Indonesian to sit on the jury of the Cannes Film Festival, the movie trade's most prestigious international showcase. The 46-year-old has starred in more than 30 films, but recognition of this sort is rare. Southeast Asia's most talented and prolific actors are usually regional phenomena. But there she was, studying the entries and debating their merits with David Lynch, Sharon Stone, Michelle Yeoh and other Hollywood glitterati. Yet it is her dedication to Indonesia, not her recognition overseas, that is Hakim's triumph. Offscreen, she mingles with Jakarta's glamorous Úlite; onscreen—where she has portrayed a prostitute, a mother of street children, and an Acehnese rebel, among others—she says she uses acting as a means to "give audiences insight into the reality facing most Indonesians. It is a small contribution, but I hope it has an influence."

But Hakim doesn't need the cameras to be rolling to fulfill that sense of purpose. The Christine Hakim Foundation supplies milk for 600 undernourished West Javanese children and subsidizes the educations of dozens more. Another of her foundations helps rebuild dilapidated schools and provides grants and subsidies to impecunious teachers. Though she's constantly fielding script offers, it is through her admirably unglamorous work that Christine Hakim performs her finest role. -Times Asia-





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