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Generous Gisele

Sao Paulo, Jan. 28 (Reuters): Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bundchen today threw her weight behind President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s plan to eradicate hunger in Latin America’s largest country.

“I hope that everyone starts to help by giving what they can,” Gisele said after handing over a check for $150,000 to food security minister Jose Graziano, who is overseeing the President’s new “Zero Hunger” programme.

The 22-year-old model made the donation at the opening ceremonies of Sao Paulo Fashion Week, where she was set to parade down the catwalk sporting men’s suits designed by Lula’s personal tailor, fellow Brazilian Ricardo Almeida.

Gisele isn’t the only celebrity backing Lula’s goal. Brazilian soccer star Ronaldo has also agreed to participate in the government’s war on hunger, though he has yet to open his wallet for the programme.

Lula, viewed nervously by some investors who fear he may hurt the economy with populist policies, has made hunger a top priority of his Centre-Left administration.

Bold baby

Toronto (Reuters): Social and medical workers are still shaking their heads in disbelief at the miraculous survival of a premature baby girl who was abandoned at birth in in bitterly cold weather near Toronto’s city hall. They’ve named the infant Mira, short for miracle. She survived sub-zero temperatures and hypothermia in the first few moments of her life as she lay abandoned on a concrete stairwell late on Friday night. She was rescued by a passerby who heard her whimpers. The low temperature in Toronto on Friday night was -13° Celsius. It weighed just four pounds, nine ounces. Mira was discovered wrapped in a dirty pink blanket with her umbilical cord still attached and her body still covered with birth fluids. Police said a 41-year-old homeless woman was charged for abandoning a child. Rivers said social workers were amazed by the resilience of the premature infant, whose body temperature was “in the 20s (degrees Celsius)” when she was found.

Ancient milk

Washington (AFP): Britons have been drinking milk for the past 6,000 years, chemical analysis of ancient pottery fragments has found, indicating that the islanders did not merely raise herds for their meat or wool, according to a new study. Little doubt existed that domesticated cattle, sheep, goats and pigs were raised for meat. But until now, there had been no proof of their use for “secondary products” including milk. Tests on pottery probably used for cooking, selected from 14 neolithic, bronze age and iron age sites, however, have “confirmed that dairying was a widespread activity in this period”.

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