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Consultation launched on how to label food

13 May 2012 Last updated at 01:31 GMT


Mr Lansley told the BBC it was "not possible" for him or other health ministers to "impose a solution other than the EU solution".

However, he said he was keen to work with businesses to find a "consistent" approach which could be introduced voluntarily across the UK.

He suggested that combining both the traffic light and GDA systems could help consumers.

He said he was aiming for a system which "incorporates not only what Europe requires in terms of recommended daily allowance for calories and sugar and salt and saturated fats, but in addition to that to give a means by which consumers can look at a glance, for example, using things like colour coding."

Dr Vivienne Nathanson, head of science and ethics at the British Medical Association, told the BBC: "We're great fans of traffic lights, the simpler the better."

But she said the ideal would be to have the colour coding as well as the more detailed GDAs.

Dr Nathanson said everyone using the same system would be "enormously" helpful as people were put off by "having to adjust to a different label every time you look at a different food".

Julia Waltham, from the British Heart Foundation, said: "This isn't about telling people what should or shouldn't be in their baskets.

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Profile: Syria's Al-Nusra Front


12 May 2012 Last updated at 17:17 GMT

Retribution claim

Al-Nusra's statements and videos are issued by its media group, al-Manara al-Baida (The White Minaret), and are regularly posted to jihadist, social media and video-sharing websites. There is even a Facebook page dedicated to the group.

Its videos are often filmed in the documentary style that major jihadist groups tend to employ, and include the wills of its alleged suicide bombers, whose names all suggest they are Syrian.

The group's leader, Abu Mohammed al-Jawlani - a name suggesting links with the south-western Golan region - has not appeared in person in any of its videos, preferring to feature only on audio tracks.

This secretive approach extends to concealing of the identities of fighters and civilians appearing in the videos.

Al-Nusra's propaganda often appears designed to appeal to ordinary Muslims.

It emphasises purported efforts to avoid civilian casualties and has pictured group members speaking to attentive crowds in Syrian towns.

The group frames its attacks as retribution for alleged atrocities committed by government forces.

There has been online criticism of the group, including suspicions that it could be an elaborate Syrian government plot to justify its crackdown on "armed terrorist groups".

One such argument pointed to the fact that the group sometimes used Israeli- and Russian-made weapons in its videos.


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Nepal's mystery language on the verge of extinction


12 May 2012 Last updated at 23:02 GMT

By Bimal Gautam

BBC News, Nepal

Even if some of the lofty intellectual arguments for preserving the Kusunda language are lost on Ms Sen, she is acutely aware of how its demise affects her personally.

"Fortunately I can also speak Nepali, but I feel very sad for not being able to speak my own language with people from my own community," she said.

"Although there are still other people from the Kusunda tribe still alive, they neither understand nor speak the language.

"Other Kusunda people... can only speak a few Kusunda words, but can't communicate [fully] in the language."

Ms Sen fears there will be no-one to speak the Kusunda language after her death.

"The Kusunda language will die with me," she reflects, while lamenting the failure of the government and academics to help transfer the language to the next generation.

Although no detailed figures are available, the Central Bureau of Statistics says that only about 100 Kusunda tribespeople remain - but only Ms Sen can speak the language fluently.

A few years ago, there were two other people - from a mid-western Nepalese village - who spoke the Kusunda language fluently.

They are documenting it in a bid to keep this rare language alive.

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