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Old 11-29-2006, 04:22 PM   #151
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Disembowelled and murdered for teaching girls Thursday November 30, 2006By Kim Sengupta GHAZNI - The gunmen came at night to drag Mohammed Halim away from his home, in front of his crying children and his wife begging for mercy. The 46-year-old schoolteacher tried to reassure his family that he would return safely. But his life was over. He was partly disembowelled and then torn apart with his arms and legs tied to motorbikes. The remains were put on display as a warning to others against defying Taleban orders to stop educating girls. Halim is one of four teachers killed in rapid succession by the Islamists at Ghazni, a strategic point on the routes from Kabul to the south and east which has become the scene of fierce clashes between the Taleban and United States and Afghan forces. The day we arrived an Afghan policeman and eight insurgents died during an ambush in an outlying village. Rockets were found, primed to be fired into Ghazni city during a visit by the American ambassador a few days previously. But, as in the rest of Afghanistan, it is the civilians who are bearing the brunt of this murderous conflict. At the village of Qara Bagh, Halim's family is distraught and terrified. His cousin, Ahmed Gul, shook his head. "They killed him like an animal. No, no. We do not kill animals like that. They took away a father and a husband, they had no pity. We are all very worried. Please go now, you see those men standing over there? They are watching. It is dangerous for you, and for us." Fatima Mustaq, the director of education at Ghazni, has had repeated death threats, the notorious 'night letters'. Her gender, as well as her refusal to send girls home from school, has made her a hate figure for Islamist zealots. "I think they killed him that way to frighten us, otherwise why make a man suffer so much? Mohammed Halim and his family were good friends of ours and we are very, very upset by what has happened. He came to me when the threats first began and asked what he should do. I told him to move somewhere safe. I think he was trying to arrange that when they came and took him." The threats against Mushtaq also extend to her husband Sayyid Abdul and their eight children. "When the first letters arrived, I tried to hide them from my husband. But then he found the next few. He said we must stand together. We talked, and we decided that we must tell the children, so that they can be prepared. But it is not a good way for them to grow up." During the Taleban's rule she and her sister ran secret schools for girls at their home. "They found out and raided us. We managed to persuade them that we were only teaching the Koran. But they spied and found out we were teaching algebra. So they came and beat us. Can you imagine, beating someone for teaching algebra."
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Old 11-29-2006, 04:26 PM   #152
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Beijing this week registered pollution one level below hazardous, closing highways. Picture / Reuters The greening of China Saturday November 25, 2006By Clifford Coonan Beijing this week registered pollution one level below hazardous, closing highways. Desert winds drive the turbines in the vast wind farm on the outskirts of Urumqi, dusty capital of the northwestern Chinese region of Xinjiang, and daytrippers travel from the city to photograph the sight in the barren wilderness. Down the road, white-domed houses in a village populated by Central Asian Uighurs use solar power to provide their energy needs. In the province of Gansu, officials plan to build the world's largest solar-power station, part of efforts to ease China's dependence on coal to fuel the booming economy. In fast-moving, sophisticated Shanghai, China's biggest city and its financial hub, hundreds of thousands of householders are using solar panels to heat water. Meanwhile, in the capital Beijing, plans are well advanced to use renewable energy for a big chunk of the city's power needs by the time it hosts what China is billing as the first "green" Olympics in 2008. Beijing intends to build a "solar street" where buildings and streetlights will run entirely on energy from the sun. To be green is to be hip in China these days, and even the Government is taking note. But is this the same China, infamous for its dirty rivers and poisoned skies? Nearly all of the world's most polluted cities are in China. Green China as a concept seems ridiculous, particularly when you look at other headlines coming out of China. Strong economic growth led to a major increase in the discharge of major pollutants in the first half of this year. Beijing's air pollution became so bad this week it reached "hazardous" levels on a government air-quality index. The city was blanketed in heavy fog, visibility was cut to a few hundred metres, around 80 flights were delayed and some motorways were closed. Between July to September, one out of every three days was classified as polluted in Beijing and 15 other major cities. Increasingly, in the world's factory, 70 per cent of China's energy needs are met by coal, and every 10 days another coal-fired power plant opens somewhere in China, adding to the country's environmental woes. Meanwhile, China is the world's second-largest consumer of oil, behind the United States. But China is on a drive to boost renewable energies and cut pollution - for sound financial and political reasons. Oil is too expensive and the Government wants alternative energies to reduce China's dependence on it. People in the highly polluted cities often complain that their children have nowhere to go to escape the bad air, and they are worried about what all this will mean for their future. Farmers have rioted and held demonstrations over pollution damaging their crops, making environmental hazards a potential source of political instability, something the ruling Communist Party refuses to tolerate. China's top environmental watchdog, the State Environment Protection Administration (SEPA), said pollution cost China £34 billion ($97 billion) in 2004, around 3 per cent of the GDP that year. In true pragmatic style, Chinese leaders introduced laws this year that set a goal of doubling the use of alternative sources of energy. By 2020, 15 per cent of China's energy needs will be met from renewable sources, with the amount of green power produced rising to 10 gigawatts by 2010 and 30 gigawatts by 2020. "I'm very optimistic about the outlook for renewable energy here. In China, introducing renewables is good industrial development strategy, it's not part of the climate change argument," says Dr Eric Martinot, a research fellow with the US-based Worldwatch Institute and a visiting scholar at Tsinghua University. China invested £3.3 billion in renewable energy last year, making it one of the biggest investors in renewables in the world, and Martinot believes the spending was based on sound reasoning. "In other countries it's a question of 'a' or 'b', but here people say 'Let's develop everything - 'a' and 'b' and 'c', we need it all'," he says. "Local air pollution is playing a big factor in driving many of these arguments, as ordinary people don't accept this kind of pollution." There are 30 million solar households in China, which account for nearly 60 per cent of global solar capacity. Prime Minister Wen Jiabao says solar power is central to his government's efforts to cut the use of fossil fuels by 20 per cent over the next five years. Industry leaders all over the world are watching what is happening in China. The scale of the country makes it prime testing ground for new technologies - if something works in a country of 1.3 billion people, it is likely to be viable the world over. The Chinese Renewable Energy Industries Association (CREIA) was set up in 2000 to promote the industrialisation of the use of green energy in China. "Using renewable energy can promote economic development in an environment-friendly way, which would be the key method to balance China's economic development and its environment protection," says CREIA secretary-general Li Junfeng. China still has vast coal reserves, but officials are examining the potential of renewable energy to resolve a potential bottleneck to faster economic growth. Experts say the challenges facing China's environment require a multi-faceted response - wind power in particular is especially suitable for remote, economically underdeveloped regions in China, such as Xinjiang and other barren provinces such as Inner Mongolia. Meanwhile, CREIA is developing solar energy and biomass energy in several other provinces including Hebei and Jiangsu. Local government in Dunhuang in Gansu province said they would build the world's biggest solar plant there, a 100-megawatt project costing £400 million. Dunhuang has 3362 hours of sunshine every year, making it a prime spot for solar energy development. The world's biggest solar plant is at Arnstein near Wuerzburg in southern Germany, with a 12-megawatt capacity. Beijing is also examining the potential of ethanol and biodiesel. China produced 1 billion litres of ethanol last year - a small proportion of global production (which hit 33 billion litres) but one that is growing. China is also getting help from some significant global players in realising its green goals, including the World Bank and corporations like General Electric. Big British companies such as BP are also getting involved - the Tsinghua-BP Clean Energy Research and Education Centre was launched by Tony Blair three years ago and receives more than £500,000 a year from BP. Its aim is to develop practical clean energy technologies and advise the China's National Development and Reform Commission on the use of clean energy. "As the 2008 Beijing Olympics approaches, we are also conducting several related projects, such as the sustainable urban energy system," said the centre's director, Jiang Ning. With less than two years to go, Beijing is working hard to meet its pledge to make the 2008 Games a "green Olympics" and provide a platform for China to show itself as a modern, progressive country. The goal is that by 2008, up to 90 per cent of the city's street lamps will use solar power, which will also heat 90 per cent of the water used for bathing, according to Tian Maijiu, deputy director of the Standing Committee of Beijing Municipal People's Congress. Wind power will generate 20 per cent of the electricity for the Olympic venues, and the city will provide direct investment or interest-free loans to key projects. Solar power, biomass and wind power development will be the three main projects in Beijing's rural ecological park, and the city is also planning to build a series of large recycling projects that will include refuse incineration and processing plants and a disposal centre for dangerous waste. The World Bank will work with China to promote sustainable development, looking at how to manage scarce resources and optimise energy use.
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Old 11-29-2006, 04:28 PM   #153
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Fiji's armed forces have held regular exercises during the confrontation between the Government and the military. File Picture / Reuters Fiji braces for military 'exercise' Thursday November 30, 2006 Armed soldiers in full battle gear were due to deploy on the streets of Suva early today in what Fiji's military called a training exercise aimed at repelling any foreign intervention. Soldiers were expected to fire "illumination" rounds into the sea and secure strategic parts of the capital. "The exercise is in anticipation of any foreign intervention and the [Fiji military] is taking all precautionary measures," the Army said. The three-hour show of muscle was announced after inconclusive peace talks in Wellington yesterday involving warring Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase and military commander Frank Bainimarama. The talks at Government House aimed at averting a coup ended with no sign of a backdown by either side. Foreign Minister Winston Peters, who brokered the talks, described them as "lengthy, serious and meaningful" but said there was more talking to be done. Commodore Bainimarama would not talk to reporters as he left for his flight back to Fiji, while Mr Qarase said the talks were not long enough to reach conclusions. "I'm not going to give you any details but, overall, it was a good start and there is need for further consultations on some of the issues," he said. Regional foreign ministers are to meet in Sydney tomorrow, at Mr Qarase's request, to consider the repeated coup threats from Fiji's military leader. Under a Pacific Forum declaration, member countries can intervene to help resolve unrest in another member state but only at the request of the affected Government. Attempts this week by the United States, British and Australian ambassadors to Fiji to meet military officers to seek an assurance there would be no coup met with an angry response. Army spokesman Major Neumi Leweni said it was "inappropriate for a civilian diplomat to visit a military camp and seek to speak directly to officers". The military said today's exercise would involve rounds being fired into the sea near Nukulau Islands, Makuluva Island and the entrance to Suva Harbour. Major Leweni could not say if they would be firing live rounds. Prime Minister Helen Clark said she was concerned about the military exercises in Suva. "I'm not aware anyone's threatening foreign intervention. I can assure you New Zealand isn't," she said. Police spokeswoman Sylvia Low said the military did not need its permission to conduct such exercises. In another development, Fiji's Police Commissioner, Andrew Hughes, took leave to be with his family in Brisbane. Reports in Fiji said he moved to an undisclosed location in Suva a few days ago after receiving threats. Mr Hughes flew to New Zealand on Tuesday night with Mr Qarase and left yesterday for Brisbane. He will not resume work until the middle of next month. The Deputy Police Commissioner, Moses Driver, will now act as the head of Fiji's police. Mr Hughes has been at the centre of turmoil between the Government and the military after he was told to resign by Commodore Bainimarama following suggestions the military chief could face sedition charges after his threats against Mr Qarase's Administration. Last week, Commodore Bainimarama promised a "clean-up campaign" against the Government within two weeks if the demands of the military were not met. The armed forces want three controversial bills and police investigations into senior military officers dropped.
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Old 11-30-2006, 03:37 PM   #154
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Commodore Frank Bainimarama High noon for Fiji Friday December 1, 2006 SUVA - Fiji's military commander, Commodore Frank Bainimarama has set a deadline of 12 noon today to meet the army's demands or else. The renegade military commander has vowed to overthrow the government at noon after declaring that concessions offered by the prime minister did not go far enough. Two hours after Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase promised measures he hoped would avert a fourth coup in 20 years, the military chief responded with an all-or-nothing ultimatum. Commodore Frank Bainimarama said the concessions were unsatisfactory and gave the prime minister until noon to meet every one of the military's "non-negotiable" demands. "We have given the government until tomorrow afternoon to answer to our demands," Bainimarama told reporters last night. "If by [Friday] afternoon they have not answered to our demands, then we will take as given that we have been endorsed to do the cleaning up campaign in Fiji. "We hope this is going to be a peaceful transition, because we don't expect any confrontation nor do we expect any opposition. "We will look after everybody in Fiji." He accused Qarase of playing games by promising only to review three contentious bills the military had demanded be scrapped. Prime Minister Helen Clark's spokesman said Cdre Bainimarama's comments were extremely disappointing and there was a need for "cool heads". "There's no doubt that the prime minister and the Government of Fiji were willing to move forward." Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters told NZPA through a spokesman it would be disappointing if the commodore decided to turn his back on the opportunity for dialogue just 24 hours after the first substantive conversation he had had for some time with Fiji's prime minister. "We hope that he won't follow through on his threat and that he will give the process that was begun with yesterday's talks time to run their course. But at the end of the day the New Zealand Government remains fully supportive of the democratically elected Government in Fiji," Mr Peters said. The threat sent residents in the capital, Suva, streaming into supermarkets to stockpile supplies, with cash machines beginning to run dry. Less than two hours before Bainimarama's ultimatum, the prime minister addressed the nation in a televised press conference, saying he was willing to move on some of the military's demands. Qarase said the key planks of the offer were nutted out at New Zealand-brokered crisis talks in Wellington yesterday, but Bainimarama who was at the meeting today labelled it a "failure". The military indicated its intentions through a provocative show of force early today in the streets of downtown Suva. The military had called the operation, which locked down strategic sites, a "military operation" to prepare for any foreign intervention in Fiji's political crisis. Bainimarama said he would hold Qarase and two top government officials responsible if any Fiji troops were hurt in the event of a foreign intervention. Regional leaders will meet in Sydney today under a pact that could allow Pacific Island Forum members, including Australia, to send in troops should Qarase's government request it. Qarase earlier in the day said he would not seek help from foreign troops, but that could change given the ultimatum. "... the question of direct action by the forum would only arise if the democratically elected government of Fiji were unlawfully removed from office," Qarase had said. Australia's foreign minister warned Bainimarama that any coup could isolate Fiji. "Fiji risks international isolation if the military proceeds down this dangerous path," Alexander Downer said. Bainimarama has repeatedly threatened to remove Qarase's government unless it drops the three bills, including one that would grant amnesty to those involved in Fiji's 2000 coup. In his address, Qarase said he had suspended the bills, pending a constitutional review, after which he could withdraw them completely. But Bainimarama said it was a ruse and delaying tactic. He indicated that nothing short of an iron-clad guarantee on every demand the military had made would avert tomorrow's action. Those demands include the resignation or removal of Fiji Police Commissioner, Australian Andrew Hughes, and the dropping of police investigations into whether his threats against the government were seditious. Qarase appeared to have made significant concessions on both those fronts. He hinted that his government would welcome any decision by prosecutors not to charge Bainimarama with sedition. If prosecutors "decided not to proceed further, in the greatest interest of peace and stability in Fiji, the government would agree with this," he said during his address. He also said Hughes' tenure as Fiji's police commissioner was under review. Hughes has been a vocal critic of the military in its standoff with the government and is currently in Australia on leave, following threats against him in Fiji. Qarase said the police chief's contract was nearing an end and he would take into account the military's concerns in reviewing his position. Hughes will hold a press conference in Cairns today to discuss his future. Meanwhile, two Australian warships, HMAS Kanimbla and HMAS Success, continue to sit in waters near Fiji awaiting any full scale evacuation. The frigate HMAS Newcastle, which had also been in the area, is now on its way to Noumea carrying the body of the Australian pilot who died Wednesday's Black Hawk helicopter crash aboard the Kanimbla. Seven of the injured are also aboard. From Noumea, an RAAF C-130 Hercules will bring them back to Australia, arriving tomorrow night.
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Old 11-30-2006, 03:42 PM   #155
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M.I.C Diesel View Post
Birmingham is roughly situated in the middle of above diagram. Our weather's screwed up. Sunny/cold/raining etc! In the Summer you can go out in the morning in a T, & need a coat 2 hours later. Seasons are screwed! Occasional consistency.

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it's the same thing here this year. It's nearly december and i had to take my sweatshirt off because it's way too hot. We've had 70 degree temperatures in october and november, followed by crazy winds and tons of rain, followed by temperatures in the 40s, the next week followed by unusually warm weather. There's gonna be a huge weather disaster somewhere in the next year or two.
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Old 11-30-2006, 03:46 PM   #156
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Wow Elusive thats some fucked up shit!
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Old 11-30-2006, 03:50 PM   #157
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wasn't there a coup in the phillipines a couple months ago also?
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Old 11-30-2006, 05:42 PM   #158
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Bizarre deep-sea creatures imaged off New Zealand


The weird and wonderful creatures living by methane vents in the southwest Pacific have been photographed for the first time (see images right and below).
The deep-sea communities live around methane seeps off New Zealand’s eastern coast, up to 1 kilometre beneath the sea surface. The team of 21 researchers from the US and New Zealand, who spent two weeks exploring the area, have just returned to shore. See video footage recorded by the researchers here, here and here.
“It's the first time cold seeps have been viewed and sampled in the southwest Pacific, and will greatly contribute to our knowledge of these intriguing ecosystems,” says Amy Baco-Taylor from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in the US.
Cold seeps are areas of the seabed where methane or hydrogen sulphide gas escape from stores deep underneath. Like hydrothermal vents, the gases support unique life forms that can convert the energy-rich chemicals into living matter in the absence of any sunlight.
Sheer extent

Animals living around methane seeps off Chile and Japan have been observed before, but not near New Zealand. “The seeps here are remarkable in the sheer extent of their chemosynthetic communities,” says Baco-Taylor, whose team visited eight such sites between 750 and 1050 metres beneath the surface.
They used sonar to map the seafloor and to detect plumes of water rich in methane, then lowered a video and stills camera system over each site.
This allowed them to record images of tube worms between 30 cm and 40 cm in length as they emerged from beneath limestone boulders. They also recorded corals, sponges and shell beds covered with various types of clam and mussel.
The expedition was led by scientists from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the University of Hawaii at Manoa in the US, and New Zealand’s National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research.


Enlarge image
Vestimentiferan worms - a type of tube worm widely seen at the methane seeps - were sampled from the "Builder's Pencil" site. Builder’s Pencil, which covers 180,000 square metres, is one of the largest seep sites in the world



Enlarge image
The furry filaments on this hermit crab’s claws are thought to allow it to feed off the energy-rich chemicals from the seep

Enlarge image
Glass sponges and tube worms poke through the seafloor
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Old 11-30-2006, 08:35 PM   #159
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Ancient computer found on seabed Friday December 1, 2006By Steve Connor ATHENS - An astronomical instrument built by the ancient Greeks in the second century BC has turned out to be a complex computer for calculating the relative position of the sun, the moon and the planets. Scientists studying the internal workings of the machine using a sophisticated medical scanner have concluded that it was at least a thousand years ahead of its time. The Antikythera Mechanism was recovered from a Roman shipwreck at the turn of the last century but its precise function was little understood because it was broken into 82 incomplete fragments. Made of bronze and wood, the device was evidently an instrument of some sort because it used a complicated set of gears to move a series of concentric wheels and pointers which appeared to predict the movements of astronomical objects. However, the scientists were surprised to find that the machine was in fact a sophisticated analogue computer that acted as a long-term calendar for predicting lunar and solar eclipses as well as the movements of the planets. A large international team of scientists drawn from many different disciplines took part in the study. Their picture of how the device worked and what it was intended to do has astonished classical scholars. "This device is just extraordinary, the only thing of its kind. The design is beautiful, the astronomy is exactly right. The way the mechanics are designed just makes your jaw drop. Whoever has done this had done it extremely well," said Professor Mike Edmunds of Cardiff University, a leading member of the research team. "It does raise the question of what else were they making at the time. In terms of historic and scarcity value, I have to regard this mechanism as being more valuable than the Mona Lisa," Professor Edmunds said. The scientists, who included researchers from the National Archaeological Museum of Athens, found that the complex gearing mechanism of the device acted as a long-term calendar, enabling its operators to track the Moon and the Sun through the Zodiac, predict eclipses and even calculate the irregular orbit of the Moon. Greek sponge-divers discovered the Roman shipwreck off the island of Antikythera in 1900. A year later, archaeologists recovered the device which had been submerged 42m under water for about 2000 years. The shipwreck was dated to about 65BC but the instrument is thought to have been made between 100BC and 150BC, possibly by the Greek astronomer Hipparchos, who lived on the nearby island of Rhodes.
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Old 11-30-2006, 08:45 PM   #160
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i wonder if MR HIP HOP HEAD will start posting in this thread if we keep it up.
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Old 12-01-2006, 07:07 PM   #161
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Photo Gallery: New Glowing Mushrooms Found in Brazil




Like a black light poster come to life, a group of bioluminescent fungi collected from Ribeira Valley Tourist State Park near São Paulo, Brazil, emanates a soft green glow when the lights go out. The mushrooms are part of the genus Mycena, a group that includes about 500 species worldwide. Of these only 33 are known to be bioluminescent—capable of producing light through a chemical reaction. Since 2002 Cassius Stevani, professor of chemistry at the University of São Paulo; Dennis Desjardin, professor of mycology at San Francisco State University in California; and Marina Capelari of Brazil's Institute of Botany have discovered ten more bioluminescent fungi species—four of which are new to science—in Brazil's tropical forests.

The work, Stevani says, has increased the number of glowers known since the 1970s by 30 percent.



Here are some more....







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Old 12-01-2006, 07:19 PM   #162
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Photo Gallery: New Glowing Mushrooms Found in Brazil




Like a black light poster come to life, a group of bioluminescent fungi collected from Ribeira Valley Tourist State Park near São Paulo, Brazil, emanates a soft green glow when the lights go out. The mushrooms are part of the genus Mycena, a group that includes about 500 species worldwide. Of these only 33 are known to be bioluminescent—capable of producing light through a chemical reaction. Since 2002 Cassius Stevani, professor of chemistry at the University of São Paulo; Dennis Desjardin, professor of mycology at San Francisco State University in California; and Marina Capelari of Brazil's Institute of Botany have discovered ten more bioluminescent fungi species—four of which are new to science—in Brazil's tropical forests.

The work, Stevani says, has increased the number of glowers known since the 1970s by 30 percent.



Here are some more....







BIOLUMINESCENTS...SOME MARINE LIFE DO IT TOO.
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Old 12-03-2006, 03:05 PM   #163
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NZ asylum seekers in jails as well as refugee centre Monday December 4, 2006By Simon Collins Refugee claimants seeking asylum in New Zealand are now just as likely to be held in jail as in the Mangere Refugee Resettlement Centre. The Labour Department says 23 people claiming refugee status were being held in jail on October 17, compared with 22 at the low-security Mangere centre. The figures, supplied in response to a Herald request under the Official Information Act, have been condemned by refugee lobby groups who say some asylum seekers have been beaten and abused by other prisoners and guards. The Herald asked for the data on October 10 when Global Peace and Justice Auckland protested about an Iranian Christian chef, Hossein (Thomas) Yadegary, who has been held in Auckland Central Remand Prison for two years since his application for refugee status was rejected. He cannot be deported because he refuses to sign travel documents and says that Muslims who convert to Christianity face a potential death penalty in Iran. Yadegary's lawyer, Isabel Chorao, plans to apply to the High Court next week for a writ of habeas corpus declaring that Yadegary should not be detained indefinitely. The Labour Department data shows that on October 17: * 45 people who had claimed refugee status were being held in custody - 23 in jail and 22 at Mangere. * 18 of the 45 were waiting for initial decisions from the department. * 11 had been rejected by the department and were waiting for decisions from the Refugee Status Appeals Authority. * 13 had lodged at least one appeal to the Associate Immigration Minister, currently Clayton Cosgrove. * Five of those held in jail lodged refugee claims only after being served with a removal order, and were detained pending a decision on their claim. * Seven had been through all appeals up to the associate minister and had been rejected every time, but required travel documents to leave the country. Five of these were "refusing to co-operate with Department of Labour staff in obtaining a travel document". Auckland Refugee Council executive officer Elizabeth Walker said she was surprised the figures were so high. Refugee Council of New Zealand vice-president Neville Kay said he was preparing a report for the Government arguing that refugee claimants should not be held with criminals in jails. The council's secretary, lawyer Heval Hylan, said clients had told him they had been subjected to beatings and verbal abuse from both prisoners and prison officers. "They hate them. They can be almost sadistic in some cases," he said. "It's not extreme. I'm not talking about Turkey or Thailand, but the emotional impact is quite considerable." Labour Department spokeswoman Dionne Barton said the department carried out a risk profile of failed asylum seekers to establish if they were likely to flee or commit crimes, or if their identity could not be confirmed. "Where they are housed while they await their appeal is dependent on our assessment of their risk profile."
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Old 12-03-2006, 03:09 PM   #164
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Fourth infection thought linked to Samoan tattoo Monday December 4, 2006 A fourth person is feared to have contracted an infection from a Samoan tattoo session, and doctors are being asked to check their records for other possible cases. An urgent investigation is under way by health officials and the Labour Department into how three young Samoan men received severe infections from traditional tattoos. All three required hospitalisation. One young man has had nearly 25 per cent of his skin removed to save him from the flesh-eating disease necrotising fasciitis. Another man also caught the flesh-eating disease, while another had cellulitis, a serious skin inflammation around an infected wound. Wellington region doctors have been told to report cases of skin infections that might be linked to tattoos in the past six months. Tattooist Sua Vitale Fa'alavelave, who is believed to have been involved in at least two of the cases, has agreed to stop his work. Wellington medical officer of health Margot McLean told the Dominion Post information from local GPs had uncovered a fourth case suspected to be linked to the same tattoo artist. "There is someone else who we think has had a less severe cellulitis and just needed oral antibiotics, but we haven't linked it to him yet." Joe Seupule, a spokesman for Mr Vitale who has done hundreds of tattoos, defended his record for good hygiene. He questioned whether the victims had followed instructions for hygiene after the tattooing at Mr Vitale's Hutt Valley home. Dr McLean said Mr Vitale had voluntarily agreed not to do any more tattoos until the investigation was complete, but the department could issue an order prohibiting him from working. "We want to look very closely at his infection control practices. The Labour Department will also be investigating and we would not be happy for him to reopen until this is fully worked through and any concerns addressed," she said.
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Old 12-03-2006, 03:11 PM   #165
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Blockade of Suva tipped for today Monday December 4, 2006By Phil Taylor Fiji military commander Frank Bainimarama's "clean-up" campaign may begin as early as today. A Fijian Sunday newspaper, citing "well-placed sources" in the military and Government, said a blockade of Suva was expected to be put in place at 3am. The President, Ratu Josefa Iloilo, would then dissolve the Government and an interim Administration would be set up. Commodore Bainimarama was not asked directly about this report, but the tone of an hour-long interview he gave to Fiji television suggested that action was imminent. The Army was taking over now, he said, and warned against intervention by foreign troops. He also warned people against looting - looting and arson during the 2000 coup cost Fiji about $127 million - and said the Army and police would act together to stop it. The Commodore rejected an assertion by Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase that he would be acting illegally and gave Mr Qarase a last chance to resign. "He says there are three ways to remove him, but the military says there are 5001 ways to skin a cat," the Commodore said. He declined to give details of the lineup of his interim Government but said President Iloilo was the only person he was listening to. Mr Qarase and three members of his Cabinet watched the live interview from the Prime Minister's offices over the road from the studio. The Prime Minister emerged 30 minutes later and told the Herald his national security council had met to consider the Commodore's "latest and ever-changing demands". "We have decided to convene a special meeting of the Cabinet on Tuesday morning [to] consider these demands and we will bemaking a decision as the Government on those demands." Mr Qarase said he did not expect the military to act today, nor did he plan to call for international help. That was "out of the question". Commodore Bainimarama said the damage to tourism meant it was important the clean-up campaign occurred as quickly as possible. People should go about their business as usual today and the transition would be peaceful, he said. The Army and police would protect all citizens and visitors.
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