Posts tagged ‘BBC News’

May 31, 2011

“Not our vegetables to blame, its German food!”, Spain says after accusations from Germany that its vegetables caused the country’s deadly e.coli outbreak

[Peter Skelps, Epidemics Contributor]

BBC News: Spain is furious with the Germans for passing the buck to it for Germany‘s recent bad food outbreak which is making thousands seriously ill and so far has killed around 20 over Germany.

Angry Manuel Jose, a Spanish tourist in Hamburg, told iTOD Daily news contributor, Peter Skelps: “It’s nothing to do with Spain and Spanish food. It’s just a big cover up by the Germans to hide their own bad food. Bad food poisoning in Germany has always been a time bomb. Go to any fast food place, or cafe – they all touch money and everything with their hands and then handle your food with the same hands. Restaurant attendants and kitchen hands there even go to the bathroom and handle your food after without washing their hands. It’s them to blame, not us and it’s certainly nothing to do with our cucumbers.

He went on to say: “So they are bothered about 20 deaths…what about the 140,000 Germans that die each and every year directly from smoking tobacco in Germany. Instead of continuing to encourage Germans to smoke, shouldn’t they  stop trying to kill them all?”

Spain’s agricultural minister has said that Germany has no reliable data to link the poisoning to Spanish vegetables.  This view has since been echoed by a number of German officials who have expressed mixed views concerning the matter.

The outbreak has killed around fifteen Germans and one Swedish woman who died after eating German food.

The Robert Koch Institute (RKI), which is Germany’s national disease institute, has confirmed that since the outbreak, which appears to be worsening, over 1,150 people in  Germany have been contaminated by enterohaemorrhagic E. coli (‘EHEC‘) which in turn has led to Haemolytic-uraemic Syndrome (HUS), which causes kidney problems and can kill. Germany has 373 cases of HUS currently.

May 25, 2011

Georgia’s legacy of arsenic poisoning is killing hundreds of its children

BBC News: Recent scientific research have shown that hundreds of Georgian children are being made seriously ill and some are being killed from the country’s legacy of arsenic poisoning.  The research discovered that the arsenic production sites which had been discontinued after the Soviet Union fell, are now leaking highly toxic substances into the environment.

The area most affected is Uravi in north-west Georgia. However, Georgian authorities have failed to warn the residents of the serious harm the substances are doing to do to their children.

According to Giorgi Khachidze, environment minister, the government knows about the problem, but with its economy severely depressed, the country does not have any resources to put things right. He said: “All over the country we have the legacy of pesticides, landmines, abandoned factories, sources of radiation. Every day we get information about something and we just don’t have the money to sort out all these in a day.”

Arsenic is a deadly poison and can cause death, cancer, skin thickening. liver and digestive disease. It is difficult to treat as it is odourless and flavourless.

[BBC video – click to play]

May 25, 2011

Twitter cracks down on users breaking UK privacy injunctions

[Zana Blanke, Privacy Law Contributor]
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BBC News:  The social networking site, Twitter which has around 175 million registered users worldwide, has issued a stern warning to its users that if they break privacy injunctions with their Tweets, they will be on their own before the UK courts. According to Twitter’s new European boss, Tony Wang, Twitter users who breach UK privacy injunctions via their tweets would not be protected by Twitter.
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He confirmed that where authorities required information relating to the unlawful postings, Twitter would co-operate fully with them. Currently, Twitter is under pressure by privacy lawyers to reveal the identities of those users who deliberately breached the privacy orders by their tweets.
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Mr. Wang said: “Platforms have a responsibility, not to defend that user but to protect that user’s right to defend him or herself  …..[users can] exercise their own legal rights under their own jurisdiction, whether that is a motion to quash the order or to oppose it or do a number of other things to defend themselves.”
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May 23, 2011

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May 13, 2011

Shocking beheading of British woman in Tenerife

[European Crime News Contributor, Vicky Brown]

BBC News:  Residents of the popular British resort of Tenerife are in a state of shock following the brutal beheading of a woman British tourist today in a supermarket.  A Bulgarian man (updated to ‘Romanian’ – 16 5 2011) thought to be responsible has been arrested in the town of Los Cristianos.
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Eyewitnesses told BBC News that  the alleged perpetrator entered the Chinese supermarket in a well-frequented shopping centre on the island and then proceeded to stab and behead the 62-year-old British woman.  He then took the woman’s head and paraded it outside the centre until he was tackled by a security guard who wrestled him to the ground where he was held until the police came.
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The attack is believed to be a random one as the woman appears to have had no previous connection with her beheader who the police do not believe to be connected to, Al’Qaeda, or Islam.  However, the police say the arrested man has a crime record.
May 4, 2011

Chernobyl revisited – Russia calls for new nuclear safety rules worldwide

[Valentin Pleschuk, Russia News Contributor]

BBC News: Following the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster, Russian president Dmitry Medvedev has called upon the international community to adopt a new set of international nuclear safety rules.

For the first time since 1986 when the disaster broke out, a Russian leader actually visited the devastated and highly contaminated area. The commemoration ceremony at the foot of the crippled plant was also attended by the president of Ukraine, Victor Yanukovich.

The proposal came amid massive protests in Germany, France and a number of eastern European states against the use of nuclear power in the context of the worldwide radiation spread threat from the now infamous Fukushima plant.

Today, I sent proposals to [world] leaders… aimed at guaranteeing the necessary development of nuclear energy in the world while preventing at the same time catastrophic global consequences [of accidents]…..in order for such tragedies never to be repeated we must all be honest, we must provide absolutely exact information about what is going on.”” Mr Medvedev said. 

Although the full content of the proposals is unknown, one of the conditions of the programme, accentuated by Mr. Medvedev publicly, is enhanced openness and speedy information exchange between world governments and the population, as well as between countries’ governments themselves.

The ceremony was held in absence of Alexander Lukashenko, the president of Belarus which was most grievously affected by the Chernobyl disaster, after being suggested as an unwelcome guest at the Chernobyl conference, by the president of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso.

May 3, 2011

Deutsche bank in $1 billion sting, claims US Government

[Bjorn Schroeder, Global Finance News Contributor]

BBC News: It seems that after just stemming the tide of harsh criticism after a recent adverse German Federal Court of Justice ruling that the bank had acted dishonestly towards its German customers, one of the world’s leading banks, Deutsche Bank, is under legal crossfire again, as the US Justice Department is claiming more than $1 billion (£600 million) from it in the US Supreme Court in compensation for ‘defrauding the US government’.

The US Goverment is saying that Deutsche Bank’s MortgageIT subsidiary gave intentionally false information to US authorities to get Federal Housing Administration (which is the federal US mortgage insurer) to cover its loans without doing due diligence on bank’s clients’ solvency.

The lawsuit is one of the first but most likely not the last in the row of US Government‘s actions against unfortunate mortgage lenders within the light of the globally declining real estate market and the growing number of bad loans.

April 20, 2011

Wikileaks suspect, Manning, to be moved to new prison

[Jim Anderson, US Crime Contributor]

According to BBC News, British Wikileaks suspect, Bradley Manning, is to be moved for his ‘own well-being’ to a military prison in Kansas. He is currently being held at a Marine Corps base in Virginia, pending his trial for disclosing US military secrets, where, his supporters and international observers say  he is being mistreated.

Last week, US officials had blocked requests by the UN’s special rapporteur on torture for an ‘unmonitored’ visit to Bradley Manning at the prison to investigate concerns about his mistreatment.

April 20, 2011

British and France put soldiers on the ground in Libya

[Katherine Taylor, Libya Conflict Contributor]

BBC News reports that the UK is sending a number of its military advisors to Libya to assist the rebels to overthrow the regime of Col Muammar Gaddafi.  Around 10 British officers will be deployed together with around the same amount from France.

The British are saying that the move complies with the UN resolution on Libya which prevents the depl0yment of foreign occupation troops. Col. Gaddafi’s foreign minister, is reported to have said that the move would not be helpful to Col Gaddafi and the rebels as it would only serve to prolong the conflict. However, he did not mention what else Britain could do to assist with the rebel’s demands being met.

Military analysts commenting on the move are saying that it is undoubtedly the first step towards a full-scale deployment of British and French troops to Libya to spearhead the following invasion of Nato forces.  They are also saying that Nato’s resolve not to arm the rebels means that Col Gaddafi’s forces have distinct firepower advantages over them as they are able to rely on weaponry (including tanks, rockets and anti-personnel munitions) supplied to Col Gaddafi by US and European governments in the past 2 years.

April 20, 2011

Syria’s cancellation of ’emergency’ law, unlikely to save government

[Michael Harris, Middle East and Africa News Contributor]

BBC News reports that the Syrian government has now cancelled its emergency law which allowed it to detain without charge and torture thousands of its citizens. It has also passed a new law allowing peaceful protests and it special court for prosecuting political activists has now been abolished.

Analysts are commenting that the moves by the current regime seems merely intended to placate the onlooking international community in the main judging from the regime’s security forces’ ongoing harsh treatment  of the anti-government protestors which have resulted in hundreds of their deaths and injuries.  As such the moves are unlikely to keep the government in power, even though the two items were key demands of the protestors.

On Monday, joining country-wide demonstrations against the government, more than 5,000 anti-government protestors were in Hom demanding for the current regime to step down.