Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Media roundup

BBC News 25th March -'Secrecy instinct' being overcome
"Public bodies are "getting away from the instinct of official secrecy" following the introduction of openness laws, an independent watchdog has said."

BBC News 25th March - Secret Iraq legal advice probed
"The decision to prevent disclosure of Attorney General Lord Goldsmith's legal advice on the Iraq war is being studied by the Information Commissioner."

The Scotsman 28th March -Hygiene fear as mice turn up in school canteens
"Mice, rats and ants have been found in school canteen storage areas, and school meals have been served at temperatures that could cause food poisoning, according to reports obtained under the Freedom of Information Act"

Sunday Times 27th March - Commons thieves walk off with MPs’ valuables – and a sandwich
"The Houses of Parliament have been revealed as rich pickings for thieves, with more than £150,000 worth of valuables stolen in the past four years, including MPs’ computers, solar panels and jewellery"

The Guardian 24th March - War resignation letter censored
"The government yesterday tried to suppress evidence that the attorney general believed war against Iraq was illegal less than two weeks before British troops joined the US-led invasion of the country. It has removed a key passage in the resignation letter written by Elizabeth Wilmshurst, deputy chief legal adviser at the Foreign Office, on March 18 2003, the eve of the invasion.The remainder of her letter - in which she described the planned invasion as a "crime of aggression" - was released yesterday under the Freedom of Information Act."

Guardian 23rd March - Royal farms get £1m from taxpayers
"The Queen and Prince Charles received a total of more than £1m in EU farm subsidies in the past two years, it was revealed yesterday. The figure emerged as the government for the first time published the amount of subsidy each farmer in Britain receives, after a request from the Guardian under the Freedom of Information Act."

Independent 23rd March- Comment Heather Brooke: The Government's right to keep us in the dark

BBC News 23rd March - UK refuses records on Jenin death
"The UK Government is refusing to release information about the death of a British UN worker in Jenin who was shot by an Israeli soldier. In January BBC News used the Freedom of Information Act to seek the facts about Iain Hook's death in November 2002."

New Scientist - Cracks may force shutdown of UK reactors
"REACTORS in many UK nuclear power stations are in danger of developing cracks in their graphite cores. This could force some plants to close down earlier than expected, dealing a blow to the idea that nuclear power can become a "green" option in the fight against global warming. Documents obtained by New Scientist under the UK's Freedom of Information Act have revealed unsuspected problems with the country's ageing advanced gas-cooled reactors (AGRs). Government nuclear inspectors say they have uncovered weaknesses in the safety analyses."

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