Monday, January 30, 2006

Media update

National News

Daily Telegraph - Queen sacked us over Diana interview, says BBC
"Internal documents obtained by the Sunday Telegraph reveal that BBC bosses were convinced the loss of its exclusive rights to the Queen's Christmas broadcast was directly linked to Martin Bashir's interview with the Princess in 1995."

Regional news

Eastern Daily Press - One in six hospital staff have flu jab
"Just one in six workers at a big Norfolk hospital has had a flu jab this winter. Figures show that 500 staff at the James Paget Hospital, Gorleston, have had the inoculation, out of a total workforce of 3000. The figures, released under the Freedom of Information Act, could not be broken down into medical staff and support staff."

The Argus (Sussex) - Councils spend £43m on advisers
"Councils in Sussex have spent a staggering £43 million on consultants in the last two years - almost £55,000 a day. The figure, released to The Argus under the Freedom of Information Act, comes at a time when local authorities are making budget cuts and residents are facing council tax hikes of three times the rate of inflation."

Norwich Evening News - Councils in £8m pay-off to workers
"The Evening News today reveals the huge cash sums councils are coughing up to get rid of staff. A Freedom of Information (FoI) request has highlighted the millions of pounds in taxpayers' money councils are splashing out in redundancy and early retirement payments."

The Citizen (Gloucesterhsire) - HOW POLICE DRUM UP A WAGES BOOST
"Statistics obtained by The Citizen under the Freedom of Information Act show that a total of 23 serving officers have registered earnings outside their police work. And the results make quite interesting reading."

Daily Post (North Wales) - Foot and mouth made millionaire
"THE world's worst FMD epidemic created at least 37 instant millionaires among Britain's farmers. For the first time, the Daily Post can confirm that one was from Wales. Figures obtained under the Freedom of Information (FoI) Act revealed that one pedigree cattle breeder pocketed £1.33m when his 336 animals were slaughtered...It follows a year-long FoI inquiry by rural ministry Defra which concluded disclosure of personal details would cause farmers too much distress. A Defra spokesman said: "We recognise there is a real public interest in transparency and accountability in the spending of public money. However, we also need to take into account the fact the foot-and- mouth out-break was a time of great distress for many living in the countryside, and there is strong evidence of ongoing trauma and health problems still affecting those whose livestock were compulsorily slaughtered."

"RAF Leuchars has confirmed it has been asked to supply details of aircraft using the base to the Ministry of Defence....Flight-Lieutenant Keith Wardlaw, the base's corporate communications officer, told the Citizen this week that the request came through the Freedom of Information Act through Strike Command. However, he said records at the base were only kept for three months before being destroyed."

Overseas FoI

BBC news - US plans to 'fight the net' revealed
A newly declassified document gives a fascinating glimpse into the US military's plans for "information operations" - from psychological operations, to attacks on hostile computer networks."

Daily Star (Bangladesh) - Right to information in Bangladesh
"The proposed Right to Information Act, drafted by the Bangladesh Law Commission in 2002, is now lying with the Ministry of Information for scrutiny."

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