Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Media update

National News

Observer - TonyBlair -Comment -I don't destroy liberties, I protect them
"This government has introduced the Human Rights Act, so that, for the first time, a citizen can challenge the power of the state solely on the basis of an infringement of human rights, and the Freedom of Information Act, the most open thing any British government has done since the Reform Acts of the 1830s."

Indepedent - Sir Jeremy Isaacs: History man - a life in pictures
""I found out from the BBC under the Freedom of Information Act that [the old guard] had presented me with this ultimatum two days before the governors were due to meet to consider whether or not they wanted a one-subject Panorama," says Isaacs with a wry smile."

BBC news - Inmates show high levels of drugs
"A survey has shown high levels of illegal drug use among inmates in South West prisons. Statistics obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, revealed almost 25% of inmates gave positive tests."

Regional News

IC North Wales - TB livestock test lottery revealed
"The Badger Trust used the Freedom of Information Act 2000 to assess how consistently farm animal health, welfare and transport rules are being enforced in English and Welsh counties where there is a persistent problem with bovine tuberculosis (TB)."

Aberdeen City Council - Compulsory registration of private landlords
"Press release- All private landlords in the North-east will soon be required to register with their local authority....Under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, the register will be a public one and will be viewable online, or by request from a local authority. Searches can be conducted by inputting a landlord's name and/or the leased property address. The register will show a contact name and address for either the landlord or any agent working on their behalf."

IC Coventry - Why can't I phone my police station direct
"He was so incensed with having to call an 0845 number that he used the Government's secret-busting Freedom of Information Act to demand that they tell him what it is. But he received a letter from police headquarters in Birmingham saying it was "not in the public interest to release this information".

Belfast Telegraph - Police in the dock
"Almost 30 serving PSNI officers have been accused of criminal offences since the beginning of 2004, including attempted murder, sexual assaults, and drink driving, the Belfast Telegraph can reveal today."

Kent online - Exam results for school that officially 'didn't exist'
"THE former Ramsgate School in Thanet had the lowest GCSE pass rate and highest truancy levels in Kent last year, it has emerged. The school did not feature in the Government’s official league tables released in January because it re-opened as the specialist Marlowe Academy last September. At the time the national results were issued, the Department for Education said it had not published those for the Margate Academy because officially, the school no longer existed. Meanwhile, Kent County Council said it did not have them. However, as a result of request made by the Thanet Extra under the Freedom of Information Act, Kent County Council has now provided the provisional data for the school collected at the time."

Overseas FOI

al-Jazeera - Almost 100 died in U.S. custody in Iraq, Afghanistan
""These are documents based on army investigative reports, documents that we've obtained from the government or that have come out through freedom of information act requests in the United States,” she told Newsnight program."

Guardian - Blogger bares Rumsfeld's post 9/11 orders
"Hours after a commercial plane struck the Pentagon on September 11 2001 the US defence secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, was issuing rapid orders to his aides to look for evidence of Iraqi involvement, according to notes taken by one of them.
"Hard to get good case. Need to move swiftly," the notes say. "Near term target needs - go massive - sweep it all up, things related and not." The handwritten notes, with some parts blanked out, were declassified this month in response to a request by a law student and blogger, Thad Anderson, under the US Freedom of Information Act. Anderson has posted them on his blog at outragedmoderates.org."

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