Visiting reporter’s release greeted with relief

first_img February 14, 2013 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Visiting reporter’s release greeted with relief to go further News News Receive email alerts February 15, 2021 Find out more News RSF_en Follow the news on Iraq Organisation Three jailed reporters charged with “undermining national security”center_img News IraqMiddle East – North Africa IraqMiddle East – North Africa December 28, 2020 Find out more RSF’s 2020 Round-up: 50 journalists killed, two-thirds in countries “at peace” Help by sharing this information In Arabic (بالعربية)Nadir Dendoune, a visiting journalist with French, Algerian and Australian nationality, was released this afternoon from a Baghdad prison. The French ambassador to Baghdad confirmed to Reporters Without Borders that he was released on bail after being held for 23 days. He is now at the French embassy.The date of his return to France is not yet known and Reporters Without Borders is waiting to learn the exact conditions of his release. “The announcement of Dendoune’s release is an immense relief after 23 days of worry,” Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Christophe Deloire said. “He was arrested simply for doing his work as a journalist. A campaign by his family and fellow journalists in France and Iraq has borne fruit. Reporters Without Borders thanks all the journalists who signed the petition for his release launched by RWB and the support committee.”Dendoune arrived in Iraq on 16 January to do a series of reports for the French monthly Le Monde Diplomatique and the magazine Le Courrier de l’Atlas. According to the French foreign ministry, he was arrested near a water treatment plant in the southwest Baghdad neighbourhood of Dora while out reporting on 23 January.Accompanied by a lawyer, he was brought before a judge on 5 February. The judge ruled that he should remain in custody “for the purposes of the investigation.”Reporters Without Borders and its partner organization in Iraq, the Journalistic Freedoms Observatory, wrote to Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki on 30 January requesting Dendoune’s release. Reporters Without Borders also filed a request for a visa at the Iraqi embassy in Paris.Iraq is ranked 150th out of 179 countries in the 2013 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index. Iraq : Wave of arrests of journalists covering protests in Iraqi Kurdistan December 16, 2020 Find out morelast_img read more

GAO says USDA, FDA should improve food recalls

first_imgOct 21, 2004 (CIDRAP News) – The Government Accountability Office (GAO) asserted this week that weaknesses in the government’s systems for handling food recalls increase the risk that consumers will buy and eat unsafe food. This meat was mixed with still other meat before it reached retail shelves, so the precise amount of potentially contaminated meat that was sold is unknown, the report says. Customers ultimately returned or destroyed 64,000 pounds of beef as a result of the recall, but it was not possible to determine how much of the original 10,410 pounds was included in that amount, the GAO says. The report was prepared at the request of two Democratic legislators, Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa and Rep. Marcy Kaptur of Ohio. The USDA generally agreed with the report and said it had already addressed most of the problems cited, but the FDA disagreed with some of the main conclusions. The report recommends that Congress consider requiring food companies to notify the government of potentially unsafe food and giving the USDA and FDA authority to require recalls. The agencies currently lack that authority, except that the FDA can require recalls of infant formula. In commenting on a draft of the GAO report, the USDA said it was generally accurate and that the procedures adopted in May would correct most of the problems cited. But the agency said the GAO’s recommendations about collecting more data and generating more reports would be burdensome to the agency and to industry, according to the report. See also: The GAO also says the methods the two agencies use to notify consumers of recalls—press releases and Web postings—may not be effective. Consumer groups consulted by the GAO said relatively few consumers may see that information. They suggested that the agencies try additional steps, such as posting recall notices in grocery stores and using “shoppers’ club” information. Eating meat products from BSE-infected cattle is believed to be the cause of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. But when the BSE case was discovered, officials said the organs most likely to harbor the BSE agent, such as the brain, spinal cord, and distal small intestine, had been removed from the carcass and did not enter the human food supply. The GAO says the amount of food recalled by US companies has increased substantially in recent years. For meat and poultry, the volume grew from about 6 million pounds in 1988 to 36 million pounds in 2003. Firms normally conduct voluntary recalls when they discover they may have sold contaminated food or food that contains unlisted allergens, but the GAO says the federal agencies do not know how well the recalls are carried out. The report notes that the federal government has mandatory recall authority over other products, including motor vehicles, general consumer goods, vaccines, and medical devices. Besides urging consideration of recall authority over food, the GAO recommends that USDA and FDA “better track and manage food recalls, achieve more prompt and complete recalls, and determine if additional ways are needed to alert consumers about recalled food they have in their homes.”center_img However, last May the USDA established time frames for completing verification checks and methods for reaching all segments of the distribution chain, the report notes. If implemented, the new procedures should help ensure that recalls are effective, it says. “USDA and FDA do not know how promptly and completely the recalling companies and their distributors and other customers are carrying out recalls, and neither agency is using its data systems to effectively track and manage its recall programs,” the GAO report says. One of the report’s appendices describes the USDA’s oversight of the beef recall that followed the discovery of the nation’s first cow with bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in Washington state in December 2003. It says the USDA was unable to determine how much of the 10,410 pounds of beef in the original recall was actually recovered. USDA officials said processors mixed the potentially contaminated meat with other meat for a total of 38,000 pounds of beef that was distributed “at the secondary customer level,” according to the report. GAO report, “Food safety: USDA and FDA need to better ensure prompt and complete recalls of potentially unsafe food” Further, the agencies “do not track important dates to calculate how long companies take to carry out recalls and the percentage of food that is recovered,” the GAO says. Nor do the agencies “promptly verify that recalls have reached all segments of the distribution chain.” The GAO found that the USDA took an average of 38 days and the FDA took an average of 31 days to finish recall verification checks in 2003—longer than the expected shelf life for some of the foods recalled. The USDA and FDA don’t give companies specific guidance on how quickly to carry out recalls, and therefore they may be less motivated to notify customers and pull food from the marketplace, the report asserts. The FDA, after reviewing a draft, rejected the assertion that weaknesses in FDA procedures slowed recalls and limited the amount of food recovered, the document says. The FDA also dissented from the recommendation for giving food companies specific time frames and for recording the dates of company and FDA actions. The GAO, an investigative agency of Congress, analyzed 10 recalls monitored by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and 10 monitored by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) in 2003. The agency found that about 38% and 36% of recalled food was eventually recovered in the recalls overseen by the USDA and FDA, respectively.last_img read more

BP to begin Ironbark drilling in late October

first_imgThe WA-359-Pjoint venture operator is BP which holds a 42.5 per cent interest the otherthree partners – Cue Energy, Beach Energy, and New Zealand Oil & Gas – hold21.5, 21, and 15 per cent respectively. BP’s environment plan for the Ironbark-1 exploration well was approved by NOPSEMA in July 2020 and, just last month, the oil major chartered three Solstad Offshore’s vessels to support the company’s Ironbark drilling campaign. Australia’s National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA) has provided final approvals to BP for drilling of the Ironbark-1 well. From earlyMay 2019 until late July 2019, the rig worked for Woodside. Then, it worked forShell on a one-well contract. After that, Ocean Apex returned to work forWoodside from early January 2020 until late September 2020. Explorationpermit WA-359-P is located in the Carnarvon Basin, offshore Western Australia, some50 kilometres from the existing North West Shelf LNG infrastructure. TheIronbark-1 well is expected to drill to approximately 5,500 metres and will bethe first test of the Ironbark gas prospect. Mobilisationof the Ocean Apex drilling rig for the Ironbark-1 well is expected to start mid-October,with drilling expected to begin by the end of October.center_img Moreprecisely, BP awarded contracts for two anchor handling tug and supply vessels –the Normand Saracen and Far Senator – and the Normand Leader platform supplier. Cue alsostated that it was fully funded for its expected participating interest costsof the well through funding from farm-in agreements with partners BP, BeachEnergy, and New Zealand Oil & Gas and some $8 million of cash reserveswhich have been escrowed. Cue Energy, oneof the partners in the WA-359-P permit where Ironbark is located, said that BP –as the operator of the permit – was making final preparations for the handoverof the Ocean Apex drilling rig, set to occur in October. There are some worthy reminders regarding this project. Namely, BP picked the Ocean Apex for drilling of Ironbark back in February 2019. Drilling was set for late 2020 and the rig was a perfect choice since it had prior engagements. According tothe company, the Well Operations Management Plan and the Safety Case for theOcean Apex drilling rig were the final regulatory documents required to beapproved by NOPSEMA. Both of these documents have now been approved.last_img read more