Bombing of journalists “may have been a war crime”

first_imgNews April 9, 2003 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Bombing of journalists “may have been a war crime” IraqMiddle East – North Africa Help by sharing this information to go further RSF_en Organisation Iraq : Wave of arrests of journalists covering protests in Iraqi Kurdistan Reporters Without Borders called today on the International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission to urgently investigate the bombing of journalists in Iraq which it said may have been a war crime under international law. Follow the news on Iraq December 16, 2020 Find out more News Three jailed reporters charged with “undermining national security” News February 15, 2021 Find out more December 28, 2020 Find out more IraqMiddle East – North Africa Reporters Without Borders calls for an impartial, objective and independent enquiry by the International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission.It said the “unsatisfactory” explanations given by US officials for attacks on journalists in Baghdad this week underlined the need for the Commission to look into such violations of the Geneva Conventions on treatment of civilians in wartime.”We asked you on 1 April to investigate the bombing of Iraqi TV headquarters but we received no reply,” said Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Robert Ménard in a letter to the Commission’s president, Sir Kenneth Keith.”We are now approaching you again to urge you to carry out your duty to investigate these attacks and others on journalists and media covering the war in Iraq. Attacks on civilians, which include journalists, and on civilian property are war crimes and serious violations of the Geneva Conventions,” he said.”The neighbouring Baghdad offices of the Arab TV stations Al-Jazeera and Abu Dhabi TV, as well as the Palestine Hotel – both known to US forces as places where journalists were living and working – were attacked deliberately and without warning by US forces on 8 April, killing three journalists.”The bombing of the TV station offices could not have been an error.  Al-Jazeera has told US forces where all its offices in Iraq are and has hung large banners outside them marked “TV.””US officials said a US tank fired on the Palestine Hotel because rockets were being fired from it.  None of the journalists there saw any such thing and said that in fact things were very quiet in the area when the tank took several minutes to adjust its gun and then fired.  Film by the French TV station France 3 confirmed this version of events.”These conflicting versions require an impartial, objective and independent enquiry by the Commission you head,” Ménard told Sir Keith. “These events are too serious to be left solely in the hands of an investigation by US officials, who have already refused to give any details about the killing of a British TV journalist under British-US gunfire in Basra on 22 March and the disappearance of two of his colleagues caught in the incident.”US Col. David Perkins, commander of the 2nd Brigade of the Third Infantry Division, said yesterday US troops had now been told not to fire on the hotel, even if shots came from it.A spokesman for the Spanish defence ministry (one of the dead journalists was Spanish) said US-British forces had declared the hotel a military target on 6 April on grounds that Iraqi leaders were meeting there. He said US-British forces had told journalists at the hotel about this.No media or journalist appears to have been warned of the attack, contrary to the obligation set out in the Geneva Conventions to give due and effective warning.The International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission was set up in 1991 (based in Bern, Switzerland) under the First Additional Protocol of the Geneva Conventions and has the job of investigating any alleged serious violation of international humanitarian law. To date it has received no cases to investigate.To have jurisdiction, it has to be petitioned by one of the parties to a conflict or by one of the countries that have recognised its jurisdiction.  To conduct an investigation, all the belligerents must accept its authority.  Among the countries involved in the Iraq war, only Australia and the United Kingdom have formally recognised it, allowing an investigation to go ahead as far as they are concerned. The United States and Iraq have not yet accepted the principle of such an enquiry. Receive email alerts RSF’s 2020 Round-up: 50 journalists killed, two-thirds in countries “at peace” Newslast_img read more

Awkward football interview offers perspective on Ohio’s great ag spokespeople

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest There has been quite a stir in the world of college football lately about a painfully awkward interview between ESPN’s Colin Cowherd and recently hired M*ch*gan head football coach Jim Harbaugh.On the day of the now notorious interview I was driving around western Ohio with Ty Higgins doing several story visits and we listened to the Harbaugh interview intently in the car. At first, when I heard that the new M*ch*gan coach was on, I immediately conjured up those wonderful crisp fall football Saturdays and the pure joy of watching the Buckeyes clobber the team from up north. Hopefully this experienced coach can help refuel the greatest rivalry in the sport (in a string of very painful and dramatic M*ch*gan losses, of course).The interview got off to a slow start, though, and I was soon thinking less of fall football victories and more about the painful experience of the increasingly hard-to-listen-to interview. It was a lesson in what not to do. There were numerous gaffs from both interviewer and interviewee, but Ty and I both were amazed at how this head coach making about a skajillion dollars could be so bad in an interview about his job as a head coach.The farmers we talk to every day do a better job than that Harbaugh interview, even though talking to reporters is not necessarily in their job description. I have conducted many interviews in my career, some of which have even been featured on the radio (not bad for a print guy). Since I started doing this as a writer in college there have been some awkward interviews, there have been some great interviews and everything in between. But no matter how smoothly an interview goes, I always appreciate talking to farmers and agribusiness professionals and I am always humbled that they are willing to share their stories with me.I am so fortunate to get to talk with so many great interview subjects, many who also serve as incredible spokespeople for agriculture. I consider it an honor when farmers take the time to talk with me, even though they don’t get paid a college football coach skajillion-dollar salary.Thanks to all who have been willing to do an interview with us through the years. As a whole you have represented your industry well and I’d rather talk to you than Jim Harbaugh any day. Go Bucks!last_img read more

Avoid forage toxicities after frosts

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Mark Sulc, Ohio State University ExtensionWith the cold weather this week, livestock owners need to keep in mind the few forage species that can be extremely toxic soon after a frost. Several species contain compounds called cyanogenic glucosides that are converted quickly to prussic acid (i.e. hydrogen cyanide) in freeze-damaged plant tissues. A few legumes species have an increased risk of causing bloat when grazed after a frost. Each of these risks is discussed in this article along with precautions to avoid them.Species with prussic acid poisoning potentialForage species that can contain prussic acid are listed below in decreasing order of risk of toxicity after a frost event:Grain sorghum = high to very high toxic potential Indiangrass = high toxic potential Sorghum-sudangrass hybrids and forage sorghums = intermediate to high potential Sudangrass hybrids = intermediate potential Sudangrass varieties = low to intermediate in cyanide poisoning potential Piper sudangrass = low prussic acid poisoning potential Pearl millet and foxtail millet = rarely cause toxicity Species not usually planted for agronomic use can also develop toxic levels of prussic acid, including the following: Johnsongrass, Shattercane, Chokecherry, Black cherry, and Elderberry. It is always a good idea to check areas where wild cherry trees grow after a storm and pick up and discard any fallen limbs to prevent animals from grazing on the leaves and twigs.Fertility can affect poisoning risk. Plants growing under high nitrogen levels or in soils deficient in phosphorus or potassium will be more likely to have high prussic acid poisoning potential.Fresh forage is more risky. After frost damage, cyanide levels will likely be higher in fresh forage as compared with silage or hay. This is because cyanide is a gas and dissipates as the forage is wilted and dried for making silage or dry hay.Plant age affects toxicity. Young, rapidly growing plants of species that contain cyanogenic glucosides will have the highest levels of prussic acid. After a frost, cyanide is more concentrated in young leaves and tillers than in older leaves or stems. New growth of sorghum species following a non-killing frost is dangerously high in cyanide. Pure stands of indiangrass can have lethal levels of cyanide if they are grazed when the plants are less than 8 inches tall.Toxicity symptomsAnimals can die within minutes if they consume forage with high concentrations of prussic acid. Prussic acid interferes with oxygen transfer in the blood stream of the animal, causing it to die of asphyxiation. Before death, symptoms include excess salivation, difficult breathing, staggering, convulsions, and collapse.Ruminants are more susceptible to prussic acid poisoning than horses or swine because cud chewing and rumen bacteria help release the cyanide from plant tissue.Grazing PrecautionsThe following guidelines will help you avoid danger to your livestock this fall when feeding species with prussic acid poisoning potential:• Do not graze on nights when frost is likely. High levels of toxic compounds are produced within hours after a frost, even if it was a light frost. • Do not graze after a killing frost until plants are dry, which usually takes 5 to 7 days. • After a non-killing frost, do not allow animals to graze for two weeks because the plants usually contain high concentrations of toxic compounds. • New growth may appear at the base of the plant after a non-killing frost. If this occurs, wait for a killing freeze, then wait another 10 to 14 days before grazing the new growth. • Don’t allow hungry or stressed animals to graze young growth of species with prussic acid potential. To reduce the risk, feed ground cereal grains to animals before turning them out to graze. • Use heavy stocking rates (4-6 head of cattle/acre) and rotational grazing to reduce the risk of animals selectively grazing leaves that can contain high levels of prussic acid. • Never graze immature growth or short regrowth following a harvest or grazing (at any time of the year). Graze or greenchop sudangrass only after it is 15 to 18 inches tall. Sorghum-sudangrass should be 24 to 30 inches tall before grazing. Do not graze wilted plants or plants with young tillers. Greenchop• Green-chopping frost-damaged plants will lower the risk compared with grazing directly, because animals are less likely to selectively graze damaged tissue. Stems in the forage dilute the high prussic acid content that can occur in leaves. However, the forage can still be toxic, so feed greenchop with great caution after a frost. Always feed greenchopped forage of species containing cyanogenic glucosides within a few hours, and don’t leave greenchopped forage in wagons or feedbunks overnight.Hay and silage are saferPrussic acid content in the plant decreases dramatically during the hay drying process and the forage should be safe once baled as dry hay. The forage can be mowed anytime after a frost if you are making hay. It is rare for dry hay to contain toxic levels of prussic acid. However, if the hay was not properly cured and dried before baling, it should be tested for prussic acid content before feeding to livestock.Forage with prussic acid potential that is stored as silage is generally safe to feed. To be extra cautious, wait 5 to 7 days after a frost before chopping for silage. If the plants appear to be drying down quickly after a killing frost, it is safe to ensile sooner.Delay feeding silage for 8 weeks after ensiling. If the forage likely contained high levels of cyanide at the time of chopping, hazardous levels of cyanide might remain and the silage should be analyzed before feeding.Nitrate accumulation in frost foragesFreezing damage also slows down metabolism in all plants that might result in nitrate accumulation in plants that are still growing, especially grasses like oats and other small grains, millet, and sudangrass. This build-up usually isn’t hazardous to grazing animals, but green chop or hay cut right after a freeze can be more dangerous. When in doubt, send a forage sample to a forage testing lab for nitrate testing before grazing or feeding it.Species that can cause bloatForage legumes such as alfalfa and clovers have an increased risk of bloat when grazed one or two days after a hard frost. The bloat risk is highest when grazing pure legume stands and least when grazing stands having mostly grass.The safest management is to wait a few days after a killing frost before grazing pure legume stands – wait until the forage begins to dry from the frost damage. It is also a good idea to make sure animals have some dry hay before being introduced to lush fall pastures that contain significant amounts of legumes. You can also swath your legume-rich pasture ahead of grazing and let animals graze dry hay in the swath. Bloat protectants like poloxalene can be fed as blocks or mixed with grain. While this an expensive supplement, it does work well when animals eat a uniform amount each day.Frost and Equine Problems (source: Bruce Anderson, University of Nebraska)Minnesota specialists report that fall pasture, especially frost damaged pasture, can have high concentrations of nonstructural carbohydrates, like sugars. This can lead to various health problems for horses, such as founder and colic. They recommend pulling horses off of pasture for about one week following the first killing frost.High concentrations of nonstructural carbohydrates are most likely in leafy regrowth of cool-season grasses such as brome, timothy, and bluegrass but native warm-season grasses also may occasionally have similar risks.Another unexpected risk can come from dead maple leaves that fall or are blown into horse pastures. Red blood cells can be damaged in horses that eat 1.5 to 3 pounds of dried maple leaves per one thousand pounds of bodyweight. This problem apparently does not occur with fresh green leaves or with any other animal type. Fortunately, the toxicity does not appear to remain in the leaves the following spring.last_img read more

10 months agoNeville: Solskjaer personality just what Man Utd need

first_imgAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Neville: Solskjaer personality just what Man Utd needby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester United legend Gary Neville says the personality of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is just what Old Trafford needs.The Norwegian took over a United’s interim manager on Wednesday following the sacking of Jose Mourinho and faces his first match at another former club, Cardiff City, on Saturday evening.Neville told Sky Sports, “He is so popular, he is one of the most popular players that exists at Manchester United in terms of what he achieved at the club and that goal in 1999.”He is a gentleman, he really is. He is a good person and has immersed himself in coaching. When he finished as a player he obviously became the reserve team coach at Manchester United. He wanted to learn the ropes.”He will be better for that experience at Cardiff. We have a stigma in this country of managers that have been sacked.”What it means is he is more mature and more experienced after having that experience.” last_img read more

17 days agoCallum Hudson-Odoi: Chelsea transfer ban has worked out well

first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Callum Hudson-Odoi: Chelsea transfer ban has worked out wellby Paul Vegas17 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveCallum Hudson-Odoi says Chelsea’s transfer ban has helped the development of the club’s young players.As a result of the restrictions Chelsea have turned to youth, and the likes of Hudson-Odoi, Tammy Abraham and Fikayo Tomori have been given a chance in the first team.“I would say the transfer ban is a good thing for us because it gives more players more opportunities to play,” the 18-year-old said ahead of England Under-21’s games against Slovenia and Austria.“I don’t think it’s really restricting anything. Even if there wasn’t a transfer ban I think the young players would still be working hard and pushing in training to get a start. The manager is obviously rewarding the players depending on who’s working hard, who’s training well.“It doesn’t matter if you’re the best in the world or the worst in the world, as long as you have the right mentality and work ethic.” last_img read more

Alberta halts construction of lab so incoming UCP has chance to review

first_imgEDMONTON – Alberta has halted construction of a medical superlab, saying it wants to allow the just-elected United Conservative government time to review the project.An Alberta infrastructure representative says in an email that the “pause” is intended to minimize costs incurred before the new government has the opportunity to conduct a review.The $590 million lab near the University of Alberta’s south campus was announced by the NDP government in 2016, and former health minister Sarah Hoffman noted last month that site preparation was underway.But Premier-designate Jason Kenney has called the project unnecessary and promised to scrap it if elected.The lab was intended to bring existing laboratories and staff under one roof to process the more than 30 million tests conducted in the province every year.Kenney has said the project would do nothing to improve patient services, and that a UCP government would also put the NDP’s plans for a lab-testing superagency on hold while consulting on the best way to deliver lab services.last_img read more

California lawmakers ask DMV officials about long lines

first_imgSACRAMENTO, Calif. – Hours-long wait times at California Department of Motor Vehicles offices in recent months have been unacceptable, the agency’s leader told lawmakers at a Tuesday hearing in response to public outcry over the delays.DMV Director Jean Shiomoto told lawmakers wait times spiked several months ago as Californians update their licenses to meet new federal security standards known as Real ID.The agency underestimated how long it would take to explain the new requirements to customers and ensure they have necessary documents, Shiomoto said.Shiomoto asked lawmakers Tuesday for additional money to hire more employees, possibly as much as $26 million on top of the millions in additional funding the agency has already been granted.When Assemblyman Phil Ting visited a San Francisco DMV office in his district last month, he said the line snaking around the block looked more like a queue for rock concert tickets than for people trying to renew their licenses.“I was shocked,” the Democrat told The Associated Press. “What we’ve been hearing are horrific wait times of six or seven hours. That’s unacceptable.”Lawmakers have given the department millions of dollars in additional funding to accommodate higher demand as Californians update their licenses to comply with the federally mandated security upgrades.The federal law was enacted in 2005 in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and requires new ID cards to carry special markings.After Oct. 1, 2020, airport security checkpoints won’t accept non-compliant cards. Californians must apply for new cards in person at DMV offices.The department has already hired hundreds of additional employees to handle increased demand. The agency is also encouraging people to complete some paperwork before arriving in person and is piloting text message alerts for waiting customers.Assemblyman Phillip Chen is requesting an audit of the department and how it is handling the Real ID changes. The top complaint he’s heard from his constituents recently is about the long wait times at DMV offices.“We want to make sure we’re not putting money into a broken system,” the Diamond Bar Republican said.The Joint Legislative Audit Committee will weigh Chen’s audit request Wednesday.To ease the long wait times, the DMV is staffing 60 offices on Saturdays and extending morning hours at 14 offices.“We want to do better and we will do better,” Shiomoto said. “Our customers deserve it.”last_img read more

Pomeroy Sport Centre to begin installing ice

first_imgDue to the poor air quality, the city is urging residents to use the walking track at their own risk.The city apologized for any inconvenience this will cause residents. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Pomeroy Sport Centre will soon begin the process of putting the ice back in the arena.Ice Maintenance will commence on August 3rd and finish on the 16th.The City of Fort St. John Recreation explained in a post on Facebook that many machines will be operated at various times in the Pomeroy during the maintenance which could cause poor air quality.last_img

Dawson Creek RCMP investigate fire in Pouce Coupe

first_imgPolice say multiple vehicles that were parked near the building were also engulfed in flames.It is believed the building was vacant and no one was inside the building or vehicles at the time of the fire.The highway was shut down temporarily and an alternate route was set up until the fire was under control.The area was secured by police pending further investigation.If you have any information, you are being asked to contact the Dawson Creek RCMP at 250-784-3700 or CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS. POUCE COUPE, B.C. – Dawson Creek RCMP received a report of a structure fire in Pouce Coupe on the morning of June 5 at 4:10 a.m.According to RCMP, officers arrived on scene and determined that the structure on fire was located in a work yard at 5012 Highway 2.Fire crews were on scene trying to keep the fire under control.last_img read more