Saturday, January 07, 2006

Global Risk Management and Crisis Resolution

PROXEMIS - Asociatia de Management a Riscurilor Globale.
Fax: 0040-21-321-6125 Cell.: 004072-4581078


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Anonymous said...

-London radical cleric appears in court
-New toxic spills in China rivers
-Pakistan protests US border shooting
-Spain arrests top military commander
-Venezuela-Peru quarrel cleared up
-Taliban says it will step up attacks
-US vice president rushed to hospital
-Cyclone heads for Australia
-Campaign says small arms blight innocent
-Attacker in Kabul dies in premature blast
-Soldier killed in Sri Lanka attack
-A weekend of violence in Somalia
-UN envoy in Burma resigns
-Jordan passes law protecting US workers
-Suicide bombers strike Iraqi ministry
-Sharon breathing independently
-Pope's would-be assassin to be released
-Bird flu reaches Ankara
-Taliban leader rejects Karzai peace offer
-EUFOR says Bosnian Serbs fired on troops
-India rejects Kashmir demilitarization
-Japan grants Pakistan US$100m loan
-Pragmatism, not Chavez, to dictate Peru politics
-Sri Lanka fears full blown war

WHO urges calm over Turkey bird flu cases

ISN SECURITY WATCH (09/01/06) - The World Health Organization (WHO) has urged the public not to panic following the recent spate of Avian Influenza cases, also known as bird flu, in Turkey.

The authorities in Turkey have reported that 14 people tested positive for the deadly bird flu virus, including three children from the same family in eastern Turkey who died last week.

Turkish Health Minister Recep Akdag told a news conference on Monday that “the total number of cases in our country is 14 confirmed by laboratory tests, and out of those 14, three children have died”.

The WHO late on Monday confirmed the number of bird flu cases in Turkey based on information from the Turkish Health Ministry, but was still waiting for laboratory test results from Britain’s National Institute for Medical Research in Mill Hill, near London.

The organization said it was satisfied with the procedures currently being implemented in the region.

“We have a team of specialist working on the ground with the health authorities […] We are very happy with our coordination with the Turks,” the spokeswoman told ISN Security Watch.

With the virus spreading across western, northern, and eastern Turkey, some analysts have described the situation as out of control. However, the WHO insists that so far the situation is manageable.

“WHO is not saying that the situation is uncontrollable,” said WHO medical expert Isabelle Nuttall. “It is not out of control. We are working with the authorities there and what is important for us is to asses the potential for human-to-human transmission [of Avian Influenza].

“So far, there doesn’t appear to be any human-to-human transmission, we are still in the presence of people being contaminated after they have had close contact with sick chickens,” she said.

ISN Security Watch was assured that speculation relating to the deaths of the three siblings last week was not transmitted from brother to sisters.

“Definitely not the case,” Nuttall said. “At this time we have no evidence that there is any human-to-human transmission and our team is telling us that people are most likely contaminated through infected chickens. They all had contact with infected chickens. Again, the situation may change in the future but as of right now this is our assessment.”

The European Commission (EC) announced on Monday it would impose a ban on untreated feathers from Turkey’s neighbors - Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, Syria, Iran, and Iraq - but the WHO said there was no need for panic.

“There is no reason to panic. Avian influenza is an animal disease. We had it in Romania and they managed to control it, now the challenge is to control the animal situation over there [Turkey]. There has been some misinformation into the consumption of chickens,” Nuttall told ISN Security Watch.

“We need to strengthen the surveillance system both in the animal and human surveillance in neighboring countries, and that is what we are doing right now.”

In conjunction with Turkish health authorities and international organizations, the WHO stressed the need to remain vigilant and act rapidly to control the situation in affected animals.

The group insisted there was no evidence of contamination through consumption. However, everything associated with consumption, the de-feathering and preparation, is a “high-risk” operation.

(By Theodore Liasi in London)

Iranian crash kills military commander

ISN SECURITY WATCH (09/01/06) – An Iranian military passenger plane crashed on Monday morning in north-west Iran, killing at least 13 people, including a senior military commander, according to police and news agency reports.

The plane, a Falcon jet belonging to the elite Revolutionary Guard (Pasdaran), was attempting an emergency landing when it crashed near the village of Aidinlou, 12 kilometers from its intended destination, the provincial capital of West Azarbaijan, Oroumieh.

There were competing claims as to what caused the crash. The official IRNA news organization reported that the aircraft's landing gear had jammed, while the Mehr news agency said the cause was engine failure.

A spokesman for the Revolutionary Guard, General Masoud Jazayeri, said the crash was caused by a combination of bad weather and engine failure.

Jazayeri confirmed that the commander of Pasdaran ground forces was among the fatalities. "Ahmad Kazemi, commander of the ground forces of the elite Revolutionary Guard, and another ten officers of the Guard were killed […] The authorities are investigating the incident," he said.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad expressed his condolences in an official statement carried by IRNA: "The bitter incident of martyrdom of [the] commander of ground forces of [the] Islamic Revolution Guard Corps, Brigadier General Ahmad Kazemi, [the] commander of Division 27 and several other devotees of Islam and the Islamic country caused deep grief and sorrow.".

According to IRNA, ten senior officers were killed in the crash, including the commander of the 27th Division Saeed Mohtadi, Deputy Commander of Ground Forces for Operation Affairs Saeed Soleymani, and the Official in Charge of Information for Ground Forces, Hanif Montazer-Qaem.

IRNA reported that Brigadier General Ghasem Soleimani, the commander of the Jerusalem Forces anti-terror unit, was among the dead, though state radio later said he was not on board.

In a telephone interview with ISN Security Watch, Safa Haeri of the independent Iran Press Service expressed his surprise that the French-made Falcon aircraft was involved in the crash, saying "the Falcon is known to be a good plane".

Asked about the importance of the Pasdaran in Iranian society, Haeri said: "The elite force is more important than the regular army […] are much better equipped than the regular army and […] they play a very important role in keeping internal peace and security and in [ensuring] the security of the leaders."

"They are very important in politics as well," Haeri added. "For the first time, almost 70 members of the parliament are former officers of the Revolutionary Guard and six or seven members of the cabinet." Another former Guard officer in a prominent political position is the Supreme Council of National Security head Hassan Rohani, who leads Iran's nuclear negotiating team, he said.

Kazemi was appointed the new commander of Pasdaran ground forces in August in a reshuffle instigated by the newly elected president, having previously served as the head of the Guard's air force. In that position, he was responsible for the ongoing development of the Shihab missile system. According to Haeri, Kazemi "was a very famous commander during the [Iran-Iraq] war".

Ahmadinejad is also a former commander in the Pasdaran, which was set up as a balance to the regular armed forces following the 1979 revolution, to defend the Islamic regime from "internal and external threats". Through its economic interests and military strength, the Guard wields significant power in the Iranian political structure.

Iran has struggled in recent years to find spare parts for civilian and military aircraft due to a US trade embargo and has a recent aviation record marred by several major tragedies.

In December, 115 people were killed when a C-130 military transport crashed into an apartment block in the capital Tehran after suffering engine problems. Haeri noted that following Mondays' crash, "The Revolutionary Guard were very quick to announce, and also to say what happened […] unlike the C-130 crash in which we still do not know what happened".

In 2003, a Russian-made Ilyushin-76 carrying Guard members crashed in southeastern Iran, killing 302 people. A year before, a Tupolev Tu-154 crashed in a mountainous area in the south-east, killing all 119 on board.

(By Dominic Moran in Tel Aviv)

Haiti sets new date for elections

ISN SECURITY WATCH (09/01/06) - Haitian officials have set a new date for national elections after calls from the UN to follow through with plans to replace the embattled country’s interim government.

Meanwhile, UN officials in Haiti on Sunday began investigating the apparent suicide of the Brazilian commander of the UN mission there.

Haiti’s elections for a new president, prime minister, and parliament have been delayed four times since November. Interim leaders said there were not enough polling stations or election workers to conduct the balloting and blamed the UN and the Organization of American States (OAS) for not living up to their commitments to prepare voting stations and register voters ahead of the election.

Both international bodies denied the accusations. The UN Security Council in turn met on Friday and issued a statement urging Haiti to hold elections as soon as possible.

The new date for elections is 7 February.

“For us this schedule is official and final. We discussed it with the government, which has no objection,” Rosemond Pradel, secretary general of the Provisional Electoral Council, told Reuters news agency.

Officials in the capital, Port-au-Prince, have made similar promises in the past to hold elections, only to call them off at the last moment. The last date set was 8 January.

This time, however, they face growing condemnation from the international community for postponing them. Haiti’s interim government - led by prime minister Gerard Latortue - has been in power since shortly after the February 2004 departure of then-president Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

Armed rebels began taking over much of the country earlier that year, calling for Aristide’s resignation and threatening to remove him from power by force if he did not step down.

The former Haitian president currently resides in exile in South Africa. Though he has vowed to return to power, Aristide’s own Lavalas Party has put forward another candidate to compete with the nearly three dozen presidential hopefuls vying for Haiti’s highest office.

The setting of a new election date came as UN and Brazilian military officials began looking into the death of Lieutenant General Urano Teixeira da Matta Bacellar.

According to initial reports, the general killed himself with a single shot to the head in his hotel suite on Saturday.

“According to the elements we’ve found, I’m 95 per cent sure General Bacellar committed suicide,” a UN expert told Reuters on condition of anonymity.

“We found his gun, a 9mm pistol, by his side. The gun was loaded and when we compared the remaining bullets with the hole left in his head and the spent shell we found there is no doubt.”

Haitian police officials concurred with the assessment that the Brazilian commander’s death was self-inflicted.

Brazil is at the helm of the UN mission that took over for the interim peacekeeping force in May 2004.

Since then, the force has had difficulties controlling the violence that plagued Haiti for weeks leading up the Aristide resignation. Armed Aristide supporters often clash with UN troops in the capital’s slums. Hundreds of people have been killed in the battles over the last two years.

Brazil elected to lead the UN mission hoping to prove to the UN Security Council and member nations that it deserved a permanent seat on the council. Brazil, Germany, Japan, and India are all vying for a position.

(By Carmen Gentile, senior international correspondent)

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Anonymous said...

Jonglerii cu legea si frauda din banii europeni

Timp de peste 10 ani, in Romania s-a cultivat soia modificata genetic. Aproape toata soia din Romania era contaminata. Este unul dintre motivele pentru care, odata interzisa, incepand cu ianuarie 2007, agricultorilor le-a fost destul de greu sa gaseasca seminte conventionale, adica obisnuite. Unii nu au gasit si au pus, in mod ilegal, tot soia transgenica. Unul dintre cele mai cunoscute cazuri este cel din satul Batar, de langa Oradea: peste 250 de hectare au fost insamantate cu soia transgenica. Primarul din Batar, domnul Gheorghe Bondar, m-a primit bucuros ca poate explica situatia presei: "Pentru noi a fost o nenorocire, cand am auzit ca tocmai in satul nostru s-a intamplat asa ceva. Noi avem aici multi fermieri care fac bani buni din agricultura ecologica. Ne mandrim cu asta si consideram ca asta este agricultura viitorului. Garda de Mediu a venit si a descoperit intamplator acea cultura ilegala de soia. Era un fermier italian. Pusese 300 de hectare de soia conventionala si aproape inca pe atat modificata genetic. Daca Garda de Mediu nu observa diferenta, cu siguranta ca acea soia ajungea in farfuriile oamenilor ca o soia normala", imi spune primarul si ma duce sa imi arate productia proprie de soia si de grau ecologic, aflate la mare cautare in Vest.
Dan Craioveanu - Cluj

In ianuarie 2007, pentru ca am intrat in Uniunea Europeana, unde culturile modificate genetic nu au fost niciodata aprobate, in consecinta si culturile de soia modificata genetic ar fi trebuit interzise. Dar n-a fost asa, ele au fost aprobate la noi. Se stia ca sunt discutii legate de siguranta cultivarii si consumului de soia MG, si totusi, ea a fost aprobata. "Cine a aprobat?", l-am intrebat pe Dan Craioveanu, unul dintre cei mai cunoscuti luptatori ecologisti de la Cluj. "Ministrii de-atunci. Astazi nu mai poate fi nimeni tras la raspundere. Atunci era legal, acum e ilegal. Problema legalitatii plantelor modificate genetic in 1998, anul cand au fost introduse primele plante transgenice la noi in tara, este una subtila si perversa. In momentul acela, nu aveam de fapt o legislatie pentru asemenea plante, ci le-am introdus in camp, ca pe niste culturi conventionale, fara sa tinem cont de nici o norma de securitate. Ceea ce s-a intamplat atunci, si in toti anii in care s-a continuat cultivarea de soia MG, nu poate fi reparat prin declaratii oficiale pe hartie." Ne-am intalnit intr-o cafenea din Cluj. El e tanar si, in ciuda tuturor "aberatiilor de sistem", si-a pastrat entuziasmul. Cu o cafea in fata si cu lumea roind in jurul nostru, isi deschide laptopul si imi arata harti, documente si comunicate de ultima ora. "Anul asta, in aprilie, comisia europeana a efectuat o vizita in Romania pentru a verifica diferite aspecte legate de OMG. Ei au facut un raport in care spun ca in Romania au gasit 227 de fermieri care au cultivat ilegal soia MG pe o suprafata de 8126 ha. Acesti producatori ilegali au fost anuntati la Garda de Mediu. Noi am cerut informatii in legatura cu ei, dar raspunsul autoritatilor lasa de dorit. Nu avem cunostinta despre masurile luate de autoritati in privinta acestor culturi ilegale. In mod normal, trebuiau distruse si aplicate amenzi celor responsabili. Speram ca lucrurile s-au intamplat asa, in ciuda lipsei de transparenta de care dau dovada autoritatile."
Din aceste date mai reiese insa ceva. Conform legislatiei europene, doar cei ce cultiva plante conventionale primesc subventii din partea UE. Dar controleaza cineva, in Romania, daca printre culturile conventionale nu se introduc, fraudulos, si culturi OMG? Nu numai ca lucrul acesta ar fi ilegal, dar el inseamna si frauda de fonduri europene. Deci, avem de-a face, numai pe anul 2007, cu o frauda din fonduri europene, pe o suprafata de peste 8000 de hectare. Si cu toate astea, raspunsurile intarzie sa apara.